More specifically, within the designated provisional hunt areas, SB397 would allow hunters to use bear hunting scents, and would permit baiting for bears. The bill would also legalize bear hunting with dogs during the spring season, and during these hunts during a provisional season, hunters would not be required to keep the meat from a bear, just the head and hide. Hunters taking a lion in districts designated as a provisional hunt unit would not be required to purchase a trophy license to possess and transport a lion harvested. During the wolf hunts in these districts, trapping would also be allowed, including the use of snares. The proposed provisional wolf hunting and trapping season would run from September 1 to June 30. The cost of a non-resident wolf, bear or lion tag for hunting the provisional hunt areas would be reduced to $50 each.
Other provisions in the bill call for the closing of the wolf season should the statewide population fall below 200. It also establishes the cost of a bear baiting permit and for a permit to run dogs for bear and lion. The text of SB397 also lays out the parameters for the hunting of grizzly bears, which contribute greatly to the extreme losses of elk calves every spring and summer, destroying the recruitment of future generations of elk. Montana sportsmen now fully realize it has been the "Perfect Storm" of predator impact, from wolves, lions and bears which has resulted in the devastation of big game herds in Western Montana. While grizzlies make a much greater impact on game populations, especially the young of the year, black bears also take a high number of elk and moose calves, and deer fawns.
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