A high-powered rifle shot that killed a horse along Moulton Reservoir Road north of Butte recently has led a commissioner to explore broader boundaries where shooting is prohibited.
Commissioner Dave Palmer said the owner of the horse, which police suspect was shot during the last weekend in November, suggested the no-shooting zone be expanded to include the area between Walkerville and Moulton Reservoir.
“They have been building so many houses up in that area,” Palmer said Monday. “It’s kind of a remote area but there are more people living up there now.”
The current boundary includes urban Butte and an area west of Montana Tech, from the Rocker exit on the west between Interstate 90 and Bluebird Trail then north to Oro Fino Gulch Road.
Under city-county law, purposefully shooting firearms or arrows within the boundaries is a misdemeanor carrying a maximum fine of $500 and up to six months in jail.
Police suspect a confused hunter may have shot and killed an albino quarter while it was in its corral on the 4400 block of Moulton Road over the last weekend in November. It died after a “kill shot” with a high-powered rifle struck its heart.
The Humane Society has since offered up to $5,000 for information leading to the capture of those responsible for the shooting.
Palmer said whoever shot the horse probably would not have cared about no-shoot boundaries and it already is unlawful to shoot from a main road. But there have been a lot of houses built in the area north of Butte in recent years, he said, and it makes sense to at least look into an expanded zone.
Sheriff Ed Lester agreed, saying the Moulton Reservoir Road area has become more populated.
“I think it’s wise to look at it and see if there are areas we can make safer,” he said.
View or download a map of the Butte-Silver Bow urban area boundary. The area within the urban boundary (marked in pink on the map) is considered a 'no shooting' area.