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Montana Outdoors

 The Magazine of Montana Fish,

Wildlife & Parks

Click below to read some of our featured articles from the July – August 2017 issue


Eyeing the New Neighbors

Smallmouth bass are moving upstream on the Yellowstone. Will they harm the river’s renowned trout population?

“I wouldn’t say anyone has panicked, but we definitely hear from some concerned trout anglers in the Livingston area,” says Scott Opitz, FWP biologist.

For more than a decade, FWP biologists have documented temporary upstream migrations of adult smallmouth from the lower Yellowstone. But in the past few years, anglers and biologists have reported higher numbers well upstream of Billings. Read the full story.

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Counting Ghosts

In the deep of winter, far into the backcountry, wildlife biologists search for the West’s most elusive carnivore

Most people reading this will know the basics of the wolverine, even if few of us have seen one in the flesh. It’s the largest member of the weasel family, with an adult weight of 25 to 40 pounds. Wolverines are found in very small numbers throughout the world’s northernmost region.

In the Lower 48, the roughly 300 wolverines—a rough estimate because the elusive, remote animals are so hard to count—are solitary inhabitants of the highest country, living amid alpine rocks, snowfields, and whitebark pine forests. Read the full story.


Face to Face

What I learned from an angry grizzly bear

Walking up the trail, watching the lattice of shadows lengthen under the timber, I was trying my best to leave work behind so I could enjoy my hike.

My scattered and distracted thoughts kept me from seeing the small bear in the tree until I stood beneath it. The subadult bear—no longer a cub, but not fully mature—was startled, hissing and moaning and squirming, struggling to stay on the limb around which it had wrapped its arms and legs. Read the full story.

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That First Gun

Just the other week, I gave my granddaughter and grandson their first firearms, a .22 rifle and a .410 shotgun.

It’s a rite of passage familiar to most of us who hunt. We were either given our first firearm or saved money to buy it.

Presenting a young person with their first gun is more than just giving a gift. It’s about passing along the hunting tradition, something that needs to start early. Read the full story.

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