New exhibition; hunter numbers; closure of fishing grounds; grants; login is sought

“Maps of Lewis and Clark” on display

A new exhibit is on display at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls through Dec. 4.

“Reimagining America: Maps of Lewis and Clark” will share some of the maps that influenced the westward movement of settlers.

“It’s exciting to witness our conservators discover yet another facet of the expedition,” center director Duane Buchi said in a press release. “The traveling exhibit is a great way to engage with the making of the intricate maps that influenced the westward expansion of settlers.”

The 16-panel exhibit focuses on Lewis and Clark’s maps, knowledge learned from local communities, and how maps influenced the understanding of Euro-America in the early 1800s.

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The Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, the designers of the exhibit, is committed to scholarship, education and preservation, as well as to the preservation, promotion and education of the diverse heritage of the Lewis and Clark expedition for all people, as well as in collaboration with the descendants of the tribes they encountered. scouts.

The center is located at 4201 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The center is closed every Monday, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $8 for customers 16 and older, free for 15 and younger.

America the Beautiful pass holders can bring up to three friends or family for FREE admission. For more information, call the Interpretation Center at (406) 727-8733.

– Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest

The number of hunters at the Augusta check station decreased by 33%

At the end of the third full week of the common rifle season, overall harvest and hunter numbers remain low at the Fish, Wildlife and Parks check station in Augusta.

While the numbers in both categories started to pick up towards the end of the week, the increase wasn’t enough to make up for the slow start to the season. More than 1,300 hunters checked in this season, 33% below recent averages. The last time the number of hunters was this low was in 2001.

The arrival of snow and cold weather helped the hunters to be successful. The percentage of successful hunters passing the checkpoint continues to remain at or above recent averages of approximately 24%.

The overall elk harvest is 34% below the recent average, although this time is slightly better than last year. A little more than half of the harvest was antlerless elk, and wintry weather has started the elk movement into the Sun River Wildlife Management Area. Elk from the Sun River herd account for about two-thirds of the total elk harvest to date.

Hunting Districts (HD) 442 and 424 met their antlerless elk quota and closed to the antlerless elk hunt at sunset on November 15th. Hunting in both regions will be open only for scowling bull elk until November 27.

Total mule deer and white-tailed deer yields are also well below average. Both mule and whitetail deer harvests are now 24% below recent averages, with bucks accounting for 83% and 64% of the harvest, respectively. Deer harvest is fairly evenly distributed across the main areas covered by the checkpoint. Deer are entering peak breeding season, and hunters (and motorists) can expect to be more active during daylight hours as they search for deer and especially bucks.

Bighorn sheep are also entering peak breeding season, and hunters lucky enough to have a bighorn hunting permit have taken advantage of it over the past week to check out some nice rams. Six additional antelopes, a wolf, a mountain lion, a black bear and numerous game birds have been checked at the station so far this season.

FWP game wardens have encountered hunters harvesting mule deer in closed areas in recent weeks, so they remind hunters to check the rules carefully before hunting, as the rules in some hunting districts have changed from previous years. Wardens also remind everyone that carcasses should not be dumped in the field after processing or removal from the kill site; they should be disposed of in the landfill.

General deer and elk seasons run through November 27.

The fishing access area is partially closed due to flooding

CLARKSTON – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has partially closed the northern portion of the Fairweather Fishing Access Area due to flooding.

Ice jams on the Missouri River caused water to flow into the access road to the area. Due to these conditions, motorized access is temporarily prohibited, but the site remains open for access.

Visitors are advised to exercise caution when visiting these and other sites, as river and ice conditions can change suddenly and without warning. When parking, visitors are asked to ensure that they do not obstruct roads or other access points.

Vehicle access will reopen as soon as conditions permit.

Shooting range grants are now available

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said the application period for the Shooting Range Improvement Grant is now open and applications must be received by Feb. 1.

Montana’s Shooting Range Grant Program, administered by FWP, provides funding to nonprofit shooting clubs, organizations, local governments and school districts to build and improve public shooting ranges in the state.

To learn more about the Shooting Range Grant Program and download this year’s grant application, visit FWP’s website at

Online registration is available at For information, contact Seth McArthur at or 406-444-3753.

Completed Shooting Range Grant applications can be mailed to: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, Shooting Range Grant Program, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

$1.3 million in recreation grants available

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is accepting applications for more than $1.3 million in recreation grants.

Applications will be accepted for the Highway Vehicle Grant Program, the Montana Trail Management Grant Program, and the Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program. Applications can be submitted online at

The federal Recreational Trails Program grant period opened on November 1; more information can be found at

Trail Stewardship Grant Program: The Trail Stewardship Program is a state-sponsored grant program that provides funding for construction and maintenance projects on motorized and non-motorized trails or trail-related facilities.

More information:

Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program: A grant program funded through the creation of the OHV Trail Pass. This is the second grant cycle of the program. The program will provide funds to non-federal agencies to maintain OHV trails on public lands.

More info:

Highway Vehicle Grant Program: This is a government funded grant program. This program provides project funding to enhance and maintain OHV recreation opportunities for the benefit of OHV enthusiasts in Montana.

More information:

For more information about attending a grant application training session or applying for one of these opportunities, visit:

For questions about the Trail Stewardship Grant Program, contact Tom Lang at

For questions about the Summer Motorized Trail Pass Grant Program and Highway Vehicle Grant Program, contact Seth McArthur at

There is still time to comment on the proposals

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking public comment on several proposals that will be sent to the Fish and Wildlife Commission in December.

Comment is open until November 18.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks logo.

RYAN BERRY Billings Gazette

After public comment, commissioners may propose amendments they deem appropriate to the proposals. The proposals and supplemental documents, commissioner amendments, and collected public comments will be available on FWP’s website on December 2.

The commission will make a final decision on these proposals at its meeting on December 20. The date of this meeting was previously set for December 16.

Approved commercial feed waters, 2023-24

For 2023-2024, FWP is proposing 10 changes to approved commercial bait irrigation waters to clarify where commercial pollution may occur, add commercial filtration, and remove some waters based on population abundance or general fishery conservation concerns.

Major game rule changes for the 2023 season

FWP is proposing amendments to the license-permit type quotas and quota ranges and hunting district boundaries listed below.

Proposed amendments to quotas or quota ranges:

Antelope license-permit types 340-30, 350-30 and 370-30

Elk license-permit types 380-01 and 380-02

Mule deer license-permit type 370-01.

Proposed amendments to boundaries:

Moose HD 330, 332 and 333

City of Lewistown Urban Deer Management Plan

FWP supports approval of Lewistown’s Deer Management Action Plan.

Rock Creek (Paradise Valley) water right lease

FWP is offering a water rights lease on Rock Creek in Paradise Valley. The lease will benefit the Yellowstone trout.

Great Lakes Wildlife Management Area (WMA) annex

FWP is proposing to purchase approximately 115 acres adjacent to Big Lake WMA. The property provides valuable waterfowl habitat and will benefit the management of the entire WMA by reducing the workload for both FWP and the neighboring ranch.

To comment and learn more about these proposals, visit

– Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks


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