Victory! Montana Governor Signs Bill to Open Bear Hunting with Hounds

Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 468 into law on April 30. HB 468 allows the Montana Fish and Wildlife commission to establish a season for bear hunting with hounds and a separate hound training season from the end of the spring black bear season until June 15. The bill passed the Montana House of Representatives by a vote of 60-38 and passed the Montana Senate 28-22 before it was sent to the governor’s desk.

The Sportsmen’s Alliance supported this legislation throughout the legislative process by contacting legislators and driving engagement on social media. The Alliance has long advocated for hunting with the aid of dogs because it supports science-based wildlife conservation and is a useful tool for both sportsmen and wildlife agencies.

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 take an ethical shot and to determine the size, approximate age and sex of the animal, as well as ensure females don’t have cubs. 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.

“The governor and his administration have demonstrated a great deal of support for sportsmen’s issues and an interest in driving wildlife conservation efforts using the best available science,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “We applaud the work of Montana’s elected officials and we are glad to see Montana join other states in the country that allow black bear hunting with hounds.”

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: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.