Scouting Around
Wyoming — Question

Do I need to use steel shot for pheasants?

Yes and No. It all depends on where you are hunting. Nontoxic shot is required when hunting small game and upland game on the G&F's Springer and Table Mountain wildlife areas in Goshen County. If you are hunting pheasants on other G&F wildlife units or on private lands, nontoxic shot is not required. Keep in mind however, that if you plan to include waterfowl in your bag, you cannot have lead shot in your possession. For this reason, many hunters have opted to use nontoxic shot for all their hunting where there is opportunity for an upland/waterfowl combined bag.

Wyoming — Turkey Season Comments

Turkey hunters and other interested parties are reminded comments about the proposed spring turkey seasons and changes to regulations governing the possession and transportation of wildlife must be received by November 10.

Comments should be to: Wildlife Division, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, 3030 Energy Lane, Casper, WY 82604. Copies of the season proposals are available by writing the same address.

The G&F Commission will act on the regulation proposals at their December 4-5 meeting in Cheyenne.

Montana — Special Turkey Game-Damage Hunt

The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission has approved a special turkey game-damage hunt for southeastern Montana, FWP Region 7, through December 15. A larger-than-average turkey population is causing damage on area ranches.

The Commission said 150 game-damage Turkey Licenses will be available immediately from the FWP Miles City office at the current price for resident ($5) and nonresident ($13) hunters. The game-damage license will be valid only on ranches designated by FWP. Hunters may receive only one special game-damage Turkey License, and it may be in addition to a general fall Turkey License or a fall Turkey Special Permit. The Conservation License and an Upland Game Bird License are prerequisites to obtaining any Turkey License.

If turkey depredation increases, the FWP Region 7 office will make an additional 150 special game-damage Turkey Licenses available.

The special game-damage Turkey Licenses and information on the designated hunting areas must be obtained from the FWP Region 7 office, Industrial Site West, Miles City, MT (406-232-0900).

Montana — Public Hunting Access

An additional $1million would be available to fund public hunting access in Montana, if a Public Land/Private Wildlife Advisory Committee proposal is approved by Montana's upcoming Legislature.

The advisory committee's proposal seeks to generate $1 million in new revenue to enhance Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' hunter access programs by increasing the price of a hunter's Conservation License by $2 for resident hunters and by $10 for nonresident hunters.

When coupled with projected nonresident license-fee increases being considered by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission for the 2001 nonresident variable-priced deer/elk licenses, nearly $2 million in new revenue would be available to improve hunter access in Montana.

The council took no action on a draft proposal to offer complimentary hunting licenses or permits to landowners who allowed public hunting access. After council members reviewed public comments, PL/PW chairman Tom Hougen asked members to reexamine the proposal. A modified proposal may be brought to the council for consideration at a future meeting.

Oregon — Collecting Key Elk Parts

Elk hunters are being asked to help the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) by collecting key reproductive parts from antlerless elk harvested in 13 different wildlife management units.

Hunters who drew tags for antlerless elk in the Catherine Creek, Desolation, East Beulah/South Sumpter, Grizzly, Heppner, Indigo/Dixon (N. Umpqua hunt), Maury, Ochoco, Silvies, Sled Springs, Starkey, Ukiah and Wenaha units have been mailed letters asking for their assistance in a research project.

"We are starting a new research project to examine factors that affect elk and deer recruitment across Oregon," explained ODFW researcher Jim Noyes. "Part of that study requires estimating the nutritional condition and reproductive status of elk populations. We're asking elk hunters to collect samples needed for this study."

An instructional video has been prepared that demonstrates how to identify and collect the necessary samples (udder, kidneys and uterus) needed for the study. The video is available from ODFW district offices statewide, as well as from the headquarters office in Portland. Copies have also been sent to many Oregon Hunter Association chapters in the state. Additional copies may be ordered from ODFW researcher Jim Noyes at 541-962-6555.

Samples will be collected for the next five years.

Oregon — Hunter Info Line Available

Fall is a busy time of year for Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists. In addition to their normal management duties, they typically receive several hundred phone calls from prospective hunters, asking for information: Where will I find the biggest deer? What's the best place for a kid to go on her first hunt? What rifle would you recommend?

"Many of the calls we receive are from relatively inexperienced hunters," said wildlife biologist Doug Cottam. "Other calls are from longtime hunters who just want an update on population trends. We try to help both of them as much as we can." The result is that wildlife biologists can spend as much as one full day each week on the phone.

"We needed to find a way to help people have an enjoyable hunting experience and at the same time protect the time we need to do the rest of our jobs," Cottam continued.

The answer comes in the form of volunteers Chuck McCloskey, Vern Struble and Chuck Trainer, all experienced hunters and longtime ODFW volunteers. They are spending three days each week answering the phones and returning calls that come in when they are not working. Armed with maps and detailed information provided by wildlife biologists from Salem, Eugene and Newport, the three volunteers are helping people "get a good start on their hunting trips."

They are best prepared to help people with questions about hunting in Lane, Lincoln, Benton, Polk and Marion counties. They also have telephone contacts around the state for people who plan to hunt elsewhere.

"Folks with questions just need to call (541) 757-4186 ext. 230," said McCloskey. "If we're there, we'll answer them. If not, they should leave a message and we will call back with the answers."

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