At the end of the 2014 elk hunting season, 40 percent of Montana hunting districts were still over overpopulated with elk. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, often called FWP, recently proposed an “Elk Shoulder Season” to aid in the reduction of elk populations throughout Montana. This plan will allow rifle hunting in certain districts before and after the regular season, providing hunters with more opportunities to hunt in districts with an overabundance of elk.
Montana is already home to one of the longest deer and elk seasons across the country, and often employs management hunts outside of hunting season to dispatch hunters to private properties that are overrun with elk. Elk are intelligent, wary creatures that often hide from hunters on private land, tearing up fences and destroying crops.
FWP hopes that the proposed shoulder season will get elk moving around and out of high-population areas and would like to see more cows harvested this season. In 2014 more than half of the 25,000 elk hunted were bulls. This change in hunting strategy will aid in the reduction of population growth as well.
To view the proposed guidelines and share your opinion with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, click here. Interested in helping to reduce the Montana elk population? FWP is looking for hunters to join their summer hunting roster to aid in the population control efforts. Click here to sign up.