With over 30 million acres of public land, Montana has a vast array of animals that can be hunted. From antelope to mountain lions and wolverines, there are many different hunting seasons and regulations. There are also a few invasive species that are encouraged to be hunted. These species are a threat to the ecosystems within Montana and are thriving throughout the state, harming native species of both plants and animals. Invasive species include the American bullfrog and the Eurasian Dove.
The American bullfrog has been rapidly spreading across the waters of the western United States. They are east to detect by their loud call and can be found in most large ponds and lakes. The introduction of these frogs to Montana has led to a decrease in native frog and turtle species, as well as waterfowl.
This invasive bird species is found across the entirety of the United States and is very common in Montana. The European starling is similar in appearance to the native blackbird, but can be distinguished by its yellow beak.
Easily confused with Montana’s native mourning dove, the Eurasian dove was originally spotted in Montana in 1997. This large dove has a broad tail and a black collar on the back of its neck, while the mourning dove is smaller and typically browner in color. There is no closed season for hunting Eurasian doves, but there are regulations for the hunting of mourning doves and other migratory birds.
Invasive species of animals, as well as the overpopulation of native species can lead to many problems throughout an area, including harm to other species of plants and animals and injury to humans. Hunting is a practical way to maintain stable populations and reduce the number of invasive and harmful species throughout Montana.
Visit Harris Hunts & Fort Musselshell Outfitters to learn more about hunting in Montana and to schedule a hunt of your own!