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FWP is asking shed hunters to give animals their space until the snow melts and animals are less stressed.

Wildlife adventures within 10 miles of Helena

Join us at from 6-7 p.m. today at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave., for an after dinner program that will open your eyes to a whole new kind of adventure that is right out your back door. A Montana Wild employee will showcase his favorite wildlife adventures within 10 miles of the Helena city limits. This program is geared toward students age 9-plus and adults. 

For more information, call Montana Wild at 406-444-9944.

Boaters urged to take safety course

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, along with boating safety advocates nationwide, are urging boaters to #KeepYourEdge by enrolling in a boating education course this spring. FWP is participating in the national Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign. The Spring Aboard campaign encourages boaters to get educated prior to the kick-off of the boating season.

FWP is partnering with the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators to inform boaters about the benefits and necessity of taking a boating education course. Montana law requires youth ages 13 and 14 who plan to operate a motorboat, jet ski or other personal watercraft with 10 horsepower motor or more to have a valid motorboat operator's safety certificate or be accompanied by someone 18 years of age or older.

Discounts and other incentives are being offered nationwide to boaters who enroll in or complete a boating safety course during the week of Spring Aboard, March 17-23.  To learn more about available courses, visit springaboard.org or fwp.mt.gov/education/outdoorRec/boatingFloatingKayaking/

For information, contact Sara Smith, boating education coordinator for FWP’s Recreational Boating Safety Program, at 406-444-5280 or sarsmith@mt.gov.

Shed hunters asked to give wildlife space

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is asking shed hunters and other recreationists to give deer and elk their space until the snow melts and the animals are less stressed.

Shed hunting -- looking for antlers shed each year in the winter by male elk and deer so they can regrow a new pair -- has become increasingly popular in recent years and more competitive.

While it is illegal to trespass on FWP’s wildlife management areas before they open, chasing deer and elk on accessible lands stresses the animals.

Snowmobilers, skiers and snowshoers should avoid areas where animals are bedded down. That’s especially true when dogs are involved.

Pets can be injured or killed while attempting to take down an animal big or small, and dog owners may be cited for permitting a dog to harass wildlife.

Animals with antlers at Montana Wild

Join us from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Monday, March 18, at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave., for an after school event.

Elk, moose, mule deer and more! Come learn all about these antlered animals. There will be a short interpretive program, a fun game and a craft. Call 406-444-9944.

Watercraft inspection sites opening

The first watercraft inspection stations of 2019 will open this month in Kalispell, Ravalli and Browning. Watercraft inspection stations are Montana’s first line of defense to prevent the movement of aquatic invasive species.

Boat owners should ensure their watercraft and trailers are clean, drained and dry before transport and need to be aware of Montana’s inspection rules:

  • All watercraft coming into Montana from out of state must be inspected prior to launching.
  • All watercraft traveling west across the Continental Divide into the Columbia River Basin must be inspected prior to launching.
  • All watercraft launching anywhere within the Flathead Basin that were last launched on waters outside of the Flathead Basin must be inspected.
  • Anyone transporting watercraft must stop at all open watercraft inspection stations they encounter.

Snowbirds returning to Montana with a watercraft must seek out an inspection. Boat owners returning to Montana must have their vessel inspected at a Montana watercraft inspection station, even if the watercraft was checked in another state.

To accommodate these rules, inspection stations are set up across Montana during the boating season. Additional inspection stations will open in April and May as the weather warms and boat traffic increases.

Watercraft can also be inspected at any Fish Wildlife & Parks area or regional office. For a full list and map along with other information, visit cleandraindrymt.com or call 406-444-2440.

 

 

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