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Biennial Hunting Season-Setting Process Begins

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will kick off the biennial hunting season-setting process earlier to allow for more public engagement and greater transparency. Public involvement will begin in June and end in November. In the past, public involvement happened primarily in December and January.

FWP will conduct scoping meetings around the state from June 15 to July 15. FWP staff will look to hunters to provide broad input on regulation changes they’d like to see. Staff will also look for feedback on a few specific proposals.

These scoping meetings are more formal than in past years and will replace the public meetings FWP used to hold to present and discuss tentative regulations. However, these scoping meetings are not the same as public comment meetings. FWP staff will listen at the scoping meetings and capture the general themes and then use the information to develop draft regulations, which will be released for public comment in October. FWP will hold additional public meetings in early November to answer questions about the draft regulation proposals. Comment on the draft regulation proposals will be collected through the FWP website during the fall public commenting period. The final decision on regulations will come at the December Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.

Hunting regulation changes are done every other year. This new process will give the public a better understanding of where regulation changes are coming from, how FWP is engaging the public, and what changes are being suggested by individual commissioners.

The earlier start to the process will also result in the availability of hunting regulations at the beginning of the license year – March 1.

Scoping meeting schedule: Region 6 Malta, June 20, 6 p.m., Malta High School Cafeteria (1 South 9th St. W) Havre, June 22, 6 p.m., Best Western Great Northern Inn (1345 1st St.)

Plentywood, June 27, 6 p.m., Sheridan County Library Jubilee Room (100 W Laurel Ave.)

Glasgow, June 29, 6 p.m., Cottonwood Inn, with a virtual option (54250 U.S. Hwy 2) Region 7 Miles City, July 6, 6 p.m., FWP Region 7 Office, with a virtual option (352 I-94 Business Loop) Glendive, July 11, 6 p.m., Dawson Community College (room to be determined)

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