In 2012, the Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University and the Craighead Institute started a project to look at the effects of U.S. Highway 287 and MT Highway 87 in the Madison Valley on road related wildlife mortality and movement patterns, said Lance Craighead of the Craighead Institute.
An estimated $324 million in 2016 alone circulates through Montana as a result of big game hunting, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. That figure includes resident and non-resident spending and combines elk, deer and antelope hunters, according to a FWP economic impact study.
If you live in the Madison Valley and saw a blue and yellow fixed-wing plane soaring overhead on Aug. 7, it was most likely Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Julie Cunningham.
Cunningham flies over the Madison Valley four times a year completing surveys – once in the winter for elk, once in both the winter and summer for antelope and once in the spring for mule deer. On Aug. 7, she was surveying antelopes, or pronghorns.
With two weekends of Montana’s general big game season come and gone, both the Cameron and Alder check stations showed moderate hunter success rates.