FWP Approves 2005 Hunting Seasons And Regulations
The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission has approved the final 2005 hunting seasons and regulations. The regulations will remain similar to those last season with a few significant changes. Hunting quotas will be established later this spring.
Here is a brief summary of what is new:
In FWP Region 2, in hunting districts 204, roughly northeast of Stevensville, and hunting district 261, northeast of Hamilton, one week of brow-tined bull/antlerless elk hunting was added to the general season. The hunt for brow-tined bull/antlerless elk will run from Nov. 12-27.
Also in Region 2, hunting district 298-80 has been eliminated and the individual regulations set for hunting districts 281, 285, 291, 292, and 293 will apply.
In Region 3, in hunting district 313 near Gardiner, the quota for late hunt antlerless-elk permits was reduced from 1,100 to 100. The Northern Yellowstone elk population has been declining since 1994.
In hunting district 311, south of Three Forks, the late season antlerless-elk hunt was eliminated. Also in Region 3, in hunting district 332, near Wisdom, the general season either-sex elk-hunting season was changed to an antlered-bull season with a quota of 600 either-sex permits.
Youth Elk Hunts
Youth hunts for those ages 12-14 to hunt spike bull/antlerless elk on the general license were created in Region 3 hunting districts 339, south of Wolf Creek, and 380 near Helena.
Similar opportunities for youth to hunt antlerless elk were also created in Region 4 in hunting districts 401, 403, 410, 411, 412, 417, 426, 441, and 450; and in Region 5’s hunting districts 511, east of Judith Gap, and 530 near Harlowton.
New doe/fawn seasons were created in hunting districts 440 and 444, north of Wolf Creek, reflecting the abundant populations in this area.
In the northeast, four new antelope hunting districts were created by combining existing districts in order to improve antelope hunting opportunities and simplify the regulations. Antelope hunting district 600 and the portion of hunting district 610 north of U.S. Highway 2 were combined into a new expanded hunting district 600. Other expanded districts include:
* Hunting district 670 and 640 were combined into a new hunting district 670
* Hunting district 650 and 651 were combined into a new hunting district 650
* Hunting district 690 and 610, south of U.S. Highway 2, were combined into a new hunting district 690
In hunting district 326, southeast of Dillon, the antlered buck season was changed to an either-sex season.
In hunting districts 500, 570, 575, 580, and 590, north of Billings and east of the Crazy Mountains, the either-sex regulation was changed to a more restrictive antlered- buck regulation.
Spring turkey season is extended by one week until May 15. Spring gobbler quotas increased in the following counties:
* Ravalli: 150 to 350 turkeys
* Ravalli: youth hunt quota 60 to 150
* Sanders: 115 to 200
* Lincoln: 175 to 300
Two bighorn sheep hunting districts were reopened:
* Hunting district 455 will have one either-sex license and the hunting district boundary will be expanded
* Hunting district 315 will have two either-sex licenses
The season date for the 2005/2006 bison season is set for Nov. 15, 2005—Feb. 15, 2006.
Hunters are reminded to carefully read the new regulations for important details on these and other changes before setting out to hunt this year. New 2005 hunting regulations will be available by March 24.