Antler hunters, officials gather to celebrate opening of new Big Snowy Mountains WMA

With the swing of a gate Monday at high noon, Montanans gained an additional 5,677 acres of public land in the foothills of the Big Snowy Mountains.

Shed antler hunters, on foot and mounted, eagerly waited at the border fence to be the first to experience the Big Snowy Mountains Wildlife Management area, Montana’s newest WMA, and hopefully find some shed antlers.

Hannah Klitzke, of Billings, found success on her first-ever game range opener, coming back to the parking area with a couple of elk sheds hours into the hunt.

Hannah Klitzke, of Billings, admires a couple of elk antlers she picked Monday on the opening day of the Big Snowy Mountains WMA in Golden Valley County.

THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record

“We thought it’s a new game range maybe not a lot of people know about, but that’s not what happened,” Klitzke said.

Klitzke and dozens of other shed hunters were drawn to the WMA because of its newness and proximity to inaccessible private land that’s known to hold a lot of elk. She said she would definitely come back.

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