MISSOULA – Jim McDonald, President of the 2,500-member Western Montana Fish and Game Association has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the citation and conviction of someone who poached a deer at the WMFGA’s Deer Creek Shooting Center last Saturday.
McDonald commented, “The WMFGA continues to wrestle with trespass problems at the Deer Creek Shooting Center, people who illegally use our facilities without being dues-paying members. Such illegal use of the DCSC is trespass and results in vandalism by people who have no ownership interest in the facility. Because our valid members are also owners, they use the facility responsibly and follow our posted rules.
The Range Rules posted at the DCSC include: “12. WILDLIFE: No shooting at wildlife on premises.” In addition to large Range Rule posting signs at the DCSC, every member is provided with a fresh copy of the Range Rules every year upon membership renewal. Further, all members are authorized to enforce the Range Rules at the DCSC.
McDonald continued, “Saturday’s poaching is very unlike the usual conduct by our members, which is why we suspect it was done by someone trespassing on the DCSC. During organized matches at the DCSC, it has sometimes been necessary to stop the match in order to chase wandering deer off of a shooting bay for the safety of the deer. We take our responsibility to be respectful of wildlife and a good neighbor very seriously.”
The WMFGA is Montana’s oldest existing organization of sportsmen and women, having been founded in 1911. Owned and operated by the WMFGA, the DCSC is one of the most safe and well-developed shooting facilities in the Northwest, which makes it a significant asset for the Missoula community. The WMFGA is a membership organization, and only members and their supervised guests are allowed to use the Deer Creek Shooting Center.
Anyone with information about the poaching last Saturday should contact Jim McDonald at 370-2500, or the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.