The Legislature passed a bill at the close of session that included language that was added in the final minutes that basically guarantees hunting Big Dog Outfitters that they will have more nonresident hunting clients. Other bills with the same language were also defeated in committee. After the Senate and House voted on Thursday to approve amendments, the Senate passed them on Thursday. These amendments were mainly party-line votes.
The Montana Wildlife Federation and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers are encouraging their members to contact Gov. Greg Gianforte should veto this bill. This is partly due to Tuesday’s language that gives a handout for hunting outfitters.
It would allow nonresidents to hunt with outfitters, and give them thousands of big-game licences (elk or deer) which exceeds the Montana hunting permit’s 17,000 limit. Nonresidents who hunt with outfitters receive additional preference points for future license drawings.
These actions encourage non-residents to hunt with Big Dog Outfitters
These changes are similar to those that were opposed by sportsmen in Senate Bill 143 or House Bill 505. Both bills were opposed by dozens of sportsmen, and they were ultimately tabled in committee.
The Montana Wildlife Federation released a statement Wednesday saying that “public hunters made it clear during this session that everyone should have equal hunting rights in Montana. This provision is simply another attempt to place outfitted clients at top of the line.”
HB 637, sponsored in mid-march by Seth Berlee, R-Joliet, was started as a “clean-up bill” clarifying various definitions and requirements for Fish, Wildlife & Parks regulations, including who needs nonresident bear and mountain lion licences, when boats can be used to hunt, and reclassifying wolves furbearers.
Because it did not do enough to protect Montana’s wildlife resources, many sportsmen were unhappy with the bill. It increased the number nonresident mountain lion licenses, while allowing nonresident large-landowners and their guests to hunt lions with no license.
Despite the fact that the House passed the bill, a fiscal note indicated that FWP would be losing a quarter-million dollars per year because fewer nonresidents were required to purchase licenses.
The Senate amended the bill to include a section that would increase payments for landowners who participate in FWP Block Management.
It was already late when the Senate returned the amended bill to the House on April 26. As the budget was closer to completion, legislators were already discussing making “Sine die” motions to close the session.
Rep. Wylie Galt (R-Martinsdale), House Speaker, sent the bill to a special conference Big Dog Outfitters Monday after the House had voted against it as amended. The bill was returned to the House by the conference committee on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the big game licenses for outfitters became part of the bill.
I tried to draw attention to the changes at Big Dog Outfitters
Flowers stated Tuesday that Senate Bill 143 received a lot of interest and was being introduced on the 2nd or 3rd day of the legislative session. “To add it on to what was a quote “agency clean-up bill” is disingenuous. It does a disservice for sportsmen and women who do not know that this is happening.”
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers opposed HB 637. It allowed hunters to pursue mountain lions and black bears the same day as they purchased their tags. This gave less-respected hunters an opportunity to tag later and shoot first.
BHA opposed allowing nonresident landowners, who could hunt lions or bears on their properties without a license because wildlife is part the public trust that FWP should manage in future generations.
According to a BHA blog post, however, the giveaway of an outfitter license was the last straw for athletes.
“Both chambers passed the 2nd and 3rd readings of the bill last night in record time. This was all without any public comment or public hearing. “The NO votes are to be commended; the YES votes need some explanation,” the post stated.
Ownership has Many Benefits
After publishing my Top 7 Reasons Big Dog Outfitters Ownership is Not Right For Everyone, I was asked for a list of reasons people SHOULD consider getting a big dog.
- It was a thought that made me think and I concluded that I don’t feel comfortable telling people why they should get a large dog.
- Sincerely, I care more about convincing people that I’m not the right place for a large dog than I do convincing them.
- However, there are many aspects of owning a big dog that can be unexpected and pleasant surprises that make us fans more than just thankful.
- This is why I became a Big Dog Outfitters fan with Maya, my first Mastiff. A Mastiff fancier. A young woman with a large, abnormally large Mastiff.
- Today, I’m a Big Dog Mom, and my fourth and fifth Mastiffs, Sulley, and Junior are with me.
- Big Dog Outfitters writers are incapable of writing more than 1000 words on big dogs.
- A normal-sized woman who is madly in love with her dogs.