Friday, January 28, 2011
The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission is seeking comment on a proposal to revise the deer, elk and antelope regulations as they pertain to acceptable ammunition for muzzleloaders and shotguns used in Weapons Restriction Areas.
There are a number of WRAs across Montana, such as in the Helena and Gallatin valleys. They are designed to allow for big game hunting near developed areas, while at the same time, protecting public safety. Hunters in most WRAs are limited to using a shotgun, muzzleloader, traditional handgun or archery equipment that typically have a range limit of fewer than 100 yards.
However, new technological advances in ammunition for muzzleloaders and shotguns, such as sabots, can enhance the range of some of these firearms, which could compromise the public safety provisions on Montana's WRAs. The proposal would prohibit the use of sabots and similar ammunition on WRAs.
"It's simply a public safety issue in these areas," said FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. "Hunters could still use sabots during the general hunting season, but not in places designated as a weapons restriction area, which are often situated in the vicinity of subdivisions and other developed areas."
Comment by Feb. 5 on the proposal to prohibit the use of sabots and similar ammunition on WRAs. Visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov. Click "For Hunters." Written comments may be sent to: FWP—FWP Enforcement Bureau, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.