We believe this is an Ichneumon Wasp in the genus Spilichneumon. These wasps overwinter as an adult inside a rotten log or other protected place, and emerge in early spring. They lead a fascinating life (some might consider a gruesome one) as an internal parasite of owlet moth caterpillars. According to Eric R. Eaton, principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, “The female wasp finds a caterpillar and injects a single egg into it. Her larval offspring then feeds inside the caterpillar, allowing the host to eventually graduate to its pupal stage. The wasp larva pupates inside the host and emerges from the host chrysalis as an adult wasp.”
Photo by Glenn Marangelo on 4/7/20 in Missoula MT.