RMEF is in the process of reviewing and analyzing the proposed changes to Montana’s 2022 elk hunting season. We strongly believe the following principles should guide all plans and/or proposals related to elk management.
- science–based wildlife management
- healthy elk populations maintained at both biologically and socially sustainable levels
- hunting as the primary tool for managing elk populations
- impactful programs designed to increase hunter access to elk on both public and private lands
- appropriate distribution of elk on public and private lands
- maximizing hunting opportunity and quality
- recognition of the role private landowners play in providing elk habitat during critical seasons
- simplification of unnecessarily complex hunting regulations
RMEF has and will continue to provide input to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) on elk management topics.
Specific to the proposals recently shared by FWP, RMEF has concerns regarding the proposed reduction in limited entry permits on public lands and corresponding increase in general licenses available on private lands. Our primary concern is that this proposal has not been sufficiently vetted with stakeholders and additional engagement is necessary to ensure such a change would provide an effective outcome.
RMEF encourages its members to be informed on these proposals. The best source of accurate information is FWP’s regulation documents. Elk management in Montana is complicated and it is important that every stakeholder has a voice.