Wildlife commission adopts elk regulation changes

Elk regulations for the next two years are set following a marathon meeting of the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday that saw commissioners navigate widespread confusion and temper several controversial proposals.

Friday’s vote was the culmination of a months-long process to update hunting regulations for 2022 and 2023. This year’s process took on a different look as Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Director Hank Worsech pushed a simplification effort to revise regulations by combining some hunting districts and reducing the types of hunting tags.

Worsech said he wanted to “move the needle” on surging elk numbers in parts of the state by exploring ways to liberalize regulations. But an early proposal for several districts to allow general license hunting on private lands while public land hunters would continue to be limited drew what officials have called a “firestorm” of public opposition, and that proposal was pulled. Instead, a proposal moved forward to increase permit numbers by 50% in those districts — several of those increases were dropped Friday.

Read more from the Helena Independent Record here...

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