Groups weigh in on new Montana elk management plan

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ recently released Elk Management Plan has drawn fire from sportsmen and landowner groups.

Unveiled on Dec. 1 after three years of work, the new elk plan updates FWP’s previous guiding document that was enacted in 2005. Since then, elk populations have grown steadily with herds spreading into Eastern Montana.

Likewise, hunter numbers have climbed. According to the new plan, “Between 2004 and 2021, the estimated number of hunters who actively hunted for elk in Montana fluctuated between 102,860 in 2012 and 113,976 in 2017. During the time-period, between 2004 and 2021, the estimated number of days hunters spent pursuing elk varied between 811,831 days in 2006 to 1,066,716 days in 2016.”

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