Paradise Ranch and Giant Warm Springs in central Montana is a favorite swimming hole for locals in the summer, and the private ranch is enrolled in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' Block Management Program, offering public hunting opportunities for waterfowl, deer and the occasional elk on 1,560 acres.
On Thursday, August 6th, William Vanek, the owner of the property, noticed a cash box collecting donations for public porta potties had been vandalized and the money robbed.
Word of this robbery spread fast throughout the community, and the Montana Chapter of BHA moved swiftly to help the landowner who have generously allowed public hunting and fishing access for years.
MT BHA hand delivered a check for $350.00 to offset the stolen loot, and MT BHA has offered a $500.00 reward for information leading to the conviction of the vandal/thief as well.
Additionally, Montana BHA member Adam Dwayne has offered to donate a fabricated steel cash box to replace the old one.
This property is a special place for Central Montanans and it would have been an absolute travesty if these reprehensible actions would have led to a permanent loss of public access. These landowners have a long-standing track record of being generous and community-minded, and the Montana Chapter of BHA was happy to step up and help right this wrongdoing.
All landowners - and especially those enrolling in FWP's Block Management and opening their private lands to public access - should be treated with the utmost respect; this sort of malicious behavior cannot and will not be tolerated by Montana hunters and anglers. Please respect private property so privileges such as public access to private lands may continue.
Next time you're on the Vanek property having a picnic with your family and friends, or filling your freezer with wild game, please treat the area with the utmost respect and give the landowners a sincere thank you for all their years of generosity, while making sure others do the same.
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