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Hunting - Region 7

Mon Nov 27 08:36:00 MST 2017

Those of us living and working in Montana are thankful for so much, but we at Fish, Wildlife & Parks wanted to take a moment to recognize a few of those things made evident by folks passing through an FWP check station recently.

91 years old and still chasing game

We are thankful for visitors like 91-year-old Victor Reidinger, who drove into a check station at Ashland this month with an attitude that brightened the day of everyone present.

Mr. Reidinger was born in North Dakota but came to Montana about 72 years ago. He now resides in Billings, but he’s been coming out to Region 7 to hunt since the 1950s because he loves the area.

He was accompanied on this trip by his two sons. Mr. Reidinger did see some deer, but not the elk he was after. However, he seemed completely unfazed by going home empty handed.

“Hunting is a wonderful thing,” he said, smiling broadly. “The getting [of game] is okay, but it’s the camaraderie, enjoying things with my sons, telling lies.”

If only we all had that energy and zest for life that this man exhibits! We’re wishing you many more happy returns to Region 7, Mr. Reidinger!


Passing down beloved traditions

We are thankful that many of the people we see at check stations and in the field are families. Nothing makes us smile more than to see several generations represented and parents passing down traditions they learned from their parents, and so on. There’s something magical about a child using the outdoors as his or her classroom, like Timothy Waldo of Billings, who shot his second buck on Custer National Forest using his great-grandpa’s .270 rifle.

Mother creating curiosity for the outdoors

It’s usually hunters we talk to at check stations, but on this last outing we had a mother and her young children wander over from the nearby school, inquisitive about what we were doing. The mother asked questions and Wildlife Biologist Ryan DeVore and Warden Jordan Straley explained the type of information that we collect for research purposes. Warden Straley pulled out the jaw models to show the family how staff ages deer by the coloring, configuration and wear on the teeth.

That mother was setting a wonderful example, educating herself and her kids in the process about our state’s wildlife!

Future wildlife biologists

We are thankful that so many people are dedicated to helping preserve the rich habitat and wildlife resources with which Montana is blessed. It’s even better when we see young people who already understand how important it is that they play a role in shaping our state’s future.

A hunting party of four guys who came through the Ashland check station this month included Tommy Williams, Brandon Davis and William Rossier, all of whom are enrolled at the University of Montana studying wildlife biology. Their companion, Cole Williams, is studying education.

Best of luck, gentlemen, in your educational and outdoor pursuits! And congrats on your two antelope, two mule deer bucks and three mule deer does!

Thanks to hunters, others for your support!

Finally, we are thankful to work for an agency that keeps us close to the land we love and the resources we cherish. We appreciate the support and contributions of hunters and partners who help us to manage wildlife and habitat in this great country. We wish you and your families a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and a memorable holiday season!