Over opening weekend for general rifle season, Fish Wildlife and Parks wardens issued nine citations and 12 warnings in Region 2 alone, an area that includes a large portion of West Central Montana. FWP Game Warden Sgt. Aaron Berg says, violations like poaching happen day-in and day-out.

"Poaching is a very general term, it basically means illegally taking wildlife, in any manner," Berg said. "So, if you just consider it in that real general sense, it happens every day, all the time. On a busy opening week I would say we probably issue 20 to 30 citations and have multiple warnings."

The most common violations involve things like trespassing onto private property. But Berg says elk hunters also end up with many violations.

"Other more common things we see, especially with elk, are people just shooting in to herds of elk," Berg said. "Say two or three of them have licenses and five or six elk end up dead. It turns out to usually be a big mess with elk. A lot of times they stand there even after being hit and people don't think they hit them. You also get a pass through because they bunch up."

Berg says the number of citations usually increases with the amount of game harvested and that because opening weekend was pretty slow for hunters, it was pretty slow for warden citations too.

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