Two meetings last week in eastern Montana highlighted upland bird hunting pressure, bird population trends and was where amendments were first announced to delay upland bird hunting and dog training seasons for nonresidents. The amendments are a response by Fish, Wildlife & Parks to numerous public complaints about crowding during the bird season as nonresident participation has climbed, the agency’s director said. The proposals go before the Fish and Wildlife Commission at its February meeting. Contained in the meetings in Glendive and Scobey were numerous trend lines showing the growth in hunter days afield for residents and nonresidents as well as increases in upland bird license sales. Information on bird harvests, based on hunter surveys, also showed trend lines fluctuating based on bird populations. For sage grouse in Zone 3, of southeastern Montana, the population has been steadily declining. If that trend continues this spring, FWP will halt all hunting of sage grouse in the region.
To learn more about the subjects, check out my story, which contains links to the slide shows presented at the meetings. https://billingsgazette.com/outdoors/fish-and-wildlife-commission-montana-fish-wildlife-parks-upland-game-birds-eastern-montana/article_52c5486e-b973-11ee-9434-577adc8b7cb4.html
Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor | Billings Gazette