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Proposal to extent MT 2023 Upland Bird Season to end of January...please comment by Jan 21.

AlaskaHunter

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interior Alaska
Your opportunity to comment about the proposed extend next year's Montana's upland bird season from Jan 1 to Jan 31.
https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/reg-proposals/ugb-turkey
Please comment thru the above link by Jan 21, 2022.

I have mixed feelings about this proposal:
I would love to hunt an additional month, but
with deep snow and frigid temperatures pheasants typically take refuge in woody cover,
and flushing hens out of this winter refuge might increase hen mortality by avian and canine predators
as well as stress hens at a critical survival time?

I don't think the extension would hurt partridge or grouse populations.
 

brockel

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Baker,MT
What’s the reasoning behind extending it? Didn’t have time to get their grouse?
 

SD_Prairie_Goat

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They did this is SD last year. Really tough hunting them the month of Jan. Not weather wise, birds are weary and break 200yds away. I'd be curious the number of birds killed in the extended season here in SD, cause I think it's pretty minor imo
 

huntin24/7

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As someone who’s favorite time of the year to bird hunt is December and the colder and nastier, the better, I’m not a fan of this. Even though there are very few bird hunters out there this time of year, we’re running our dogs through the thicker cover where deer are bedding and putting added stress on them pushing them around. Seasons long enough. It’s time to give the wildlife a break by this time of the year.
 

brockel

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As someone who’s favorite time of the year to bird hunt is December and the colder and nastier, the better, I’m not a fan of this. Even though there are very few bird hunters out there this time of year, we’re running our dogs through the thicker cover where deer are bedding and putting added stress on them pushing them around. Seasons long enough. It’s time to give the wildlife a break by this time of the year.
Looks like you need to carry your smoke pole with you
 

Wild Bill

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The upland biologists that I have spoken with in SD feel that the January extension makes a miniscule impact on next years population. I believe them. I hunted all 4 weekends in January last year and a few week days in between, exclusively on public land and had some very good hunting. I rarely saw other hunters in the field. I'm not saying I'm some tough SOB but I don't think there are many guys that want to go out and hike a few miles in 10 degrees and 20 mph winds. Overall, I don't think it will make a significant negative impact of populations.
 

Gerald Martin

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What’s the reasoning behind extending it? Didn’t have time to get their grouse?
Because one guy wrote a handwritten letter to the commission asking for more opportunity to hunt pheasants through Jan.31.
Commissioner Tabor presented it to ensure he could prove they took considered his request. FWP personnel testified there was no biological reason the season couldn’t be extended.

The conversation expanded to include all upland birds, not just pheasants.

#sciencebasedproposals
 

brockel

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The upland biologists that I have spoken with in SD feel that the January extension makes a miniscule impact on next years population. I believe them. I hunted all 4 weekends in January last year and a few week days in between, exclusively on public land and had some very good hunting. I rarely saw other hunters in the field. I'm not saying I'm some tough SOB but I don't think there are many guys that want to go out and hike a few miles in 10 degrees and 20 mph winds. Overall, I don't think it will make a significant negative impact of populations.
So what month is the breaking point on when it has a population impact? Let’s just extend it till that point
 

Gerald Martin

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Most BMA contracts end on Dec. 31. There’s going to be a lot of landowners enrolled in BMA’s that are rightly expecting that they are finished dealing with hunters for the year.

There’s going to be a lot of hunters assuming they can hunt on those same BMA’s that were open earlier in the year.
 

Greenhorn

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Most BMA contracts end on Dec. 31. There’s going to be a lot of landowners enrolled in BMA’s that are rightly expecting that they are finished dealing with hunters for the year.

There’s going to be a lot of hunters assuming they can hunt on those same BMA’s that were open earlier in the year.
Very unlikely many BMA enrolled landowners are the biggest Gianforte campaign contributors..
 

300stw

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it will make the road hunters with there semi autos happy, drive brush pile to brush pile and jump out and shoot then drive like hell as the landowner runs out cussing,,,,

see it almost everyday,,,
 

Ben Lamb

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I don't know that hunting creates compensatory mortality on overall populations of birds, but given the drought, fires, low population points on the spectrum, loss of habitat, moving from habitat stewardship to stocking pen-raised birds, it's a shame what this administration is doing to the upland program in MT.

This is just a less-than stupid idea being placed on top of a mountain of really poor decisions that have been made around native birds in MT lately.
 

OntarioHunter

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I also hunt Montana into December and am not in favor of extending the season. On nasty days the hens will hold tight under the snow and are quite vulnerable. Two years ago Ellie caught three hens in short order one afternoon after a big snow storm. She caught one of them twice. She marked it almost three hundred yards after I released it. A good dog will strip feathers from an upland even if it doesn't put a mark on the bird. Doubtful that second catch bird would survive those cold temps after that ordeal. The other two might not make it either. I pulled Ellie in and we walked out. Also, after snow is on the ground uplands are MUCH more vulnerable to raptors. I don't think we need to pile on more predation, certainly not given the poor numbers of birds we've been seeing the last several years. At this point I think I might be in favor of shortening the season rather than lengthening it.

South Dakota is a whole different ball game. Different agriculture, weather, and management. There is no comparing the bird numbers there to Montana. Pheasant hunting in SD has become so commercialized by the outfitter operations I'm surprised the season there isn't open till March. It's all about $$$. The turds running Montana's FWP right now are all about making more money for outfitters. Screw the public land hunter. Screw the resource base. This proposal only exemplifies how out of touch these greedy jerks are with what's going on in the field. Total nonsense.
 

Wild Bill

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So what month is the breaking point on when it has a population impact? Let’s just extend it till that point
I'm not a biologist and don't have that info so I don't know. I was just stating what it's like in SD and what I have seen.

Also, I should have stated in the original post, grouse ends Dec 31, it is just pheasants until January 31.

But I agree with Ontario, SD has such different ag, weather, and pheasant populations than Montana does so it is kind of apples to oranges.
 

Hunting Wife

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Sharptails are already hunted for 4 months. Go watch them this time of year in the drifts and -30 degrees like this past week. Even if they do flush wild and aren’t easy to kill, allowing another month of disturbance in these types of conditions is dumb. Especially when we’re in the middle of a period of extreme drought and poor habitat conditions. That added disturbance is not without impacts and that goes for all our upland species, at least in eastern MT.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
 

BuzzH

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Laramie, WY
I don't know that hunting creates compensatory mortality on overall populations of birds, but given the drought, fires, low population points on the spectrum, loss of habitat, moving from habitat stewardship to stocking pen-raised birds, it's a shame what this administration is doing to the upland program in MT.

This is just a less-than stupid idea being placed on top of a mountain of really poor decisions that have been made around ALL HUNTING in MT lately.

FIFY....
 

BuzzH

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Sharptails are already hunted for 4 months. Go watch them this time of year in the drifts and -30 degrees like this past week. Even if they do flush wild and aren’t easy to kill, allowing another month of disturbance in these types of conditions is dumb. Especially when we’re in the middle of a period of extreme drought and poor habitat conditions. That added disturbance is not without impacts and that goes for all our upland species, at least in eastern MT.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
I totally agree, when is enough enough?

I'm about over all this opportunity at all costs mentality. Our resources are being plundered for profit and this another clear example of that fact.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sharptails are already hunted for 4 months. Go watch them this time of year in the drifts and -30 degrees like this past week. Even if they do flush wild and aren’t easy to kill, allowing another month of disturbance in these types of conditions is dumb. Especially when we’re in the middle of a period of extreme drought and poor habitat conditions. That added disturbance is not without impacts and that goes for all our upland species, at least in eastern MT.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
As I understand it, the proposed season extension is for pheasants only. Doesn't make it any less daft.
 

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