Six cited after hunters fire into elk herd in Meagher County

Six cited after hunters fire into elk herd in Meagher County

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Six people were cited after a group of roughly 100 fired into a herd of Sunday in Meagher County, wildlife officials said.

Four of the hunters were cited for from the road, one was cited for failure to validate a license and one was cited for using a license from another district, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Greg Lemon said. FWP was not able to immediately provide the names of those who were cited, and a call to the Meagher County Courthouse went to voicemail Wednesday afternoon.

About 50 of the elk in the herd were killed, FWP reported.

One elk remained unclaimed and two were confiscated from hunters who were cited. Those three elk were donated to a local food bank.

FWP officials said there is evidence that other elk were injured during the incident, but they were not recovered. Authorities are unsure how many other elk might have been injured.

“We didn’t write as many tickets as you’d think,” Lemon said. “Hunters were fortunate that no more elk were injured.”

Meagher County Undersheriff Jerami West said one of the people in the group died from a heart complication that was unrelated to the hunt. The person’s name has not yet been released.

The incident took place on block management land and the hunters were shooting at both sides of the herd, according to FWP. Even though FWP did not find most of the hunters in violation of the law, Lemon said ethics and safety guidelines were not followed.

“Unethical hunting, even if it’s strictly speaking legal, makes all hunters look bad,” Lemon said. “It kind of gives hunting as a whole a bit of a black eye.”

Lemon was specifically referring to hunting safety rules such as being sure of your target and beyond, ensuring that a shot on an animal isn’t overly obscured, and generally not firing in the general direction of other people.

Lemon said these hunters were lucky that nobody was injured as a result of their behavior. Ammunition from high-powered rifles like the ones used in this instance can easily pierce through an elk and hit something else, he said.

This article was first published by The Independent Record on 28 October 2020. Lead Image: A herd of elk is pictured in this file photo by Perry Backus.

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Irene Leggett
Irene Leggett

How on earth can it be justified that 100 hunters were actually ‘allowed’ to fire indiscriminately into a herd of elk??? Obviously corruption and bribery is happening here and a FULL investigation should be carried out as to why only SIX low-life pieces of human trash were arrested???? And to think that several elk were allowed to ‘escape’ so probably enduring a long, lingering, agonizing death from BULLET WOUNDS. Such utter blatant and wanton savagery carried out by brain-dead, heartless, gutless, soul-less POS.

ONE HUNDRED PEOPLE ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THIS HERD – shot 50 elk! These are NOT hunters by any stretch of the imagination! Surrounding a herd of elk & shooting into them is NOT hunting! The idea that only 6 were arrested out of 100? Did the others run away maybe?

Karen Lyons Kalmenson

If you want to hunt build a time machine and go back to the Stone Age heartless losers