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FWP releases waterfowl and migratory bird regulations


Last updated 6/28/2018 at 8:49am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

A stiff tailed duck floats on the waters of the Benton Lakes Wildlife Refuge Wednesday afternoon. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has already released its regulations for the 2018-19 waterfowl and migratory bird hunting season.

Montana FWP

Waterfowl and webless migratory bird regulations are already complete for the 2018-19 hunting seasons.

With all of the water and ducks across Montana this summer, there are signs that it could be an interesting and productive waterfowl season for Montana hunters.

Montana's migratory bird regulations, set within federal frameworks, will be very similar to last year. The regulations are online at http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/regulations and hard copies will be available at license providers by late June or early July.

Sandhill Crane, Mourning Dove and Snipe (webless migratory bird) regulations

Mourning dove season dates will be unchanged, Sept. 1-Oct. 30, with the same bag limits as last year, while snipe season will be Sept. 1-Dec. 16. For sandhill cranes, the over-the-counter permit season in the Central Flyway, or CF, will be Sept. 29-Nov. 25. For crane seasons regulated under special drawing permits, season dates in these six hunting areas will be Sept. 1-Oct. 28, with the season a few days earlier and also longer than last year. The application deadline for the special crane hunting permits is July 26. Check the regulations for application details.

Waterfowl regulations

Hunting seasons for ducks, geese, swans and coots have been set as well, for both the Pacific Flyway, or PF, portion of the state - roughly the western half - and the CF portion - the eastern half. Regulations will be similar to last year, but one important change is that the daily pintail bag will be increased from 1 to 2. Two CF zones for ducks and geese will provide a variety of hunting opportunities.

In the PF a split season for both ducks and geese, with dates of Sept. 29-Jan. 6 and Jan. 12-16, will allow an additional weekend of hunting. Note that scaup season ends earlier. PF swan season dates, for those areas open to swan hunting, will be Oct. 6-Dec. 1.


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