401 - Sweet Grass Hill, 411 – Snowy Mountains,
417 – Armells Creek, 426 – Winifred, 450 – Choteau,
500 – Hailstone-Painted Robe, 570 - Sweet Grass, 580 – East Crazy
535 – (511 & 530 combined) – South Big Snowy Mtns & Little Snowies,
575 – Absorokee, 590 – Bull Mountains, 702 – Yellowstone Pine Hills,
704 – Powder Pine Hills, 705 – Prairie Pines – Juniper Breaks
FWP’s new proposal would remove the current limited bull permits and turn that opportunity into a general license designation. Eight of the districts would retain limited bull permits on public ground, but any private ground within those districts would also be a general license. The proposal would eliminate the 900-20 archery elk permit.
CLICK HERE to read more about the proposal.
The intent of the new proposal is to reduce elk populations to objective levels.
It is worth noting that all the involved HD’s have been under a general license designation for antlerless elk for a number of years. This is the prescriptive way to address over-population, but it doesn’t work (and hasn’t) without access to the elk.
The MBA Board of Directors would ask that you read and fully digest this unprecedented proposal. Our concerns are numerous, with these being the most troubling:
#1) Lack of hunter access is the problem! The proposal does nothing to help address this pivotal issue.
#2) New “general license” bull opportunities would promote privatization and commercialization. MOGA and UPOM are in full support.
#3) Proposal would result in more division (bad blood) between landowners and public sportsmen. Our goal as sportsmen is to always be trying to improve this vital relationship.
#4 Loss of opportunity. The coveted limited-entry bull permits available in these districts that are valid on public lands would be cut in half, further limiting the public land hunter's ability to draw these tags, largely rendering hard-earned bonus points useless along with devaluing these permits
We (MBA Board) would offer up an alternate solution to the problem, in the new elk management plan. That plan is just starting to take form and could address the hard issues like access, population objectives, and equitable opportunity. All stakeholders are represented in this process. Existing regulations would remain until the plan is agreed upon and adopted.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
Attend the Fish & Wildlife Commission meeting next Tuesday (Dec 14) 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. - Fish & Wildlife Commission Meeting Location: Helena, Capitol Room 152 Date: December 14, 2021 Time: 8:30 a.m.
Contact the Commissioners. Let them know your thoughts, concerns, and solutions. If possible, try to do so before the meeting on the 14th.
1. Where elk are above objective, give Private Land Only cow tags. Don't cap them. Given all cooperative landowners every chance possible to lower elk numbers and allow them to be part of the solution. Go to this link to learn more -https://fwp.mt.gov/.../1206-fwp-proposes-new-limited-elk... Make your voice heard on December 14th, either at the Commission meeting in Helena, at a Regional Office, or via online testimony. They want better ideas; give them some.