Montana – Good Hunting Today While Habitat Impacts Loom
Forecast: Substantial flood events occurred in early June, which likely had some adverse effect on nests and broods but also produced exceptional cover and forage during summer. In central to south-central Montana, pheasant numbers should have improved slightly compared to last year. In southeastern Montana, spring counts were well below the all-time high counts of last year, but well above the long-term average for the region. And far northeast Montana is a bright spot, where pheasant numbers continue to improve. Unfortunately, large acreages of CRP have expired across Montana and even in one of the last great bird hunting places, these losses are expected to have a gradual, long-term impact to upland game bird populations in Montana.
Season Dates: October 12,2013 through January 1, 2014
Daily Bag Limit: 3
Possession Limit: 9
Field Notes: Some parcels of land recently enrolled in Montana’s Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters program may be newly-seeded stands of CRP or may have recently undergone USDA-required maintenance provisions that include haying or grazing activities. Subsequently, for this first year of enrollment, the habitat on some parcels may not meet hunter expectations, but in coming years, hunters should see results.