With a sampling this size, here's hoping it is a very good sign for a popular Montana wildlife species.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has been involved in a multi-year "Targeted Elk Brucellosis Surveillance Project." The elk just tested were captured last month in the Pioneer Mountains northwest of Dillon.

With guarded optimism, Montana FWP tells us that 149 blood samples were collected from captured elk, and all tested negative for brucellosis. Also, 30 of the captured and tested elk were outfitted with GPS collars that will be active for one year. Wildlife managers hope to better understand the elks' seasonal ranges, migration routes and potential mixing with other elk herds.

FWP is taking these measures to evaluate the presence of brucellosis and how it might relate to its movement in Montana’s elk populations. The research should also help  officials understand the overlap between elk and livestock. Ah, yes, livestock.

It doesn't seem like that many years ago that about the only brucellosis concern in Montana among wildlife officials and ranchers was bison leaving Yellowstone National  Park and infecting cattle with the disease, causing them to abort their newborn. But there is now more awareness about the spread.

Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can infect not only cattle, bison and elk, but humans as well. The disease is primarily transmitted through contact with infected birth tissues and fluids. The Montana Department of Livestock also administers a brucellosis surveillance program for livestock in an area of southwest Montana.

More information on Montana's elk management can be found here. And here's hoping the negative tests just keep on keeping on!

Yellowstone National Park Rebuilds After Historic Flooding

After catastrophic flooding damaged portions of Yellowstone National Park in June of 2022, major reconstruction was necessary to make the park passable again. The following are photos of the improvement projects at Old Gardiner Road and the Northeast Entrance Road. All photos are courtesy of the National Park Service, photographer Jacob W. Frank.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.


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