Montana is considering changes to the allotment of tags reserved for non-residents.
House Bill 568 drew some sharp criticism in Montana recently. The bill would guarantee that 10% of all big game tags would be reserved for non-residents. The list of species and tags in the bill includes elk, deer, mountain lion, antelope, and black bear.
The bill was presented to state officials in mid March. Those in favor argue the new system would provide substantial new revenue to the state. Opponents disagree. Many of them spoke at the hearing. The most prevalent complaint was that non-residents would have guaranteed access to coveted trophy hunting units like the Elkhorn Mountains.
The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks department receives no money from the state’s general fund. Reserving a small portion of big game tags for non-residents who pay significantly higher rates for tags would be a big boost for the group. At least that’s what proponents are arguing. The argument continues that non-resident hunters would pump significant dollars into the local economies in which they’re hunting as well.
At the time of this writing, the bill remains undecided.