Rifle season is approaching quickly in Montana, and, if you haven’t already, it is time to dig out your orange vests, sight in your rifles and stock up on ammo. Along with these steps to prepare you for the season, reading the 2012 hunting regulations for the specific animal you are hunting is very important.
Hunting restrictions can change from season to season, so where it was legal to shoot a cow elk last year, it may not be this year. Additionally, with wolves being added to legally trappable animals, with the mandatory wolf trapping certification class completion, there are even more rules and regulations that are being amended.
For example, I know a story of a Montana hunter who elk hunts in the 270 district, and they took a shot ,with their bow, at a cow elk. It was a good thing they missed, because even though the prior year, cows were legal to shoot during archery season, the regulations changed this year, and a separate cow tag was required and had to be purchased by March 15th. Plus, there were only 15 of them given out this year.
So, be sure that you read the regulations for the current year and that you aren’t basing your hunting off of last year’s regulations. Being an ethical hunter, regardless of what or how you are hunting, includes knowing the rules and regulations for the area you are hunting and for the animal(s) you are hunting. Don’t be part of the reason more restrictions are unnecessarily put on Montana hunters.