The opener for an extremely popular pastime in an extremely popular area in which to do it will be delayed, thanks to Mother Nature.

Shed hunters are used to an opening day of May 15 in the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has delayed the opening until noon on Friday, June 1. Persistent snow, extremely wet roads and a slow spring thaw all contributed to the delay in opening.

Also included in the extended closure is the portion of the Wildlife Management Area that lies west of Highway 83 along the west shore of the Clearwater River. That area is closed to vehicles, but is open to travel on foot only, without the use of bicycles or other vehicles. HOWEVER it is important to know that the closure on the portion from Clearwater Junction north along Highway 200, east of Highway 83 and west of Woodworth Road is closed entirely, including foot traffic.

It can be a bit confusing, but basically a good plan is just to wait till things thaw and green up more and the local critters can expand their native habitat. The antlers will still be there June 1, if everybody plays by the rules.

DB