Author: Bruce Billingsly

Poll Shows Montanans Believe Public Lands to be Economically Beneficial

  Administered using both wireless and landline telephone interviews, the University of Montana released the results of its most recent poll of 500 registered voters in the state of Montana.  What they found was that Montana residents believe strongly in the economic benefits and enhanced quality of life federal public lands afford the people of the Big Sky state. “We found that support for national parks and conservation is about as popular and bipartisan an issue as you can find these days,” UM geography professor Rick Graetz said. “There’s agreement in the state, on all sectors of politics.” When...

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Missouri Increases CWD Sample Collection

  After 86 cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) were discovered in northern Arkansas this spring, the Missouri Department of Conservation has decided to increased sample collection with the purpose of testing for the disease. In light of the increase in CWD cases in neighboring Arkansas, a focus area 50 miles from Arkansas’ CWD infected area.  The Department is committed to increasing efforts in these types of areas by collecting samples from sick and road-killed deer during the spring months. To date, officials have tested over 51,000 deer in Missouri resulting in 27 confirmed cases throughout the state.  While...

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Montana Commission Shoots Down Wolf Hunting Quota Increases

  Earlier in the month, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks tabled a proposal to the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission that contained their recommendation of tripling the wolf hunting quota in an area bordering Yellowstone National Park. In the proposal, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks recommended that the quota of wolf harvest be bumped up from two to six in wolf management unit 313, close to Gardiner, Montana. After this week’s meeting, three of the four commissioners present were uncomfortable with the proposed increase of hunting pressure on the wolf population,  shooting down the proposal in a 3-1 vote....

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Pennsylvania Confirms Twelve New Cases of Chronic Wasting Disease

  Just west of York County in south-central Pennsylvania lies Disease Management Area 2 (DMA 2), or ground zero for chronic wasting disease in the state. The Pennsylvania Game Commission confirmed twelve additional white-tailed deer had been infected with chronic wasting disease in 2015.  The state now has a total of 22 confirmed cases of the disease from free-range deer since 2012 and the most recent findings will result in a few changes to DMA 2. Officials are expanding the size of the area by more than 437 square miles with hopes of both alerting hunters and containing the...

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South Dakota Proposes More Deer Tags for Hunters This Fall

  After a number of consecutive harsh winters, South Dakota’s whitetail deer population is starting to rebound in a big way and state wildlife officials tabled proposals last week that would increase the number of available deer tags in 2016. “We’ve had some very nice, mild winters that we think equate to good news for our deer populations,” senior game biologists Andy Lindbloom said. These comments come after research revealed that fawn survival rates were around 70 percent in 2015, according to Lindbloom.  Aside from fawn survival rates, the juvenile survival rate ended up around 80 percent and the...

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