We are on the downhill side of Montana's general big game hunting season, a time where incidents like this can occur more often.

Whatever the motives were, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is not taking this one lightly, conducting an investigation into an illegal deer kill in a Montana state park, a state park that actually does allow for some hunting. Just not in the area where this deer was taken.

FWP is hoping to obtain information on a deer that was killed at Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park this past weekend. The deer was shot in the eastern half of the park. While some hunting is allowed in the western half of the park during the general season, the eastern half is off limits. In fact, with tourism safety being a top priority, no hunting or firearm shooting is permitted on a year-round basis. And obviously, game retrieval is not allowed, since there is supposed to be no harvesting to begin with.

But that appears to be what happened, as the deer was removed and was not field dressed at the kill site.

True, besides the western portion of Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park, some of Montana’s other state parks do provide hunting opportunities. But certain restrictions usually apply, such as as no-hunting safety zones and restrictions on the types of weapons hunters can use.  Just like anyplace else, you better be absolutely sure before you start hunting in state parks.

Remember, if you have information on any inappropriate hunting activity, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-TIP-MONT. You may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

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