Montana Trappers Association

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

Management Principles


Principles of Wildlife Management in Montana



Because most wildlife species are very sensitive to changes in their surroundings, they can give us clues about changes that might affect us, too. Have some animals disappeared because of pollution? Is there enough food or the right kind of food to eat?


By studying wildlife, we can learn more about where they live, why they live there and how where they live is important to them. You'll also start to appreciate all animals more - game and nongame alike. And you'll see how important wildlife management is to making sure that you - and other people - always have wildlife to benefit from and enjoy.


If you look in a school text book, you'll see that WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT is defined as "the science and art of managing wildlife and its habitat, for the benefit of the soil, vegetation and animals, including humans."


But how do wildlife managers do that? They do it by following a few basic rules:

  • Good wildlife management must be based on solid 
    biological information.

  • Good wildlife management must include the management of humans, because our activities affect wildlife.

  • Good wildlife management must benefit plants and other animals not just one species of wildlife.

  • Good wildlife management must put animal numbers at a level we can live with - not too many and not too few.

  • Good wildlife management must balance animal numbers with the habitat (food, shelter, water and space) available for those animals.

  • Good wildlife management must balance conservation (wise use) of the resource - not total preservation (non-use) of the resource.

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.