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Fall Bird Hunting Outlook


Fri Aug 18 00:00:00 MDT 2000

The first of several fall hunting seasons begins Sept. 1 with the opening of the upland game bird seasons.

In Montana, upland birds consist of sage and sharp-tailed grouse, Hungarian (grey) and chukar partridge, mourning doves, and spruce (Franklin's), ruffed and blue grouse.

Ring-necked pheasant hunting, a popular Montana sport, doesn't start until Oct. 7.

For upland birds, hunters from 15 to 61 years old need a Conservation License and an Upland Bird License. Residents 12-14, 62 and older, and holders of a Resident with a Disability Conservation License need only a Conservation License. Turkey hunters need a valid Turkey License.

According to John McCarthy, FWP's upland game bird management coordinator, the outlook for the bird season is generally fair. Areas that had good populations in 1999 should still be supporting good populations, however dry conditions are expected to result in lower production across the state.

Also beginning Sept. 1 are the fall wild turkey and falconry seasons. Hunters should consult the 2000 upland game bird brochure to find the areas in central and eastern Montana open to everyone with a valid fall turkey license. Though it has few practitioners, the falconry season also starts Sept. 1 and extends until March 31,2001. A special license is required, with the forms available at any FWP office.

A federal migratory bird stamp is not required to hunt mourning doves, but a Montana migratory bird stamp is required.