Montana Trappers Association

Working Today For a Tomorrow in Trapping.
Furbearers Are A Natural Renewable Resource.

Habitat Management


Habitat is the key to wildlife survival. Without habitat, no wildlife can survive. The main purpose of the HABITAT MANAGEMENT tool is to prevent existing habitat, that is in good condition, from being destroyed or lost. Habitat in poor condition can be improved or new habitat can be created through proper management programs. Artificial or supplemental feeding of wildlife is a poor and often dangerous practice compared to proper habitat and population management.



Regulated hunting and trapping provides another key tool for wildlife managers - money. Like everything else in this world, wildlife management programs cost money. That money is provided in several ways by hunters and trappers.


A key source of money is the sale of hunting and trapping licenses. Money from the sale of the licenses is used to manage both game and nongame species.


Another source is through a special tax the federal government collects on all gun, ammunition and archery purchases. That tax came from the PITTMAN-ROBERTSON ACT, which Congress passed in 1937 to help wildlife.


Finally, there are special, management-oriented organizations that have been formed by people who like wildlife and want to help it. These groups, in turn, raise money from their members and work cooperatively with wildlife management agencies to help develop management plans and implement them.


So you can see - through special taxes on hunting tools and equipment, license fees and donations - hunters and trappers are an important tool for managing wildlife. They not only pay the bills, they are the only major source of money for management programs.



You can't help wildlife if you don't understand wildlife. That's why PUBLIC EDUCATION is so important for wildlife management to succeed. When people know about wildlife and its needs, most often they will give more support and are likely to become more involved in management programs.


How can people learn more about it? Education programs provide new, inexperienced and even experienced people with information, knowledge and skills. These programs help people to be smarter about using wildlife and better at taking care of the land.



The FUTURE OF WILDLIFE doesn't just depend on management programs. It depends mostly on people. People, whether they are hunters and trappers or not, need to learn all they can about wildlife and they need to care about whether it's managed properly. Here's what YOU CAN DO to help make a brighter future for wildlife.

  • Support programs to maintain or improve wildlife habitat. This includes knowing how important private lands are in providing critical habitat and recreation opportunities.

  • Support your state wildlife agency in its efforts to manage wildlife and people. Also, support conservation activities locally and nationally.

  • Realize that hunting and trapping are important management tools used to benefit wildlife populations and their habitat - and don't be afraid to tell your friends about these benefits. When people learn more about the role of hunting and trapping, most often they support these important roles. Observe the highest ethical standards while hunting. Being willing to encourage other hunters to do the same will help, too.

  • Be willing to contribute money and your skills to help wildlife. If we all start today, there will always be wildlife for everyone to enjoy.

Did You Know?

Jim Bridger (1804-1881). Trapper, scout, mountain man. One of first white men to see the future Yellowstone Park and Great Salt Lake, which he believed to be an arm of the Pacific Ocean. Became partner of Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1830 and established Fort Bridger in Wyoming Territory in 1842. Laid out routes for the Central Overland Stage and Pike's Peak Express Company. Returned to Missouri in 1867 where died on his farm on July 17, 1881.


Rendezvous were held on a yearly basis at various locations until 1840, mainly in Wyoming, but Pierre's Hole in Idaho and Bear Lake in northwest Utah were favorite sites as well.


Fort Manuel Lisa was established in 1807 by Manuel Lisa at the mouth of the Big Horn River near Hysham. This was the first permanent settlement in Montana and was occupied until 1811.


John Jacob Astor was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the US. He amassed his wealth through fur-trading, opium smuggling, and New York City real estate. Famed patron of the arts. At the time of his death, he was the wealthiest person in the US.


In 1919, the Hudson’s Bay Company was approaching its 250th year in business. What began in a coffee house in London, in 1670, had now grown to become the undisputed leader of the international fur trade.


The desire for beaver fur hats in European men’s fashions dates back centuries and spurred the development of the 17th century North American fur trade. Beaver fur was the most prized of the fur trade because of its water repellant qualities. Encouraged by European trade goods, natives hunted beaver to extinction in some areas.