Now that hunting season is officially open for archers, they might be useful to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks in catching poachers.
Bob Gibson with Fish, Wildlife and Parks who said the game warden in Hardin has seen and retrieved about a dozen pelicans that have been shot and left. The game warden believes there are dozens more that have been poached, but have not yet been recovered.
The location of where these crimes have occurred are between Yellowtail Dam and Two Leggins fishing access site in Big Horn County. Gibson said if there are more hunters in the area, more eyes and ears can be on the lookout.
This isn't the first time we've heard of people poaching animals. Gibson said FWP is still looking for the poacher or poachers that killed elk in the middle of the night in Musselshell County and left them to waste. A reward is being offered for the poaching done to both elk and pelicans.
"We are interested in solving that case," Gibson said. "Not only is it illegal under state law to shoot pelicans- there is no season. Pelicans also are a federally protected species of migratory bird so it's very, very serious."
FWP is offering $1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the person or persons who have shot and killed pelicans. Gibson also said a couple of sportsmen groups have added to the reward pot for the poaching of the elk in Musselshell County. That reward has risen to $3,000.
If you have any information, you are asked to call 1-800-tip-mont. You can even call anonymously.