Hound News

March 2007

Hello, Houndsmen!

Another season of being in the woods with your hounds looking for lion and bobcats is about over, but you can look for coon. Instead of getting up early to go hunting, you now can be going to bed late!

The 2007 Legislature is in its final weeks, and we again watched what bills were in the hopper that might affect our ability to hunt. One that concerned us never made it to an actual bill status. That LC2461 began with a title of "Ban use of multiple dogs to hunt mammals." Then the title was changed to "Ban use of dogs to chase certain predatory animals." But it never made it beyond draft status. Hopefully, we won't be facing this again in the 2009 legislature, but that is a definite possibility. Bills that missed the transmittal deadline and are dead:

  • HB71 would have required trapper safety education
  • HB398 would have restricted access to certain big game licenses
  • HB476 would have revised special elk permits and added a waiting period
  • S
  • B34 would have revised the authority to regulate nonresident hunters in unlimited permit areas

Bills that either are signed or have been transmitted to the Governor for signing are:

  • HB115 to revise publication requirements for hunting and fishing regulations
  • HB226 revise replacement license law
  • HB264 Allow 2 fishing rods per boat or shore angler in lakes and reservoirs
  • SB44 expand hunting "super tag" to lion, antelope, and buffalo

Other bills still in the hearing process are:

  • SB100 Revise outfitter laws / felony outfitting without license
  • SB372 Create wolf licenses and authorize wolf and grizzly bear lottery or auction if delisted

Regarding Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Commission information, we need to be thinking about mountain-lion quotas. The FWP Commission meeting for setting these tentative quotas is scheduled for April 26, 2007, in Helena. Each and every houndsman should be speaking to their local biologist about their concerns and ideas for lion quotas as well as conveying your comments to MSHA Officers so that we can back up your comments as an Association. The FWP Commission meeting to finalize these 2007 lion quotas is scheduled for June 14, 2007, in Columbus, MT. At this June 14th meeting, the tentative 2007 Furbearer Quotas will also be set. This is where the Bobcat quotas need to be addressed.

Deer, elk, and antelope tentative quotas will be at the May 17 meeting in Helena with finals for deer and elk at the July 19 meeting in Dillon. Antelope and furbearer quotas will be finalized at the August 2 meeting in Helena. Then at the December 20, 2007, meeting in Helena, the Tentative Seasons and HD Boundaries for all the hunting species will be initiated for the 2008/2009 hunting seasons.

This year's annual Montana Heritage Defense Fund Raffle is a Full-Body Mountain Lion Mount by Philip Soucy Studios of Libby, MT. You can view their work at www.philipsoucy.com. The drawing will be held on August 18, 2007, at the Fall Classic. You can purchase your first six tickets by sending the stubs and money for the tickets enclosed in this flyer to Mable Deane. We also have some great contributions for our Field Trial raffles. Look at the flyers for information and please support the businesses that support MSHA. We have more items than what are listed for prizes, but I don't have all the details at this time. We will also have the kids' raffle again.

We have Field Trials coming up for everyone to get together and have a good time. Spring Tune-Up will be at Potomac on the first weekend of May. State Championship will be near Boulder the first weekend in June. The Fall Classic Swim day will be August 18, 2007, at Three Forks.

There will be a $1,000 Cat Race again on Sunday morning at the Spring Tune-up in Potomac. This event will cost each dog a $25 entry fee, but the return for the winners will be fantastic.

At the State Championship in Boulder, we will be again electing officers. The new system of having Field Trial Committees is working well. Ed and Shannon Brewer are doing a very nice job of putting together the Spring Tune-up; Grove Hedrick & Rick Cooper have found a great location for the State Championship; and Roland Deane and Chuck Eve did a nice job on last year's Fall Swim Day. These committees reduce travel before the field trials for officers as well as the time involved. More volunteers would be greatly appreciated. We currently have a great bunch of people helping and would like to see this continue! Give serious thought about officer elections and maybe it is your time to step up and give a hand. Most positions don't require extensive time, but do require some commitment. Memberships must be renewed by June 2 in order to vote at this meeting.

Officers are: President-Rob Walker, Emigrant, MT; Vice President-Orwan Smith, Missoula, MT; Secretary and Treasurer-Mable Deane, Three Forks, MT; Asst. Secretary-Jackie Rickert-Smith, Missoula, MT; Masters of Hounds-Jim Lechleitner, Missoula and Scott Cargill, Whitehall, MT; Correspondent is Tagge Viter, Alberton, MT. The Board of Directors are: Sanford Shrout-Chair, Three Forks, MT; Grover Hedrick, Boulder, MT; Greg Houska & Jim Lechleitner, Missoula, MT; Tony Knuchel, Potomac, MT; and Roland Deane, Three Forks, MT.