View Full Version : Montana's Bundled Archery Districts

02-21-2013, 09:05 AM
Well now that the elk permit applications are available, it is disappointing to see that the MT FWP has bundled all the limited entry districts, other than the breaks, into one allotment of tags (900-15). It seems counter productive to the reasoning in which they put those areas into limited entry, which was to control the number of hunters that could descend upon a district. However, now that 3700 people can draw the archery tag and have access to 15 different hunting districts, what is to stop a large portion of them hunting the same district? Generally speaking, I can already see what is going to happen this fall. A lot of people who draw the tag are going to look at all the districts they have access to, and inevitably a lot of them will arrive in the Snowies and Little Snowies during the first couple of weeks in search of one of the big bulls that live in the area. If these areas get a ton of pressure during the first two weeks, the elk will do what elk do, and will travel on the N-Bar and 3-Bars to escape the hunting pressure. I just don't see the logic in providing 3700 people with access to any one district that is included in the bundle. Granted not all 3700 will hunt the same area, but I guarantee a majority of them will during the first part of the season. This reminds me of when the Breaks had unlimited tags, and soon became overrun with hunters, and thus they had to put a limit on the tags for those areas. Granted what I am speaking of isn't unlimited, but with 3700 tags being allotted, it sure may look like the Breaks did during those prior years. If the FWP was so set in bundling all the districts together they might as well have included the Breaks, at least it would have spread out the hunting pressure a lot better.

Bitterroot Bulls
02-21-2013, 02:13 PM
Where did you see this, jjenness?

I checked online, and it said they won't have it posted until 03/05/13?

02-22-2013, 08:27 AM
came in a packet i got from MFWP. it doesnt have quite all the limited entry permits other than the breaks but a lot or most in the central and SE part of the state.

02-22-2013, 11:36 AM
It is not online yet, you can pick up the application packet at any FWP office or where tags are sold.

03-20-2013, 03:53 PM
They had been proposing this for a few years haven't they?

good idea from what I gather.

03-20-2013, 04:57 PM
This reminds me of what colorado did with muzzleloading a few years back when they decided to not have a general tag but a unit specific tag. It took them a few years to figure out what units were getting the most pressure. This took a couple of years and then by then some of the units were overhunted and then it was kind of hard to figure out what unit to apply for. Maybe the same thing will happen in Montana when some units will see the most pressure. It will probably the rifle hunters will get punished and get fewer tags in the unlimited archery units when they are overhunted. Just a thought, Do they still teach wildlife management in college?

03-20-2013, 08:31 PM
The problem with this happening in these areas, is that they already had the pressure problems, and management goals figured out. All the units that are in the bundle used to have their own allotment of tags, and were all special draw areas. This allowed FWP to control the number of tags that were given for any one area, based on management goals and amount of hunting pressure they wanted to have in those areas. Now it just seems like a step backwards as there is nothing stopping way more hunters to access any given area, due to all 3700 people being able to access every single district. I guess only time will tell if this works, or if it is another bad idea that was tried hoping it would have a good outcome.

03-21-2013, 12:01 AM
Jjenness...I've talked to a few people over the past couple years that hunt the unit that you're partial to, and they said pressure increased there once it went special draw. Maybe this will lead to hunter distribution. I certainly won't be camped out there for the season. I'll be enjoying the flexibility and the option to hunt particular stages of the rut in different ranges/districts. I'm for it, but I don't run into many people anyway.