Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will kick off the biennial hunting season-setting process earlier to allow for more public engagement and greater transparency. Public involvement will begin in June and end in November. In the past, public involvement happened primarily in December and January.
FWP will conduct scoping meetings around the state from June 15 to July 15. FWP staff will look to hunters to provide broad input on regulation changes they’d like to see. Staff will also look for feedback on a few specific proposals.
These scoping meetings are more formal than in past years and will replace the public meetings FWP used to hold to present and discuss tentative regulations. However, these scoping meetings are not the same as public comment meetings. FWP staff will listen at the scoping meetings and capture the general themes and then use the information to develop draft regulations, which will be released for public comment in October. FWP will hold additional public meetings in early November to answer questions about the draft regulation proposals. Comment on the draft regulation proposals will be collected through the FWP website during the fall public commenting period. The final decision on regulations will come at the December Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting.
Hunting regulation changes are done every other year. This new process will give the public a better understanding of where regulation changes are coming from, how FWP is engaging the public, and what changes are being suggested by individual commissioners.
The earlier start to the process will also result in the availability of hunting regulations at the beginning of the license year – March 1.
Scoping meeting schedule:
Thompson Falls, June 27, 6 p.m., Thompson Falls High School (601 Golf St.)
Eureka, June 28, 6 p.m., Timbers Lodge (101 Julian Dr.)
Kalispell, June 29, 6 p.m., FWP Region 1 Office, with a virtual option (490 N. Meridian Rd.)
Libby, July 6, 6 p.m., KW Maki Theater (724 Louisiana Ave.)
Philipsburg, June 15, 6 p.m., Granite County Museum (135 S. Sansome St.)
Deer Lodge, June 19, 6 p.m., Powell County Community Center (416 Cottonwood Ave)
Anaconda, June 20, 6 p.m., Metcalf Senior Center (115 Pennsylvania)
Drummond, June 21, 6 p.m., Drummond Community Center (52 East Broad St.)
Superior, June 26, 6 p.m., Superior High School Multi-purpose room (410 Arizona Ave.)
Missoula, June 27, 6 p.m., FWP Region 2 Conference Room, with a virtual option (3201 Spurgin Rd.)
Ovando, June 28, 6 p.m., Ovando School Gym (108 Birch St.)
Lincoln, July 11, 6 p.m., Lincoln Community Hall (404 Main St.)
Hamilton, July 12, 6 p.m., Bitterroot River Inn (139 Bitterroot Plaza Dr)
Seeley Lake, July 13, 6 p.m., Seeley Lake Community Foundation (3150 MT-83)
Whitehall, June 19, 6 p.m., Community Center (11 N Division St.)
Bozeman, June 20, 6 p.m., FWP large conference room, with a virtual option (1400 S. 19th Ave.)
Helena, June 21, 6 p.m., Montana WILD (2668 Broadwater Ave.)
Butte, June 21, 6 p.m., FWP’s Butte Area Resource Office (1820 Meadowlark Lane)
Dillon, June 22, 6 p.m., SAR building (1000 Hwy. 41)
Livingston, June 27, 6 p.m., Livingston Civic Center (229 River Dr.)
Augusta, June 15, 7 p.m., Youth Center (132 Main St.) Great Falls, June 20, 7 p.m., FWP Region 4 Headquarters, with a virtual option (4600 Giant Springs Rd.)
Conrad, June 22, 7 p.m., Pondera Shooting Sports Complex (972 Granite Rd.) Lewistown, June 26, 7 p.m., Yogo Inn (211 E Main St.)
Stanford, June 28, 7 p.m., Stanford City Hall (102 Central Ave)
Billings, June 21, 6 p.m., FWP Region 5 Public Meeting Room, with virtual option (2300 Lake Elmo Dr.)
Roundup, June 22, 6 p.m., Musselshell County Senior Center (610 2nd St. W)
Big Timber, June 29, 5:30 p.m., Big Timber Carnegie Library (314 McLeod St.)
Malta, June 20, 6 p.m., Malta High School Cafeteria (1 South 9th St. W)
Havre, June 22, 6 p.m., Best Western Great Northern Inn (1345 1st St.)
Plentywood, June 27, 6 p.m., Sheridan County Library Jubilee Room (100 W Laurel Ave.)
Glasgow, June 29, 6 p.m., Cottonwood Inn, with a virtual option (54250 U.S. Hwy 2)
Miles City, July 6, 6 p.m., FWP Region 7 Office, with a virtual option (352 I-94 Business Loop)
Glendive, July 11, 6 p.m., Dawson Community College (room to be determined)