Field guide

Field guide

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Thursday, October 14, 2004

h3>Meetings to discuss license fee increase

Open houses will discuss Fish, Wildlife and Park's proposed resident license-fee increase and reauthorization of the Block Management Program and Habitat Montana, the department's conservation easement and habitat enhancement program.

A Billings open house is set for Oct. 28 from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Fish, Wildlife and Parks office, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive.

The Roundup meeting is scheduled for Oct. 18, 7-9 p.m. at Roundup High School, room 5A. The Red Lodge meeting will be Oct. 19, 7-9 p.m. at the Red Lodge High School cafeteria. Public comments will be documented.

These meetings will discuss legislative issues as well as the proposed revisions to the state's elk management plan.

For additional information on proposed legislation or to comment, visit the state Web site, www.fwp.state.mt.us, or contact the Billings FWP office at 247-2940.

Week highlights, honors national wildlife refuges

October 12-18 marks National Wildlife Refuge Week. According to Mike Hedrick, manager of the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge in central Montana, this is a great time to visit.

"It's a nice time to float the river," he said. "The bugs are all gone, the elk are still bugling, fall colors are at their peak and the geese are running up and down the river."

There are 538 refuges in the United States, 15 in Montana. The CMR stretches for 125 miles along the Missouri River and Fort Peck Reservoir. For more information on the CMR, telephone 538-8706.

Snowmobile grass drags planned in Cody, Wyo.

CODY, Wyo. - The Cody Country Snowmobile Association is sponsoring the Snowmobile Grass Drags-State Finals competition in Cody, Wyo., on Oct 23 and 24. The races will be held 17 miles up the South Fork Highway at Mountain Meadow Ranch. The points race will be Oct. 23 and state finals will be Oct. 24.

Admission for this state-sanctioned event will be $3 for adults and $1 for children 6-12 years of age. Children under 6 are admitted free. Races start at 10 a.m. each day.

To find out more, visit www.wsra.us for rules and information. Or call Tony Simek for more details at (307) 587-2932.

Paddler's Society meets tonight at 7

The Beartooth Paddler's Society will meet in the basement of the Billings Clinic tonight at 7.

Christian Dickerson, from the American Red Cross, will discuss wilderness first aid. The meeting is open to the public.

Park ornithologist to talk to local Audubon

Terry McEneaney, staff ornithologist for Yellowstone National Park, will talk to the Yellowstone Valley Audubon Society Oct. 18.

McEneaney will discuss the whooper swan, rarely seen in Montana. The Eurasian species is distinguished from the tundra and trumpeter swan by its size and bill.

Prior to the program, a pot roast dinner will be served for a $6 contribution to the Conservation Education Fund. Dinner will be served at 5:30 p.m. The meeting is held at the Mayflower Congregational Church, 2940 Poly Drive.

Snowmobile permits available for purchase

Although snow has yet to hit the Cowboy State, it won't be long until many of Wyoming's snowmobile trails will be open for the season. Snowmobile enthusiasts can prepare now by purchasing their 2004-2005 permits.

Available at more than 150 locations statewide, the permits are $15 for residents and nonresidents. Funds collected through permit sales are used to mark and groom the state trails system and for general improvements.

Permits can also be purchased by calling (877) 996-7275, or by visiting www.wyotrails.com. To purchase a permit, snowmobile owners need to have the make, model, year and serial number of each machine they are registering at the time of purchase. For a list of local selling agents, please visit wyotrails.state.wy.us/ or call (307) 777-7477.

Poachers sought in Eastern Montana

MILES CITY - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking information about animals illegally shot and abandoned in the Miles City area.

On Oct. 2, three small antelope bucks were shot and abandoned on private land in the Rock Springs vicinity. On Oct. 7 or 8, a mule deer buck was killed along the Crow Rock Road north of Miles City.

These animals were taken on private land before a legal season for antelope or deer had begun and no attempt to utilize any of the meat was made.

One of the landowners told Warden Sergeant Jack Austin that had the shooters waited until the legal season opened, they could have asked permission and lawfully hunted the ranch.

Anyone with information about these incidents or other poaching activity are asked to call the Region 7 FWP Headquarters at (406) 234-0900 and speak with the enforcement division or call the poaching hotline at 1-800-TIP-MONT.

Hike planned Sunday up Bozeman's 'M'

BOZEMAN - On Sunday the Headwaters Group of the Sierra Club will sponsor a day hike designed to help prepare outdoor enthusiasts for the upcoming winter sports season. The group will meet at 8 a.m. at the "M" Trail parking lot and hike the strenuous route past the "M." The hike will continue to Baldy Peak if conditions are appropriate. This fast-paced hike will involve rigorous exercise and is not recommended for casual hikers.

Each participant should bring food, water, sturdy footwear, and clothing suitable for Montana's rapidly changing weather. The group size is limited to 12 people and all who are interested should register in advance. Group leader Dick Lewan can be reached by calling (406) 580-2699, or e-mail bozemantech@bresnan.net.

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