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Montana - A Guide to Hunting Elk, Antelope, and Moose

From Joe Maurier - Director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

As Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks' new director, I'd like to introduce myself.

First, let me say what an honor it is to be part of this great Department. Montana is a state blessed with extraordinary fisheries, wildlife populations, landscapes, river systems, and state parks. Providing stewardship for those natural resources is a huge task, and Montana residents and visitors are fortunate that we have a team of dedicated resource professionals committed to providing the best possible management and service.

I’ve been aware of Montana's remarkable people and natural resources for more than three decades, ever since I worked on a Montana ranch in the late 1970s during summers while attending college. I've maintained close friendships with many Montanans and, as a lifelong hunter and angler, have kept close watch on the issues affecting those activities in this and other western states.

One of those states is where I've spent much of my career so far. After receiving a degree in outdoor recreation from Colorado State University, I worked for the Colorado Division of Parks for 25 years, holding positions ranging from park ranger to deputy director.

In 2006 I was named the Montana FWP Parks Division Administrator, and over the past two and a half years I have worked closely with the other agency administrators and FWP staff to learn about the issues facing this Department and the concerns of the many different groups, organizations, and individuals who take a close interest in our activities.

As director, my goal is to build on this Department's best traditions and do everything I can to continue its long record of serving both the resource and the citizens of this state. I want to hear what people have to say about FWP, both the complimentary and the critical. I understand that a wide range of interests are affected by our decisions, and I will take the time to learn what those various concerns are. As the Parks Division Administrator, I traveled throughout Montana gaining a better appreciation of the state's people and resources. As director, I will continue that process of learning and discovery.

Some of what you can expect to see from this agency in the coming months:

  • Continue working to get the grizzly bear and wolf delisted so that management reverts back to the state;
  • boost efforts to address the issue of brucellosis transmission by elk and bison;
  • improve public access for hunting, fishing, and other recreation through the Habitat Montana, Block Management, Access Montana Initiative, and other programs; and
  • enhance our system of state parks and fishing access sites, especially in and near Montana's growing urban areas.

These are times of great change--political, economic, social, and climatic. Fortunately, many things in Montana will remain constant. Our trout fishing will continue to be some of the best in the United States. Bannack Days will be a fun-filled weekend, and Lewis and Clark Caverns will enthrall visitors. Walleye anglers this summer will likely have another great season on Fort Peck. Hunters will continue to enjoy outstanding opportunities and our wildlife diversity will continue to be the envy of states across the country.

So as I strive to make FWP an even better agency, I also want to celebrate just what we have in Montana and how fortunate we are to live in a state with such exceptional wildlife populations, fisheries, and state parks.

For more information about Montana:

Official State Travel/Tourism Web Site:

Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks:

State bird: Western Meadowlark

State flower: Bitterroot



State agencies often require licenses, permits or certifications for a wide range of activities impacting fish, wildlife and boater safety. States work to prevent overcrowding and control the harvest of game on wildlife management areas. The links below will help you find license and permit information, and how to apply.