Page 1

V L. 44 #2 Winter 2016

Grizzly Attack

– PAGE 20

Serendipity – PAGE 16 History of Habitat Montana – PAGE 18 Regions Reports – PAGE 6 Tenatives Report – PAGE 14 2017 Convention Dates – PAGE 19

Return service requested Montana Bowhunters Association PO Box 23611 Billings, MT 59104

Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 120 Bozeman, MT 59718


MBA

Regional Representatives Region 1

Al Kelly

351 7th Ave East N., Columbia Falls, Mt 59912 .................. 406-293-29000 alman@frontiernet.net

officers

michaelshepard7@gmail.com

Neil Maier

Marlon Clapham 4455 Hoover Lane • Stevensville, MT 59870

PO Box 219, Libby, MT 59923 ............................................ 406-250-98066 mbaregion2@gmail.com • 406-777-2408

16200 Roman Creek Rd Frenchtown, MT 59834 .............. 406-546-60133 nam56@yahoo.com

Don Helmbrecht 511 Hudson Lane Victor, MT 59875 .................................. 406-381-66611 donhelmbrecht@yahoo.com

Region 3

MBA PRESIDENT

Mike Shephard

Region 2

www.mtba.org

Brian Koelzer

80 Jansma Lane Manhattan, MT 59741............................. 406-570-79977 rocknrollbowhunter3@yahoo.com

Barrett Haugan

1ST VICE PRESIDENT

Steve Schindler 134 Sawney Drive • Glasgow, MT 59203 sas@nemont.net • 406-228-9024

560 Clovehitch Road Belgrade, MT 59714 ........................ 406-539-06022 btreasurestate@aol.com

2ND VICE PRESIDENT

Mark Schwomeyer

Region 4

Stephen LePage

2574 Divide Rd. Lewistown, MT ...................................... 406-535-5636 mbaregion4@yahoo.com

Roger Licht

Region 6 Region 7 Region 8

markschwo@gmail.com • 406-350-0173

PO Box 189 Stanford MT 59479 ....................................... 406-566-26933 Licht@Roger@yahoo.com

Region 5

60 Hruska Ln • Lewistown, MT 59457

TREASURER

Jenn Schneider

John Grimstad

2031 Poly Drive Billings, MT 59102 ................................. 406-252-36200 twingrim@bresnan.net

PO Box 23611 • Billings, MT 59104 mtba@mtba.org • 406-697-7668

David Moon

97 Aberdeen, Glasgow, MT 59230 ..................................... 406-942-06599 djmoon9876@gmail.com

Bob Morgan

P.O. Box 1995 Colstrip, MT 59323 ..................................... 406-749-07066

SECRETARY Vacant

robertredface@gmail.com

Jerry Davis

725 Middlemas Road, Helena, MT 59602.......................... 406-475-22266 pipelinejerry@gmail.com

PAST PRESIDENT

Joelle Selk 6963 York Road • Helena, MT 59602

AT LARGE DIRECTORS

jselkmt@gmail.com • 406-422-6798

EVEN YEARS

Roger Peffer Seth Rogers Tim Roberts

2517 9th Ave So., Great Falls, MT 59405 – regorp77@msn.com .........................................406-452-09111 1425 Prickley Pear, Billings, MT 59105 – srogers@lamar.com ............................................406-670-54355 2410 Chouteau St, Fort Benton, MT 59442 – timr59442@gmail.com .................................406-220-20511

ODD YEARS

Paul Martin Ray Gross

MAGAZINE CO-EDITORS

Teri and Al Kelly PO Box 219 • Libby, MT 59923

110 Sage Lane, Kalispell, MT 59901 - paulhmartin99@gmail.com .......................... 406-261-4456 6 355 Antelope Drive Dillon, MT 59725 – raygross0144@gmail.com ........................ 406-660-1019 9

PUBLICATION DATES AND DEADLINES

Stories, photos, or cartoons should be sent to Al or Teri Kelly at PO Box 23611, Billings, MT 59104 or email teray1979@yahoo.com. All materials are the opinion of the author unless otherwise stated, and are subject to being edited. All photos will be placed in the MBA Photo Ablum and can be viewed at the annual conventions. Any questions as to policies of MBA please write the President.

FALL ISSUE, DEADLINE, July 15

MEMBERSHIP INQURIES

EDITORIAL COMMENTS The MBA Magazine is a quarterly publication of the MBA and is intended to inform, entertain and educate its members on happenings within the organization and to bowhunting in general.

WINTER ISSUE, DEADLINE, October 15 SPRING ISSUE, DEADLINE, January 15 SUMMER ISSUE, DEADLINE, April 15

Please send new memberships or renewal memberships to MBA Tresurer, PO Box 23611, Billings, MT 59104 or call 406-697-7668, register online at www.mtba.org or ask a member.

teray1979@yahoo.com

WEB DESIGNER

Lyle Hebel www.pixelelk.com

Liberty Brown Branding Iron Marketing

MAGAZINE DESIGN

K Design Marketing, Inc. 1613 South Ave. W. • Missoula, MT 59801 kim@kdesignmarketing.com 406-273-6193


TABLE OF CONTENTS VOL. 44 #2 Winter 2016

PAGE

PAGE

PAGE

On the Cover

2 4

V L. 44 #2 Winter 2016

EDITOR’S NOTE

Teri Kelly

18 19

TREASURER’S MESSAGE

20

GRIZZLY ATTACK

22

WHO CAN BEST SET

Jenn Schneider

5 Grizzly Atta ck

– PAGE 20

History of Ha Serendipity – PAGE 16 bitat Montan a – PAGE 18 Regions Repo rts – PAGE 6 Tenativ 2017 Conven es Report – PAGE 14 tion Dates – PAG E 19

Travis Hjort 2016 breaks bull

6 12 14 16

1ST VICE RESIDENT’S MESSAGE

2017 CONVENTION DATES LOOKING BACK

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

Marlon Clapham

HISTORY OF HABITAT MONTANA

SteveSchindler

Todd Orr

OUR SEASONS . . .

Steve Schindler REGIONAL REPORTS

23

FWP COMMISIONER CONTACTS

MBA MEMBER SPOTLIGHT TENATIVES REPORT SERENDIPITY

BUSINESS & CLUB MEMBERS

24 25

MBA MEMBERSHIP FORM MEMBER GALLERY

Joelle Selk

Winter 2016

1


EDITOR’S NOTE

S

ome of you may or may not have noticed the lateness of our fall issue or the lack of a few regular articles but if you did my apologies to you all. Unfortunately as it tends to happen, we ran into a few snafus, but hopefully we’ve overcome the things that plagued us at that time. After struggling to get that issue out to press I asked myself why I do this. I’ll be honest it can be a real headache. I spend many hours trying pulling together articles, stories, photos and any other information needed, and then put it all together in order to get each newsletter out in timely fashion and ensure that each issue has content that members want to read and need to know. I have plenty of other things to do with my time, I work a fulltime job, I have a family, my husband, kids, grandkids and my mother who now requires extra care, and I have other obligations with other groups I volunteer for that sometimes make it difficult to fit it all in. Like many other people, I could find a dozen reasons to why I don’t have time to do this. It takes a lot of time, gives me more than a few headaches and can be a very frustrating process to put a newsletter out each quarter. So why do I put myself thru this every single quarter….it’s simples really, it’s because I believe in the MBA and what it does for bowhunters in Montana. I volunteer my time to edit the newsletter because it’s my way of being able to contribute to the MBA. I do what I can because if we all choose not to give of ourselves then nothing gets done; it’s as simple as that. Each of you contributes already by being a member, but you can also contribute by sending in a story and harvest photos, attending a meeting in your area or contacting your local rep to share your views, ideas or concerns. We don’t all have to be an editor or a region rep or the president, etc., to help the cause, but we all have something we can do to contribute to the efforts of the MBA and it’s important that we all do our part in order to maintain what we’ve fought so hard to get. We should never take for granted what we have for bowhunting opportunities in Montana today. The newsletter is an important tool in the effort to support the MBA and maintain our seasons and opportunities. It’s our first line in informing our members as to what is happening with the MBA, what the MBA has done and it doing to protect, enhance and maintain archery hunting opportunities in Montana. We have many bowhunters in our ranks that have a lot of experience and knowledge to share and other members enjoy and learn from those articles. Your stories and photos remind us that the hunting opportunities are out there. It’s awesome to see photos of our youth, who are just starting to bowhunt, on up to our “senior” hunters who’ve been getting it done for years. Bowhunting is a lifelong sport, it’s a way of life for a lot of Montanans and it’s easy to assume that we will always have the space and the seasons to hunt. But the reality is, there’s always someone who wants to change it, cut it down or take it away, so our efforts need to continue, so that we can continue to enjoy what we have and future generations will have the same opportunities.

2

Montana

BOWHUNTER

WWW.MTBA.ORG

Teri Kelly

If you have photos, stories, hunting methods you want to share, or any other information you feel would benefit other Montana bowhunters, please feel free to send it in. It doesn’t have to be perfectly written, any story or article can be corrected as needed, that’s one of the things I do as the editor. If you aren’t computer savvy you can handwrite stories or articles and send those in as well. You can mail photos in and we can scan them into the computer so please don’t let technology, or the lack of it being computer savvy hold you back. If there is something you’d like to see addressed or you have an idea for an article, let us know that as well. By the time this issue is in your hands the season is over so I am hoping to see the results from our members.

Teri Kelly


Winter 2016

3


OFFICER’S REPORTS

MBA Committees Legislative:

Jerry Davis, Chair Steve Schindler • Ray Gross Marlon Clapham • Dan Moore

President’s

Message

Tentatives:

B

y the time this newsletter hits our mail boxes we will be thru the general hunting season and now we have the late seasons to look forward to. I hope everyone has had the kind of season they were hoping for with some success and a lifetime of memories. Maybe even a story for our next newsletter as it is always fun to read about our fellow member’s adventures.

Ray Gross, Chair Paul Martin • Mark Schwomeyer Marlon Clapham Steve Schindler • Dan Moore

Financial:

Marlon Claphman

I would like to welcome Don Helmbrecht from Hamilton to the board of directors. Don will be a Reg 2 Area Rep and be working with Neil Maier. Don has been a part of our activities here in the Bitterroot for the last few years. The MBA has been working with the FWP department and the FWP Commissioners on some details for the next tentative session. There will be a full report as things get finalized. We are also gearing up for the Legislation session to begin after the first of the year. We feel we have the material together to fight the x-bow once again. Our efforts with the alternative equipment and helping where we can may pay big dividends for our cause. By now a decision will have been made on I-177. The Trappers Association had put out a great effort in raising the funds to fight this anti-hunting group’s efforts. Bowhunting Associations all across the state and country pitched in financially to help defeat this I-177 in November voting. There have been some questions on the shoulder season in HD 290 and how the MBA could allow the shoulder hunts to be held during the Archery Season. Don’t think that we didn’t fight it, we did. The landowner’s who are feeding well over a thousand elk almost year round are the pushing influence behind the final decision. This group of landowner’s we pushing to remove all their land from the Archery only HD. So after a long discussion with some push and pull we ended up with what we have today. What folks seem to forget is that HD 290 has had some form of a shoulder season every year since 2004. Yes, this season was the most interfering with our Archery Season, but if FWP feels that they get the results the landowner’s can be happy with, the shoulder season will end during our season. One other thing to remember is that the last Legislation session they passed the mandate for the FWP Comm. to get the elk herds back to objective. We know that the Private Landowner’s who harbor the elk have caused a lot of this problem. We have asked on several different occasions to get the Elk objective plan revisited and updated to exclude the harbored elk. There has not been much traction in our efforts. So until the elk numbers are reduced, we as bowhunters will have to put up with shoulder seasons. We spent some time during the season sitting in the Whitetail stands. We lost the ranch to a new landowner who just bought both ranches where we have been hunting for the last ten years and closed it up right off. So now we are scouting out new and old spots we used to hunt. Starting over you might say. Well Keep-em Sharp and Shot-em Straight

Marlon Clapham

Jerry Davis, Chair Steve Schindler Jenn Schneider • Seth Rogers Ray Gross • Neil Maier

Landowner/ Sportsman:

Mark Schwomeyer, Chair Dan Moore • David Moon Neil Maier • Bob Morgan

Nominations:

Steve Schindler, Chair Al Kelly • Paul Martin

Awards:

Roger Peffer, Chair Al Kelly • Steve Schindler Marlon Clapham

Membership:

Chair, vacant Joelle Selk, Membership assistant Jenn Schneider Seth Rogers • Ray Gross

Convention 2016/2017:

Brian Koelzer, Chair Jenn Schneider • Sean Dunn Joelle Selk • Barrett Haugan

Magazine:

Al & Teri Kelly, Co-Chairs Steve Schindler Roger Peffer • Joelle Selk Brian Koelzer • Jerry Davis

Treasurer’s Message

Website:

H

ope everyone had a great fall and good season out in the field. We appreciate more than ever our talent on the board and our past board members who are taking the time to help out where their talents really shine. Be on the lookout for some new merchandise on our website that includes a fun new look and would make a great Christmas gift for the bow hunters in your life! I’ll enjoy this “quiet season” as we get ready to gear up for convention, it’s just around the corner.

Jenn Schneider

Webmasters Lyle Hebel Jenn Schneider • Liberty Brown

Carp Shoot: Joelle Selk, Chair

Bow-Ed:

Al Kelly, Chair Marlon Clapham • Brian Koelzer Bob Morgan • Mark Schwomeyer David Moon • Ray Gross

4

Montana

BOWHUNTER

WWW.MTBA.ORG


OFFICER REPORTS

M

ontana is a special place if you hunt and fish. Our diversity is beyond compare, from catfish, to brook trout, to Whitetail deer to Mountain goats. Montana is a big state and encompasses many habitat types. Our State FWP and the Commission that regulates the FWP has a big job. It takes a lot of work to see that we hunters can do what we do. It takes a lot of public input to make sure that the right thing will be done. The other partner in managing our wildlife is the private landowner, and for the most part, Montana is blessed to have private landowners who still believe the public is the main ingredient in successfully controlling wildlife numbers. Of course we have issues, and we have some bad actors on both sides, BUT, we do seem to outdo the rest of the country with programs like the Block management Program, and various working groups designed to involve private landowners and sportsmen on specific issues.

Steve Schindler

First Vice

President’s

Report

This working together is what’s going to keep the hunters hunting and the landowner doing his business. Most of the landowners I know really only want to run their ranch, or farm their farm. It is incumbent on us sportsmen to treat these guys like we would want to be treated….hmm I’ve heard that theme before somewhere. It should go without saying to leave gates as you found them, if you find a gate that is left open then leave it open, but if you get a chance let the landowner know it’s open, he may or may not want it that way. I know we have all heard farmers and ranchers are up before daylight working away, but in most cases that isn’t true they like to sleep too. So don’t be knocking on their door or calling them early in the morning, they may or may not be up. Do your homework, arrange in advance for your hunt on their place. Another thing that’s becoming an issue, especially this year in Eastern Mt anyway, is the extra rain we’ve had. Now here’s the problem; the hunter has the week end off and that’s the only chance he will have to hunt, but it rained on Thursday. What to do? If you head out and rut up the road it makes it tough on the landowner who has to drive on that road all week, all month on that rutted road. I don’t blame the guy for wanting to go hunting as it might be his only chance, but there are consequences, so be aware of it and do what you can to keep those consequences at a minimum. Yes it maybe a public road on public land, but still it’s the road the landowner drives every day.

Steve Schindler

Winter 2016

5


HEADER REGIONAL REPORTS

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AL KELLY MIKE SHEPHARD

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ad back really hurting, both hips aching, knee in brace, and ankle in a flexible brace... do you think I would not be out for our first day of fall bowhunting?? Hell no. Walking downhill between two gated logging roads and I caught a glimpse of movement about 200 yards below moving to my left slowly, I realized it was bear. Binocs showed those ears were most definitely an adult black. I kept moving down, and to my left as the bear was feeding on service berries; eating and moving slightly uphill and to my left. I was looking ahead for an intercept point. I kept moving and dropping downhill to within about 50 yards to the lower logging road. At that point the bear stopped, looked right at me, and then moved towards me. When it dropped and couldn’t see me I moved maybe 5 more steps. It then moved towards me again, as I am sure it heard me move. All of a sudden it stopped, stood up at about 20 feet, and looked at me. As it dropped to move to its right, I let my cedar arrow fly. It buried itself right thru his bicep into its lungs. He lunged and then in typical

bear fashion was up a fir tree to the very top. As he twisted and turned, I loosed another arrow which was deflected into outer space, but the next one sunk well into its hip hitting the femoral. Within 60 seconds of the last hit; a death moan, and then the bear came crashing down to the earth breaking branches. I ran to it, but no more arrows were needed. My eight inch extended small hands showed approx. 9 spans, so the bear is right at about 72 in on the ground. I will take that any day of the week. Time of harvest was 11:58am on a cool Saturday morning. I have no idea of the weight, much more than that I could lift. Note the white throat patch, and the black spot! Not bad for opening morning. The old Schafer longbow just continues to bring my luck.

Mike Shephard

Al Kelly

W

ell thankfully by the time you read this, the elections will be over and we can cut down the political junk mail, commercials and the phone calls. I hope everyone’s had a great hunting season. Mine season was a little short due to a lack of time, too many honey-dos’s and work, work, work. But the time I was able to spend in the woods was well spent and much enjoyed. There’s nothing like living and playing in Montana and nothing like the generous seasons we have. We all need to remember that we have some of the best seasons around and do our part to make sure we continue to have them for future generations.

Al Kelly

Mike Shephard

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NEIL MAIER DON HELMBRECHT

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i everyone. I hope your season went well. Mine started out with high hopes after finding two new water holes and a wallow a mile from the road. Unfortunately it did not turn out to be very fruitful. The elk were very quiet and we didn’t see very many. We did watch 5 cows the first night we set up camp and we were hopeful but unfortunately never saw an elk on any of the water holes or the wallow. We did however, have a great time talking during the evenings after the sun had set. We spread out to other areas and found some sign but the elk were scarce except one loner. One of our group found a ridge that had a lot of rubs and smelled of elk. He did some cow calling and a little bugling but no response. The route he took to this area was a little rough so he put his bow down and was looking at the map application on his phone to see if he could see a better way to get onto the ridge. As he was looking at the satellite photos he heard a couple of steps and looked up to see a nice 6 point bull looking at him from 30 yards. The bull came in silent and stared at him. He could do nothing but look at the bull turn and

6

Montana

BOWHUNTER

WWW.MTBA.ORG

Hunter walk away as quiet as he had come in. He made a note to himself to not look at the map application until back at camp. I trust your season went better. Earlier this year my daughter and her husband decided to take up the bow again and I was helping them get their bows tuned up. While doing this my 6 year old grandson Hunter wanted to shoot also. I gave him the small bow I started my daughters on and he has been shooting with them. My granddaughter Cheyanne said she wanted to shoot also. She needs help to pull the bow back, but once back, she looks and releases the arrow. She is only 3. I see 4 more bow hunters coming up. On a safety note side you need to be bear aware when hunting. There are grizzly bears in more areas and they are coming into bugling and the smell of gut piles from successful hunters. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

Cheyanne I have talked with two of the candidates in my area and made the decision on which I will vote for. Good or bad is looks like a busy year for the legislature and we will have our hands full. By the time you read this the election will be over. I am very tired of the lousy political ads.

Neil Maier


REGIONAL REPORTS

Region 2 continued

G

reetings, I’m Don Helmbrecht. I’m 67 years old and retired from the US Postal Service, twelve years now and still counting. My wife Arlene and I moved here five years ago from Western New York state about thirty miles east of Buffalo in the land of serious snow, eastern hardwoods and dairy country and plenty for good food for the local whitetail population. I served our country for seven years in the US Army with three overseas tours including Vietnam, Berlin, Germany and South Korea. My bowhunting career actually started while home on leave in 1974 and I took my first buck with a Bear recurve. I’ve been hooked ever since. I hunted Montana every now and then in the Cabinet Mountains near Noxon where my brother has lived for about forty years. About seven years ago I decided that I should join the MBA since I was

REGION 3 REGION

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BRIAN KOELZER BARRETT HAUGAN

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hope everyone has had a great fall archery season. You all know the old saying, “You’ve got to make hay while the sun shines.” That pretty much sums up the last 5 months for me. I unfortunately haven’t spent much time in the field this year. However, I have been very excited seeing pictures and hearing many stories. I love how much bow hunting brings so many people

benefitting from all your hard work while hunting here. I was member for about three years before actually moving here. While attending an FWP meeting in Hamilton shortly after moving here I noticed a couple sitting right up front peppering the official with questions. I was amazed at how informed and familiar with all the topics that were being discussed. That person turned out to be Marlon Clapham from the MBA. I knew then that I needed to get involved more than just being a member. When I saw Neil Maiers message in the magazine asking for additional help in Region 2 I decided to move on it and get on board and just maybe someday I may be as well informed as Marlon. That’ll take some doing but I’m game. With their help I believe I can be an asset to the MNA. I’ll have to find my niche so to speak. I think I’d like to focus on membership and ways to increase our ranks. There’s a lot of untapped bowhunters on

together in so many different ways. Families and friends getting together, creating many valuable memories that will last a lifetime. These types of stories are amazing for me to hear when I’m busy at work. I am very proud of so many bow hunters out there leading by example. I plan to get more involved with helping to protect this great way of life. Bow hunting has a way of touching a person’s soul. Finally this last weekend I was able to get out with my family looking for antelope and mule deer. I was able to glass up what could be the best Mule deer buck I have ever been able to hunt in my life. Got the wind right, everything was perfect and slipped in above him, came to full draw while he was beaded broadside at 33 yards with his head behind a sand bluff. I then found myself second guessing myself if that was the right deer. Is it a different one? Did they switch places? The lighting on his antlers looked like a different buck. So I let down and tried to get a

ell by the time you all are reading this we will know who our next president, governor and so on will be. One thing is for sure that no matter who gets elected, we are in a season of change. So much b.s. floating around it’s hard to figure out who’s full of it and who’s telling the truth. Or if anyone actually is.......

W

satisfy what the membership has asked for and still keep things like crossbows and GPS trackers at bay.

Hopefully you were all able to get out and spend some time sneaking around the woods during our generous archery season (thank you MBA!). Our freezer is filling up nicely (thanks to my wife) and another deer or two and we’ll be set for the year!

The MBA is going to be at Helena this winter ready to defend what we’ve fought so hard for all these years. Whatever may come our way we always have the best interest of the bowhunters of this fine state first and foremost.

Soon you’ll be seeing emails and social media stuff pertaining to the redefining archery gear in MT. This is in direct response to the survey on lighted nocks that we conducted last year. The info has been given to the Fish and Game Commission and what Joelle has put together with Marlon will

the books and I hope to get as many as possible to take out a membership. With that I’ll wrap it up and hope to meet many of our members throughout this coming year. Until then; happy trails and full freezers.

Don Helmbrecht

better look, and then he busted me. It was in fact the big buck I was after. Unbelievably the very next day I was able to spot the buck again lying against a rock bluff. This time, I was able to get above him at less than ten yards! Everything was perfect. I start to pull my bow back and another buck stands up at my feet. A smaller 4 x 4 gets out of his bed under the rock that I was standing on not two yards away. The look on his face was the same look on my face. The Big buck shot out of his bed like a cannon never giving me a shot. These two stalks on this buck were the most exciting stalks I have ever had in my life. Getting out there experiencing wildlife and nature while bow hunting, even for the shortest amount of time is worth every day not spent out there and we need to work to keep this tradition out there for our family and friends now and in the generations to come.

Barrett Haugan

Being a legislative year we already know that I-177 will be on the November ballot and hopefully will be voted down. If it somehow passes rest assured that bowhunting will be targeted next.

Keep’em sharp,

Brian Koelzer Brian Koelzer

Winter 2016

7


REGIONAL REPORTS

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A

t the time of this writing, archery season is coming to a close. We have plenty of meat in the freezer, primarily due to my wife’s bowhunting prowess and although I am elk-less I have had a wonderful season hunting with my wife and kids. Time spent afield with friends and family is my favorite aspect of fall. Do not get me wrong, I still have some time and am currently plotting against them. The shoulder season was frustrating for us in that we could not find many cow elk. I have never had so many bulls stand at 20 yards and put their front legs forward, I am convinced they knew they were safe. I have heard rumors that a potential world record elk was arrowed here in Montana. If you ask me, it was about time we regained the title from Arizona. We attempted an MBA recruitment BBQ here in Lewistown and despite free food and drink attendance was dismal. We were able to sign up a very few, but I encourage each and everyone of you to recruit your bowhunting friends

Stephen LePage mbaregion4@yahoo.com

H

ope everybody had a good hunting season this year so far, it’s great spending time with family, hunting partners and making new friends. You don’t have to talk too many nonresidents to find out we have a very good and long hunting season in MT, thanks to all the hard work done in the past and the hard work going on today. I Hope everybody got out and voted. It would be nice if we never had to worry about our hunting, trapping and fishing rights and if our hard earn money could be spent elsewhere, (like more hunting trips.) With hunting season over now is a good time to get out and support your local archery and hunting club and see what you can do for them and encourage them about joining the MBA. God bless our troops.

Roger Licht Roger Licht

Montana

BOWHUNTER

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STEPHEN LEPAGE ROGER LICHT

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John W. Grimstad

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JOHN GRIMSTAD

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ere it is the end of the 2016 bow season and I am wondering where it went? This year is the first year I have not been able to hunt bulls in the breaks. As I talk to my friends about this and we all agree things are changing, both in hunting in general and also in the breaks. The discussion ultimately leads to “how can we keep hunting the breaks every year (which is one of the places us eastern Montana hunters have close by)? Some ideas get thrown around like; issue more archery tags, or break the season into two 3 week seasons. They all have good points and draw backs. Maybe we have to accept the fact that, like life, things are constantly changing. I know one thing I feel needs to be addressed by the MBA, is the elk management plan and the way it sets the elk numbers in each unit. FWP should only count elk where the public has access to them. If elk are being harbored on a ranch that doesn’t allow hunting, then those elk numbers are removed from the total number of elk in that unit. This would increase the elk numbers in an area. The elk management plan isn’t dictated by the lands carrying capacity but the landowner’s tolerance for the elk. We are being told we have more elk now then we use to. This might be true but we also have more land that is not accessible and that are harbor elk than ever before. It’s not an easy problem to solve, if it can be solved. But the MBA needs to be engaged and looking for solutions. On that note; we just had a board member resigned because he didn’t feel the MBA board was following the member’s direction. I have also been contacted by a few ex members that said they are no longer members because of how the board votes. This concerns me, both as a member and a board member. I know lots of bow hunters are confused (and maybe pissed) that the MBA didn’t support lighted nocks. The board has addressed this issue and is looking for ways to address future technology advances. The lighted nocks have been supported

by the MBA and is now waiting for FWP and/ or the commission to proceed with approving and implementing it. There is a lot of work going on that the general members don’t see or hear about. That is partially the individual board members fault, me included. We as board members need to make sure our members are well informed and that everything we do is transparent and up front. But the members need to remember that the board is made up of volunteers who have a life, and like everyone else it can be hectic and not enough hours in a day to do everything that needs to be done. I ask region 5 members to always contact me about concerns or questions. One thing that for me personally that has made my hunting season exciting is both my kids drew an either sex elk tag for HD 410. They both just graduated college and this was perfect timing for them to have time to hunt. My son and I have been bow hunting and scouting up there all season, no luck so far. But when rifle season starts I will be out there with my son and daughter trying to get them their first bull elk. It is as rewarding watching these two young adults out in the field trying to fill their tags as it was when I was there age. I hope your hunting season went well, no matter if you filled your freezer or just have memories. God bless,

John W. Grimstad


REGIONAL REPORTS

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ow season is still in session as I write this and it was sure been a wet season with rain four days straight, then later another two days followed by snow. That will really put your clothing and equipment to the test especially when there is now a small raging river where a small creek used to be. Almost 90 degrees one day and then cold enough to snow. I feel like I take too much gear, but it is hard to take enough in that kind of weather. As I drove through an area to get to a hunting spot, I remembered how we use to see at least a hundred antelope in the area. I remember having a hard time stalking as you would always run into another group. If you blew a stalk, just go a little farther down the road and pick another group. Now when I drove through that same area multiple times I would only see two small herds of about six a piece. I know there are a lot you do not see driving through, but it still seems like there sure are a lot less of them around. Maybe they just moved over to another place, but sure makes you wonder why they are not in the area anymore. Coyotes would not leave me alone this year. I had one follow me and bark and howl. It even called in another coyote that stopped just outside of bow range. The other day we saw a coyote and then one after another more coyotes. A total of five came out and didn’t seem too scared of us being there. I had one jump up from a bed about 15 yards out while I was walking very fast to try to cut off an elk. I had one sit on the hill next to me and keep falling asleep while I watched it. It must have been hunting all night and needed a nap. I hope they keep it up when their pelts get good. It was nice to get the time to go bowhunting. It seems like every year things seem to all ways come up during bow season that try to keep you out of the woods. Dave Moon

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s I write this it’s a frosty morning in Montana. The leaves have started turning fall colors. I’ve seen more antelope and turkey this year than I have for a long time while being out in our beautiful state bow hunting. No steaks or drumsticks in the freezer though. I had the privilege of going to the middle school in Colstrip to present at American Indian Days. The students really enjoy looking and handling the hides, rocks, feathers bows and arrows that I bring in to share. They also interested in seeing how flint knapping is done. The looks on their faces tell it all. Some call me mountain man Bob. It’s enjoyable to share my interest with them. They are interested in the things of outdoors. I always remind them that each and every one of them are very special. Thanks to all you bow hunters that take interest in others to help them understand bow hunting principles. When and if we all do our part in our own communities to promote bowhunting, others will enjoy the great outdoors in God’s country. They may be able to see flowers blooming in the middle of October, elk bugling, birds flocking up, or a coyote howling on a hill. The thrill of a Dave fresh bear, elk orMoon deer track in the mud, or a shed antler, while out bow hunting keeps me going. Just enjoying creation is why I go. I’ve heard of a few elk being harvested with bows this season. In Psalms 50 verse 10 God’s Word says all the beast of the forest are His and all the cattle up on 1000 hills. I’ve been enjoying sunrises, sunsets and all the green grass this year. What a great time of year to be out in the fresh air and sunshine. Some friends and I went to Fort Peck snagging salmon yesterday October 12 what a blast we had. So we will be enjoying some smoke salmon this year. I know we all enjoyed our bow hunting season this year so let’s keep up the work of telling others and doing it right. May God bless you, take time to get out more and enjoy our great state of Montana.

Bob Morgan 749-0706

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ontana’s 65th Legislature convenes on the first Monday in January, January 2nd. What do we have to look forward to during this session? During the last session, lawmakers removed FWP’s authority to acquire lands by putting a sunset period for such purchases with Habitat Montana funds for two years under HB 403. That two year period is due to sunset this Legislative session. We suspect there maybe bills to make the moratorium of purchases of fee title lands with Habitat Montana funds permanent. We need to fight such a bill if it arises. Habitat Montana is an important wildlife management tool. The “Habitat Montana Program” is the result of legislation passed in 1987 (HB 526) in which portions of several big game licenses were earmarked for the protection of wildlife habitat. Many of Montana’s WMA’s were purchased with help from Habitat Montana money’s, money that is solely generated through the sale of hunting licenses. Money that must be can only be used for land purchases. If these funds are not used they set in a separate account where they may not be used for any other funding purposes. I suggest you read the article in this issue named “HISTORY OF HABITAT MONTANA”. We must also be alert to legislation that may try to micromanage the FWP, in particular its management of wildlife and hunting regulations. There is an FWP Commission that develops hunting and fishing regulations and seasons. The Commission uses the public forum to ensure that regulations address not only wildlife management objectives but also allow for public input. We must fight bills that are attacks on the FWP Commissions authority and responsibility.

Bob Morgan

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Region 8 continued from page 9 Possibly we will see legislation trying to improve the Block Management Program by increasing funding and allowing for additional compensation to landowners who allow the public free access to private lands. There has not been an increase in compensation to participating landowners for a long time if there has ever been an increase. We need Legislation that will make our Block Management Program more user friendly as well as compensating participating landowners for the added maintenance burden put on them when they allow access to their lands. Maintenance includes weed control, fence repair, and road maintenance to name a few.

There are rumors that there may be a bill brought that would place bounties on predators. Those bounties being funded with hunting and fishing license dollars. We will have to keep an eye open for that one. I for one do not want to see my hunting and fishing license dollars being used to pay for bounties on predators. Should such a bill pass it would be inevitable that the US Fish and Wildlife Service would once again place the wolf on the endangered species list, something none of us wants. Another piece legislation that is authored by the RMEF will remove the restrictions of non-profits

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y report for this issue will be on the events and the projects at the MBEF property. I’ve included a photo of Jack from Northwest Crane putting up the 2nd elevated blind on the MBEF property just before the summer shoot in July. The blinds serve multiple purposes, one is that when Flathead Valley Archers hold a 3D shoot on the property everybody gets to shoot from the blind, and of course the other is to utilize them for the 2 youth hunts for one boy and one girl which are awarded by raffle at the summer shoot. The third use is for anyone who has a phobia of heights or wants the experience of shooting from an elevated position, those folks are welcome to come and practice shooting from the blinds except during hunting season. You’ll also see included in my report, three candid photos of some of the kids at the summer shoot. This was a fun time and we even had Rocky Jacobson doing his elk calling seminar. Shortly after the July shoot we were finally able to start construction of the pavilion/barn, starting with the concrete slab with Les and Kim Odonnell with Kim running the bull float. Our objective was to have at least the roof on before Diann and I went hunting, which ended up being Sept. 20th. All that being said, with the youth in progress, Sarah Yerkes and her daughter Kylie (winner of the girls raffle) were taking advantage of the blind on the last day of general bow season. This mother and daughter team had an exciting evening. While ready in the blind they noticed a coyote running from the field towards the blind, which is when they noticed the doe getting up from her bed. After the coyote ran off the doe started feeding towards the blind along with another doe and her two fawns. The photo of the deer from the blind is what Kylie saw as she drew her Bowtech Heartbreak bow and shot a well-placed arrow to harvest her first bow kill. After the shot mother and daughter watched the deer go down in seconds. What a cool family event, and one happy little girl. On Oct. 19th Flathead Valley Archers hosted a campfire potluck at the new campfire pit. The photo shows some of the participants and the progress so far on the pavilion building, with plans to finish the building this winter in between hunting trips. We would like to thank all the members of the MBA and the TBM, and all the supporters of the MBEF. Happy Hunting

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selling raffle tickets. I will be the first to acknowledge that I know little or nothing about this issue except that I cannot use raffle ticket purchases from nonprofits as a tax deduction. I will be watching for this bill, it could be prove to be a bill that will increase MBA revenues. Well that is about all I have to say, except please read the History of Habitat Montana. It may be a little dry but it gives some excellent background for appreciating the good that Habitat Montana has done for Montana’s bowhunters. Happy Trails

Jerry Davis


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rchery season… it is the season we live for. The scouting and preparations have all led up to that time of year, whether you are bow hunting antelope from a blind, waiting for whitetail from a tree stand, stalking mulies, or bugling in a bull elk. My particular passion is bugling before daylight, hearing a bull respond, stalking in closer, hearing the cows and bull bugling…wow that’s exciting! Or maybe you were lucky enough to draw a special tag for moose, big horn sheep, or mountain goat. This is bow hunting in Montana. These are experiences that others just read about in hunting magazines, or journals; these are experiences to dream about, pass onto children and grandchildren and to protect and fight for. This is why I belong to Montana Bow Hunters Association.

Ray Gross

ell as I draft this article, the bow season is coming to a close and although I could not connect with an elk, I had a ton of fun and covered a lot of new country. I think I have it figured out for next year. I had my knee replaced in June... tore it backcountry skiing two years ago and it was time to get it fixed. I would not have been able to hunt without a repair. The Doc must have done a good job because I have covering many miles over rough terrain and it worked without any problems. It seems like there have been many grizzly attacks this year so I hope you have all been safe in griz country. Although I have seen a ton a bear sign, I have not seen any bruin in the woods. A buddy bugled in a bull and a griz came charging in right on the heels of the bull. There were a few tense moments, bear spray was out and ready to be deployed, but the bear diverted and fortunately no harm was done. Other then maybe some soggy shorts- Ha Ha. Planning for the convention is in full swing for next year. The MBA could really use your support. Please attend the event and bring along your significant other and some of your buddies. We also are in need of donations. Every year we get a wide variety of donations. We could always use items for women’s raffle items, kids’ items, or donations for the truck or home. Maybe a guided float trip down the river? Maybe a gift certificate for a front end alignment, or a night at a hotel and dinner reservations? Please think about what you can contribute. Or talk to some businesses that you may have a connection with and ask if they can offer support for the MBA in the form of a donation. Don’t forget that your membership needs renewed in January. I know each and every one of you have a few buddies that bowhunt who have yet to join MBA. Take a few minutes to talk with them about the importance of supporting the organization that works so hard to promote bowhunting opportunities in MT. If you hunt in Montana then you benefit from the efforts of the MBA. We need the support of you, your family, and your friends.

Ray Gross

Roger Peffer

MBA Member Spotlight How many bows do you own? One, it’s an original Paul Schafer take down. Last year my wife purchased me some new limbs from Dave Windauer and the limbs are unbelievable. It shoots like a rocket now. What one piece of advice would you like to pass onto a new bowhunter? Join the MBA if you like to hunt our long archer season and if you choose not to join, I don’t want to hear any whining if we lose time afield. Who is your bowhunting mentor or idol? My dad, he bought my two brothers and I little fiberglass bows when I was 7 or 8 years old. He hunted for whitetail in the late 50’s and 60’s and I remember all of us practicing out back.

Rich Hjort Where do you live? Libby MT What do you do for a living? Retired and loving it. When did you start bowhunting? In 1968 back in Wisconsin for Whitetail deer, the moved to Montana in 1977 and joined the MBA in 1978. Tell me about your first bow kill? My first bow kill was probably a squirrel or chipmunk but my first tagged kill with a bow was a whitetail doe in Wisconsin when I was about sixteen. That was the first of many successful and memorable hunts over the next couple of decades.

Tell me about your favorite bowhunting memory? It was this year! My son Travis shot his first 6 point bull elk with a bow. He’s been in sports a lot in high school and l and college so he never had a great deal of time to hunt. We were hunting the Breaks and I watched the whole spot and stalk go down and afterwards I helped him pack it out. It doesn’t get any better! Who are your favorite bowhunting partners? I’ve been fortunate to have hunted with Russ Offendahl and Ken Cook for over 35 years. They’ve come a long ways, they don’t shoot much but they make great meat packers for me, ha, ha, ha.

Describe you dream hunt? My dream hunt would be for Bighorn sheep.

Do you have any secret bowhunting tricks to share? Know when to draw your bow, and how to pick a spot on the animal.

Why do you support the MBA? The MBA is the only group that’s fighting for our seasons so it’s an easy choice for me to support this group.

If you have a member you awould like to be featured in “Member Spotlight”, please contact Steve LePage at mbaregion4@yahoo.com.

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TURNING CLOTHING INTO GEAR BASE | INSUL ATION | SOF T SHELL | HARD SHELL | HEADWEAR | HANDWEAR | PACKS

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TENATIVES REPORT

Tenatives

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Update on MBA’s Proposal for an Archery Equipment Policy Throughout the spring, summer, and early fall, the MBA worked on an archery equipment proposal in order to strengthen the review process within the current Tentatives cycle. The MBA designed the policy and evaluation matrix to better focus equipment discussions and aid the Department and Commission in their deliberations on archery equipment proposals. During the October Commission meeting, the MBA requested and was granted a public comment period for the proposal. The comments generated from public input will guide the Commission’s decision in December on adopting the policy for use with future archery equipment proposals. Thus far, we have received positive feedback from the Commission and we hope that the bowhunting community will see the merits of the policy in helping us maintain Montana bowhunting seasons and opportunities.

Commission Policy on Archery Season Intent and Equipment Evaluation Criteria Whereas, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildife and Parks and the Fish and Wildlife Commission have the responsibility of providing hunting opportunities to multiple constituencies while governing hunting seasons to ensure the continued diversity, health, and security of game animals; Whereas, the Department, Commission, and the bowhunting community have a collective interest in managing archery only season length, structure, and its methods and means in order to balance the impacts to game animals as well as social considerations such as tolerance of bowhunting by landowners, rifle hunters, and the general public; Whereas, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has the authority to set policies for and approve department regulations for special seasons and methods and means of hunting; Whereas, defining and controlling technology is crucial to managing both the biological and social impacts of bowhunting; Therefore, the Commission establishes the following policy: Montana Archery Season Intent, Bowhunting Principles, and Archery Equipment

Montana Archery Season Intent Montana designed its archery only seasons to protect its unique bowhunting opportunities for the benefit of current and future hunters. Montana has a sixweek archery only season plus multiple early and late-season hunts, providing one of the most extensive archery hunting opportunities in the nation. Montana possesses many highly coveted game species, several of which also have specific archery only seasons. Archery recruitment is robust, and participation has doubled each decade over the past thirty years. Bowhunting participation among Montana’s women and youth exceeds the national average, thereby ensuring recruitment of future generations. Montana has abundant and diverse statewide opportunities for mixed weapons adjacent to archery only season. These exist within the statewide Weapons Restriction Areas as well as during the five-week general season, early and late shoulder seasons, and game management hunts. These ancillary opportunities ensure the full inclusion of a broad constituency of hunters, including those with disabilities, women, youth, and older hunters. Hunters consistently express high satisfaction in the variety and quality of the hunting experiences within the state. The Montana bowhunting community expresses strong advocacy towards maintaining our current archery opportunities and promotes archery season as remaining separate from other methods and means.

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Bowhunting Principles Bowhunters must develop absolute proficiency with their equipment as well as the ability to get close enough for a shot through an intimate knowledge of the animal’s habits and habitat. The National Bowhunter Education Foundation teaches bowhunters to limit their shots to responsible distances within the hunter’s personal limitations and the limitations of the individual’s bow. While bowhunting was historically subsistence in nature, in modern times it represents the apex of hunting challenge through the enhancement of one’s woodsmanship capabilities and the deliberate limitation of equipment range. Bowhunting is by definition a close-range sport which demands the highest fair chase ethic. The close-range, fair chase nature of bowhunting offers the animal the greatest opportunity to escape. In essence, bowhunting is the ultimate test of the skill and woodsmanship of the hunter. Montana’s fair chase ethic mirrors the Boone & Crockett Club’s position, “Fair chase is an approach that elevates the quality of the chase, the challenge, and experience above all else. By not overwhelming game species with human capabilities, fair chase helps define a hunter’s engagement in conservation.” According to the Pope & Young Club, fair chase principles dictate that the hunter is at the disadvantage and must hone the skills of discipline, patience, perseverance, and woodsmanship rather than reliance on equipment advancements in order to harvest animals. Fair chase depends on the concept that, more often than not, the animal will evade the hunter. This concept of fair chase is essential to bowhunting, and the challenges inherent to the sport are what make Montana’s archery only seasons exceptional. Montana’s six-week bowhunting season was granted with the understanding that historical archery equipment was an effective means to ethically harvest game animals with minimal impact to the resource. Bowhunting was unique enough in its practices to warrant a distinct season of its own, demonstrating an acceptance that certain equipment restrictions were necessary in order to limit harvest rates. Montana’s game management entities and our bowhunting community must carefully consider whether additional equipment is necessary to the bowhunting experience and whether advancement might threaten the opportunities provided during our six-week bowhunting season.

Archery Equipment Montana has adopted a unique set of equipment regulations based upon the priorities of effective, ethical harvest, fair chase ideals, and minimal impact to the resource. These methods and means assure that Montana maintains the original focus of bowhunting as a challenging, close-range sport. Current regulations state that a legal hunting bow shall be a longbow, flatbow, recurve, or compound bow designed to be shot vertically and at least 28 inches in total length. The bow must be hand-drawn and held by the shooter’s own muscle power. The sole exception to this method is granted to physically disabled bowhunters, who are exempted from the requirement of holding or shooting the bow with their hands through the Permit To Modify Archery Equipment. There is no minimum draw weight requirement in Montana, and compound bows of up to 80% let-off are legal, allowing for the fullest participation by youth, women, and older bowhunters. Montana does not allow crossbows during archery-only seasons, but they are legal for use in Weapons Restricted Areas and during general seasons as well as early and late-season hunts. Arrows are the most important component in ensuring an effective, ethical kill. An arrow’s effectiveness is dependent on the broadhead’s cutting edge and the arrow’s momentum upon reaching its target. For this reason, arrows and broadheads must meet specific minimum requirements. They must be at least 20 inches in length and no less than 300 grains. Broadheads must have at least two cutting edges, weigh no less than 70 grains, and must be at least 7/8 inches at the widest point. Arrows should be weighted and matched in relationship to the hunting bow’s draw weight in order to effectively transfer sufficient energy


TENATIVES REPORT

to the arrow and achieve good penetration, thereby ensuring quick and humane kills. Montana does not allow electronics or luminous chemicals to be used on a bow or arrow during archery only seasons.

Archery Equipment Evaluation Process and Criteria Matrix Proposals for archery equipment shall be submitted to the Department and Commission through the formal biennial Tentatives process. Proposals should include the reason for inclusion of the equipment and its potential impacts to archery only seasons. Proposals shall be submitted to the Department during the Tentatives scoping period for consideration as a formal proposal. The following evaluation criteria will be used by the Department and Commission in their decision to advance a proposal to the public comment period.

The goal of the evaluation criteria is to assist the Department and Commission in the assessment of equipment for suitability within archery only seasons. The matrix uses measurement criteria to determine the potential impacts to archery seasons and opportunities. In order to warrant consideration for public comment, equipment or devices must not change the close-range focus of archery seasons, provide unnecessary advantage to the hunter, or diminish the fair chase principles inherent to bowhunting. These criteria will aid the Department and Commission in their decision to recommend or decline equipment proposals for advancement to the Tentatives public comment period. Equipment must have four or more “no� responses (i.e. limited negative impact) in order to advance to public comment.

Archery Equipment Evaluation Matrix

Evaluation Criteria

Yes/No

Potential Impacts

Does the equipment change the fundamental nature and intent of archery seasons as stated in the policy? Is the equipment likely to detract from the historical intent of Montana archery seasons, namely that the season was intended for high quality archery opportunity with relatively low harvest rates? Does the equipment challenge, contradict, or lessen Montana’s principle of fair chase? Does equipment have the potential to increase effective range of harvest? Does this equipment have the potential to increase fish and game violations, such as shooting outside of legal shooting hours? Does the equipment have the potential to increase archery harvest such that it may result in increased bowhunter impact on the resource and increase the possibility of limited permits? Does the equipment have the potential to increase archery harvest such that the increased harvest either increases conflict among or within user groups or have other negative social implications such as diminished sportsman/ landowner relations?

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MEMBER STORY

Serendipity By Joelle Selk

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ll bowhunters know that success in the field is equal parts luck and skill. Over the years, I have been a bit short on the luck part, but have kept at it, confident that the “luck pendulum” would have to

eventually swing my way. And so it was that I entered this year’s archery season fully motivated to put all my skill components in order so the luck factor could fall into place. I had my Schafer Silvertip in hand and many hours of practice from various elevations and angles. This preparation, along with perfectly tuned bamboo shafts, boosted my confidence and I felt more ready for the season than I had in a dozen years.

Tags A-Plenty We are fortunate in Montana that we can draw or purchase multiple tags for mule and whitetail deer, and in some years, this applies to elk tags. Such was the case with elk this year, as a “shoulder season” had been approved by the Commission, so hunters could hold both a general elk tag as well as an antlerless tag in certain districts. Since my luck has been especially sparse in the elk arena, I decided not to tempt fate by buying more than one tag. Besides, we much prefer venison at my house, so one tag would certainly be enough should I manage to stumble into an elk’s path.

Narrowing the Focus I love chasing elk in early archery season for the simple joys of crisp September mornings, long climbs up mountains, and the beautiful light bending through aspen groves. However, this year I’d planned a two-week trip in November to Macchu Picchu and the Galapagos, so I’d be a bit short on hunting time. As much as I hated missing chasing the elk in rut, I decided I needed to narrow my focus in the early season to hunting deer to increase my chances of an early harvest. I accepted an invite to hunt with some friends in an archery only area where we could set up tree stands and hopefully harvest a few whitetails.

Sweet Setup My friend, Scott Reed, helped me select a well-situated cottonwood tree which had braids of trails running in and out of the small meadow it bordered. Quite simply, it was a sweet site. Now we just had to strategize stand setup. Friends who have hunted with me in the past know that I have a love-hate relationship with tree stands. On the one hand, I have to acknowledge that a

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well-placed tree stand is one of the biggest factors in increasing one’s success. On the other hand, I really dislike heights, and it has taken me years of gradually increasing my comfort level with climbing into a tree stand. I am fortunate that Scott suffers my meticulous nature in setting my tree steps, hoisting my stand and seating it is as securely as possible, and trimming any and all branches which might get in the way of my ascent and descent. We set the stand at the “perfect” height, about 10 feet up. I set the steps and Scott helped me hoist the stand, and I cut branches overhead to clear a path for my upper limb. The only downside was that a completely broadside shot on the main trail in front of me would also leave me completely without cover. I’d just have to hope my leafy-flage suit and the bushes below would provide enough visual interference so that I could get drawn on a deer.

Opening Possibilities The opener happened to occur on Labor Day weekend this year, providing a three-day window of opportunity. The weather was just a bit warmer than we liked, with temps forecast in the upper 60s, but at least it would be clear. We hoped the rifle hunters participating in the shoulder season on adjacent private land might mobilize the deer so they would wander into the public archery only area. There were also elk sporadically travelling through the area, which some of our group intended to try tracking down for a shot. I climbed into the stand on Saturday morning and, as my luck dictates, nothing came into the meadow. I opted for a different stand for Saturday night to keep my cottonwood stand fresh for the following morning. I had a couple of deer chase each other around within 15 yards of the stand, but none offered a shot. I climbed out at dusk with another skunked hunt under my belt.


MEMBER STORY

The next morning, I awoke feeling irritable that I hadn’t had so much as a shot opportunity yet. I chided myself in being so impatient this soon into the season, and I knew that it came from having had so many years pass without a bow kill. It was time to end the dry spell, and I just needed the opportunity to make things happen.

Quick Decisions Once I got into the tree stand, I felt at ease and settled in to wait. About a half-hour after dawn, a doe tiptoed into the meadow behind me. Unfortunately, she put herself between me and every limb possible, so that opportunity slipped away. After another twenty minutes, a group of six whitetails splashed across the stream and opened up another opportunity. After entering the meadow, they milled around nervously and behaved as if they had me nailed, so I was again presented with only marginal shots which I had to pass on. “I just can’t catch a break,” I grumbled to myself. Another thirty minutes passed and I finally saw a fork-horn buck and a small group of elk about 125 yards away. They all looked like they were inclined to come my way. “This is going to be interesting,” Then I thought, “That little dude will probably mess this whole thing up.” I watched as the buck crossed through the back side of the meadow and meandered his way around the back of my stand. He was pretty ratty looking, with a flea-bit hide and not very much meat on his bones. I decided he wasn’t the best candidate for eating, and was relieved when he disappeared behind me into the thick brush without so much as a snort. I turned my attention to the elk. Three of them had decided to cross the stream – a cow, followed by her calf, followed by another cow. Good, I’ll be sure of which cow is the dry one. I started to talk myself through the scenario…they’re going to come up onto the bank about 20 yards away and broadside, which could be a shot, although it’ll have to be perfect. Indeed, the elk cleared the brush at 20 yards and were relatively calm. I began to turn, but they were eyeballing me and the shot just didn’t feel right, so I settled down and waited. They looked as if they meant to continue on a side trail and leave the meadow, but then seemed to think better of it. The lead cow turned and began heading right towards me on the trail which would put them all broadside to me. I again began my mental dialogue…OK, get your bow arm in position, tighten your fingers on the string, make sure to get to full draw, don’t rush the shot…watch for any sign that they’re about to bolt, and if they get skittish, just let ‘em go. The elk kept coming, with the lead cow and her calf glancing upwards at me on their way past, but not showing any real uneasiness. OK, I so passed the “lead cow” test. Now here comes the dry cow. I reminded myself that if she bolted, just to let down rather than trying to rush a shot. The cow looked right up at me as she walked broadside to me and our eyes met. Now it was my turn to feel uneasy as she gazed up at me. I was at half-draw, and she continued by at the same speed. “It’s go time, Joelle,” I prodded

myself, one last time reminding myself that if she bolted, I needed to abort the shot. I was stunned that as I came to full draw, she stopped - just eight yards away, and at the perfect angle to place my arrow behind her shoulder. I forced myself to look right at the spot I wanted to hit – I wanted to get a pass-through and knew it was harder out of a tree stand. I released and the shaft sank almost to the fletch, with a “thunk.” The cow trotted off, following the lead cow and calf into the brush. No pass-through, but I saw a big spurt of blood come out, so I knew I had a solid lung hit. As I listened, I heard the brush rustling and cracking, then silence, then more rustling and cracking, then silence. Thirty seconds later, I heard, “splash, splash, splash,” as the other elk crossed the stream. I liked what I heard, and hoped, as every bowhunter does, that the cow was dead the very minute she fell. I waited for 45 minutes, and as I climbed out of my stand, I heard Scott and someone else across the stream. They had given me explicit instructions not to go looking for a downed animal or to pack one out by myself since there were bears in the area. So, I packed up my gear and quickly waded across to recount the scenario to Scott and Erik. We needed to go back to camp to gather up game carts and other gear. Fortunately, the temps were in the low 50s, so we knew the meat would be all right, so long as the bears didn’t get to it first! We returned fully outfitted with bear spray, a 12-gauge shotgun, and the rest of our gear. We crossed the stream and began throwing rocks, cracking limbs, and yelling, “Hey, bear, hey bear.” We got through the willows without incident and I took them to the stand. I described the shot angle, the cow’s behavior after the shot, and pointed out the trail that she left on. We found first blood quickly and took up the trail, finding my arrow 15 yards in, covered in lung blood. The blood trail meandered a bit through the brush, but was absolutely steady, much to my relief. After about 60 yards, Erik said, “Hey Joelle, I see a hoof!” “Really?!? Alright!!!!” I said, beside myself with excitement and relief. I ran over to the cow, and took a knee next to her, gratified that she had indeed collapsed right where I thought she had, and very thankful for her meat. We took a few photos and got to work quickly on skinning and quartering her, continually looking over our shoulders and listening for the presence of bruins. I found my Wensel Woodsman broadhead buried in the meat of her opposite shoulder, explaining the origin of the “thunk” during the shot. After an hour, we loaded the meat onto the game carts, wheeled over to the crossing, and shuttled the meat across the stream by the armload. We hung it back at camp, and I called home to arrange another night away from home so I could celebrate with the rest of the crew who had also been successful. As with many other hunts, I felt so thankful to enjoy the fellowship of the hunt, and celebrate everyone’s experiences and successes. And at long last, I celebrated the serendipity of skill connecting with luck.

Winter 2016

17


HISTORY OF HABITAT MONTANA

HISTORY OF HABITAT MONTANA This is an excerpt from The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ HABITAT MONTANA REPORT TO THE 64th MONTANA LEGISLATURE. This brief history provides a good background for understanding the Habitat Montana Program. “The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been involved with conserving habitat for wildlife benefit since 1940. For many years there was no specific funding source to address the fundamental need to acquire, conserve, and manage important wildlife habitats. When dollars were available, land was purchased and became part of the Department’s wildlife management areas. The “Habitat Montana Program” is the result of legislation passed in 1987 (HB 526) in which portions of several big game licenses were earmarked for the protection of wildlife habitat, particularly ‘important habitat that is seriously threatened’ (HB526 Statement of Intent). The rules ensure that acquired interests in habitat lands are reasonably distributed around the state in accordance with the statewide habitat acquisition plan. In the 1980s, conservationists discussed the possibility of setting aside specific funding for the Department for the purpose of purchasing important habitat on a consistent basis when key habitats became available. The 1987 Montana Legislature saw the introduction of HB 526, which would be funded by fees from hunting licenses. The debate in the legislature was between those who did not want the Department buying land and those who saw habitat as the foundation for the future. The compromise by the legislature was authority given to the Department to acquire interests in land, with the legislature directing the agency to attempt conservation easements or lease before fee title purchase. Fee title purchase was still allowed because the legislature understood the seller of land would determine which method was in his best interest. HB 526 became reality generating about $2.8 million per year for acquiring interests in “important habitat that is seriously threatened”. Approximately 92% of revenue for this program comes from nonresident hunting licenses. From the very beginning, FWP tried to implement the intent of the legislation, but its success was limited. The reason was twofold: first, the Department was unfamiliar with conservation easements and needed to develop its expertise on implementing this conservation tool; and second, landowners were skeptical of easements. These two problems no longer exist. The first year that funding was available; the Department purchased two properties in fee title, the Robb Ledford Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and an addition to the Blackfoot-Clearwater WMA.

In 1989, the second year of operation, two additional WMA’s were purchased. A major effort to acquire a conservation easement on the Brewer Ranch changed to a fee title purchase at the request of the landowner. The Department assured the FWP Commission that easement terms would be placed on the Brewer property and then sold. This happened five years later.

In 1990, FWP purchased its first wildlife conservation easement (160 acres adjacent to Dome Mountain Wildlife Management Area). In 1992, FWP made an agreement with a landowner to enter into a five-year management agreement which both parties hoped would lead to a conservation easement, which did happen in 1998. A major threshold was crossed in 1994 with the success of exchanging the Brewer property, with easement terms in place, for an easement on the Page/Whitham property north of Fort Peck Reservoir. Interest by the agricultural community accelerated with the involved landowner answering many questions from interested landowners. Since then, FWP has had a variety of projects to select from. In 1989, HB720 mandated a social/economic impact analysis be completed with each acquisition. Now, with each acquisition, FWP completes the following requirements: develop a Montana Environmental Policy Act environmental assessment that includes an analysis of potential social/ economic impacts; develop a Management Plan for the property; make these documents available to adjacent landowners as well as the general public; and conduct a public hearing that takes place during the public review period. The 1991 Legislature directed FWP to review its habitat program. The Department hired two consultants, Econ, Inc. to look at FWP administrative functioning for the program, and Canyon Consulting, Inc., to evaluate public participation in the program. In September 1992, Canyon Consulting recommended implementing a policy that defined the public benefits to be derived from the habitat program. The Commission adopted policies through the administrative rule making (ARM) process, directing FWP to provide the following public benefits (ARM 12.9.510): •

Conserve and enhance land, water, and wildlife

Contribute to hunting and fishing opportunities

Provide incentives for habitat conservation on private land

Contribute to non-hunting recreation

Protect open space and scenic areas

Promote habitat-friendly agriculture

• Maintain the local tax base, through payments in lieu of taxes for real estate, while demonstrating that productive wildlife habitat is compatible with agriculture and other land uses.” As you can see Habitat Montana benefits us all in Montana.

www.pronghornbows.com 307-234-1824 evenings 2491 West 42nd Street Casper, WY 82604

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2017 CONVENTION

2017 Convention Fairmont Hot Springs Resort

March 31-April 2, 2017

We’re very excited to announce the convention will be held at Fairmont this year. We have a 90-room block, and reservations can be made any time between now and the convention. Each room has two queen beds with a group rate of $124 + tax for single or double occupancy. Each additional person is an additional $15 + tax. The room rates include 24-hour access to all four naturally heated mineral pools for each registered guest. Fairmont has two Olympic-sized swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor. They also have two smaller hotsoaking pools, one indoor and one outdoor. Reservations can be made by calling the reservation line at 800.332.3272 and ask for the MT Bowhunters room block. Reservations can also be made on Fairmont’s website, www.fairmontmontana.com. Click on bookings, then the group tab, and enter our group id which is 16632 and password which is 37001964.

Call for vendors and donors We’re offering vendor tables for $150, or an equivalent donation. We have plenty of space in Fairmont’s convention center, so consider signing up for a great weekend! Please your area rep know if you’d like to donate an item for the auctions or raffles. Information will be posted on the website as seminar speakers and donations are confirmed. Mark your calendars and plan to soak up the camaraderie at Fairmont!

Looking Back 1987 Aut-Oct. Buddy Lundstrom was the MBA president and the FWP had just made contact with us. They wanted the MBA to help with the Bowhunters survey they were going to send to all bowhunters.

There didn’t seem to be anything going on that was to pressing with the tentatives or legislative at that time. Most of the other rep. comments had to do with the bow season and everyone was preparing for the upcoming season.

There was a bow give away membership drive with a goal of signing up 1200 new members. Sound familiar. Seems some things don’t change.

We’ll keep looking in the past old newsletters and find other interesting stuff from our past. Hope they bring up some old memories.

Winter 2016

19


GRIZZLY ATTACK

Grizzly Attack by Todd Orr

Following is an unedited, first-hand account from Todd Orr of SkyBlade Knives of the brutal grizzly attack he sustained and survived. Todd and SkyBlade are supporters of the MBA and graciously donate each year at the annual convention. Todd’s story and experience is a good reminder to all outdoorsmen and women that being bear aware and knowing how to respond to an attack is vital in surviving such an attack. The MBA wishes Todd a fast and full recovery and thanks him for sharing his experience.

Grizzly 10/1/16 Hello everyone. Thought I should share yesterday morning’s Grizzly incident. I took an early morning hike in the Madison valley to scout for elk. Knowing that bears are common throughout southwest Montana, I hollered out “hey bear” about every 30 seconds so as to not surprise any bears along the trail. About three miles in, I stepped out into an open meadow and hollered again. A few more steps and I spotted a sow Grizzly bear with cubs on the trail at the upper end of the meadow. The sow saw me right away and they ran a short distance up the trail. But suddenly she turned and charged straight my way. I yelled a number of times so she knew I was human and would hopefully turn back. No such luck. Within a couple seconds, she was nearly on me. I gave her a full charge of bear spray at about 25 feet. Her momentum carried her right through the orange mist and on me. I went to my face in the dirt and wrapped my arms around the back of my neck for protection. She was on top of me biting my arms, shoulders and backpack. The force of each bite was like a sledge hammer with teeth. She would stop for a few seconds and then bite again. Over and over. After a couple minutes, but what seemed an eternity, she disappeared. Stunned, I carefully picked myself up. I was alive and able to walk so I headed back down the trail towards the truck 3 miles below. As I half hiked and jogged down the trail, I glanced at my injuries. I had numerous bleeding puncture wounds on my arms and shoulder but I knew I would survive and thanked god for getting me through this. I hoped the bleeding wasn’t too significant. I really didn’t want to stop to dress the wounds. I wanted to keep moving and put distance between us. About five or ten minutes down the trail, I heard a sound and turned to find the Griz bearing down at 30 feet. She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me. Whatever the case, she was instantly on me again. I couldn’t believe this was happening a second time! Why me? I was so lucky the first attack, but now I questioned if I would survive the second.

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Again I protected the back of my neck with my arms, and kept tight against the ground to protect my face and eyes. She slammed down on top of me and bit my shoulder and arms again. One bite on my forearm went through to the bone and I heard a crunch. My hand instantly went numb and wrist and fingers were limp and unusable. The sudden pain made me flinch and gasp for breath. The sound triggered a frenzy of bites to my shoulder and upper back. I knew I couldn’t move or make a sound again so I huddled motionless. Another couple bites to my head and a gash opened above my ear, nearly scalping me. The blood gushed over my face and into my eyes. I didn’t move. I thought this was the end. She would eventually hit an artery in my neck and I would bleed out in the trail... But I knew that moving would trigger more bites so a laid motionless hoping it would end. She suddenly stopped and just stood on top of me. I will never forgot that brief moment. Dead silence except for the sound of her heavy breathing and sniffing. I could feel and her breath on the back of my neck, just inches away. I could feel her front claws digging into my lower back below my backpack where she stood. I could smell the terrible pungent odor she emitted. For thirty seconds she stood there crushing me. My chest was smashed into the ground and forehead in the dirt. When would the next onslaught of biting began. I didn’t move. And then she was gone.


GRIZZLY ATTACK

I tried to peek out without moving but my eyes were full of blood and I couldn’t see. I thought that if she came back a third time I would be dead, so I had to do something. Staying in position on the ground, I slowly reached under my chest to grab at the pistol I was unable to get to earlier. I felt I needed something to save my life. The pistol wasn’t there. I groped around again but nothing. I wiped the blood from one eye and looked around. No bear. The pistol and holster were lying five feet to my left. The bear’s ferocious bites and pulling had ripped the straps from the pack and the holster attached to it. Now trashed, that backpack may have helped prevent many more serious bites on my back and spine. I picked everything up and moved down the trail again. I couldn’t believe I had survived two attacks. Double lucky! Blood was still dripping off my head and both elbows and my shirt was soaked to the waist and into my pants. But a quick assessment told me I could make it another 45 minutes to the truck without losing too much blood. I continued the jog just wanting to put more distance between that sow and I. At the trailhead was one other vehicle. I really hoped that person didn’t run into the same bear. I snapped a couple quick photos and a video of my wounds, laid some jackets over the truck seat and headed for town. I stopped a rancher along the way and asked him to make a call to the hospital. When I got into cell service, I made a quick call to my girlfriend to ask how her morning was going, before freaking her out and asking her to bring me a change of clean clothes to the hospital. Another call to 911 and I gave the operator a quick run down of my injuries and asked her to call the hospital and give them a heads up that I was ten minutes out. Moments later I was met at the front door by the doctor, nurse and an officer. I had to ask the officer to open the door, put my truck in park, and unbuckle my seat belt. My left arm was useless. He was impressed I had taken the effort to buckle. Once inside, the x-rays revealed only a chip out of the ulna bone in my forearm. Following was eight hours of stitching to put me back together. Most were arm

and shoulder punctures and tears. A 5” gash along the side of my head will leave a nasty scar, but I’m hoping my balding doesn’t come on too quickly and leave that one exposed. :) And finally, this morning, numerous deep bruises and scrapes are showing up from the bites that didn’t quite break the skin. Dark bruising in the shape of claws, line across my lower back and butt where the bear stood on me. Also a few more chest bruises and facial abrasions from being smashed and slammed into the ground. Not my best day, but I’m alive. So thankful I’m here to share with all of you. :) In a couple weeks I will have to clean out the truck a little better. My girlfriend says it looks like I had gutted an elk in the driver’s seat. Todd Orr Skyblade Knives

For all those who purchase the plate, the MBEF would like to invite you to send us a photo of your plate on your vehicle. Be creative, include yourself, pets, family, trophies of all sorts, etc.

Photos will be posted on the website. www.mtbowhuntermuseum.org

Winter 2016

21


HUNTING SEASONS

Who best can set our seasons and regulate our hunting seasons? by Steve Schindler

F

or the past few sessions of our state legislature that question has been and continues to be asked. There have been a multitude of bills introduced into the legislature that will change how we manage our hunting seasons and how we set game limits and historical use. When the state legislature first organized a state managed Fish and Game Department, they created a public Commission that would oversee and set regulations for the hunting public. This was a commission that would be selected by the Governor with over-lapping term limits so not all members are picked by the same Governor. This commission is required by law to hold public meetings, gather public comment and to eventually adopt rules and regulations that will govern how we manage our wildlife. For the most part this is how it’s done, however, every once in a while we see the FWP promote, and in my opinion, skewer the info to support their quest. It doesn’t happen often and is certainly not the norm, but it does happen. Now on the other hand we have State Legislator, legislating FWP rules and regulations. It works like this, somebody with an agenda, contacts his or her local State Representative and asks them to introduce a bill that supports their agenda. Often the state legislature knows very little about the agenda or issue and sometimes they investigate the issue and make sure it is really an issue. For the most part the state legislator has no real interest or background knowledge of the issue and we at times have some very dangerous issues at hand. Basically the only public vetting that is done is in a committee where the public has 30 minutes to state their case for, or against it. Despite the number of people that show up to testify, the time is divided up and somebody most likely will not get to throw in their 2 cents.

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Montana

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So back to my original question “who best can set our seasons and regulate our hunting seasons?” It is clear to me the FWP Commission is the place to set our rules for the FWP, it is the only way the hunting/fishing public has a say in how we manage the wildlife of our state. Not a perfect situation but it beats the hell out of the alternative. Years ago the state legislature seemed to be inundated with wildlife related bills which was bogging down the legislature in the actual legislating of states issues, you know taxes, school funding, issues that relate to the actual running of the state. Then Gov. Marc Raciot developed the PLPW (Private Land Public Wildlife) counsel. This group is appointed by the Gov. and was to filter the wildlife related issues and in-turn reduced the time the state legislature would spend time on these issues. This counsel is still there and it does address issues relating to private land and public wildlife, but it appears to me the wildlife bills we are dealing with should either be handled by the FWP commission (preferably) or at the least be filtered thru the PLPW. Both of these appointed groups will at least receive public input and issues are vetted and hopefully the good bills go on and the bad bills die a horrible death. One problem with the PLPW counsel is that if they recommend a bill either be killed or passed, that does not mean the state legislature will do just that. We still have private agendas to deal with and most times these agendas do not advance the public’s interest.


CONTACT NUMBERS

FWP Commissioner Contacts fwpwld@mt.gov

District 1

District 3

District 5

Gary Wolfe, Commissioner

Richard Stuker, Vice-Chairman

Matthew Tourtlotte, Commissioner

P.O. Box 7323

1155 Boldt Road

940 Blonco Circle

Missoula, MT 59807

Chinook, MT 59523

Billings, MT 59105

Phone: (406) 240-7323

Phone: (406) 357-3495

Phone: (406) 698-9696

gwolfe207@bresnan.net

rstuker@mtintouch.net

mtourtlotte@gmail.com

District 2

District 4

Dan Vermillion, Chairman

Richard Kerstein, Commissioner

PO Box 668

Box 685

Livingston, MT 59047

Scobey, MT 59263

Phone: (406) 222-0624

Phone: (406) 783-8564

dan@sweetwatertravel.com

fw4buttes@gmail.com

BUSINESS & CLUB MEMBERS

Active as of November 2016

BUFFALO JUMP ARCHERY CROWN PHOTOGRAPHY DR. CAMO EAGLE RESTORATION ELK CREEK FAMILY OUTFITTERS ELKRIDGE GOLDENS FIRST CLASS OUTDOORS, LLC LIBBY ARCHERY CLUB MATABLAS GAME HUNTERS MIKE PRESCOTT STATE FARM PRONGHORN CUSTOM BOWS ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION SILVERTIP PLUMBING & HEATING SPIRIT QUEST ARCHERY TRAILS END CUSTOM RECURVE BOW TROY ARCHERY CLUB, INC. UDAP INDUSTRIES WESTERN TRAILER & MARINE SALES YELLOWSTONE COUNTRY BEAR HUNTERS ASSOCIATION

Judy Adams Mike & Lucinda Layne Don Stein Michael Henry David Hein LeeAnn Curtis

Become a Business Member of the MBA and be listed on this page every issue! For membership visit www.mtba.org.

Wendy Drake Willem Frost Mike Prescott Herb Meland David Allen Scott Rice Kevin & Kim Friedman Dale Dye Patrick Hanley Mark Matheny Clyde Thomas, Jr. Joe Kondelis

P.O. Box 5581 Helena PO Box 9936 Kalispell 1625 Northern Heights Dr Havre 15853 Queen Annes Lane Florence 1021 Toole Circle Billings PO Box 273 Avon 10 Grassy Flat Rd Roundup PO Box 755 Libby PO Box 1559, Lephalale, 0555, South Africa 1501 S. Russell St. MIssoula 2491 W 42nd St Casper 5705 Grant Creek Road Missoula PO Box 1103 Plains 115 Rocky Cliff Rd Kalispell 276 Grantsdale Rd Hamilton 185 Forest Rd Troy 1703 Waterline Rd Butte 1865 Hwy 2 E. Havre 4116 Temple Creek Cody

MT MT MT MT MT MT MT MT

59604 59904 59501 59833 59105 59713 59072 59923

MT WY MT MT MT MT MT MT MT WY

59801 82604 59808 59859 59904 59840 59935 59701 59501 82414

James Brown

PO Box 96

MT

59259

Richey

406-449-3111 406-752-6116 406-265-8099 406-549-1221 406-670-4366 406-475-4536 661-317-0001 406-291-4801 27116794664 406-541-9800 307-234-1824 406-523-4500 406-756-5455 406-363-2983 406-295-9048 406-581-4856 406-265-4572 307-899-0461 406-773-5509

Winter 2016

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Do you enjoy bowhunting and our bowhunting seasons in Montana? Join the MBA to preserve, promote and protect bowhunting! What the MBA offers you: Expanded hunting opportunities through working with FWP and commissioners to preserve and expand bowhunting seasons Unified voice during legislative sessions to protect seasons and access programs while opposing efforts which seek to limit the role of FWP in managing wildlife Fellowship with others who are interested in shaping the future of bowhunting Quarterly magazine keeping you informed on local, state, and national bowhunting issues, bowhunter education, events, and great hunting stories

INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP One Year $25.00 Three Years $67.00 Life $500.00

FAMILY MEMBERSHIP One Year $30.00 Three Years $81.00 Life $750.00

JUNIOR MEMBERSHIP (Under 18) One Year

$5.00

CLUB MEMBERSHIP One Year $45.00 Three Years $120.00

BUSINESS MEMBERSHIP One Year $45.00 Three Years $120.00

OVERSEAS MEMBERSHIP Add $10.00 a year to membership choice for added mailing costs

Join Today! Visit the MBA website at: www.mtba.org

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M ontana

BOWHUNTER

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Memberships run January 1 to December 31 each year.


1

4

ZACHARY FISHER

KARA KOELZER 2016 whitetail. 8 yard shot double lung. Hoyt carbon spyder vpa broadhead.

7

DARBY MCADAMS one of our youth hunters for the last few years just turned 18, and is a freshman at the UM found a little time to hunt the Bitterroot river bottom close to home and between classes.

10

BRANDEN VANDYKEN 2016 opening day bull.

2

5

8

11

KIM BLASKOWKI first archery elk!!!! 11 yard shot from my tree stand. We were out hunting white tails and this guy comes by

3

KARI VANDYKEN. First archery animal

doe with his JEFF YERKS d i h hi Bears Paw take down recurve.

6

DAN VIOLETT 2016 goat. Decoyed him in

9

DAWSON YERKES

BRIAN KOELZER WY DIY mule deer 2016. 7 yd shot in his bed with a Schafer recurve.

BOB MORTON 17 yard shot.

12

ALISHIA MILLER 2016 bighorn ewe

Winter 2016

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WHY EVERY MONTANA BOWHUNTER SHOULD CONSIDER JOINING THE MONTANA BOWHUNTERS ASSOCIATION • The MBA is the organization the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consults on bowhunting issues that affect Montana bowhunters. • Montana has the best bowhunting seasons of any of the western states. We are continually working to keep these. • The MBA is active in the Legislature to protect and fight for our hunting and bowhunting seasons and rights. • The MBA produces a quarterly magazine informing you of local, state, and national bowhunting issues and events, and publishing great stories and pictures. • THE MBA NEEDS MEMBER NUMBERS AND YOUR YEARLY DUES TO CONTINUE TO PROTECT WHAT YOU ENJOY EVERY YEAR. ISN’T WHAT YOU ENJOY EVERY FALL WORTH $25 A YEAR TO PROTECT?

What the MBA has done for you? • • • • • • •

• •

Worked to get the first archery season started in Montana. Along the way, we’ve increased the seasons to what you enjoy today. Worked to establish archery bear, lion and sheep seasons. Worked to establish archery antelope 900 tag and August 15th opener. Worked to establish archery only areas and hunting districts. Proposed a special archery wolf season and endorsed the highest quota of wolf harvest possible. Actively protects hunting & bowhunting seasons in the Legislature year after year. Defended our archery seasons against the “Crossbows & Muzzleloaders” threats throughout the years. Created the Modified Archer’s permit that now allows those with handicaps to use modified archery equipment to hunt; which kept any need for crossbows out of Montana and defended our archery seasons against other crossbow threats throughout the years. Re-established the archery season after it was left off the regulations one year. Actively works with FWP to protect archery seasons, our resources, and expand archery opportunity in Montana year after year.

Photos by Denver Bryan / Images on the Wildside

What can you do for bowhunting in Montana? Join the MBA at www.mtba.org to preserve, promote and protect bowhunting.

Spring 2015

26

Mba winter 2016 issue  
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