Wildlife Topics


The primary focus of the Extension Wildlife Program is to respond to needs identified by county Agents and Extension clientele.  

Daily response to clientele questions range from backyard wildlife to predator concerns to agency policies. Benefits of one-on-one contact are hard to quantify, but may be one of the most effective methods of extension education.  

Students working on a fence

The goal of the Extension Wildlife Program is to provide scientific, research-based, and pertinent information to promote understanding of all aspects of wildlife management.  A second goal is to provide programs and information that will help sustain Montana ranches and farms while increasing the public appreciation for the contribution of agriculture to wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Program Summary

Private working lands comprise nearly 65% of Montana’s 93 million acres, and play a critical role in securing future energy, water, food, fiber for an ever-expanding human population while providing a suite of invaluable ecosystem services (wildlife habitat, water quality, soil health, etc.). They are essential to what makes Montana special, including clean air and water, scenic open spaces, and abundant wildlife. Thus, maintaining and conserving rural working lands is an absolute necessity if society cares about ecosystem values and quality recreational experiences, but so too is proper land management and stewardship. Wildlife and recreation should not be a by-product of land management practices, nor should it be a liability concern either. Rather they should be assets and planned products.

The MSU Wildlife Management Program responds to immediate needs within local areas and proactively anticipates future challenges and opportunities at local, state, regional, and national levels. Educational programs are based on the latest research information. The program vigorously strives to maintain the highest standards of objectivity and professional credibility. Five major audiences are targeted: 1) county/reservation Extension faculty, 2) range livestock producers, 3) government agency personnel, 4) smaller acreage landowners, and 5) youth and the urban public.

Extension Topic Areas & Programs

  • Wildlife Management
  • Improving Wildlife Monitoring
  • Feral Swine
  • Elk: #’s, distribution, access
  • Human-wildlife Conflict Prevention
  • Management Plans
  • BMPs For Wildlife Land Enhancement
  • Conflict Resolution/Collaborative Conservation
  • Landowner / Hunter Relations
  • Master Hunter; Hunter-Landowner Stewardship
  • Incentive Programs
  • Wildlife Disease
  • Livestock Relationships with Fish and Wildlife
  • Youth Education
  • 4-H

Current Applied Research Ideas

  • Wildlife Monitoring Program
  • Improving Wildlife Estimates (ungulates, game birds, non-game, etc.)
  • Early Detection (carnivores, feral swine)
  • Disease (animal movement and livestock interaction)
  • Landowner Resources (inventory, maps)
  • Improving Landowner / Hunter Relations
  • Land ownership, trends, and values
  • Hunting program participation, satisfaction, success
  • BMP’s for Land Enhancement for Wildlife
  • Prescribed fire
  • Invasive and encroachment control
  • Targeted grazing
  • Migration friendly fencing

Contact Information

Department of Animal and Range Sciences Montana State University

Phone: 406-994-3709

Email: beaver@montana.edu

P.O. Box 172900, Bozeman, MT 59717

Printable copy of program summary