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Game wardens seek information on deer killed illegally at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park

CARDWELL – Game wardens with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are seeking information on a deer that was killed illegally at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park.

Sometime between the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 11, and Saturday, Nov. 12, a deer was shot in the eastern half of the park, where hunting is prohibited. The whole animal was removed and was not field dressed at the kill site. 

Anyone with possible information about this case is encouraged to visit myfwp.mt.gov/fwpPub/tipmont to provide details or call the FWP violation reporting hot line at 1-800-TIP-MONT. They may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Hunting is allowed in the western half of Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park during the general season. The eastern half is closed to all hunting and firearm shooting year-round. Hunting access to open areas and game retrieval is not allowed through the closed eastern half of the park. Hunters must use designated access points along Montana Highway 2. For more information about hunting opportunities and rules at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, call 406-287-3541.

Some of Montana’s other state parks provide hunting opportunities. However, certain restrictions may apply, such as no-hunting safety zones and restrictions on the type of hunting weapon or firearm that may be used. Contact the specific park and refer to fwp.mt.gov for site-specific information regarding hunting opportunities and restrictions. 

Permit required to salvage vehicle-killed deer, elk, moose and antelope

Anyone wanting to salvage a road-killed deer, elk, moose are antelope must obtain a Vehicle-Killed Wildlife Salvage Permit. These are available at no cost and must be obtained within 24 hours of the time a person takes an animal into their possession. Permits are available either through law enforcement officers on the scene of collisions or online on the FWP website.

As a reminder, any salvaged animal must be removed in its entirety from the roadway by the permittee. The animal may be field dressed before it leaves the area but entrails or any other parts of the animal carcass must be removed from site to prevent attracting scavengers and predators.

Other things to keep in mind if salvaging a vehicle-killer animal:

• Road-killed animals may not be tagged and possessed with carcass tags issued for the purpose of hunting.

• Any person who is picking up an animal to be salvaged must comply with all highway rules and regulations while removing the animal. Vehicles shall be parked off the roadway and out of the line of traffic. The permittee acknowledges that collecting vehicle-killed animals on state highways is inherently dangerous and is undertaken at the permitee’s own risk.

• A person may not kill an injured or wounded animal that they encounter for the purpose of salvage.

A law enforcement officer may, however, when on the scene of a collision, kill an animal injured in the collision and that animal may be taken for salvage.

• Meat rendered from salvaged animals must be used for human consumption. It may not be used for bait or other purposes.

• Meat rendered from salvaged animals may not be sold.

• Any meat that is unfit for human consumption or unusable animal parts must be disposed of at a legal disposal site. It is unlawful to dispose of animal carcasses or parts in or upon any highway, road, street, or alley or upon public property. It is also illegal to dispose carcasses or parts within 200 yards of a public highway, road street or alley or public property

For more information, visit FWP’s website fwp.mt.gov/buyandapply/vehiclekilledsalvagepermit.

 
 
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