FWP News

Meetings set to gather comments on 2016, 2017 hunting season proposals

   Miles City – Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold two meetings in southeastern Montana in January to gather comments on proposed hunting seasons and rules for the next two years.

   Every two years FWP considers changes to all hunting seasons, proposes changes from the previous biennium, and encourages public comment before the FWP commission makes its final decisions in February. Meetings and hearings are held in every region of the state to listen to comments. FWP and its commissioners also will accept written, online or emailed comments through Jan. 22.

   In southeastern Montana, all public meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m. They are set for:

   • Wednesday, Jan. 13, in Miles City at Miles Community College, room 106

   • Thursday, Jan. 14, in Glendive at Dawson Community College Ullman Center, room 102

   The tentative rules were approved by the FWP Commission in December and include changes to both statewide regulations and individual hunting districts. The commission will consider proposals by wildlife managers and all public comments before making final changes at its Feb. 11 meeting in Helena.

Statewide, the tentative changes include requiring a person to hold a bow-and-arrow license upon entering drawings for archery-only deer, elk, or antelope permits or licenses, rather than purchasing this license at a later date.

   In southeastern Montana, wildlife managers are proposing the creation of an elk B (antlerless) license that would be valid region-wide, excluding the Custer National Forest and Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. There is also a proposal to increase the number of 799-20 elk permits from 175-225. The 799-20 permit is an either-sex elk permit valid in all of Hunting Districts 702, 704 and 705.

   For mule deer in southeastern Montana, FWP is proposing returning to an either-sex season on General Deer licenses, as well las reintroducing a limited number of region-wide B licenses. Mule deer B tags were unavailable in Region 7 in 2014 and were only issued on a limited basis in a select few southeastern Montana hunting districts this year because of concerns about population numbers.

   A form for online comments as well as a detailed list of public metings and changes proposed throughout Montana are available online at fwp.mt.gov and follow the links to “Hunting” and under “opportunity for public comment” click on “2016-17 hunting season changes – proposed”. Written comments can be submitted to FWP Wildlife Division, Attn: Hunting Season Proposals, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620. Comments are due by 5 p.m. Jan. 22, 2016.