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Reminders from Fish, Wildlife & Parks

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MONTANA — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks recently put together some important springtime reminders for hunters and outdoor recreationists: 

—  The deadline for deer and elk permit applications is April 1. Hunters have until April 1 to apply for deer and elk licenses, but they shouldn’t wait for the last minute. Get it done now.

Hunters who are applying for special licenses and permits need to have a valid email address. Hunters can apply for permits on the FWP website. If hunters want to apply in person, FWP offices are open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

—  Be bear aware when recreating outdoors and remove or secure food attractants at residences. Bears are emerging from dens with the onset of spring and people are headed outdoors should “Be Bear Aware.”

Bears can be found throughout Montana. In recent years, grizzly bear populations have expanded and bears are sometimes found in historic ranges beyond western Montana.

As bears begin foraging for food, people can avoid conflict by removing or securing food attractants such as garbage, bird feeders and pet food. The most common human-bear conflicts involve unsecured food attractants.

—  Leave baby animals alone and be mindful of diseases. Each spring, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks receives calls from people who have picked up deer fawns or other wildlife. It’s important to remember that FWP does not accept, hold or rehabilitate moose, deer, elk and most other animals.

Often times, people think they are rescuing an orphaned animal. However, it’s important to understand that wildlife care for their young much differently than humans. They have strategies to provide the highest chance of survival for their young.

—  Reminders for shed hunters: Most wildlife management areas open May 15. Block management areas are not open for shed hunting without the landowner’s permission.

With warmer temperatures and snow quickly disappearing, shed-antler hunters are anxious to get into the field. Buck deer and bull elk and moose grow antlers each year, some to magnificent size, which drop off to regrow each spring. Hunting for and collecting these “shed” antlers in spring has become a popular activity.


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