KALISPELL — Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is reminding the public that collecting antlers, horns, skulls, and other natural objects is prohibited in Montana State Parks, such as Wild Horse Island on Flathead Lake.
Shed hunters are reminded to check site-specific regulations and opening dates before venturing afield. For bighorn sheep horns or skulls, on property that allows collection, the law allows a person to recover and possess the horn or horns and attached skull of a mountain sheep that died of natural causes. They are required to present the skull/horns to FWP where they are plugged. A person may not possess mountain sheep parts if the sheep was unlawfully killed, captured, or taken, including being struck by a vehicle.
Regardless, it’s never legal to collect horns, skulls, and other natural objects in state parks.
In January 2021, an individual pleaded guilty in Lake County justice court to unlawfully recovering and possessing the horns and skull of a bighorn sheep from the Wild Horse Island Unit of Flathead Lake State Park. The individual was fined $2,000 and cannot access the island for two years.
“The bighorn sheep on Wild Horse Island are a treasured resource for everyone to enjoy. Our game wardens work hard to patrol the state park and prevent the illegal collection of horns,” FWP Warden Captain Lee Anderson said.
“Game wardens Morgan Post and Chris Neu did outstanding work on this recent investigation.”
Anyone with information about crimes involving fish, wildlife or park regulations is encouraged to call FWP’s 24-hour tip line at 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.