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Montana Auction License Accounts

The 49th Montana State Legislature authorized the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission to auction one male sheep license each year to provide for the benefit of sheep. The 50th Montana State Legislature authorized the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission to auction one male Shiras moose license each year to provide for the benefit of moose. The 58th Montana State Legislature's provided authority for the sale of one male mule deer and one male elk auction/lottery license, and the 59th session provided authority for one mountain goat auction/lottery license.

Rules and procedures to conduct the auction have been adopted by the commission each year and have been expanded to include all five species now available. The auction/lottery license rules provide for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) to solicit proposals to conduct the auctions (and or lottery if appropriate) from conservation organizations involved in the conservation and management of these big game species. The commission reviews the proposals and selects an organization to conduct the auctions.  Organizations can submit bids to conduct more than one species auction. Organizations that have been selected to auction the various species licenses for 1986-2006 are summarized in Table 1 and include the Boone and Crocket Club, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana Outfitter and Guides Association, and Skyline Sportsmen Association. Safari Club International (including the MT Chapter) has participated in the moose auction prior to 1997. The successful bidder for each of the auction licenses is allowed to hunt for a legal animal during the open season in any of the legally described species hunting districts as described in the appropriate hunting regulation.

Auction proceeds are often banked to assist efforts/purchases that are uniquely different or larger than routine efforts and expenditures. In addition to habitat conservation efforts, this includes trap/transplant, research and significant field equipment purchases.

License Aution Sales History

  • BBC = Boone & Crockett Club
  • FNAWS = Foundation of North American Wild Sheep
  • MDF = Mule Deer Foundation
  • MOGA = Montana Outfitters & Guides Association
  • RMEF = Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
  • SSA = Skyline Sportsmen's Association
  • WSF = Wild Sheep Foundation (formerly FNAWS)

Revenues for bighorn sheep and Shiras moose auction licenses have fluctuated over time but remain very competitive with other western states, especially the bighorn sheep license. Revenues for both the mule deer and elk auction licenses increased in the most recent year and the extensive opportunity afforded to the elk license holder in particular may help further increase those revenues over time. The mountain goat license was auctioned for the first time in 2006.

Budgeted Allocations and Expenditures

As prescribed by enabling legislation, funding is to be used for the beneficial management of the identified species. Funding is typically allocated for specific survey work to deal with localized issues, capture and relocation efforts, research efforts, habitat enhancement and herd health issues or in the case of bighorn sheep, a portion of the funding is allocated to a capital account for habitat protection. For FY10-11, funding by species was allocated as follows:

Table 2. Big Game Auction Expenditures FY10–FY11 Biennium

 

FY10

FY11

TOTAL

Bighorn Sheep Auction - Field Work

86,404

115,118

201,522

Bighorn Sheep Auction - Capital

Bighorn Sheep Auction - Commission

27,500

29,000

56,500

TOTAL

$113,904

$144,118

$258,022

 

Moose Auction - Field Work

Moose Auction - Commission

1,100

1,600

2,700

TOTAL

$1,100

$1,600

$2,700

 

Mule Deer Auction - Field Work

Mule Deer Auction - Capitol

48,000

48,000

Mule Deer Auction - Commission

900

1,800

2,700

TOTAL

$48,900

$1,800

$50,700

 

Elk Auction - Field Work

17,965

17,965

Elk Auction - Commission

1,200

1,900

3,100

TOTAL

$1,200

$19,865

$21,065

 

Mountain Goat Auction - Field Work

Mountain Goat Auction - Commission

1,700

1,500

2,850

TOTAL

$1,700

$1,500

$2,850

Accomplishments

Auction proceeds are often banked to assist efforts/purchases that are uniquely different or larger than routine efforts and expenditures. In addition to habitat conservation efforts, this includes trap/transplant, research and significant field equipment purchases.