I recently signed onto the Op-Ed below with 17 other elk hunters. Moose, sheep and goats are ultimate trophies but luck of the draw means most of us will have few, if any, chances to hunt them. That makes elk the top hunting trophy for most Montanans. But elk are at a crossroads. Access is getting more difficult, different interests are competing for an advantage over others in bagging an elk. The Montana Elk Management Plan is getting a much needed make-over, adopted 16 years ago many parts are no longer relevant. FWP Director Hank Worsech also just announced he was going to form an additional elk management group. There’s no word what that will look like or how that will interact with the ongoing Management Plan committee. And the Montana Legislature has introduced many bills to impact hunting for elk and other wildlife. Concerned Montana hunters are forming a citizens’ coalition, The Montana Citizens’ Elk Management Coalition, to hopefully find some common points of interest amongst all the users – hunters, landowners and outfitters, to offer up common sense solutions and ensure average Montanans have a voice in the process. It won’t be easy but elk are worth it.
The thoughts in the attached file (Montana Citizens Elk Management Coalition) are mine and don’t necessarily reflect the goals or policies of Flathead Wildlife, Inc. FWI will have an opportunity to decide whether to join the Coalition.
— Jim Vashro