The application deadline for special permits to hunt sandhill cranes is Aug. 2. The tentative season dates are Sept. 4-12, and the tentative bag and possession limit allowed with a special permit is one sandhill crane.
Proposed permit numbers will be approved Aug. 5 by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission. Permits are required for all sandhill crane hunting, whether free permits in the Central Flyway and or those obtained through a drawing with a $3 nonrefundable drawing fee.
Sandhill Crane hunting also requires a Montana migratory bird license that is $5 for residents ages 16-61 and $50 for nonresidents ages 16 and older.
In the Central Flyway, for Wheatland County and a portion of Sweet Grass County, 35 special permits are proposed. Hunting sandhill cranes in the remainder of the Central Flyway requires a free permit available from FWP regional offices.
In the Pacific Flyway, proposed permit numbers are:
* 35 permits in the Dillon-Twin Bridges-Cardwell area,
* 25 permits in the Warm Springs area, and
* 35 permits in the Ovando-Helmville hunting area.
Sandhill crane permit applications are available on the FWP web site at www.fwp.state.mt.us, click on Hunting and then Licenses and Applications or at www.discoveringmontana.com under Online Services. Applications are available at any FWP regional office or by calling 406-444-4715. Or applicants can may apply in writing for one area only by printing their name and including a signature, the hunting area they are applying to hunt in, and providing their address, date of birth, ALS number and a $3 nonrefundable drawing fee and mail to: FWP Licensing Section, Sandhill Crane Drawing, PO Box 200701, Helena MT 59620-0701. Applicants must have a 2004 Conservation License before applying for the sandhill crane permit.
Applications for special permits can be processed at all FWP regional offices.