January 19, 2022
Chair Robinson, Vice Chair Tabor, Commissioners Waller, Byorth, Walsh, Cebull & Lane
Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks
1420 East Sixth Avenue
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, Mt 59620-0701
Re: 240-50 Permits
Dear Chair Robinson, Vice Chair Tabor and Commissioners:
The Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers submits this comment in opposition to the current proposal to discontinue the 240-50 permits, an early season Bitterroot Wilderness mule deer hunt opportunity. Our Chapter has more than 3,000 dues-paying Montana members who value the sort of experiences that are provided by permits such as these. Our members celebrate wild places, rugged mountains, solitude and big, challenging country. It was hunts and experiences like these that lead to the founding of our organization.
Although we appreciate the effort to simplify regulations - which is the only reasoning we’ve been given regarding this change - it seems that in this case a rather unnecessary simplification would come at the expense of a great and unique opportunity.
This limited-entry early October season typically takes place before the deep snow falls in the Bitterroots, making backpack hunting feasible and lessening the need for things such as pack animals and wall tents; in other words, anyone willing to hoof it with a heavy pack can make this hunt happen, meaning it’s more attainable for more Montanans.
The rationale provided “for regulation simplification only,” offers no biological or social reasoning to eliminate this permit, and therefore we respectfully request that the Commission retain this unique early-season wilderness opportunity and oppose this proposed regulation change.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Montana Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers