Elk NetworkMontana Ranchers, Hunters Seek Common Ground

General | July 13, 2018

Southwest Montana is a popular place for ranchers. It’s also popular for elk and for those seeking to fill their freezers. And sometimes that leads to conflict.

A group of ranchers, sportsmen and agency officials recently met near Lima in southwest Montana to try to hash out some of those differences.

“The elk have exploded on the landscape,” Martin Balukas, Department of Natural Resources spokesperson, told the Montana Standard.

That explosion led to an increase of hunters, many from outside the immediate region. Ranchers say that led to an escalation of those who may not understand the regulations as well as damaged or destroyed fences, trash, trespassing and other issues.

Participants hope the informal gathering can lead to improved behavior and improved relations on all fronts.

(Photo source: Ryan Millhollin)