GREAT FALLS — Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the conviction of people who shot and killed pelicans – possibly dozens of them – along the Bighorn River below Yellowtail Dam.
It is illegal to shoot pelicans – which also are a federally protected migratory bird – in Montana.
FWP said in a press release on Sunday that game wardens have seen or retrieved nearly a dozen dead pelicans in the water between the dam and Two Leggins Fishing Access Site southeast of Billings.
They believe dozens more may have been shot and killed this summer in the same area.
Anyone with information about the illegal killing is asked to call 1-800-TIP-MONT, FWP’s poaching 24-hour poaching hotline, or game warden Jake Barzen at 406-860-7796.
The 1-800-TIP-MONT program lets people report violations of fish, wildlife or park regulations. Callers may remain anonymous.
The FWP website provides the following information about poaching:
Poaching is the illegal killing of fish or wildlife. It can include illegal killing of fish or wildlife:
- for commercial trade
- for ego gratification
- in closed areas, during closed times, or taking more than the law allows
- reduce recreational opportunities for law abiding anglers, hunters, wildlife watchers, and other outdoor enthusiasts
- kill and waste Montana game animals, threatened and endangered species, and even nongame animals
- target Montana’s fish and wildlife resource for personal profit
- Poaching robs law abiding hunters of game and fish, businesses and taxpayers of revenues generated by hunting, fishing, and wildlife viewing recreation, and it denies many other Montanans the ability to enjoy seeing healthy, mature fish and wildlife populations.