Average/longest documented migration distance: 5/11 miles, Major migration concerns: Climate change that

Demand often outpaces supply, so drawing this tag may require applicants to have a preference point.

Biologists know little of their seasonal movements or migrations except that moose summer in high-elevation forests and then, in fall, move to staging areas at mid-elevation in or near clear-cuts or burned areas. In much of the United States, whitetails don’t need to move far. In 2007 the Western Governors’ Association called for a new approach to energy and residential development. In the middle of this spectrum are states where tags aren’t sold over-the-counter but they do offer attainable tags and big bulls. The general elk tag is valid throughout much of the state during a six-week archery season and five-week rifle season. In the western forested region, the Montana Legacy Project maintained connectivity by allowing FWP, the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and the U.S. Forest Service to purchase and secure more than 300,000 acres of private Plum Creek timberlands. In other words, with a little planning, western states can have their cake and eat it, too. are invaluable aids for elk hunters. See a timeline of Montana wildlife surveys. Canadian pronghorn head south for 100 miles or more to reach winter range in Montana’s Missouri River Breaks. Biologists found that these family groups, composed mainly of ewes with their young lambs, traveled an average of 8 miles per day for four or five days before reaching new seasonal habitat. Paper maps are great to start with, but digital tools like the OnX app are invaluable aids for elk hunters. between protected core habitats so animals can continue traveling back and forth. Grizzly bears make seasonal “food migrations” to find high-protein fare such as Army cutworm moths and whitebark pine cone seeds. All of this information will help you narrow down a few areas as possible hunting destinations.

Near Thompson Falls, scientists have tracked bighorn migrating from the high reaches of Marmot Peak south down Sundance Ridge then along cliff faces to winter range in the Mount Silcox WMA.

Save the best habitat, the thinking went, and wildlife populations will survive. “It’s a whole lot cheaper to protect wildlife corridors before doing things like energy development than to try to go in afterward and re-create them,” says Sterling Miller, a senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation in Missoula. Look for hunter success rates and harvest statistic trends for specific units. 330 pp.

The longest documented whitetail migration in Montana is . The state is also known for big public lands bulls. Colorado is often at the top of the list for beginner elk hunters. The elk situation. Average/longest documented migration distance: 12/44 miles, Major migration concerns: Roads and fences from Private land elk hunting opportunities are limited in the West and often require hiring an outfitter or paying a significant trespass fee. New residential sprawl in western Montana and booming oil and gas fields in the east produce miles and miles of new fences and roads. Idaho also sells archery and rifle tags over the counter. Montana

Other states manage their elk herds to provide ample opportunity with plenty of. Migration routes of Yellowstone elk. Many eastern Montana muleys don’t migrate but instead move within their home range to find preferred seasonal habitats. Now with GPS satellite technology, research scientists are finding that Montana big game animals move farther than ever imagined. Preseason scouting begins by understanding the terrain you’ll be hunting and locating specific drainages, canyons and ridges where you’re most likely to find elk.

After you’ve nailed down some access points and established that there are elk to be hunted in those areas, you’ll want to get more detailed in your research. Montana has it all for DIY elk hunters.

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Waterfowl, warblers, and other winged wildlife spend summers in Montana then fly south a thousand miles or more to winter along the Gulf of Mexico or even farther south. Colorado sells either sex and cow-only archery tags over the counter. In and around Glacier National Park, mountain goats clamber across several miles of rocky cliffs every summer to reach mineral licks.

Unfortunately for some ranchers, these areas are also prime cattle rangelands. Each spring in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), thousands of elk in 6-8 populations migrate from far-flung winter ranges in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, to high-elevation summer ranges nearer to the core of Yellowstone National Park (YNP). One approach is to manage landscapes Their abundance sustains diverse carnivores and … Some wild sheep, such as those in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, migrate just a few miles, while others travel 40 miles each way. The Montana Legacy Project, which converted private Plum Creek timberlands into public holdings, protects most of the Seeley-Swan landscape and the migrations it supports. new subdivisions; removal of conifers on winter range.

animals need to move seasonally to another region to avoid bad weather or find better feeding or breeding conditions,” says Joel Berger, a senior conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the John J. Craighead Chair in wildlife biology at the University of Montana (UM).

Grizzly bears don’t migrate in herds like pronghorn or elk, but they do move as individuals or small family units throughout the year in search of fattening foods. Many mountain muleys migrate. “Tolerance in this state is huge,” he says. 149-158 in A. G. Christensen, L. J. Lyon and T. N. Lonner, comps., Elk Vulnerability: A Symposium, Montana State University, Bozeman. Colorado Is this landscape connected? When animals can’t move back and forth between core habitats, populations suffer. The first question any prospective elk hunter needs to answer is where to go. FWP recently began a study of moose ecology, including migration, in the Big Hole Valley, in the Cabinet Mountains, and along the Rocky Mountain Front to learn more about the species’ movements and habitat requirements. But since the 1970s, scientists have learned that big game animals also need to move between and among core habitats. When cold and snow arrive, they move to lower-elevation foothills in search of exposed, windblown bunchgrass. Other measures include restricting motorized use in the backcountry to protect wildlife raising young, convincing energy companies to fragment less habitat, and asking ranchers in key migration routes to alter some fences a few times a year. Moose are one of the state’s least-studied big game animals. The state has more elk than any other, with more than 280,000 animals. For rifle hunters, bull tags can be purchased over the counter for the state’s second and third rifle seasons. recently. “Big game migration is an ecological process that has operated for thousands if not millions of years,” says Berger.

landscape permeable to wildlife movement,” says Foresman. These obstacles often disrupt “connectivity”—the degree to which the landscape

There are plenty of states to choose from that offer great elk hunting. | Sitemap | Contact “We’ve secured many core habitats,” says McDonald. J. Mammal. A phone call to the state fish and game agency will put you in touch with the biologist who is responsible for the management of the elk herd you’ll be hunting. Over two-thirds of Idaho is accessible public land, so elk and elk hunters have plenty of room to roam here.

The first question any prospective elk hunter needs to answer is where to go. 6: 184-197. expenditures. There are plenty of states to choose from that offer great elk hunting. Conservationists didn’t understand the importance of connectivity until relatively Others are man-made, like the 42 wildlife passageway culverts recently installed under stretches of U.S. Highway 93 by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Montana Department of Transportation.

GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE Elk winter ranges, summer ranges, calving areas and migration areas for Finding Elk Even animals not considered long-distance travelers can’t stay put all year.

Some of the best local intel you can get comes from state wildlife biologists. Unfortunately for some ranchers, these areas are also prime cattle rangelands. Your workspace is your dashboard for accessing and managing your content, bookmarks, and groups, as well as viewing messages and seeing your recently viewed content. Ask any big game hunter who lives in the Rocky Mountains what is their favorite species to hunt and you’re likely to hear “elk” as the answer. Once you’ve got a few spots you’re interested in, the next step is researching access. ON A COLLISION COURSE Jim Williams is the FWP regional wildlife manager in Kalispell. You can search for roadless areas that elk use during hunting season and get a quality view of the terrain and cover where you’ll be hunting. Public lands access is excellent as well. Big game animals also use wildlife corridors that link two or more core areas.

Montana has anchored many big game migrations by acquiring what were originally called game ranges, now known as WMAs. For instance, goats that spend much of the year at Our Lake, an alpine basin along the Rocky Mountain Front northwest of Choteau, will travel 5 miles over steep terrain to reach licks at Billie and Deep Creeks. Similar to Wyoming, non-residents must apply for a general elk tag in Montana.

It’s your job to ask them the right questions. Mule deer numbers dwindle where habitat is fragmented by new roads crisscrossing oil and gas developments. “We need core areas like our WMAs, and we also need to make sure the land is managed to allow populations to stay connected.”. Pp. Bighorn sheep migrate along historical routes from summer habitat in high mountain areas to winter grazing grounds in the foothills. Additional elk hunting opportunities can be found where, private landowners allow public access through collaborative arrangements with state wildlife management agencies, After you’ve nailed down some access points and established that there are elk to be hunted in those areas, you’ll want to get more detailed in your research. For that to happen, biologists, planners, and decisionmakers must know which routes wildlife use and what obstructs or disrupts that movement.

Game wardens can be another useful source of information, but keep in mind they’re very busy and their job is first and foremost to enforce hunting and fishing regulations, not to divulge hunting spots. A do-it-yourself elk hunt is an aspirational, bucket-list trip for a  lot of sportsmen and women. For much of the 20th century, they focused on protecting core habitats—such as wildlife management areas (WMAs), national wildlife refuges, and national parks. The Judith River, Sun River, Wall Creek, Mount Silcox, and many other WMAs were bought to protect winter elk habitat while reducing damage to private land by hungry elk.

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