Fall Black Bear And Mountain Lion License Deadline Approaching

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds black bear and mountain lion hunters that licenses must be purchased by Aug. 31, a Sunday, for the fall season. Hunters may purchase a license at any FWP office on or before Friday, Aug. 29. Licenses will be available through Aug. 31 at FWP license providers open on weekends.

Residents who currently hold a 2003 conservation license can buy a black bear or lion hunting license on the FWP web site at www.fwp.state.mt.us, using a credit card.

All mail-in applications must be postmarked no later than Aug. 31.

Hunters may purchase only one black bear hunting license per year and a mountain lion hunter may take only one adult mountain lion a season.

For lion hunters, the Montana Legislature created a new “resident hound-training license” in 2003. The hunter must be a Montana resident, at least 12 years old before or during the training season, and have a valid conservation license. The resident hound-training license is available throughout the lion season for $5. This license is for training purposes only. It does not allow the hunter to kill a mountain lion.

A nonresident lion hunter who hunts with dogs, and does not hunt with an outfitter, must have a hunting-harvest permit to take a lion in portions of FWP Region 1 during the winter season. The deadline to apply for a hunting-harvest permit is Sept. 30.

Black bear hunters must have successfully completed the Black Bear Identification Test and must present a certificate of completion when purchasing a black bear license. The program aims to prevent mistaken identity killings of federally protected grizzly bears and to help Montana maintain its black bear hunting season.

The Black Bear Identification training and test are available on FWP's web site at www.fwp.state.mt.us under Education. A paper version may be obtained at any FWP regional office or license provider.

Hunters are also reminded it is illegal to harvest black bear cubs, defined as bears less than one year old. It is also illegal to harvest female black bears with young.

The new 2003 black bear hunting regulations book has details on black bear hunting and is available from all FWP regional offices and license providers. The 2003 mountain lion regulation book will be available in early September.