The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is offering a reward for $1,000 for information leading to a conviction in a recent moose poaching incident south of Lewistown.
A cow moose was shot and left to waste near Sure Enough Road in the Little Snowy Mountains in Central Montana. This is a popular road for hunters accessing BLM and DNRC lands in the area.
FWP only offers four moose tags per year in Unit 496, where the incident took place. The 10-year average is 2.9 moose harvests per year, so this illegal poaching unfortunately represents 1/3 of the average legal harvests in the unit.
626 public land owners applied to hunt moose in this district in 2019. Only 0.64% were successful.
These moose tags take years to draw and cost $125 for residents or $1,250 for non-residents. But the value these moose add - both economically to state fish and game and intrinsically - is much, much greater.
According to FWP game warden Shawn Briggs, the incident took place in late October 2020, possibly as early as opening rifle weekend. In the past, two other parties have illegally shot moose, mistaking them for elk, but in both of these instances the individuals turned themselves in and admitted to their mistakes.
Anyone with information - wether they're seeking the reward or not - is encouraged to call 1-800-TIPMONT. Tipsters will remain anonymous and kept confidential if they collect the reward.