Montana Initiative 161 Targets Nonresident Hunters
Next week, Montana residents will vote on Initiative 161 which will have a significant impact on non-resident Montana hunters. Specifically I-161 will abolish all 5,500 guaranteed outfitter-sponsored tags directing them to the general lottery for nonresident big game licenses.
Furthermore, perhaps more importantly for most nonresident Montana hunters, the initiative will also raise nonresident big game combo license fees from $628 to $897 and nonresident combination licenses fees from $328 to $527.
An opinion piece at the Helena Independent Record notes that:
...it’s very difficult for voters or anybody else to predict what the actual outcome of the initiative will be. There is no guarantee that scrapping the outfitter-sponsored licenses will increase hunter access to private land. And it’s fair to point out that outfitters are not the only people who lease land in Montana for hunting. Individuals, both from Montana and other states, pay for exclusive hunting privileges and will continue to do so, regardless of the initiative vote.