Proposal to extend the 2023 season in Montana to the end of January

AKSkeeter

Member
Your opportunity to comment about the proposal to extend next year's Montana's upland bird season from Jan 1 to Jan 31.
https://fwp.mt.gov/aboutfwp/public-comment-opportunities/reg-proposals/ugb-turkey
Please comment thru the above link by Jan 21, 2022.

I have mixed feelings about this proposal:
I would love to hunt an additional month, but
with deep snow and frigid temperatures pheasants typically take refuge in woody cover,
and flushing hens out of this winter refuge might increase hen mortality by avian and canine predators as well as stress hens at a critical survival time?

I don't think the extension would hurt partridge or grouse populations.
 

gimruis

Well-known member
I wish Minnesota would extend our season into January here. Our season starts too early. October is too warm and there's all kinds of standing crops. South Dakota's season goes through all of January and Iowa goes into a portion of January. Its time for the state regulators to adjust our season with the changing climate/conditions.
 

UplandHntr

Well-known member
I dont think many guys would pursue January birds at all so I would be in favor of all northern states extending the season. Sept and Oct openers are generally way too hot.
The birds taken in January would have zero impact on the following year.
 

HNDLDR

New member
I would hunt then in January but I’m all for making sure they have the best chance to reproduce.
 

AKSkeeter

Member
In my area of Montana, with heavy snows and frigid temperatures the pheasants spend their
time in dense woody cover....warmer microclimate, protection from owls and hawks,
and food available without moving substantially (snowberries, hawthorn berries, etc.).
Flushing hen pheasants from this cover would increase predation in more open country
from owls, hawks, foxes and coyotes.
And flushing hen pheasants would increase stress during this critical survival period.

A second potential problem is increased conflict between trappers and hunters who use dogs for
pheasants in heavy woody cover. I know several trappers who wait until the first of January
and then put snares in heavy woody cover....exactly where pheasants are for winter refugia,
and where dogs are likely to get snared in January.

A third potential problem is a potential for decreased public access as landowners
typically want to give the pheasant population a break by the end of December.

I think it is a bad idea. If its a good idea, why not extend the season to the end of March?
 

Goosemaster

Well-known member
In my area of Montana, with heavy snows and frigid temperatures the pheasants spend their
time in dense woody cover....warmer microclimate, protection from owls and hawks,
and food available without moving substantially (snowberries, hawthorn berries, etc.).
Flushing hen pheasants from this cover would increase predation in more open country
from owls, hawks, foxes and coyotes.
And flushing hen pheasants would increase stress during this critical survival period.

A second potential problem is increased conflict between trappers and hunters who use dogs for
pheasants in heavy woody cover. I know several trappers who wait until the first of January
and then put snares in heavy woody cover....exactly where pheasants are for winter refugia,
and where dogs are likely to get snared in January.

A third potential problem is a potential for decreased public access as landowners
typically want to give the pheasant population a break by the end of December.

I think it is a bad idea. If its a good idea, why not extend the season to the end of March?
Yeah, they need a break.It would stress them out.
 

gimruis

Well-known member
why not extend the season to the end of March?
If the season started in December, fine. The point I'm trying to make is that fall has become too hot with too many crops still standing so adjust the season as a whole to a later starting date, with a corresponding closing date. October to March is just ridiculous and I think you were being sarcastic with your post but something like the last weekend in October until the middle of January would be a lot better.
 
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