Montana's New Peregrine Falcon-Take Rules Approved

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Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission today approved new rules for peregrine falcon take for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The new rules limit participation to residents and nonresidents who have general and master falconer classifications.

 Properly licensed falconers annually have a limited opportunity to take wild peregrine falcons for falconry purposes. In the practice of falconry, falconers may take a limited number of nestling or fledged birds of prey from the wild to train for the hunting of small game like grouse, pheasants and ducks.

Under the new quota system for residents, falconers no longer need a permit and can take up to a total of five nestling or fledged peregrines in 2012 and five in 2013. The quota for take in 2013, however, will be reduced accordingly if more than five birds are taken in 2012. Similarly, any over harvest during the total two-year take period will be considered in the subsequent year’s regulations process.

 For the first time, Montana’s rules also allow for general and master nonresident falconers to participate in a limited peregrine take season. The nonresident take will be regulated through a permit system that authorizes take of only one nestling or fledged peregrine in 2012 or 2013. Nonresident permit applications are due by March 15. Nonresident applications are available on online at http://fwp.mt.gov/doingBusiness/licenses/wildlifePossession/.

The take season will run June through August and limit take to one peregrine per year per falconer. Falconers who take a peregrine are required to wait two years before attempting to take another.

As in past years, there is no take season in eastern Montana to encourage expansion of the breeding population there, and take is prohibited from certain nests of high-value wildlife viewing and where on-going research projects are underway. Montana’s rules also prohibit the sale, barter or exchange of birds from the wild.