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Partnership continues to promote hunter behavior

It’s up to us. Respect access. Protect the hunt.

HELENA – To promote the importance of hunter ethics and improved hunter behavior, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is partnering for a second year with several hunting and agriculture organizations to “protect the hunt.” While the campaign encourages hunters to always practice conscientious behavior, it focuses particularly on showing respect for private land and the access landowners provide.

The slogan is: It’s up to us. Respect access. Protect the hunt.

Landowners play an important role in sustaining healthy wildlife populations, contributing to our economy and communities by creating jobs, and providing valuable habitat and treasured open spaces.

But the relationship between hunters and landowners can start to fray when just a few hunters abuse the privilege of hunting on private land.

This year, the campaign will focus on five actions hunters can take to ensure the hunting tradition continues:

• Plan ahead for access

• Respect private property

• Practice safe hunting behavior

• Turn in poachers – call 1-800-TIP-MONT

• Gratitude goes a long way

While excellent hunter behavior might be the norm in Montana, poor behavior, like not following landowner rules, trespassing, abusing access privileges, littering, and a host of other offenses, can lead to a decline in access opportunities.

In fact, many hunters don’t know that not following rules for a block management area can result in a citation for hunting without landowner permission.

As part of the campaign, FWP will be distributing give-away items, such as can koozies and stickers. For more information on hunting ethics, working with landowners and to link to all the partners involved, go to

More than 88,000 watercraft inspected for aquatic invasive species

So far this year, FWP and its partners have inspected more than 86,000 watercraft for aquatic invasive species. Of those, 45 were mussel-fouled and more than 400 were found with aquatic weeds. FWP and partner agencies, which include tribes, counties and conservation districts, operate more than 17 road-side watercraft inspection stations across the state.

To find a watercraft inspection station or to learn more, go to or call the FWP Aquatic Invasive Species Bureau at 406-444-2440.

In the last few weeks, the following was detected:

• A ski boat recently purchased in Minnesota was intercepted with mussels at the Wibaux watercraft inspection station (operated by Garfield Conservation District). The boat was decontaminated, locked to the trailer and released to its final destination in Pend Oreille, Idaho. Idaho was notified to allow for follow-up.

• The Wibaux station intercepted a wakeboard boat that was recently purchased in Minnesota with mussels in the sea strainer. The boat was decontaminated, locked to the trailer and authorities at Lake Tahoe, its destination, were notified for follow-up.

• The Broadus inspection station (managed by the Powder River Conservation District) intercepted a recently purchased mussel fouled ski boat from Minnesota heading for Big Sky. Staff decontaminated the boat, locked it to the trailer and FWP staff followed up with the owner for a full decontamination.

No Eurasian watermilfoil (EWM) has been found in Beaver Lake near Whitefish this season following three comprehensive surveys. Another follow-up survey will be conducted in October.

As the boating season winds down, inspection stations will be closing.

The St. Xavier and Sula stations are now closed. Other stations will be closing in the coming weeks.