FWP has approved an expanded elk season for landowners. The expanded season is aimed to lower the population of elk on private lands that are over run with large elk herds. Landowners are concerned that the larger herds can affect cattle herds.
According to the Billings Gazette
Montana Fish and Wildlife commissioners voted unanimously to allow additional hunters in southern Montana to kill up to 250 elk that move near livestock herds from January to April of 2016.
The updated plan would let livestock producers choose people to participate in state-approved dispersal hunts outside Montana’s regular five-week elk season.
Wildlife Bureau Coordinator Quentin Kujala said the state would designate hunters from a roster of licensed volunteers to join the hand-picked ones. But the additional people would only be called to action if more people are needed to scare away or shoot elk.
Kujala said the change will allow ranchers and their neighbors to respond faster to prevent possible transmissions of brucellosis, a disease that can cause animals to prematurely abort. It is believed to be transferred when cattle come in contact with birthing material from an infected elk.
Kathryn QannaYahu, a conservation hunter from Bozeman, argued the program is operating without state or legal authority and needs to be reined in under legislation or agency rules. She also said the brucellosis plan discounts the possibility of brucellosis spreading between livestock herds.
Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/wildlife-officials-green-light-expanded-plan-to-kill-elk/article_83887b85-960c-5c38-978d-562c3d2b616d.html#ixzz3iE4TU7AG
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