Carelessness and two grizzly bears dead near Ronan, MT

Unprotected chicken coops becoming a source of  bears deaths on Flathead Reservation-

Two grizzlies were shot dead last weekend near the base of the bear-heavy Mission Mountains in NW Montana.

An elk antler gatherer stumbled into a griz on the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife area and shot the bear. Not far away on the Flathead Indian Reservation a grizzly bear was shot near a chicken coop. Raising chickens in unprotected pens and sheds is a rapidly growing economic activity on the reservation.

These dead bears were number 3 and 4 for the year in general area.

Grizzlies killed on Flathead Reservation, at Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. By Rob Chaney and Vince Devlin of the Missoulian

Hunt quota likely 220 wolves this fall . . . Montana FWP Commission

Montana’s second hunt to be much larger than the 2009 hunt-

Montana’s wildlife commissioners have tentatively approved a wolf hunt this fall of 220 wolves, compared to their 2009 hunt of 79. There was no hunt in 210. At the end of 2010, the official wolf population estimate for Montana was 566 wolves.  This quota, if filled, is predicted to drop the state’s wolf population by 25% at the end of 2011, although there are competing computer models.

Idaho has an estimated 705 wolves, well down from its peak in 2009. Idaho’s Fish and Game Commission is expected to approve a big hunt quota, although their quota in 2009 was not reached.

Montana FWP tentatively approves 220-wolf quota for fall hunt. By Matt Volz. AP

Local judge stifles free roaming bison reforms

Park County, Montana judge issues a temporary restraining order to prevent bison from roaming Gardiner Basin

This means trouble for the bison just released from the pens on the north boundary of Yellowstone Park. I see they are still playing the brucellosis card and the new Old West favorite, We’re scared of the animals!!

Park County judge halts bison changes. AP

Bison ‘managers’ kill calf

Montana Bison ‘managers’ kill calf north of West Yellowstone-

Bison are now allowed to leave the Park to the west in the winter at Horse Butte, but they are supposed to be back in the Park at an abnormally early time.

This year the Park is still under snow. The brutal Montana Department of Livestock hazed the bison toward the Park until the calf died. From the Island Park [Idaho] News- Bison ‘managers’ kill calf

Hundreds of bison were also held at the North Entrance of the Park. They have/had no grass to eat. There was talk about slaughtering a hundred of them, but that was forestalled.  Many of them were released in early May, but they went north out of the Park instead of back into it. They were recaptured. Yellowstone hopes to release bison back into park for summer.  by Adam Bell. KBZK

Meanwhile, cold and rain/snowy days continue well into May. The Park will be green when the snow finally melts and it finally warms.


Montana proposes 220-wolf hunting quota for 2011 season

If filled, the quota will result in estimated 25% reduction in state wolf population-

Montana’s wolf hunt is expected to be easier on the state’s wolf population than Idaho’s. With the congressional delisting of the wolf in the Northern Rockies, Montana and Idaho can pretty do what they want in terms of wolf quotas.

State wildlife officials propose 220-wolf quota for 2011 season. By Eve Byron Helena Independent Record.

Also, Obama administration takes wolves off endangered species list. AP.  They are also delisting the Great Lakes population, which is certainly ready. Unfortunately, all three states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan have fallen to tea party governors. Michigan’s seems as bad as Wisconsin’s notorious Scott Walker.

FWP considers new bighorn herd in headwater area of the Bitterroot River

Sticking point is probably domestic sheep-

If there are domestic sheep, they probably shouldn’t risk it.

Montana FWP considers new bighorn herd in Bitterroot. By Perry Backus. Ravalli Republic

Bozeman Earth Day speaker: Beef is bad for the planet

4th generation Montana rancher turned against cattle-

Bozeman Earth Day speaker: Beef is bad for the planet. By Gail Schontzler. Bozeman Chronicle Staff Writer