Montana Legislature - 1 month until the Show

That would work. I was thinking more in lines of a three-day season, like February 29-31st. ;)

Hmm. To your questions, I have to give that some thought. I was not in favor of the original proposal and when I think about it, I'm still not in favor. The sponsor promoted the season as a way for folks who hadn't already filled a tag to be able to do so. Note that he didn't call it a muzzleloader season, he called it a "Heritage Season." Maybe he is referring to a "heritage" connotation of getting to shoot stuff until the last buck or bull is gone from that herd.

I scratch my head in thinking about that motivation for this season, per the comments of the sponsor - with six weeks of archery, five weeks of rifle, and much of the state either-sex, do we still need another ten days for those who couldn't get it done in the other eleven weeks? I didn't think so then and I don't think so now.

If the sponsor had pitched it as giving an opportunity for those who want to hunt with a primitive weapon, he knows it would not have passed, as we already let muzzleloaders hunt for the five weeks of rifle season. Do they need a special season? Maybe. If so, I would give up the last week of rifle and cut the last week off archery, sliding rifle season even earlier. But, if I agreed to that, I would demand some changes, as explained in the next paragraph.

Adding this season just moved us even closer to "choose your weapon" in Montana. As it was, you could use your bow, rifle, shotgun, or muzzy during the five weeks of rifle season. If you wanted to go primitive during the deer rut, you could/can, without the need to extend season to the most vulnerable period in tough winters. If folks really want that primitive season on top of all we currently have, I would say if you want to hunt the late muzzy season, it is a special validation permit and by selecting that option, you disclaim any opportunity to hunt the archery or rifle seasons. That would give the muzzy season to the folks who are committed and serious about using that weapon, rather than the portly mid-twenties dude who borrowed his uncle's inline and drove his snowmobile to places he is likely not able to hike to (yeah, I know, a heavy stereotype based on who I have heard bragging about these hunts).

Maybe it comes down to each of us and our decision of when enough is enough. Given I just purposefully ate my fourth consecutive deer tag and third consecutive elk tag, even though I could have filled them, at least for me, enough is enough. I know others might feel differently. And I am willing to give up something to share with others, but not without consideration of the elk and deer who have been hammered by long seasons, year-round backcountry disturbance, and now, a terrible winter that seems to be their next challenge.

Sorry that I've not given a good answer of dates I'd rather see. I just didn't see a need for this season. And standing at the counter of sporting goods stores listening to guys talk about their new muzzleloaders, smoking elk in December, and upgrading their snowmobiles only served to confirm my concerns about this season when it was originally proposed.

For now, I will stick with muzzleloader season dates of February 29-31st.
IMNSHO, muzzleloader should be last Nov 1-10, then archery season starts up again 12 thru end of November. Rifle 5 Oct thru 25, archery sept 1-end sept.
 
IMNSHO, muzzleloader should be last Nov 1-10, then archery season starts up again 12 thru end of November. Rifle 5 Oct thru 25, archery sept 1-end sept.

The ability to do all of this should rest with the commission, and not the legislature.

First step to do this is to remove the muzzleloader season from statute and work to place via commission authority where it actually makes sense.

Easy fix, legislatively. I doubt the sponsor would agree, however.
 
If I am ever elected to the Legislature, I pledge to make a Social Media season whereby all Montana residents who are currently members of Hunttalk are allowed to hunt with rifles for deer and elk during the gap week between archery and general season.

And, they will get double bonus points for special permit areas.

#Entitled
#Opportunity
#Igettoshootthelastone
 
There are several bills to muck around with the court, including a provision that the Governor appoints vacancies to the Supreme Court rather than hold a special election, undue the non-partisan nature and a few other drafts w/no language behind them yet. The Leg is aiming for the court this session, heavily.
This is disappointing. Wouldn’t be the first time in the last decade or so that I’ve made the mistake of believing that a judicial branch would remain independent and keep things sane.
 
Gonna be a tightrope walk to figure out how far I can push the balance of days off of work, family time and driving to Helana this session.

Gonna do my best to be that metaphorical thorn in the buttcheeks of the legislators who are trying to pass bad bills.

Game face.
TMZ is gonna be on you like white on rice
 
That would work. I was thinking more in lines of a three-day season, like February 29-31st. ;)

Hmm. To your questions, I have to give that some thought. I was not in favor of the original proposal and when I think about it, I'm still not in favor. The sponsor promoted the season as a way for folks who hadn't already filled a tag to be able to do so. Note that he didn't call it a muzzleloader season, he called it a "Heritage Season." Maybe he is referring to a "heritage" connotation of getting to shoot stuff until the last buck or bull is gone from that herd.

I scratch my head in thinking about that motivation for this season, per the comments of the sponsor - with six weeks of archery, five weeks of rifle, and much of the state either-sex, do we still need another ten days for those who couldn't get it done in the other eleven weeks? I didn't think so then and I don't think so now.

If the sponsor had pitched it as giving an opportunity for those who want to hunt with a primitive weapon, he knows it would not have passed, as we already let muzzleloaders hunt for the five weeks of rifle season. Do they need a special season? Maybe. If so, I would give up the last week of rifle and cut the last week off archery, sliding rifle season even earlier. But, if I agreed to that, I would demand some changes, as explained in the next paragraph.

Adding this season just moved us even closer to "choose your weapon" in Montana. As it was, you could use your bow, rifle, shotgun, or muzzy during the five weeks of rifle season. If you wanted to go primitive during the deer rut, you could/can, without the need to extend season to the most vulnerable period in tough winters. If folks really want that primitive season on top of all we currently have, I would say if you want to hunt the late muzzy season, it is a special validation permit and by selecting that option, you disclaim any opportunity to hunt the archery or rifle seasons. That would give the muzzy season to the folks who are committed and serious about using that weapon, rather than the portly mid-twenties dude who borrowed his uncle's inline and drove his snowmobile to places he is likely not able to hike to (yeah, I know, a heavy stereotype based on who I have heard bragging about these hunts).

Maybe it comes down to each of us and our decision of when enough is enough. Given I just purposefully ate my fourth consecutive deer tag and third consecutive elk tag, even though I could have filled them, at least for me, enough is enough. I know others might feel differently. And I am willing to give up something to share with others, but not without consideration of the elk and deer who have been hammered by long seasons, year-round backcountry disturbance, and now, a terrible winter that seems to be their next challenge.

Sorry that I've not given a good answer of dates I'd rather see. I just didn't see a need for this season. And standing at the counter of sporting goods stores listening to guys talk about their new muzzleloaders, smoking elk in December, and upgrading their snowmobiles only served to confirm my concerns about this season when it was originally proposed.

For now, I will stick with muzzleloader season dates of February 29-31st.
I agree Randy. Curious (I didn't pay that close of attention...maybe a questions for @Ben Lamb )....was the muzzleloader season pitched liked many other items with the statement of "let's try it out for a year or two"? I really REALLY hate that kind of legislative speak, but should we be looking for data to show the experiment didn't work?
 
I agree Randy. Curious (I didn't pay that close of attention...maybe a questions for @Ben Lamb )....was the muzzleloader season pitched liked many other items with the statement of "let's try it out for a year or two"? I really REALLY hate that kind of legislative speak, but should we be looking for data to show the experiment didn't work?
No it wasn’t pitched like that. Also, what do you mean “didn’t work?” It’s supposed to be an opportunity to hunt with a traditional muzzleloader. If one person takes that opportunity then “it worked.” I’m not a fan of the season, but a lot of the blame for the season dates can be put on the Montana BHA for getting those dates moved to December. It was originally proposed in October IIRC, and the Montana BHA board of purist trad bow hunters threw a shit fit. They put out a statement to try and walk it back, but the original dates would have been much better than chasing deer/elk on their winter range after 11 weeks of hunting pressure.

This post isn’t meant to be an attack on Montana BHA as they do some good work during the legislative sessions. They definitely f*cked this one up though.

The legislature shouldn’t be setting season dates at all. If they want to propose a hunt it should go through FWP and the commission with biologist input for season dates/impacts.
 
The legislature shouldn’t be setting season dates at all. If they want to propose a hunt it should go through FWP and the commission with biologist input for season dates/impacts.

This all day long.

@sacountry - I wasn't involved in the bill last session, so I can't say what the overall messaging was, but NSSF did come in and lobby heavily for it, so the idea that it's just someone's good idea that they wanted to try isn't entirely true either.

I'd love to see NSSF support eliminating the statutory requirement & work with local groups to get the commission to adopt a better replacement. Hopefully that could happen, but I'm not sure. Lobbyists hate losing bills, even bad ones.
 
No it wasn’t pitched like that. Also, what do you mean “didn’t work?” It’s supposed to be an opportunity to hunt with a traditional muzzleloader. If one person takes that opportunity then “it worked.” I’m not a fan of the season, but a lot of the blame for the season dates can be put on the Montana BHA for getting those dates moved to December. It was originally proposed in October IIRC, and the Montana BHA board of purist trad bow hunters threw a shit fit. They put out a statement to try and walk it back, but the original dates would have been much better than chasing deer/elk on their winter range after 11 weeks of hunting pressure.

This post isn’t meant to be an attack on Montana BHA as they do some good work during the legislative sessions. They definitely f*cked this one up though.

The legislature shouldn’t be setting season dates at all. If they want to propose a hunt it should go through FWP and the commission with biologist input for season dates/impacts.
Working doesn't mean harvesting. If the purpose was to create an extension of the already longggg season, then it may have achieved its purpose. If the purpose is to create an opportunity to hunt with a traditional muzzleloader, then that can be achieved by simply adding muzzys to the list of legal, rifle season weapons. Or if that doesn't fly, setting aside one of the 5 weeks of the season for muzzy hunters. To Randy's point, the way this thing was implemented "doesn't work" and should be dismissed into the calendar round file dates of Feb 29-31.
 
Working doesn't mean harvesting. If the purpose was to create an extension of the already longggg season, then it may have achieved its purpose. If the purpose is to create an opportunity to hunt with a traditional muzzleloader, then that can be achieved by simply adding muzzys to the list of legal, rifle season weapons. Or if that doesn't fly, setting aside one of the 5 weeks of the season for muzzy hunters. To Randy's point, the way this thing was implemented "doesn't work" and should be dismissed into the calendar round file dates of Feb 29-31.
Muzzys were already legal in rifle season. The original proposal was to have it in October.

I didn’t say anything about harvesting. This was sold as an additional opportunity to hunt. People are doing it…therefore “it worked.”

The dates suck. They were set by the legislature, which is bullshit. Now we need to get them changed.
 
I think a huge problem with all this is we can’t seem to organize. This fight each other won’t work. The muzzy are bad rifle rut is bad or this and that. The entire system needs to burn to the ground and be rebuilt. I get some of the issues you guys have with the muzzy season. Problem is the state is so huge where I elk hunt they aren’t piling into a winter area so that isn’t an issue like other places. But the rifles in November are for the deer. Fwp has let us all run wild for way too long. I’d love to see the 3 seasons split and you pick one per species. By doing that it gives us more opportunity to spread everyone out across the calendar instead of giving everyone this insane amount of time. I’m not sure why the muzzy season got set so late but I sure would love to see it in the last week of rifle season. The resident push back on any changes is going to be huge I wish we could at least start by chocking the nr down to certain units kind of similar to Wyoming.
 
Just walked in the door from sitting in the Billings netting tonight. They didn’t go over any of the nasty stuff we are all afraid of just said a lot of elk stuff will be brought up this year.
 
They did tell me the biggest complaint they have gotten is about how complicated our regs are. Makes no sense to me with 90% of the state being a general. We have a lot of hunt districts so maybe it needs to be compressed into just 4 by region on something idk.
 
They did tell me the biggest complaint they have gotten is about how complicated our regs are. Makes no sense to me with 90% of the state being a general. We have a lot of hunt districts so maybe it needs to be compressed into just 4 by region on something idk.
Say it ain't so! We just went through and simplified all of them though....(sarcasm)
 
Does MT have a limit on the number of bills a member of the legislature can introduce? Seems that would cut a lot of the baloney.

CO:
The number of bills a member may introduce is limited. The General Assembly limits, by rule, the number of bills a member may introduce during a legislative session. The rule provides that members may introduce no more than five bills, excluding measures that make appropriations and bills that are recommended by committees that meet between legislative sessions. With regard to the bills subject to the five-bill limit, if a legislator waits until after December 1 to ask that bills be drafted, the legislator may request only two bills. Legislators elected at the general election who did not serve in the General Assembly during the past session have until December 15 to make requests under the five-bill limit. Exemptions from the bill limitations are granted during the legislative sessions but only by special committees on delayed bills in both houses.
 
Why do we have a bill coming to stop large scale elk feeding in Wyoming? Do we have any say in how Wyoming does things?

It's been brought forward before. Generally, it's a statement of concern about feeding elk and how it creates reservoirs of brucellosis and CWD. I doubt it will go far, as one state telling another how to manage wildlife isn't generally well received.
 
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