A group of youth elk hunters in the Sula Basin near Sula, Montana took a questionable approach to hunting on the day before Thanksgiving
Within a five minute interval, a group of young hunters opened fire on a herd of elk that had wandered onto an open hillside. Some of the hunters fired from a nearby roadside, while others shot from private property without the consent from the owner.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department said that they counted nine wounded elk, some of which were killed by other young hunters in the days after the incident, and estimated that a few more went missing.
“There was a lot of unethical behavior that happened that day,” said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Lou Royce.
Royce issued citations to the parents of the young hunters involved in the incident.
Antlerless elk hunting in Montana is open to hunters ages 12-15.
The hillside where the incident occurred is a popular spot for youth hunters because it is accessible and provides a wide vantage point. The hill is a winter range used by elk that migrate out of Montana’s Big Hole Valley.
Some local wildlife officials and residents are saying that the area is becoming a hot spot for unethical hunting practices.
The incident that occurred around Thanksgiving time was not an isolated occurrence. According to local wildlife officials, similar incidents that involved youth hunters occurred during the last week of hunting season in the Sula Basin.
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