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Walleyes Forever - Fish, Wildlife & Parks News

2012 Billings-
area hunter education classes scheduled.

BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has scheduled a special weekend hunter education class for Feb. 24-25 in Billings.

The class is set for FWP's regional headquarters at 2300 Lake Elmo Dr. in Billings Heights. Classes run from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24 and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Registration is limited to the first 30 people who sign up online at the FWP website — http://fwp.mt.gov and follow the links to "education" and "hunter education."

The class is a test-in event, meaning that students must pick up a manual at FWP's regional headquarters by 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, read it and be prepared for a test on the first day of class.

Traditional week-long classes also are scheduled in Yellowstone County later in the winter. Here is a schedule:

Laurel High School

Feb. 13, 2012 (Monday) — 6:30 p.m. — 8:00 p.m. — registration and orientation
Feb. 20 — 24, 2012 - 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
Feb. 25, 2012 — field day — Laurel Rifle Club in Riverside Park

Shepherd — school gym

Feb. 21, 2012 — 6:30 — 8:00 p.m. — registration
Feb. 27 — March 2, 2012 — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
March 3, 2012 — field day, Lake Elmo State Park

Lewis and Clark — chorus or auditorium

Feb. 21, 2012 — 6:30 — 8:00 p.m. — registration
Feb. 27 — March 2, 2012 — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
March 3, 2012 — field day, Lake Elmo State Park

Riverside — cafeteria, chorus or auditorium

Feb. 27, 2012 — 6:30 — 8:00 p.m. — registration
March 5-9, 2012 — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
March 10, 2012 — field day, Lake Elmo State Park

Castle Rock — cafeteria and adjoining classrooms

Feb. 27, 2012 — 6:30 — 8:00 p.m. — registration
March 5-9, 2012 — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
March 10, 2012 — field day, Lake Elmo State Park

Will James — cafeteria and adjoining classrooms

Feb. 21, 2012 — 6:30 — 8:00 p.m. — registration
Feb. 27 — March 2, 2012 — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
March 3, 2012 — field day, Lake Elmo State Park

Lockwood School

Feb. 27, 2012 — 6:30 — 8:00 p.m. — registration
March 5-9, 2012 — 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. — class
March 10, 2012 — field day, Lake Elmo State Park

In addition, anyone 18 years old or older who has completed the online hunter education training may sign up for a special field day that will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Laurel Rifle Club in Riverside Park. Registration is available on the FWP website — http://fwp.mt.gov and follow the link to "education" and "hunter education."

Anyone born after Jan. 1, 1985, must take a hunter education class to qualify for a Montana hunting license. There is no maximum age and adult hunters, including parents, are encouraged to take the class and earn hunter education certification.

The classes teach Montanans to be safe, responsible and ethical hunters.

Students must attend all sessions, pass the class and successfully complete field day activities to be certified.

All classes are taught by certified volunteers and are free.

-FWP-


March 15 is new deadline for 2012 bull elk, buck deer permits

BILLINGS — Montana hunters have a new, earlier deadline in 2012 to apply for bull elk and buck mule deer permits in some hunting districts.

In districts where a special permit is required to harvest a bull elk or buck deer, the new application deadline is March 15. Drawing results will be announced by the end of April.

In previous years, Montana residents had until June 1 to apply for those permits. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission changed the deadline to March 15, at the request of sportsmen, to give hunters three more months to schedule vacation time, plan hunts, scout, talk to landowners and get in shape.

Packets that include an application form and lists of permit drawing opportunities are available at FWP offices, license dealers and online at http://fwp.mt.gov.

The deadline to apply for antlerless deer B and elk B tags and all antelope licenses remains on June 1. Moose, sheep, goat and bison license applications are due by May 1. Wolf seasons and quotas for 2012 will be set later in the summer.

The FWP commission meets Feb. 16 in Helena to finalize most 2012-2013 hunting seasons, regulations and quotas. Special permit districts and opportunities that could change during commission deliberations are noted in the published packet.


Game warden seeking information about poached elk

BILLINGS — Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is offering a reward for information about two bull elk that were poached and left to waste last month south of Reed Point.

FWP game warden Derek Fagone said the two elk were discovered in December by a bridge inspector. They were under a livestock underpass along Hump Creek Road eight miles south of Reed Point. They obviously had been hauled to the area from elsewhere, dumped over the edge of the road and dragged under the underpass, he said.

The perpetrators had started the process of field dressing and quartering the bull elk, Fagone said. They took only the head from one elk and left the rest, including all of the meat, to waste.

The department, through its 1-800-TIP-MONT program, is offering a reward of as much as $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible. Anyone with information about the crimes should call 1-800-TIP-MONT (800-847-6668), the FWP 24-hour reporting telephone hotline.

The 1-800-TIP-MONT program is a toll-free number where people can report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers may remain anonymous. It is similar to the well-known Crimestoppers program and offers rewards for information resulting in conviction of persons who abuse Montana's natural, historic or cultural resources.

-FWP-

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