Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Hunters interested in obtaining a special permit to hunt sandhill cranes in the Sweet Grass, Wheatland, Golden Valley counties portion of the Central Flyway, as well as in four areas of western Montana in the Pacific Flyway, must apply by July 25.
The five limited permit areas for sandhill crane hunting in Montana are:
- Central Flyway: Sept. 7-29
- Wheatland/Sweet Grass/Meagher/Golden Valley County Area—50 permits (two-crane limit)
- Pacific Flyway: Sept. 7 – 29
- Deer Lodge County Area (Warm Springs)—5 permits
- Ovando/Helmville Area—40 permits
- Dillon/Twin Bridges/Cardwell Area—100 permits (two-crane limit)
- Broadwater County area—10 permits
Online applications are available at fwp.mt.gov under "Buy a License" and must be completed by 11:30 p.m. on July 25. Mail-in applications, which can be found on FWP's website, must be sent to: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; License Section; Sandhill Crane Drawing; P.O. Box 200701; Helena MT 59620-0701. The mail-in applications must be received by 5 p.m. on July 25.
To hunt sandhill cranes north and east of I-90 in the Central Flyway hunters must obtain a free permit. The hunting season in this area is proposed for Sept. 28-Nov. 24. Permits will be available in early August from FWP offices in Billings, Helena, Glasgow, and Miles City, or from the Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge near Malta or Medicine Lake National Wildlife Refuge south of Plentywood. In Sweet Grass County, the area south of Interstate 90 will remain closed to crane hunting.
A Montana Migratory Bird license is required to hunt sandhill cranes. Montana residents 12-14, and 62 or older, or holders of a Resident Person with Disability Conservation License need only their conservation license to hunt sandhill cranes.