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The Wescolite Student Newspaper Student Interest December 8, 2004 The hunting season that was Student Senate update By Matt Bryn The 2004 Montana general hunting season is coming to a close, but it seems like it never even started. This was one of the worst hunting seasons on record in terms of the number of elk harvested. It was so bad that the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks decided to extend the antlerless elk season in certain areas within the 300 Hunting District until December 12. The low harvest numbers are attributed to a number of different factors. There was no weather to bring the elk out of the high country. For a good elk harvest there needs to be a lot of snow in the higher elevations, usually measured in feet and not inches. The temperature never got cold enough. Southwest Montana didn’t have one day this season where it got cold. I mean super cold. We’re talking MINUS TWENTY COLD! Due to a relatively wet and cool summer combined with no forest fires, the amount of forage for elk in the high country is fantastic. Each of the additional late hunts was authorized based on the following wildlife management criteria: * The area elk herds are 20 percent or more over population objectives. * The district hunting-season regulation was among the states most liberal for at least two years with a focus on harvesting elk to bring numbers down to established population objectives. * Check station harvest rates are 25 percent below the five-year average. * The area offered reasonable public access to huntable elk during the general hunting season, (http://fwp.state.mt.us) Region 3 Hunting Districts for antlerless elk include: Hunting Districts 300, 319, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331,332, 341. When asked how the season went, UM-Western student Scott Lake said, “This season was the worst season I have had for elk in a very long time. It was so unproductive, that I only saw elk in my headlights driving to my secret spots. I didn’t even see an elk in the daylight. It was terrible due to the lack of snow and mild temperatures. Opening day was a promising start, with the snow we had, but we didn’t get any snow after that. It became very depressing, very quickly.” Another Dillon hunter, Brian Rasmussen remarked, “This season was in the toilet. The only thing that got shot at was me.” When asked how many elk he saw, Rasmussen stated, “I saw one elk all year. When I saw it, another hunter saw it, and the elk was directly between him and me. We only saw about 15 sets of tracks, and you couldn’t tell if they were fresh or old because of the bad snow conditions.” The general feeling from area hunters was sheer disappointment. Most people were not as excited as usual because of the poor conditions. But, hunters should keep their head high with the extended season. The weather is starting to get better. We are getting some more snow, and it is definitely getting colder. A lot can happen by December 12. Advertise your business in The Wescolite Contact firstname.lastname@example.org By Sandy Bradford Student Senate is a legislative branch of ASUM (Associated Stu dents of the University of Montana-Western). Sen ate members approve by majority con sent the general budget based on in come derived from student fees. They are responsible for the advocacy of students, the Administration of ASUMW, and activities for the social and educational benefit of the students. A summary of UM-Westem’s fall activities is as follows: Clinton Con cert, Jeni Fleming Concert, Monday Night Football, Mechanical Bull, Pumpkin Carving Contest, Massages, Movie Series 12, concessions, and the scheduled Campus Holiday Get-To gether. So far, the spring activities for 2005 are as follows: Movie Series 13, NCAA, Easter Egg Hunt, Massages, Meditation Speaker (cancer victims), and the Cup Concert. Three activities that are pending are the Valentine’s Day Giveaway, Poker Night, and a dance band, possibly “www.twang”. (These activities are subject to change). Four new senators were sworn in recently: Jessica Thomas, Karen Guffey, Liz Sadler and Whitney Wines. Others members include President Ashley Shillcox, Vice President Angie Burns, and Senators Theresa Dryden, Kari Eliason, Jenny Frerck, Krystal Roberts, Crystal Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Faye Clark, Gary Bumdt and Sandy Bradford. The Student Senate members re cently discussed the academic issue involving the question of transferring GPAs from one college to another. This topic is upcoming at MAS (Board of Regents). Senate members feel that GPAs should transfer with the stu dents, or at least for general education courses. Another topic is the current grading system at Western which does not use “plus” and “minus” grades. The senators feel this grading system is adequate for grading purposes. The Student Senate approved funds to help the Food Pantry with their Thanksgiving Food Drive. Angie Bums and members of the Rodeo Club and Business Club donated their time and efforts. This year the Campus Holiday Get- Together Party will be promoting Dillon’s Community Toy Drive. Ev eryone attending is asked to bring a toy to donate to children. Student Senate meetings are held “open forum” which means that all students and community members may attend. Students are encouraged to approach the Student Senate with any concerns they may have about cam pus life, activities, or the current stan dard involving education practices and polices. Meetings are held on Mon day evenings at 5pm in the basement of the Student Union Building. Beaverhead Bank \Setting the Pace” in Southwestern Montana 683-8200 Member FDIC