Montana Offers New Hunting Opportunities in 2010

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Montana's deer, elk and antelope regulations—the hunter's bible—is newly formatted this year and includes some new hunting opportunities for deer, elk and antelope for the upcoming season.

"We made the changes in response to requests for simpler, easier to read hunting regulations," said Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim.

The opening pages of the 2010 big game regulations outline the hunter's legal responsibilities afield, followed by hunting district maps, regulations and legal descriptions of each hunting district. The final pages of the regulations contain information on licenses and items of general interest to hunters.

In addition, there are several new opportunities for hunters in 2010, including:

Elk B Licenses— Elk B licenses (formally called "A9" or "B12" licenses), which allow taking a second elk, have replaced antlerless elk permits in several hunting districts. Some elk B licenses may be legal for archery hunting. Check the specific hunting district regulations for elk B license details.

New Opening Day— Antelope, deer and elk seasons will open on a Saturday for the first time in recent memory. The general season for antelope opens Oct. 9. The general deer and elk season opener is set for Oct. 23. In past years, most general big game hunting seasons opened on a Sunday.

Deer Youth Hunt at Fall Break— A youth hunt for deer limited to youngsters between the ages of 12-15 was approved for Oct. 21-22, the Thursday and Friday preceding the Saturday opener. These dates coincide with Montana's annual two-day teachers' convention, which are no-school days for most public school students.

New Youth Rule— Resident and nonresident youngsters 11 years of age who will reach 12 years of age by January 16, 2011, may hunt any game species with a valid license during an open season. They may also purchase a hunting license, except spring turkey and spring black bear, after showing at the time of the sale proof they have completed an approved hunter education course.

Black Bear and Mountain Lion Archery— For the first time, Montana offers black bear and lion archery-only seasons, which opened with the general big game archery season on Sept. 4. A valid archery license is required.

Montana's 2010 big game hunting regulations are available on the FWP website at fwp.mt.gov , and from most FWP offices and license providers.