You won't be setting up your tent in the rotunda. Bugling down the halls will be frowned upon.

But hey, it's January, and you're looking for any way you can to get your Montana elk hunting fix, right? With an emphasis on Montana's outdoor legacy and the legislative habitat and wildlife policies that affect it, the Montana Citizens’ Elk Management Coalition presents, Elk Camp at the Capitol.

For those not familiar (I wasn't), the Coalition is made up of member organizations, active this past year working to improve Montana's elk management and relationships between hunters and landowners, as well as establishing a trust account to fund habitat projects in  Montana.

Organizers of Elk Camp at the Capitol say this is a chance for hunters and anglers to learn how to be better engaged with legislative matters pertaining to hunting and fishing during the upcoming session. And the number of those bills is already rather astounding.

Citizens' Elk Management Coalition spokesperson Jeff Lukas says that there have already been 150 bills requested to modify fish and wildlife policy in Montana, and "We want hunters and anglers to learn how to participate in the wildlife policies that impact our public access, wildlife, and hunting opportunity.”

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That's what this elk camp is all about,  The so we encourage hunters and anglers to get engaged and join us at Elk Camp.”

Elk Camp begins at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, January 24, with opening remarks on the Capitol's North Lawn. Speakers include Republican State Senator Jeff Wellborn, Dillon and Democrat State Representative Tom France, Missoula. There will be civic training sessions and meetings with lawmakers inside. Topics of discussion will include block management hunting programs, public access and improving wildlife habitat conditions.

If you don't want to drive, complimentary bus transportation to and from Helena is available from several cities, including Missoula, departing at 9:00 a.m. from the Mullan Road WalMart Supercenter. You are encouraged to RSVP and get all the agenda details on the Montana Elk website here.

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