Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

By Andi Bourne

Decoy Program One Tool for Hunting Enforcement


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

FWP game wardens use an assortment of decoys and have many antler choices to run. Game Warden Bill Koppen actually prefers to run a decoy that is not a trophy.

SEELEY LAKE – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) Game Warden Bill Koppen worked with the state to initiate the FWP decoy program in Great Falls, Mont. 25 years ago. Ever since, Koppen has used simulated decoys during the hunting season as a deterrent to keep people from shooting from vehicles and hunting public roads. During the 2014 and 2015 seasons he wrote citations that produced 30 convictions, 15 of which were to hunters who took illegal shots at the decoy.

In Montana, enforcement officers can legally run a simulated decoy. According to Montana Code Annotated 87-3-109, "It is un...

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