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Montana Tales & Trails Archive
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photo Where the Big Fish Swim —July 22, 2011
After what seems like forever to get here, summer has arrived. Streams and rivers are clearing, and fishing is improving. Now it's just a matter of where to go. [Full Story]
photo What Good are Mosquitoes? —July 8, 2011
Mosquitoes are part of this planet's complex web of life. That's probably the place to start looking for their reason for being. [Full Story]
photo Bird Songs —June 17, 2011
This time of year, most migratory bird species have a distinctive song or sound that males use regularly to establish a territory and attract females. [Full Story]
photo The Early Bird Gets the Wet Worm —May 26, 2011
Rain. We need it. We curse it. We can't do anything about it. All the water falling from the sky recently has consequences for man and beast alike. [Full Story]
photo Water, Water, Everywhere —May 6, 2011
All that water spread in sheets across central Montana now serves wildlife if not the farmer who wants to get into his field for spring planting. [Full Story]
photo When a Rainbow is a Rainbow —April 21, 2011
The vast majority of rainbows in the three reservoirs on the Missouri between Helena and Great Falls—Canyon Ferry, Hauser and Holter—come from the state's hatchery system. [Full Story]
photo Avian Vision —April 12, 2011
More signs of spring: meadowlarks singing on the prairie, robins chirping at dawn in town and pieces of crayfish, crawdads if you must, along the Missouri River. [Full Story]
photo Signs of Spring —March 25, 2011
Everyone has a different sign for the arrival of spring: birds returning, flowers blooming, insects buzzing about. Let's not forget bears, especially grizzlies, awakening from a winter's nap.
[Full Story]
photo The Insects Are Here —March 10, 2011
Believe it or not, winter will end some day. And when that day arrives the first harbinger of spring will likely be a bug. Before bears emerge from their dens, songbirds return to find a nest site and flowers bloom, an insect will stir to crawl or fly about.
[Full Story]
  Snow is Good —February 25, 2011
In the middle of this snowy winter, perhaps it's a good time to ask from a wildlife perspective what good is all this snow and cold. [Full Story]
  Behold the Muskrat —February 4, 2011
Behold the lowly muskrat. A prey species sought by mink for a quick meal. A furbearing species sought by trappers for the animal's luxurious thick winter pelt. [Full Story]
photo O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree —January 21, 2011
For years, fish biologists working with anglers and other volunteers have bundled and weighted donated evergreens to sink in reservoirs and lakes for use as fish habitat. [Full Story]
cutthroat The Child Angler in All of Us —January 7, 2011
Remember being young and everything revolved around fishing? School was barely tolerable and the five days between weekends dragged on like the Hundred Years War. [Full Story]
cutthroat Santa's Montana Reindeer —December 20, 2010
Montana's reindeer are most likely gone from the landscape now. Not to the North Pole to pull Santa's sleigh. Rather they are probably the victim of habitat loss. [Full Story]
cutthroat Small Streams Close to Fishing —November 19, 2010
Small streams close to fishing November 30 in central and western Montana. That's the law, though it's hard to find anyone who recalls when that became so. [Full Story]
cutthroat Antlers: What Makes Them So Big —November 10, 2010
It's that time of year when hunting talk centers around antlers, or "horns." It happens throughout the fall, but in spades during Montana's five-week deer and elk general season. [Full Story]
cutthroat Where the Bulls Are —October 18, 2010
It's the elk rifle season now and most hunters want to know where the bull elk are. The easy answer is up high and way back. [Full Story]
cutthroat Fall Spawners —October 14, 2010
Fall is here and winter fast approaches, which symbolizes death to some people. But for some fish species, fall is the beginning of the life cycle. Brown and brook trout, to name two, are fall spawners. By mid-October they have reached their spawning peak. [Full Story]
cutthroat Pheasant Season —Ocotber 1, 2010
It's that time of year again when a bird with a brain no bigger than a lima bean outfoxes, outsmarts and generally flummoxes humans, the supposedly superior species. [Full Story]
cutthroat Third Week in September —September 18, 2010
In the third week of September, moose approach the apex of their rut. Bull trout head to spawning tributaries. Asters bloom where many other prairie wildflowers have long faded. [Full Story]
cutthroat What's the Deal with Cutthroat Trout? —September 3, 2010
Fall is here and winter fast approaches, which symbolizes death to some people. But for some fish species, fall is the beginning of the life cycle. [Full Story]
cutthroat Arctic Bird Migration is Here —August 16, 2010
For Arctic nesting shorebirds like long-billed dowitchers, the peak of fall migration is right now. And the place to go is Freezout Wildlife Management Area off Highway 89 between Fairfield and Choteau. [Full Story]
cutthroat The Perils of a Young Trout —August 2, 2010
A basic rule of fisheries science is about one percent of rainbow eggs survive to become a one-year old fish. At that point the 8- to 10-inch fish is "recruited" into the population. [Full Story]
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