Moose populations down as winter ticks cull herds

The Missoulian reports that  sportsmen hoping to bag a big moose are seeing increased competition from a tiny parasite that’s cutting down moose populations in New England and across parts of the northern United States, prompting some states to offer hunters fewer permits or halt hunting altogether.  Read the full article here. It doesn’t talk about Montana specifically, but is still interesting information.

Glacier Park Rangers Recover Body

Park rangers recovered the body of an 18-year old male visitor on Friday afternoon, September 19, in the Big Drift area east of Logan Pass. It is
believed the victim, Brandon Luis Avalos, from St. Maries, Idaho, died from an accidental fall.

Park employees in the Logan Pass area were notified by friends of the victim on Friday morning, about 11 a.m., that Avalos had fallen in an area along the Going-to-the-Sun Road east of Logan Pass, and believed to be dead. Park rangers rappelled to the scene and found the deceased. Continue reading

Radio Phone Seems to be Working

We just tried our radio phone (Bullitt Communications) and it seems to be working again after having no service for a week.  That’s good news.  Annemarie had reported earlier that she had email from Scott who said that it was an equipment problem that they planned to fix yesterday. That fix seems to have worked.

North Fork Trail Association has Boots on the Ground!

The newly formed North Fork Trail Association (NFTA) under the leadership of Bill Walker has been very busy this summer exploring, compiling information, and planning for future improvement of North Fork trails.

Betsy and fall foliage on Whitefish Divide TrailTwo groups meet on trail and exchange car keysBill made a presentation before the RAC committee this week to ask for funding for trail maintenance for the stretch of trail between the Whitefish Divide Trail and the end of Hay Creek Road. In preparation for his presentation before the RAC committee, Bill organized a group last Saturday to hike this section from two different directions. Bill and Randy hiked from Hay Creek Road while Margaret, Betsy, and Debo hiked from Red Meadow Road on the Whitefish Divide. When the two groups met, they exchanged car keys thus avoiding the need for a shuttle. Continue reading

Big Game Skinning Seminar

A game skinning seminar will be held at FWP Headquarters on Saturday September 20 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the back parking lot. The seminar will cover techniques to cape big game animals and skin game birds. Also included will be care of downed animals and practical tips on preparing animals for the taxidermist. To register for this free seminar, call 250-4681.

Significant Fire Haze in the Valley

We were in the valley yesterday and noticed that there was significant haze in addition to difficulty in breathing.  Fire?  Well, yes.  We had forgotten about the proscribed burns around the area.  We hadn’t reported the burns in the NFNews because they won’t affect us on the North Fork, but they could be a factor if you have to go to town.  So you can read about them here.

Hunting Outlook

FWP released the following hunting outlooks for northwestern Montana:

Deer – Fawn recruitment for most of northwestern Montana for white-tailed deer is good for the fourth straight year. As a result, hunters can expect to find not only more white-tailed bucks this fall, but more bucks in the 3-year old age category. Bucks this age start producing quality racks for hunters interested in putting something on the wall as well as in the freezer. Mule deer populations remain low and hunters should not expect to find the type of mule deer hunting they enjoyed a generation ago. However, slight improvements in the 2012 and 2013 harvests are a hopeful sign populations bottomed-out 3 years ago and are beginning a slow recovery.  Read the full deer outlook here.

Elk – The previous mild winter should be beneficial to elk survival in northwestern Montana and contribute to elk numbers remaining stable. Elk hunters should find populations similar to what they have seen for the past several years. Spring classification surveys across the region showed continued good numbers with calf recruitment some of the best in the past four years. Elk numbers in the backcountry hunting districts of 150 and 151 should remain stable.  Elk numbers in the lower Clark Fork area, the region’s best elk producer, continue to remain stable with better than average calf numbers seen during spring surveys and should provide good hunting opportunities for the 2014 season. Read the full elk outlook here.

In addition, they say that things are looking up for Montana antelope with populations continuing to recover from previous years’ winter mortality and reduced recruitment in central and eastern Montana.  Read about the antelope outlook here.

Mow looks back at first year

The Hungry Horse News reports that another year of record visitation at Glacier National Park and continuing progress on Park infrastructure projects was some of the good news Park superintendent Jeff Mow relayed to the Columbia Falls Area of Chamber of Commerce last week. “Folks in Waterton Park tell me they’re also seeing a lot more visitors,” he said. “A lot of people from the Calgary area — I’ve heard Banff was gridlocked.”  Read the full story here.


Exploring the Hidden World of The Bob

The Flathead Beacon reports that droves of travelers from around the world descend on the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area every year to explore its mountainous terrain, traversing long ridges that pierce the remote backcountry’s most breathtaking scenery. But for decades a rarefied breed of adventurer has been plumbing the subterranean depths of The Bob’s vast network of karst topography where, nestled into the limestone cliffs of the Chinese Wall, lie some of the nation’s most tremendous caves.  Read the full story here.