Honchos, Hunting, and History

Thousands of Years of History Just Outside Bozeman
Made famous by the Lewis and Clark expedition, Missouri Headwaters State Park lays where three great rivers—the Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson—meet to form the mighty Missouri. On July 27, 1805, Captain Meriwether Lewis stood on top of a limestone cliff and saw the three rivers. He called this place “an essential point in the geography of this western part of the continent.” Its rivers flow out of the Yellowstone Caldera, a place where some cultures believe human history began. Many of the indigenous nations of the Northern Plains shared and competed over the use of the Headwaters region and its abundant resources. For the nascent United States, the Headwaters represented a dream of control over its own destiny. For explorers and settlers who came within the last 200 years, it was a place to build a future. For many who visit today, the Headwaters is a place to get back in touch with nature, with one's self, and with a sense of timelessness in the midst of a hectic world. Early spring is a perfect time to visit the park; it has little snow, dry trails, and incredible vistas of the Gallatin Valley. For more information, go fwp.mt.gov/stateparks/missouri-headwaters.

Governor Appoints Members to FWP Commission
Governor Brian Schweitzer made two new appointments to the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission in January. Dan Vermillion of Livingston is the vice president and co-owner of Sweetwater Travel Company and is the founder and developer of Taimen Conservation Fund in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He worked as an attorney in Billings for close to a decade. He is a resident of FWP Commission District 2, which includes Gallatin, Park, and Madison Counties. Willie Doll of Malta owns and operates a 27,000-acre farm and ranch in south Phillips County. He’s an avid hunter and has an active interest in streamside management, improved range conditions, and waterfowl production areas. He is a resident of FWP Commission District 4 and has experience in breeding and management of domestic livestock. Doll will assume the role of designated member.

Bison Hunting in Montana: A Mixed Result
Montana’s second bison hunt in 16 years ended on February 15, 2007, with mixed results for the 140 sportsmen and women who received licenses. Harvest success this year was 22%, a marked contrast to the 100% harvest success of the 2005-06 season. Due in large part to this year’s mild weather, available forage kept most bison within Yellowstone National Park boundaries during the hunting season. This scenario was frustrating to some bison hunters, but like all hunting and fishing opportunities in Montana, a license only offers the opportunity to pursue an animal and possibly harvest one. Although the harvest was considerably lower than last year, it is well within the average success rates of many southwest Montana elk hunts. The FWP Commission will consider a 2007-08 bison hunt at its May meeting in Helena.

Melissa Frost is the FWP Region 3 Information and Education Manager.