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Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – With the opening of the general hunting season on Sunday, October 22, officials at Glacier National Park remind hunters that NO hunting of any kind is permitted within the park. It is the hunters’ responsibility to ensure that they are NOT hunting within park boundaries.
Park officials remind hunters that they must ensure they do NOT hunt or otherwise shoot or injure any wildlife within Glacier’s boundary, even if the boundary is not clearly indicated. Hunting within Glacier National Park is prohibited under federal authority (36 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.2, and 16 United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 170).
Park Superintendent Mick Holm said, "Glacier was established to preserve and protect resources. Anyone violating Glacier’s no hunting restrictions will be charged to the fullest extent of the law, including up to federal felony charges. Violators will be subject to the confiscation and forfeiture of all equipment, including firearms, vehicles, stock, tack, and other equipment used during the hunting violation (16 U.S.C., Section 171) and will be required to appear before the U.S. Magistrate."
Park rangers operate random check stations during hunting season to verify compliance with hunting and firearms regulations. Rangers also combine wildlife research monitoring flights with hunting patrols and other plain-clothes surveillance techniques to prevent poaching within the park.
Hunters may not pursue, dress out, or transport legally wounded or killed animals that end up within park boundaries unless they are accompanied by a park ranger. Hunters should call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 to report such incidents and to arrange for a ranger escort.
Holm added, "We welcome the public’s assistance in helping to protect the park’s wildlife. Please report any known illegal or suspicious hunting activity." Contact park headquarters at 406-888-7800, or after hours, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office at 758-5610 or 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668) to report any such activity. Reporting parties do not have to identify themselves and all reports are kept confidential. "Rewards can be paid for information leading to the arrest and / or conviction of individuals who violate Glacier’s no hunting restrictions," Holm stated.
The use of bugles, animal/varmint calls, audio attractants, or any artificial or natural means of attracting wildlife (including antler rattling, bugling, or wolf howling imitations) are also prohibited in the park.
Holm also noted that visitors use trails located near the park’s boundaries and hunters should use caution when hunting near the park’s borders.
Hunters should also be familiar with the following park boundaries:
· Along the North Fork of the Flathead River, from the Canadian border south to the Middle Fork confluence, the park’s west boundary runs down the middle of the main channel of the river.
· Along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, from the North Fork confluence to Java, the park’s southern boundary is located at the normal high water mark on the park side of the river.
· Also on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, from Java Creek to Summit Creek, (Essex/Walton area to the Blackfeet Nation boundary) the park boundary is located 100 feet north of the center of the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad tracks.
Individuals are also reminded that firearms are NOT permitted anywhere in the park’s backcountry. Firearms brought through Glacier National Park must be unloaded, broken down (temporarily inoperable) cased, and stored out of sight and reach, with ammunition separated from weapons while in the park [36 C.F.R. 2.4(a)(3)].
Legally taken animals MAY NOT be transported anywhere on backcountry trails, or stored overnight anywhere in the park, including campgrounds, parking lots, or any other visitor facilities. All park roads are closed to the transportation of lawfully taken wildlife, unless specifically approved in writing by a park ranger. Lawfully taken and tagged wildlife may be transported through the park on U.S. Highway 2 [36 C.F.R. 2.2(d)].
For further information, please call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.