Spring horn hunters should remember that April and May is a critical time for wildlife still struggling to make the seasonal transition from winter to spring. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Warden Sergeant Mark Anderson of Bozeman reminds horn hunters that unnecessary activities on winter game ranges create hardship for deer and elk.
"Horn hunting often moves animals off of game ranges and causes excessive use of their winter energy reserves," Anderson said. "The result may be unnecessary winter-kill."
Most FWP game ranges, or Wildlife Management Areas, are closed to the public from Dec. 1 to May 15 each year to protect wintering wildlife. There are some exceptions where dates vary from WMA to WMA, based on the movement of game animals, Anderson said. All WMAs are posted with closing and opening dates. Regional FWP offices have information on specific WMAs, Anderson said.
Horn hunters are reminded that:
* Public lands with legal access are open to horn hunting year round.
* State school trust lands require a special commercial-use permit for horn hunting activities, as well as a state lands access permit.
* Trespass on WMAs when they are closed is a violation of state law enforced by FWP game wardens.