Hunters Can Register Online for Game Damage Hunts

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Hunters interested in participating in game damage hunting opportunities on private land this year need to register online beginning June 15, 2006 with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Game damage occurs when animals like elk, deer, and antelope concentrate on private farms and ranches and damage crops and property. FWP’s new game damage rules, which are still under public review, will explain how FWP will respond to the needs of landowners who provide public hunting during the general hunting season, yet who could nevertheless suffer losses due to wildlife damage.

In addition to game damage hunts, FWP also will likely offer special management seasons when needed to deal with large concentrations of game animals due to seasonal migrations, extreme weather conditions, restrictive public hunting on adjacent or nearby properties, and other factors.

The 30-day roster sign-up for such hunts is set for June 15—July 15. Hunts could take place anytime from Aug. 15 through Feb.15, 2007.  

Prospective hunters must register for the hunt rosters online at  Click on "Game Damage Hunt Roster" to register. The Internet-based registration can be completed beginning June 15 at home, most public libraries, or at any FWP office.

To register, hunters will need their ALS number and they’ll be prompted to enter a preferred hunting district for potential deer, elk, and antelope game damage hunts. Hunting districts with a history of game damage harvests will be highlighted.   Prospective hunters will be limited to one hunting district per species.    Prospective hunters may choose to participate in all three species rosters.

A final game damage hunt roster, randomly generated from the online registrations, will be posted by Aug 1.   FWP will contact hunters on the game damage hunt rosters when hunting opportunities arise.

The effort to create game damage hunter rosters is specifically intended to decrease game damage response time and to generally streamline the game damage process. Montana’s general five-week hunting season, and the creation of more either-sex deer and elk seasons, eliminated methods used in past years to generate lists of prospective game damage hunters.