Hunters interested in participating this year in game-damage hunts on private land, possible management seasons, or potential management removals of elk to reduce the risk of brucellosis transmission between elk and livestock can register online with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks beginning June 15.
Additionally, should opportunities emerge to offer antlerless deer B licenses for use during the archery and general seasons, those too would be awarded through the Hunt Roster.
Prospective hunters must register for the Hunt Roster online between June 15 and July 15 at fwp.mt.gov. Click "Hunt Roster". Internet-based registration can be completed on personal computers, at most public libraries, and at any FWP office. To register, hunters will need their ALS number.
Game damage occurs when animals such as elk, deer, and antelope concentrate on private farms and ranches and consume crops. FWP's game damage hunt rules are designed to respond to the needs of landowners who provide free public hunting during the general hunting season, yet who could nevertheless suffer losses due to wildlife damage without this additional management tool. Management seasons typically occur on a larger scale than game damage hunts.
Elk management removals are a management response to the risk of brucellosis transmission between elk and livestock. These small scale removals reduce commingling events between elk and livestock using very limited hunter presence and harvest to adjust elk distribution in an area. These may take place throughout the winter and early spring and are applied only in those areas with brucellosis. Before the management removal option can be used, it needs to be adopted by the Fish & Wildlife Commission in a 2015 annual work plan.
A final roster for use in game damage hunts, management seasons and management removals, randomly generated from all the online registrations, will be posted by Aug. 1 on the FWP website.
Damage hunts and management seasons, if they occur, could take place anytime from Aug. 15 through Feb. 15, 2015. Management removals for brucellosis risk mitigation could take place after Feb.15, 2015
Any deer B licenses allocated through the hunt roster follow on a second randomization of names and would not influence a hunter's eligibility for game damage, management seasons and management removals. Successful hunters drawn for these B licenses would be directly notified by FWP.