by Lewis Young

Leonard Howke – Photo courtesy Tim Their

Leonard Howke, a 2010 recipient of the Flathead Audubon Conservation Achievement Award, recently passed away shortly after losing his home to a fire. The award certificate was destroyed in the fire so FAS reprinted the certificate and presented it to the family. Leonard received the award for his decades of contributions to a multitude of wildlife projects with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, mostly as a volunteer. Some projects he helped with included long-term white-tailed deer research, big game check station at Olney, bighorn sheep transplants, and sharp-tailed grouse transplants. 

Leonard loved to help children learn about the outdoors. He taught hunter safety for over 50 years and was deeply involved in the Hooked On Fishing Program that introduced many, many children to fishing and being outdoors. For example, when ice fishing, Leonard would go out early and drill hundreds of holes for the children to use after they arrived and then help them bait hooks, unhook fish, and everything else necessary to teach them and help them enjoy being outside.

Leonard was a lifelong resident of Whitefish and was well known in the community. He will be missed.