More than $260,000 was raised for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ conservation and restoration programs during a wildlife auction held Sept. 25 in Billings.
The auction included antlers, horns, hides and skulls that were confiscated by FWP over the last four years. Most of the items came from poaching incidents.
Montana statute requires FWP to sell seized items at public auction. This includes all birds, animals, fish, heads, hides, teeth or other parts of any animal other than a grizzly bear. When a carcass is confiscated, FWP donates the meat to a charitable organization and removes the antlers to be sold at auction. When enough inventory is collected, FWP holds an auction. The last auction was held in 2017.
The auction, which was hosted but National Auction, grossed $311,740. After payout to the auction house for commission and expenses, the sale netted $260,479.
Typically, these auctions net around $100,000. However, since it’s been four years since the last auction, the revenue was expected to be more.
“Our enforcement staff work hard throughout the year to protect Montana’s natural resources,” said FWP director Hank Worsech. “The money raised in the auction goes right back into the critical conservation work we do across the state.”