New Restrictions On Nonresident Hunters


Published: September - 2001

Out West, Game and Fish Department officials are tightening the screws again on nonresident hunters, according to Senior Western Correspondent Lance Stapleton. He writes: "The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Commission once again has voted to limit nonresident licenses - this time for mountain lions in northwestern Montana, known as Region One. Effective this season, the limit is now 10 percent of the total harvest allowed for lions in each hunting district throughout Region One. Nonresidents who hire outfitters are not affected by this restriction because the number of outfitted clients is already limited by rules established by the Board of Outfitters. But nonresidents who enjoy running lions with hounds on their own will feel the sting.

"In explaining the new restrictions, Glenn Erickson, the FWP Wildlife Management Bureau Chief says, `The goal is to reduce hunting pressure and to maintain lion harvest within the established quotas.' Despite that goal, no limits were put on the number of resident licenses to kill lions. It makes you wonder how the Commission can say they are reducing hunting pressure by restricting one group only to allow an unlimited number of hunters from another group. "Adding insult to injury, the Commission threw nonresidents a bone by letting them purchase a license that allows them only to chase lions. In order to actually kill one, however, a nonresident will have to acquire a separate `harvest permit,' and these are the licenses that will be limited to 10 percent of the harvest quota.

"All this is the result of recent legislation allowing the Commission to limit the number of hunting and hound-handler permits sold to nonresidents. How big of a loss is this to nonresidents? According to MFWP, nonresident hunters now harvest about 50 percent of the lions taken in Region One annually. So, it seems that once again we nonresidents have lost another small, but significant, piece of our hunting opportunities."

........(continued)

 
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