*** UPDATE! House Bill 468 recently passed the Senate Fish and Game Committee on March 30 by a vote of 7-4. With 30 days remaining in the session, Montana hunters need to call their Senators and urge them to vote yes!***
Montana House Bill 468, sponsored by Rep. Paul Fielder, creates a hound-hunting and separate training season for black bear in the state. The use of dogs for mountain lions, bobcats and game birds has long been standard in The Treasure State, and HB 468 brings the management of black bears into line with those other species.
Take Action! Montana members should contact their senators and urge them to support House Bill 468. Montana members can find their legislators by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center.
“This is a great bill for houndsmen, sportsmen, scientific wildlife management and conservation,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services at Sportsmen’s Alliance. “There’s no scientific or rational reason not to have a hound-hunting and training season for black bears. It’s beyond time for Montana to incorporate the full suite of scientific wildlife management available to all species.”
HB 468 would allow the hunting of black bears during the spring open season, as established by the commission, with the aid of a dog or dogs, as well as establishing a training season for black-bear hounds from the end of the spring open season for black bear through July 31 of that year.
The use of hounds for big game such as black bears, mountain lions and bobcats allows sportsmen to better evaluate animals to ensure scientific management goals are more accurately attained. Hunters have the time and ability to determine the size, approximate age and sex of the animal, as well as ensure females don’t have cubs or kittens nearby or in a den. Houndsmen can easily pull dogs from the tree, releasing the bear, lion or bobcat. The use of hounds allows a level of selective harvest not available to spot-and-stalk hunters, which gives state biologists better data to accurately set season dates and quotas.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.