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FWP urges hunters to check fire status, make safety a priority

Hunting

Tue Aug 29 14:21:33 MDT 2017

With fire season underway in Montana and several counties already implementing fire restrictions, hunters should be keenly aware of the regulations in place in the locations they plan to hunt, at least until the weather begins to cool.

About 5,000 Montana archery hunters can head afield beginning Aug. 15 with their 900 series antelope hunting licenses. Montana's archery-only hunting season for deer, elk, antelope, black bear, wolf and mountain lion begins Sept. 2. Most upland game birds seasons open Sept. 1. The bighorn sheep archery season begins Sept. 2.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks urges hunters to check in with the regional FWP offices or online about potential closures before making final plans.

“Hunters have a big responsibility to be fire conscious,” said Andrea Jones, spokeswoman for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks in Helena. “It is a matter of human safety and protecting private property and the resources of Montana.”

Hunters should:

  • Drive only on established roads.
  • Avoid roads with tall vegetation in the middle track.
  • Never park over dry grass and other vegetation.
  • Carry a fire extinguisher—or water-filled weed sprayer—shovel, axe, and, a cell phone for emergency calls.
  • Restrict camping activities to designated camping areas.
  • Build campfires only in established metal fire rings, if allowed.
  • Smoke only inside buildings or vehicles.
  • Check on any fire restrictions in place.

“Being able to respond is essential in the first few seconds of a fire start when it's small and easy to extinguish,” Jones said. “Have an action plan for fire starts as well as for other types of accidents, severe injuries and other emergencies.”

For up-to-date details on fire and drought-related restrictions and closures, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov. Click Restrictions & Closures.

Always be prepared to prevent or extinguish fire starts. Your assistance during this time will be appreciated.