Montana bill to make bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat once in a lifetime licenses

Montana bill to make bighorn sheep moose and mountain goat once-in-a-lifetime licenses

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Montana bighorn sheep, moose, mountain goat, and grizzly bear could become a once in a lifetime harvest if a new bill passes. Currently, Montana House Bill 390 is making its rounds. Drafts were started around December of 2018 and it was introduced to the House on February 5.

Today (Feb. 26) at 3:00 p.m. there will be a hearing with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee.

The bill's primary sponsor is Rep. Denley M. Loge of Saint Regis, MT.

It will be interesting to see how this bill moves forward. If the once-in-a-lifetime part passed, you'd think that they would go back through the list of everyone that killed and cut them off from being able to apply again. Then at the same time, what happens to the accumulated bonus points and all the fees that some nonresidents have spent on applying who are looking to draw their second tag for a species?

Note: based on my understanding of HB390's language, this new bill doesn't limit a person taking more than one ram in their lifetime in Montana's unlimited districts. This new bill, on the sheep side, only impacts "limited mountain sheep licenses" which means a license that is valid for an area in which the number of licenses issued is restricted. If you've already killed a ram in a draw district, your only option for a second ram would be hunting the unlimited districts.

I will keep this article updated as we receive more information.

Track this Bill here

The once in a lifetime language reads:

(3) (a) Except as provided in 87-2-815 and subsection (3)(b) of this section, a person may take only one of each of the following species in Montana in that person's lifetime with a license authorized by 87-2-701:

(i) grizzly bear;
(ii) antlered moose;
(iii) ram mountain sheep;
(iv) mountain goat.

(b) The provisions of this section do not apply to licenses issued for disease management and depopulation purposes.

(4) (a) Except as provided in 87-1-271(2) and 87-2-815 and subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of this section, a person who receives a moose, mountain goat, or limited mountain sheep license, as authorized by 87-2-701, with the exception of an antlerless moose or an adult ewe game management license issued under 87-2-104, is not eligible to receive another special license for that species for the next 7 years. For the purposes of this subsection (4)(a), "limited mountain sheep license" means a license that is valid for an area in which the number of licenses issued is restricted.

Youth opportunity to draw big four licenses:

Also, this bill would take away the opportunity for youth age 12 to 17 years old from drawing an antlered moose, bighorn sheep ram or any mountain goat. They could still apply for antlerless moose and ewe bighorn.

See the language below:

87-2-701. Special licenses. (1) An applicant who is 12 years of age or older or who will turn 12 years old before or during the season for which the license is issued and is the holder of a resident wildlife conservation license or a nonresident wildlife conservation license may apply for a special license that, in the judgment of the department, is to be issued and shall pay the following fees:
(a) antlerless moose--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250;
(b) mountain goat--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250;
(c)(b) ewe mountain sheep--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250;
(d)(c) antelope--resident, $14; nonresident, $200;
(e) grizzly bear--resident, $150; nonresident, $1,000;
(f)(d) black bear--nonresident, $350;
(g)(e) wild buffalo or bison--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250.

(2) Except as provided in 87-2-702(3), an applicant who is 18 years of age or older, or who will turn 18 years old before or during the season for which the license is issued, and is the holder of a wildlife conservation license may apply for a special license that, in the judgment of the department, is to be issued and shall pay the following fees:
(a) antlered moose--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250;
(b) mountain goat--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250;
(c) ram mountain sheep--resident, $125; nonresident, $1,250;
(d) grizzly bear--resident, $150; nonresident, $1,000.

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