Montana Bill Aims to Make Some Hunting Permits Once-in-a-Lifetime

by Keeli Parkey

A new bill introduced to the Montana State Legislature is seeking to make some hunting permits available only once in a hunter’s lifetime.

According to an article in the Independent Record online, if the bill becomes law, hunting for bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and moose would be available to a hunter only one time if he or she harvests an animal. This, a St. Regis lawmaker is arguing, would give more hunters the chance to hunt for the prized animals.

The bill, House Bill 202, is being sponsored by State Representative Denley Loge (R). But, it is facing opposition. Those who are arguing against it say Montana’s permit allocation procedure is doing what it needs to. The opponents also fear that that limiting chances for hunters to take part in the drawing process could deter many of them from participating.

Loge is arguing that some hunters have better luck than others. These lucky individuals receive permits two or three times. He believes his bill, HB 202, would give others a chance to hunt for such prized game.

“It could be done by more people, and it’s that quality hunting. By being once-in-a-lifetime, it makes it even more quality,” Loge told a Minnesota State Legislature committee.

Some Support Proposed Montana Bill, Others Do Not

One Minnesota hunter, Garrett Bacon, shared his views about the proposed law. He is in support of it. “Let some of us others have a chance,” Bacon said according to the report.

However, HB 202 is not without opposition, according to Independent Record.

Brian Solan is a representative of the Montana Wild Sheep Foundation. He argues that the bill, if passed, wouldn’t benefit hunters.

“This bill is inconsequential in the odds of drawing a tag,” he said.

Also voicing opposition to HB202 were the Montana Bowhunters Association, Traditional Bowhunters of Montana, and the Montana Wildlife Federation. According to the report, those organizations believe the system is working just fine as it is.

Minnesota officials had not taken action on HB202 as of Wednesday (Jan. 27).

Montana Considering Expansion of Wolf Hunting, Classifying Them as Predators

HB202 isn’t the only new hunting regulation being considered by Minnesota officials. According to reports, they are looking to change wolf hunting regulations in the state.

According to one of the lawmakers behind these bills, Montana’s wolf population is thriving. While this is a great sign for the ecosystem, it can also be a detriment for farmers around the state. Wolves have been known to prey on cattle and cost farmers money.

The bills being proposed are trying to expand wolf trapping seasons. This also means including their licenses with big-game licenses. That would allow for more tags to be given out specifically to hunt the majestic animal. The bills also classify wolves as predators.