Grannies, Guns, and Gatherings

Listen to Granny
Who doesn’t listen to their grandmother? A Citizens’ Advisory Committee of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks hopes everyone listens to Granny—Granny Trout that is. “Respect Your Rivers” is a new campaign that’s hit the television airwaves to build awareness about river etiquette. The campaign was initiated in response to the same issues—access, over-crowding, littering, aquatic nuisance species, inconsiderate behavior, trespassing—coming up again and again.
Teaming up with the Bozeman-based Brickhouse Creative, the committee developed a series of humorous video public service announcements. In four videos, Granny Trout patrols the rivers and catches people who, knowingly or unknowingly, are not respecting the river in some way, or not respecting the people around them. Keep an eye out for Granny Trout on the river, on TV, on t-shirts, and who knows where else…she gets around! To watch the videos, make a donation, or buy a t-shirt, visit

The First Shot
On September 16, 2009, a hunter shot a gray wolf in a remote part of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, marking the first wolf killed in the state’s first-ever regulated wolf-hunting season. Politics and protests aside, that shot signaled conservation success for a species that was once eradicated from Montana and the other lower-48 states.

The conservative quota for the first season was part of a take-it-slow approach to learn as we go. At press time, hunters killed all of the 75-animal statewide harvest quota.

The general season will end on Nov. 29 unless the quota is not met by that date, in which case a winter season will continue Dec. 1-31 in open units (for no more than 25 percent of the established wolf management unit quota).

Due to greater-than-anticipated harvest success in the early backcountry season, officials closed that portion of the hunt early to allow for front-country harvest in areas where there have been conflicts between wolves and livestock. Wolves are thriving in Montana, which requires management. A regulated public harvest is an important tool for managing a viable and fully recovered wolf population. To find out more about Montana’s wolf hunt, visit

Answering the Call
Every year from December to mid-April, surveyors call roughly 250,000 licensed hunters from the previous season. They ultimately interview about 60% of the hunters. The information is essential to the work of FWP and the long-term conservation of Montana’s unparalleled wildlife resources.

When all is said and done, the information, along with check station data and population surveys, helps FWP set the following seasons’ harvest quotas across the state. Hunters can also use the information to plan their next hunts by going to FWP’s website, where much of the data is published. If you’re a hunter, this is one call you’ll want to take. For hunter harvest statistics and more, visit

Melissa Frost is the Region 3 Information and Education Manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.