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Montana Sage Grouse Hunting Could See Drastic Changes

Independent Record

The Montana sage grouse hunting season could be put on hold for the next six years, if a proposed senate bill is passed. 

Senator John Brenden is urging the passage of his bill that would ban all Montana sage grouse hunting for the next six years. Brenden cited the science concerning the birds’ conservation “subjective” and claims the state Fish and Wildlife Commission to be a “very politically motivated group.”

Cary Hegreberg from the Montana Contractors’ Association supports Senate Bill 247. He told reporters, “If we’re going to conserve this bird, we sure as heck should not be shooting them.”

According to reports, the Treasure State is attempting to preserve the sage grouse populations, keeping them from getting listed on the Endangered Species List. Last year the Fish and Wildlife Commission allowed less Montana sage grouse hunting opportunities by only opening two small areas to hunters. The organization overruled the Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, that felt that all Montana sage grouse hunting should have been stopped.

Jeff Hagener the director of FWP, told reporters the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has “made it very clear that managed hunting is not a problem.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to make a decision by the end of September for future Montana sage grouse hunting opportunities.

In closing his statement before the state Fish and Wildlife Commission, Brenden spoke frankly about the controversial nature of his bill, “I know who should get the bird.”

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Montana Sage Grouse Hunting Could See Drastic Changes