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Avoid Common Hunting Mistakes by Remembering these Tips

Hunting - Region 7

Fri Sep 21 16:22:00 MDT 2012

Before heading to the field for Montana’s big game season opener on Saturday, Oct. 20, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials ask that hunters avoid common violations by remembering these tips:

  • Secure permission before entering private land. In Montana, private land does not have to be posted for a hunter to be guilty of trespassing. Hunters must ask first before hunting or retrieving an animal on private land.
  • Make sure of sunrise and sunset times. Big game shooting hours run from one half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Use only the sunrise-sunset tables supplied by FWP in the Hunting Regulations, not the times in the local newspaper or on television.
  • Drive only on established roads. On public land, stay on the road. On private land, drive only where the landowner tells you.
  • Do not shoot from the road or right of way. State law makes it illegal for anyone to shoot on, from, or across a road or right of way. The right of way generally lies between the fences on either side of the road. It’s also known as the shoulder or borrow pit.
  • Don’t shoot from a vehicle. Only individuals with a disability may qualify for a special permit, issued by FWP, to hunt from a vehicle.
  • Use your own tag. Transferring licenses between spouses or using a friend or family member’s tag is illegal. Each hunter must shoot and tag his/her own animal.
  • Properly validate your tag. Proper validation means completely cutting out the month and day on the tag immediately after taking an animal.
  • Leave evidence of sex attached. When transporting a big game animal, evidence of the animal’s sex must remain attached to the carcass. This is especially important early in the season when the heat of the day may lead a hunter to remove the hide from an animal’s carcass.
  • Wear hunter orange. Big game hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange above the waist, and it must be visible from all sides.
  • Don’t use two-way communication. Radios, cell phones, text messages, etc. may not be used to hunt, avoid game check stations and FWP enforcement personnel, or to facilitate illegal activity.
  • Stop at check stations. Hunters and anglers are required to stop at all check stations, going to or coming from the field, with or without game.

Hunters should take the time to review Montana’s Hunting Regulations to ensure they avoid violations. Any violation afield can be reported to TIP-MONT at 1-800-TIP-MONT.