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(FORT BENTON, Mont.) – There is nothing like struggling, pushing and paddling a canoe against the wind all day long in search of the serenity afforded by Wild and Scenic Areas, only to discover on the riverbank a candy wrapper, soda can and some used toilet paper.

A Leave No Trace event, designed to teach people of all ages how to responsibly enjoy the outdoors and public lands, is being presented by a team from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

“Leave No Trace is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics program used on public lands,” said Bureau of Land Management Upper Missouri River Breaks Interpretive Center Director Connie Jacobs.

MISSOULA – The Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (MTSFW) announced a $15,000 donation last week to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) from their organization-in support of the upcoming 2016/2017 Elk Shoulder Season Program.

The Elk Shoulder Season Program is a management tool FWP implemented last year to improve harvest and redistribute elk in hunting districts where elk are over population objective.

“MTSFW is pleased to present this donation that goes toward hunter access information coordination during the elk shoulder season,” said Keith Kubista, MTSFW Director. “We were spurred on by the significant interest in last year’s pilot project and the department’s efforts in working with the hunters and landowners.”

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, is offering a Becoming an Outdoors Woman (BOW) program-Women's Hunter Education Field Day on Aug. 12-13 at the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch. 

The course will cover a variety of topics including properly carrying your firearm in the field, fence crossings, firearm actions, ammunition selection, actual live fire exercises, wildlife identification, and proper use of optics.

All students must have completed the Montana Online Hunter Education course. Please bring your online completion certificate and a photo ID. Participants will spend Saturday night at the ranch. The $75 fee for the class includes meals and lodging. The fee must be pre-paid.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks drew the deer and elk B licenses for the 2016/2017 season on July 18. Hunters can check their drawing status on MyFWP.

However, antelope license will not be drawn until Aug. 1.

Just the other week, I gave my granddaughter and grandson their first firearms; a .22 rifle and .410 shotgun.

This rite of passage most of us who hunt have traveled, either we were given a firearm or saved our money for that first gun.

Yet there’s more to this gift than a single firearm or me or you. It’s about passing along the hunting tradition; which needs to start early.

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Like a favorite pair of old tennis shoes the Roy school gym needs to be replaced.  The overhaul process needs more study, and a fundraiser is scheduled to help out. Jody Simmons talked to KXLO News:

This is several weeks earlier than seasons have been set in the past, giving hunters more time to plan.

This earlier season setting was made possible because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is no longer using data from the current year's population, habitat and harvest surveys. This decision is important because annual regulations set by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks must fall into a framework set by FWS and based on these surveys. With the federal frameworks set earlier than in the past, regulations can be finalized months in advance compared to previous years.

FWP can also now combine both the webless (doves, cranes, and snipe) with waterfowl regulations. As a result, all of the migratory bird regulations are in one booklet. Montana's migratory bird regulations, set within the federal frameworks, are very similar to last year. The regulations are on-line at, and printed copies will be out by about July 14.

It’s summer; time for many folks to head to the mountains for vacation.

That’s fine, just remember Montana’s mountains are home to black and grizzly bears.

This time of year, bears are looking for any and all food sources as they wait for chokecherries, currants, buffalo berries and other natural foods to ripen.