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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Utah Rejects Coyote Trapping Proposal

by John Hollenhorst

The Utah Wildlife Board shot down Tuesday a controversial proposal to change the regulations for trapping coyotes after critics roundly condemned it as unethical, inhumane and impractical.

Even hunters who detest coyotes had trouble swallowing the proposal because it would allow animals caught in a leg-hold trap to suffer as long as a week.

Utah law currently requires trappers who put out such traps to go back within two days to see if an animal is caught in the trap. The proposal was to require visits to the trap only once a week.

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