By Cavan Williams
Deer found with organs removed
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are seeking information regarding a deer that may have been killed illegally on University of Montana property.
The week before opening day of archery season, UM journalism professor Nadia White said she saw the deer while running on a dirt road along the south end of the University of Montana Golf Course.
She found what she described as “an expertly field-dressed whitetail deer.” It was completely skinned, with all of the meat and internal organs removed.
White also said the carcass has disappeared since she first saw it.
Campus security has been notified of the possible illegal killing, but has no information regarding the incident.
University operations manager Shelley Harshbarger said she has never heard of a poaching case on campus.
“I've been here for 25 years and I've never seen this before,” Harshbarger said.
FWP Sergeant Dan Curtin said the department was not initially notified about the carcass. He hasn't heard of any recent poaching incidents near campus, though he said it has happened in the past.
"Without going to look at it, I hate to say what happened," Curtin said.
In 2013, the Montana legislature passed a bill called the Vehicle-Killed Wildlife Salvage Permit, allowing drivers to keep and process roadkill deer, moose or antelope as long as they remove the entire animal. Permits must be completed within 24 hours of salvaging the animal.
Curtin also said poaching in the Missoula city limits is limited to one to three cases a year and doesn't seem to be a rising problem.
He urges anyone with information regarding poaching to call the FWP anonymous hotline 1-800-TIP-MONT (225-5847).