Opening day to many of Montana’s Wildlife Management Areas will take place this Thursday, and shed hunters will be lined up ready to scour for some antlers.
Opening day is a popular, some might even say raucous, event. WMA’s provide critical winter range for deer and elk and host all kinds of other wildlife species. Some of Montana’s famed elk herds shed their antlers on these sites.
According to FWP:
“When the Blackfoot-Clearwater WMA near Seeley Lake opens, hundreds of people can be staged on the road ready to get onto the range to hunt for antlers,” Berg said (Aaron Berg, FWP warden in FWP Region 2). “We’ve observed everything from people wrecking their cars in the race to get through the gates, to troublesome encounters with grizzly bears.”
On opening day of a WMA, wildlife managers are most concerned about protecting elk, deer, grizzly bears and other species from disturbance just when their energy reserves are most depleted. Shed hunters should carry bear spray and practice good bear avoidance techniques. Steer clear too of deer and elk, the females are heavily pregnant and soon to give birth… read full article here.
Many popular Wildlife Management Areas open at noon on May 15 for shed-antler hunters and other recreationists. Other areas may not open until June 1, and it is illegal to enter a state WMA prior to its formal opening day.
To learn more about Montana’s WMAs—and to confirm specific opening dates—visit FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov. Click “Fish & Wildlife” then click “Wildlife Management Areas“.
feature photo: www.montanawhitetails.com