Monday, December 31, 2007
Montana's Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking public comment on several important tentative proposals for the 2008 and 2009 big game hunting seasons.
Here is a rundown on some tentative proposals of interest:
General Seasons and Quotas
Hunting season date alternatives—which include a choice between Montana's traditonal five-week season that ends the Sunday following Thanksgiving Day—and fixed-date seasons that would open and close on the same dates each year.
Setting big game harvest permit levels and quotas every two years, instead of every year, based on a proposed harvest range approved by the FWP Commission.
Replacing the unlimited 900-series antelope archery licenses with 4,500 licenses available via the annual special drawings.
Allowing hunters to purchase up to three surplus antelope licenses.
Elk Archery Permits
Adjusting elk archery to limited elk archery permits where elk rifle permits are currently limited. Hunting Districts include 410, 417, 620, 621, 622, 700, 701 (Missouri River Breaks) and 401, 403, 411, 412, 420, 425, 426, 441, 447, 450, 455, 500, 502, 510, 511, portion of 520, 530, 570, 575, portion of 580, 590, 702, 704 and 705. In addition, these areas are proposed to have area-specific unlimited antlerless elk archery permits available through the drawing. In many of the Missouri River Breaks districts, archery is currently available via unlimited permit. In the other areas, archery is currently available on only a general license.
Allowing any licensed mountain lion hunter to hunt during the fall season without dogs.
Creating a wolf hunting season contingent upon federal delisting.
Youth Pheasant Hunt
Creating a Youth pheasant season for the weekend prior to the general pheasant opener.
Details on all the tentative proposals are available on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov. Click "2008-09 Tentative Hunting Regulations" under For Hunters. For information on the wolf season proposal, and opportunity to comment, click "Montana Wolf Season" under Conservation.
FWP will host a series of 44 statewide public hearings beginning in January to discuss the tentative big game hunting regulations. The aim of the hearing is to explain the tentative hunting regulations, answer questions, and provide opportunities for public comment. The FWP Commission will adopt final regulations at its Feb. 20, 2008 meeting in Helena.
FWP will also take comment via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail addressed to: Big Game Regulations, Wildlife Division, Montana FWP, P.O. Box 200701; Helena, MT 59620-0701. Comments must be received by Feb. 1, 2008. For information contact your nearest FWP office.