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  • Montana

    Families Afield Comes to Montana

    New Bill Creates Apprentice Program and Expands Youth Hunting Opportunities2/6/09

    Families Afield legislation has been introduced in Montana to expand opportunities for youth try hunting. The bill creates an apprentice hunting certificate allowing potential hunters, under the direct supervision of an experienced adult mentor, to enter the field before completion of a hunter education course.

    House Bill 382, introduced by State Representative Robin Hamilton (D-Missoula), is part of the national Families Afield campaign, established by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, National Shooting Sports Foundation, and National Wild Turkey Federation. The program urges states to review and eliminate unnecessary hunting age and other restrictions that often keep new hunters from ever entering the field. The partnership has worked across the country. Twenty seven states have passed similar legislation, putting over 208,000 new hunters into the field.

    The House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Committee on Feb 3 held its first hearing on the bill. Montana sportsmen should contact their state legislators to urge support for HB 382. To find contact information for your Representative, please use the Legislative Action Center.
    Saltwater Fishing Articles & More by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella

  • #2
    Bills in Montana Threaten To Divert Wildlife

    Bills in Montana Threaten To Divert Wildlife Funding


    Two bills have been introduced in Montana that would divert funds away from the state Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP). Multiple others are still awaiting introduction.
    Senate Bill 83, introduced by Sen. John Brenden (R- Scobey), requires the FWP to reimburse the Montana Department of Transportation for costs associated with the removal of road killed animals from public roads.
    Unless the FWP is given money from the state’s general fund, this will likely result in the agency being forced to spend monies from the sale of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses to cover the costs.
    “If general license revenue is diverted to pay for SB 83, not only will sportsmen bear the costs for the entire state’s road kill clean up but it will put in jeopardy millions in federal funding the FWP receives each year,” said Jeremy Rine, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance associate director of state services.
    Senate Bill 84, also introduced by Sen. Brenden, requires all amounts collected from fines, penalties, and restitution for violations of state parks and state fish and game laws to be deposited in the state’s general fund. Currently, a majority of these monies goes toward the FWP funding.
    Sportsmen should also be aware that additional bills proposing to divert wildlife funding in the state are either currently awaiting introduction or being drafted. The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance will inform sportsmen about those bills as they are introduced.
    “While sportsmen understand that many states are struggling to balance their budgets, diverting hunting and fishing license dollars away from wildlife funding is not the solution,” said Rine.
    Take Action! Montana sportsmen should contact their state senators and urge them to oppose SB 83 and SB 84. To find your state senator’s phone number and other contact information, use the USSA Legislative Action Center at
    Saltwater Fishing Articles & More by Outdoor Writer Jerry LaBella