Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking public comment until July 20 on the 2003-2004 tentative furbearer quotas.
Beaver and Otter:
In FWP Regions 4, 5, 6 and 7 a proposed new general season for beaver would run Sept. 1-May 31 to increase opportunities for trappers and reduce damage caused by beaver. Season dates would remain Nov. 1-April 15 in FWP Regions 1, 2 and 3 to prevent the incidental harvest of otter where otter habitat is extensive.
Otter quotas increased by one otter in FWP Regions 1, 2, and 3. A statewide individual trapper limit of two otter is also proposed. In 2002-2003, there was no individual trapper otter limit.
For bobcat, a quota reduction from seven to three bobcat in FWP Region 3 is proposed. Trappers would be allowed to possess no more than seven bobcats in a season from trapping districts 1, 2 and 3 combined.
Bobcat quotas would increase in FWP Region 4 from 200 to 300 and in FWP Region 5 from 350 to 400. The bobcat quota in FWP Region 6 would decrease from 150 to 125. Bobcat quotas in FWP Regions 1, 2, 3 and 7 would remain unchanged from 2003.
New boundaries for wolverine management units are proposed in the state, with individual quotas assigned to each unit. In the north, wolverine management unit 1 would have a quota of five and would include all of FWP Regions 1 and 2, and a portion of FWP Region 4. The central wolverine management unit would have a quota of two wolverines, and include portions of FWP Regions 3, 4, and 5. The southern wolverine management unit 3 would have a quota of five, and include portions of FWP Regions 3 and 5.
Reporting and Tagging:
In another proposed change, trappers would be required to personally call a single statewide FWP reporting line within 24 hours of harvesting an otter, bobcat or wolverine.
The five and ten day tagging requirements for all furbearers would be replaced with a requirement that pelts be tagged prior to sale or within ten days following the season or early quota closure date.
Comments should be sent before July 20 to: Wildlife Division, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620-0701, or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.