Saturday, January 28, 2023

FWP issues reminder against collecting in state parks

The Western News | September 28, 2021 7:00 AM

State officials are reminding shed hunters that they are not allowed to collect antlers, horns, skulls and natural objects in Montana State Parks.

Before striking out, antler collectors should check regulations and opening dates for their prospective hunting grounds, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

On property that allows collection, shed hunters may take bighorn sheep horns and skulls from mountain sheep that died of natural causes. Recreationists must present their finds to FWP. Hunters may not harvest parts from a sheep that was unlawfully killed, captured or taken.

Shed hunting in state parks can come with a hefty price. In January, a collector pleaded guilty to unlawfully recovering and possessing the horns and skull of a bighorn sheep from the Wild Horse Island Unit of Flathead Lake State Park. Lake County justice court levied a $2,000 fine and barred the individual from the island for two years.

“The bighorn sheep on Wild Horse Island are a treasured resource for everyone to enjoy. Our game wardens work hard to patrol the state park and prevent the illegal collection of horns,” FWP Warden Captain Lee Anderson said.

FWP officials encourage anyone with tips about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations to call the department’s 24-hour tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668), Callers can submit anonymous tips and could collect up to $1,000 in reward for providing information that leads to a conviction.