Montana Extends Elk Season in Many Districts

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While the general 2007 big game hunting season will end on Sunday, Nov. 25, hunting for elk will continue in many areas for up to an additional two weeks to reduce elk populations in several hunting districts, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced.

"The elk harvest in some key areas was much lower than we hoped for," said Quentin Kujala, chief of wildlife management for FWP in Helena. "Once again, a lack of snow and cold weather—and some difficult public access issues—played a significant role in keeping the harvest below our elk-management objectives."

"We're asking for the hunter's help," Kujala said. "We need hunters to help us get the elk harvest up for 2007 to get Montana's elk numbers in line with population objectives."

The extended season is for elk in areas where the harvest did not meet objectives set by wildlife managers. The season will run Nov. 26 through Dec. 9. The FWP Commission, however, can close any extended season in any hunting district on 24-hour notice. All other hunting regulations apply during the extended season, including the need to have permission to hunt on private land.

Depending on the area open to hunt during the extended season, to participate hunters may need only a valid 2007 general elk-hunting license, or an antlerless or either-sex elk permit—in tandem with a general elk license—specifically valid for the area where an extended season is in effect. General elk licenses, and some over-the-counter A9 licenses, are available for purchase from FWP and most license providers.

Hunters who have already harvested an elk in 2007 with their general elk license are not eligible to purchase a second general elk license, but they can purchase one of the available A9 licenses.

Some Block Management Areas may not be open for the extended season. Hunters are urged to contact the regional FWP office to determine whether or not a BMA is open for hunting elk during the season extension.

Here's a summary of the hunting districts with extended seasons—Nov. 26 through Dec. 9—and the extended season format in effect:

  • Open to hunters with a valid general-elk license consistent with the 2007 elk hunting regulations in effect Nov. 25 : 300, 314, 315, 320, 322, 323 (outside the Wall Creek WMA), 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 330, 333, 390, 393, 411, 413, 415, 416, 418, 421, 423, 432, 445, 446, 448, 449, 452, 454, 511, 530, 540, 580.
  • Open to hunters with a valid general-elk license, but hunters can harvest only antlerless elk : 422, 424, 425 (outside the Sun River WMA), 442.
  • Open to hunters with an elk permit valid for the specific district during the general rifle season : 101, 103, 104, 120, 121, 122, 123, 124, 130, 132, 140, 141, 210, 212, 213, 261, 270, 281, 283, 285, 290, 292, 302, 323-10 (Wall Creek WMA), 401, 420, 441, 445, 450.
  • Open to hunters with an elk permit valid for the specific district during the general rifle season, but hunters can only harvest antlerless elk : 412, 417, 426, 620, 621, 622, 630, 631, 632, 680, 690.
  • Open to hunters with valid A9/B12 license awarded via the special drawings : 213, 292, 283, 411, 511, 530, 580, 680, 690.
  • Open to hunters with over-the-counter A9/B12 license valid on private and DNRC lands : 413, 415, 416, 418, 421, 422, 423, 424, 425 (off Sun River WMA), 426, 432, 442, 446, 449, 450, 452, 454.

No other general hunting season extensions for deer or elk are planned, Kujala said.

Need more info? Visit: http://fwp.mt.gov