Hound News

March 2003
      I have heard from a few people this month concerning hunting, regulations, lion populations, etc. The weather has continued to be very different here in most of Montana. We are actually getting a little green grass in our yard it has been so warm!

      From Alberta, I've heard that their quotas didn't fill as quickly as in the past. There is some question as to weather being the cause or possibly a reduced population of mountain lion.

      From Arlee, Roberta O'Neill called to tell me that Luke and Tyler were out walking with two of their hounds behind their place on Thanksgiving morning and heard a gun shot. Luke sent Tyler and one dog back to the house and later Luke and Roberta found their dog shot. This is very disturbing news! Who would do such a thing?

      As to the legislature: HB 32 has passed the second reading in the Montana House of Representatives with 83 yes and 15 no votes. It is scheduled for the third reading in the House on Monday, Feb. 3, 2003. Then we will again have to testify on this bill in the Senate Fish and Game Committee hearings. The bill has progressed much slower than we had hoped, but the results so far have been in the houndsmen favor. The bill was debated and amended in the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee to read: "87-3-124, Section 1...

      (3)(a) A person may hunt mountain lions during the winter open season, as established by the commission, with the aid of a dog or dogs.

      (b) A person may hunt bobcats during the trapping season, as established by the commission, with the aid of a dog or dogs.

      (c) A resident who possesses a Class D-3 resident hound training license may pursue mountain lions and bobcats with a dog or dogs during a training season from December 2 of each year to April 14 of the following year.

      Section 2. Class D-3 - Resident hound training License. A person who is a resident, as defined in 87-2-102, and who is 12 years of age or older or who will turn 12 years old before or during the season for which the license is issued, upon payment of a fee of $5, may receive a Class D-3 hound training license that entitles the holder to use a dog or dogs to aid in pursuing Mountain Lions or Bobcats during the training season established in 87-3-124(3)(c)."

      HB 55 had its first hearing in the House Fish, Wildlife and Parks Committee on February 21, 2003. I do not have any information as to the status of any amendments or discussions pertaining to this bill. No action has been taken as of February 1, 2003.

      Dennis Biggs stopped to pay his dues and show me a young pup he is working with the other day. He gave me a picture of his son Chyan and a lion Chyan harvested last month. This was Chyan's first lion. It is a female approx. 120 pounds in size. The dogs are Red Dog, Puppy & Billie - all owned by Dennis Biggs. Dennis says it was a tough chase with cliffs, dry ground and steep terrain. The cat wouldn't stay treed and the chase lasted for six hours covering about six miles.

      If you visit the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website at www.fwp.state.mt.us, you can view the "Hunting Dog Photo Contest." One hound, Boomer, owned by Jay Hould. was a finalist in the contest. Congratulations, Jay!

      As I told you last month, I am enclosing a photo here of the painting that Dusty Miller of England donated to MSHA. I know this painting will sell lots of tickets for a Montana Heritage Defense Fund raffle. Be ready to purchase tickets as this painting should be a great item to win.

      MSHA Field Trials will be May 10 & 11, 2003 for the Spring Tune-up to be held near Potomac, MT. The State Championship will be June 7 & 8, 2003 near White Sulphur Springs, MT and the Fall Classic will be August 16 and 17, 2003. There will be UKC events at all three Field Trials. No water races at the Spring Tune-up, but we'll still have lots of events for everyone.

      This year, we are going to have a Cash race at the Spring Tune-up. It will be a designated total prize of $1,000. It will be one blow out race. Stay tuned for more information as the details get worked out. We'll be sending out a newsletter and flyers in about a month.