State wildlife officials will not be conducting meetings this winter to discuss next fall’s big game hunting season.
That’s because last year the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission moved deer, elk and antelope to a biennial season setting process.
“The commission has already implemented a biennial season setting process for most species, like moose, sheep and goat, furbearers and birds,” says Graham Taylor, FWP Region 4 wildlife manager. “They just added deer, elk and antelope to the mix.”
In Region 4, north central Montana, wildlife biologists will be available upon request to attend any scheduled organizational meeting and discuss next hunting season.
“As long as everyone understands that no structural changes can be made,” Taylor says. “Quotas and number of antlerless permits per hunting district will still be adjusted every year.”
Examples of structural changes would be adding or dropping antlerless licenses, like deer B or elk A9, from a particular district.
No scheduled tentative meetings this winter will be both good and challenging to wildlife biologists, says Quentin Kujala, chief of FWP’s wildlife management bureau.
“Some season types, like population reductions, take a couple of years to get there,” Kujala says. So not changing a season framework annually could be a good thing.
However, even without meetings this winter wildlife biologists will stay busy.“It affords us a chance to do things in the off year we normally couldn’t get to,” Kujala says, “like conservation easements and education efforts.”