FWP seeks comments on hunting seasons and regulations

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Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is hosting four public meetings in January across northwest Montana to share information and gather input on tentative hunting season dates and rules for the next two years.

The statewide proposals are available for review and comment at fwp.mt.gov/hunting under “Opportunity for Public Comment.”

The list of proposals includes a citizen initiative that the Fish and Wildlife Commission approved for public comment. The citizen initiative is seeking a new limited draw for mule deer bucks in a section of the Fisher River in Hunting District 103 near Libby.

State biologists acknowledge the proposal would reduce opportunity and would not likely result in mule deer population growth. Rather, the citizen proposal aims to increase mail age classes. FWP recently initiated research in this same area to better understand factors affecting mule deer populations. If approved, draw permits would be limited to approximately 5-15 annual permits. That quota would be subject to change annually.

The public meetings are set for:

•Kalispell — Saturday, Jan. 6, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., FVCC, Arts and Technology Building

•Trout Creek — Tuesday, Jan. 9, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Lakeside Motel and Resort

•Libby — Tuesday, Jan. 16, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Libby Memorial Center

•Eureka — Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Lincoln Electric Co-Op

Hunting dates and regulations are adopted every two years for most game species across Montana.

Comments may be submitted at the meetings, online or by mail to: FWP Wildlife Division, “Attn: hunting season proposals,” PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620.

The deadline to submit comments is 5 p.m., Jan. 24, 2018. The Fish and Wildlife Commission will review comments and recommendations and adopt final regulations at its Feb. 15, 2018 meeting in Helena.

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