With the ongoing need to follow social distancing directives, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is changing black bear reporting requirements for this hunting season.
For the spring black bear season, which starts today, April 15, all successful bear hunters are required to report their harvest through the FWP Harvest Reporting Line 1-877-FWP-WILD (1-877-397-9453) within 48 hours of harvest.
Unlike in years past, FWP will not require or conduct a carcass inspection, hide seal or tooth collection.
This change will allow the public and FWP staff to continue to follow the social distancing directives outlined by Gov. Steve Bullock, which can be found online at COVID19.mt.gov.
All of Montana is under directives from Gov. Steve Bullock to maintain social distancing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This directive applies to those who are outdoors, but Gov. Bullock also recognized the importance of outdoor recreation to all Montanans, encouraging people to get outside, but exercise some good sense by staying close to home and avoiding crowded areas where social distancing is difficult or impossible.
Nonresident spring bear hunting is suspended until April 24 to comply with Gov. Bullocks quarantine directives for out of state travelers.
Other harvest reporting changes are:
- For remaining otter harvest, all successful otter trappers are required to report their harvest through the FWP Harvest Report Line within 24 hours of harvest. FWP will notrequire or conduct carcass inspections. Trappers need to coordinate with FWP for a CITES tag placement at a later date.
- For remaining mountain lion harvest, all successful lion hunters are required to report their harvest through the FWP Harvest Report Line within 12 hours of harvest. FWP will notrequire or conduct carcass inspection and will not require or place hide seals and will not require or collect teeth. For those lion hunters who received a lion genetic sample kit associated with the lion population estimate occurring between Libby and Plains, please submit the samples as planned.
- Any person that recovers a bighorn sheep head must report them to the FWP Harvest Report Line within 48 hours and make arrangements with an FWP employee to get the sheep head pinned at a later date when things improve.