Montana has draw error for bighorn sheep and moose

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If you drew a Montana bighorn sheep or moose license last week, you might not be able to keep it. That’s because of a mistake in last week’s drawing when incorrect quotas were entered into the drawing system, resulting in more licenses drawn for some districts than there should have been, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP).

“We know this is disappointing for the people affected by this mistake, and we’re very sorry. We are putting the resource first, and here that means following the science for population management and ensuring that we meet hunters’ expectations for a quality hunt,” said FWP Deputy Director Dustin Temple. “In this circumstance, that means pulling back some of the licenses drawn to ensure the health of the sheep and moose populations in these areas.”

These are the affected bighorn sheep licenses:

  • 482-20: drew 20 applicants, but the quota was 15.
  • 482-30: drew 40 applicants, but the quota was five.
  • 622-30: drew 20 applicants, but the quota was 10.
  • 680-31: drew 40 applicants, but the quota was 30.

These are the affected moose licenses:

  • 270-50: drew three applicants, but the quota was two. 
  • 332-00: drew eight applicants, but the quota was six.   
  • 341-50: drew three applicants, but the quota was two.

Based upon the way FWP allocates licenses, they can identify who was mistakenly awarded licenses beyond the quota. This will be implemented as soon as possible.

“This is the fairest way we know to fix this mistake, but it will mean some hunters who thought they were successful in the drawing, will not get a license,” said Temple.

According to a press release that came out today, here is new information from FWP: 

After a closer review of the licenses that were mistakenly over-drawn last week, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is going to allow the drawing to stand for one bighorn sheep license type and two moose license types. For sheep license 482-20 the quota was supposed to be 15, but FWP mistakenly allocated 20 licenses to hunters. For moose licenses 270-50 and 341-50 the quota was two, but FWP mistakenly allocated three. In these three circumstances, the number of licenses drawn are within the quotas set by the Fish and Wildlife Commission and moving forward with the extra licenses will have no biological impact.

“With these three instances, the extra licenses will have no impact on the population,” said Ken McDonald, chief of the Wildlife Division at FWP. “In the remaining circumstances where licenses were over-drawn, awarding additional licenses could detrimentally affect populations.”

Let us know below: did this mistake affect you? Or what are your thoughts on the process?


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