Winter Takes Toll on Montana Wildlife

courtesy of the Billings Gazette
by Brett French

Across northeastern Montana, continuous snow and cold have left antelope weakened and dying. Whitetail deer swarm haystacks like flies on meat. Carcasses of dead antelope and deer litter the hillsides and valleys. Only the golden and bald eagles, magpies and crows are getting fat as they scavenge the animal corpses.

“It’s difficult out there, and they’ve been doing it since November,” Johnson said.

Bad winters are common across the rolling prairie of northeastern Montana, only miles from the Canadian border. But this winter has been harsher than normal, with snow coming earlier and heavier.

“We’re well on the way to having a record-breaking winter,” said Mark Sullivan, FWP’s Glasgow-region wildlife manager. “It’s tough on wildlife, no doubt.”

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