Scouting Around
Montana — 2000 Hunting Regulations Available

This year's Big Game Hunting Regulations showed up on April 1 at all Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks regional offices and at most FWP license agents. The Big Game Regulations books are for deer and elk, and for moose, sheep, goat and antelope. Big game hunters who plan to submit applications for special permits--which are due May 1 for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goat; and June 1 for deer, elk, and antelope---are among the first who will need a copy of the new Big Game Hunting Regulations. The Montana Fishing Regulations, Black Bear and Spring Turkey regulations were available beginning in March.

Montana — Bighorn Sheep Map Corrections

Hunters preparing to apply for bighorn sheep licenses by the May 1 deadline should note that the hunting district map numbers for sheep were inadvertently left off the district map by the printer in the 2000 Moose, Sheep, Goat and Antelope Big Game Hunting Regulations. Map-correction inserts that include the hunting district numbers will be available April 1 at all Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offices and license agents statewide. The corrected maps are also available on the FWP web site.

Utah — Meeting Moved

The Division of Wildlife decided to hold the first of its two yearly RAC meetings dealing with big game hunting in the spring, to allow hunters earlier input in the proposal-making process, said Steve Flinders, big game coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

He encourages hunters to attend and to share their ideas and learn more about the status and management of Utah's big game animals.

The Division will use the input received to draft specific big game proposals to present to the public at RAC meetings in late October and November. Input from these meetings will be taken to the Utah Wildlife Board when it meets Nov. 16 to set future big game hunting regulations.

Utah — Ways To Reach Objectives

The Division of Wildlife is proposing to amend several statewide big game species' management plans to include criteria that, when met, will require the Division to write an evaluation suggesting why a population is not meeting objectives, and what shifts in management are needed to best address the problem.

For example, several deer populations have been well below objective for the last several years. These units will be the first to be evaluated and may result in a recommendation from the Division for predator management, or habitat enhancement, or both. "This system will also force us to better evaluate our herd unit objectives, in terms of habitat carrying capacity and limiting factors," Flinders said.

For more information about the upcoming RAC meetings, call the nearest Division office or the Division's Salt Lake City office at (801) 538-4700.

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