Montana FWP proposal privatizes elk hunting

Once again, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is considering a proposal that would separate the 'haves' and the 'have nots' when it comes to elk hunting in Montana.

If you recall, HB 417, introduced by Rep. Kassmier (R-Fort Benton), was a bill in the 2021 session that would have eliminated limited-entry elk permits in any hunting district above the socially constructed and vastly outdated elk management objectives.

Well, this idea is back at full throttle, and will be considered at next Tuesday's Fish & Wildlife Commission meeting.

BHA members sent 6,500 emails opposing this bill alone during the session, so we're guessing this idea won't be too popular amongst Montana's public land hunters, though there are subtle differences to what's being considered now.

The big difference is that in about half of the 14 districts above objective where this change would apply it'd be implemented on private lands only, while the coveted limited-entry bull permits available in these districts valid on public lands would be cut in half, further limiting the public land hunter's ability to draw these tags, largely rendering your hard-earned bonus points useless along with devaluing these permits.

The public land hunter would be penalized while the private land hunter gets to play.

It's the privatization of a public resource - the King's deer - and they're not even attempting to hide it. This will change the face of elk hunting in Montana in ways not seen in decades, catering to landowners and outfitters at the expense of our opportunity to hunt.

Montana BHA leaders attended listening sessions across the state leading up to this season-setting meeting, but never did this idea or proposal come up as something that was being considered. So where is this idea coming from at the eleventh hour? Why are Montana hunters' voices continuing to be ignored? We'll let you decide, but here's UPOM's recent request to the Commission dated November 10th.

We'd love to hear folks' thoughts on this, but more importantly, we need you to step up and let your outrage be heard!

CLICK HERE to read more about these proposals and HERE to find your regional Commissioner's email address and phone number to let them know your thoughts, concerns and solutions (these are posted below as well). 

Attend the Fish & Wildlife Commission meeting next Tuesday to provide testimony; you can join in-person in Helena (most powerful) or virtually by Zoom.

The deadline to register for virtual testimony is noon on Dec 13.

Don’t let this happen to your opportunity to hunt elk! Engage now, speak up, take action and then encourage ten other Montana hunters to do the same.

Fish & Wildlife Commission Meeting
Location: Helena, Capitol Room 152
Date: December 14, 2021
Time: 8:30 a.m.


Commissioner Contact Info

Patrick Tabor - Vice Chair
[email protected]
(406) 250-2899
Whitefish, Montana

Jana Waller
[email protected]
(920) 222-1136
Lolo, Montana

Pat Byorth
[email protected]
(406) 548-4830
Bozeman, Montana

KC Walsh
[email protected]
(406) 599-9556
Martinsdale, Montana

Brian Cebull
[email protected]
(406) 860-7416
Billings, Montana

Lesley Robinson - Chair
[email protected]
(406) 301-0787
Dodson, Montana

William Lane
[email protected]
(406) 778-2155
Ismay, Montana





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