Bill awards large nonresident landowners with big game combination hunting licenses

Fifteen percent of the available big game combination licenses would be set aside for nonresidents owning a minimum of 2,500 acres under a bill designed to spread out hunting pressure and reward landowners.

House Bill 635, sponsored by Rep. Joshua Kassmier, R-Fort Benton, had its first hearing on Thursday before the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee in Helena. The measure would also allow landowners to purchase an additional bonus point to increase their odds of drawing a hunting tag if they participated in a state program to increase public access in the previous year, such as the Block Management Program.

If drawn, the licenses could be transferred to immediate family members but not employees. The bill would also increase the number of combination licenses available to the landowner for additional adjacent parcels of 2,500 acres, maxing out at five. So a landowner with 7,500 contiguous acres could qualify for three of the tags. Any tags not awarded through the program would be returned to the general draw pool.
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