Wildlife agency flubs hunting license drawing

Moose, bison, sheep and goat licenses overdrawn

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A collective sound of "oops" likely resonated through Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks offices this week, when the agency realized it overbooked special license drawings.

After a closer review of the licenses that were mistakenly over-drawn last week, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is going to allow the drawing to stand for one bighorn sheep license type and two moose license types.

For sheep license 482-20 the quota was supposed to be 15, but FWP mistakenly allocated 20 licenses to hunters. For moose licenses 270-50 and 341-50 the quota was two, but FWP mistakenly allocated three. In these three circumstances, the number of licenses drawn are within the quotas set by the Fish and Wildlife Commission and moving forward with the extra licenses will have no biological impact.

“With these three instances, the extra licenses will have no impact on the population,” Ken McDonald, chief of the Wildlife Division at FWP, said. “In the remaining circumstances where licenses were over-drawn, awarding additional licenses could detrimentally affect populations.”

During the 2023 Montana moose, sheep, goat and bison drawings, the wrong quotas were entered into the system for four sheep licenses and three moose licenses. In these four remaining circumstances, FWP will determine who was mistakenly awarded licenses beyond the appropriate quota, and those hunters will not receive a license. These licenses are:

  • 482-30: drew 40 applicants, but the quota was five (sheep).

  • 622-30: drew 20 applicants, but the quota was 10 (sheep).

  • 680-31: drew 40 applicants, but the quota was 30 (sheep).

  • 332-00: drew eight applicants, but the quota was six (moose)

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