Montana Regional Update
MDF has been busy in the off-season, the development of a new chapter based in Missoula, the Dark Horn Chapter; attending the MT FWP Commissioners meetings supporting the elimination of B Tags until herds are above management objective and the trans-location of urban deer (Helena). We are in the early discussions of a potential study on the “Impact of whitetail deer encroaching on traditional mule deer habitat”. Additionally we are in discussions with the USFS, FWP and some land trusts in participating in the purchase or lease of access easements in Montana in order to gain access to large tracts of public land currently blocked by private land, I hope to announce our first one soon. We also will be hosting the 2014 Project Review Committee meeting coming up next week on Feb. 24th in Helena to review the 14 projects that have been submitted for fund requests, more on that later.
First off, let’s welcome the newest chapter to the Montana Mule Deer Foundation family, the Dark Horn Chapter based in Missoula. This chapter is co-chaired by Theresa Mondale and Tracy Manning. They will be hosting their first banquet on Saturday April 12th at the University Center in Missoula. This brings us to a total of 11 active chapters in Montana.
The Project Review Committee will be meeting on Monday Feb. 24th in Helena to review projects that have been submitted to the Mule Deer Foundation for projects here in Montana. This committee reviews the projects based on criteria’s such as; is it in prime mule deer habitat, elevation, purpose, partners involved, amount of funds asked for as well as other criteria. The five biologists, two state chairs and regional director than rank the projects. The regional director will then provide each chapter a “menu” of the projects and their ranking. This year we have double the chapter rewards we had in 2012, it was a great year! Any committee members that would like to attend to view and learn about the benefits of certain projects, contact regional director Marshall Johnson at 406-850-8785.
This year, we have some outstanding banquets planned! Many of our banquets will be featuring a custom built rifle from Montana Rifle Co. and in many cases the winner will be able to choose their caliber, with 25 to choose from!!! Also, most of our banquets offer Table Packages and pre-banquet raffles, contact the individuals below for more info and ticket info.
- Feb. 22nd – Treasure State Chapter – Butte, MT – for tickets: Mark Clark @ (406) 498-2638
- March 8th – Big Sky Chapter – Billings, MT – For tickets: Doug Fichter @ (406) 698-0248
- March 22nd – Northern Rockies Chapter – Kalispell, MT – For Tickets: Kelly Kracker @ (406) 249-7211
- April 12th – Dark Horn Chapter – Missoula, MT – for tickets: Christine Manning @ (406) 214-4837
- May 3rd – Sapphire Range Chapter – Stevensville, MT – For tickets: Becky Doyle @ (406) 531-4060
- May 10th – Bridger Bucks Chapter – Bozeman, MT – For Tickets: Brent Walker @ (406) 570-0060
- May 17th – Drop Tine Chapter – Colstrip, MT – For Tickets: Richard Foote @ (406) 860-6074
- July 19th – Western Montana Chapter – Alberton Rail Road Days – Shoot & Fun Run – for information contact Jennifer Cote @ (406) 543-8088
- Aug 15th – High, Wide & Heavy Chapter – Great Falls, MT – Tickets: Michael Kuiper @ (406) 788-4616
- Aug 22nd – Lewis & Clark Chapter – Helena, MT – Tickets: Steve Miller @ (406) 439-6831
- Oct 18th – Miles City Chapter – Miles City, MT – Chairperson Jesse Schell
- Kalispell – Feb 28th – Mar 2nd
- Helena – Feb 28th- Mar 2nd
- Missoula – Mar 22nd -24th
- Bozeman – Mar 28th – 30th
(Report via Marshall Johnson, Regional Director-MDF MT & ND)