MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks Celebrates 75 Years

What a grand celebration idea for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for their 75th anniversary. Tonight they held a concert at Giant Springs State Park on the east edge of Great Falls. I had seen the information in the newspaper and I really like to support different events like this. But, I was lucky to have overnight family guests all weekend and I had a ton of things I thought I needed to get done before … Read more

Swans and Ducks back in Gibson Park Pond

Today was the day domestic waterfowl were released into Gibson Park Pond in Great Falls. It’s a big deal – and I get just as excited as some of the little kids! Each fall the domestic waterfowl are rounded up by Great Falls Park & Recreation employees and taken to indoor quarters dubbed the Honker Hilton. Pretty nice digs for waterfowl! The swans and ducks have their wings clipped so they don’t migrate or fly long … Read more

Birds, Birds, Birds at Freezout Lake WMA

Spring snow goose migration is underway and Central Montana has amazing opportunities to see huge quantities of birds – right now! I drove up to Freezout Lake Wildlife Management Area between Fairfield and Choteau late yesterday afternoon. It’s an odd spelling on the WMA name, but that’s another story! From Great Falls to Fairfield is about a 35 minute drive for me and well worth the time. Last spring I also went up to see … Read more

Elk Bugling Time in Central Montana

The first time I ever went to the Slippery Ann elk viewing area was with a public tour organized by the Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge folks from their Lewistown headquarters. We packed sandwiches and snacks for the evening tour, climbed on a bus and settled in. I’ve been lucky to go again on my own but I learned a lot about the wildlife refuge on the tour. The elk usually start bugling mid September and … Read more

Bird Watching in Central Montana

Wow, for once I had my camera handy as I was driving on a country road.  And I had some spare time AND I saw some wildlife. Two sandhill cranes were walking along in a stubble field, completely oblivious to me. I stopped my car, rolled the window down and took a photo. Not bad but I decided I wanted to be a bit closer. I changed to a more powerful lens ( the only other one … Read more

Birdwatching at Freezout Lake

Freezout Lake (almost looks like it is spelled wrong but that’s correct!) between Fairfield (4 miles) and Choteau (7 miles) is the site of two major birding “events” – spring and fall snowgoose migrations. Tundra swans also are part of the two migrations. Freezout Lake straddles US Hwy 89 and the lake is really a series of interconnecting ponds, ditches and dikes built to control water levels. With consistent water, marsh-dwelling birds, waterfowl and many other species make … Read more

Early Morning Waterfowl Hunt

I was out for an early morning drive recently, trying to capture a beautiful sunrise. I was successful at that and, as I was driving back to Great Falls along the Missouri River, I saw a couple of guys out waterfowl hunting. The first hunter I saw was a young guy wading in the chilly waters of the Mighty MO. Brrr! He looked like he was dressed for the weather and the activity though. At first … Read more

Annual Christmas Bird Count Underway

I admit, the first time I heard a friend refer to the CBC I was wondering if it was a new television network. Then, realizing her connection and devotion to bird watching, I carefully said hmmm…the CBC, is that something related to birds? Sure enough, CBC stands for the Christmas Bird Count. I’ve learned a lot about it since the first time I heard the letters. Over a century ago, ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed a … Read more

Montana’s Big Game Hunting Wraps Up

Montana’s big game hunting season (general rifle) came to a close last Sunday. According to MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff at check points, Central Montana had fair harvest numbers. An above average elk harvest along the Rocky Mountain Front (from the Teton River south to Highway 200) was attributed to a strong elk population. In recent years numbers have declined so this was great news. The Augusta, Montana check point station saw elk hunters bring in 463 animals … Read more

Catching Rainbows

I had a chance to tag along with a fly fisherman to Bear Paw Lake south of Havre recently. The lake is located in Beaver Creek Park, a 17 mile long, one mile wide park. As you drive the paved road through the park you see numerous campgrounds and picnic shelters on each side – a recreationist’s mecca with easy access. It was about 5pm and we were starting to feel some cool fall temps. … Read more