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General big-game hunting season ends Sunday

by Western News
| November 22, 2009 11:00 PM

The general big-game hunting season for deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats closes Sunday, Nov. 29.

That has some hunters with tags to fill looking for new areas to try their luck.

“It is critical for hunters going into new areas to take the time to familiarize themselves with the landscape and ownership boundaries,” said Ron Aasheim, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman.

Aasheim said it is a hunter's responsibility to know where he or she is at all times. Also, by law hunters must obtain permission in advance from a landowner to hunt on private land.

“Hunters can avoid embarrassing mistakes when hunting new areas by sharpening their map reading skills and using one of the many sources for maps today,” Aasheim said.

Map resources include digital maps on the FWP website at on the “Hunting” page.

“FWP's Hunt Planner features an interactive hunting map that is interesting to play with but that requires some computing power to operate," he said.

Find the Hunt Planner map on the FWP “Hunting” web page. Click on the Hunt Planner, select the region and a species of interest, then click for the map. Hunters can choose to display species distribution, county boundaries, roads, cities and more and zoom in and out on the map.

Another map option on the FWP website on the Hunt Planner page can be found by selecting the Montana Land Ownership Maps under the Resource column for maps.

Aasheim said FWP's public and the private land ownership maps are updated annually. They are also available in Adobe PDF formats that can be printed on a large format printer by a commercial print shop.

Key Dates

• Nov. 15 – Bison season opened

• Nov. 29 – General rifle season closes for deer, elk, moose, sheep, goat, mountain lion (without dogs), Black bear (fall season).

• Nov. 30 – Trappers license purchase deadline for bobcat and wolverine validation.

• Nov. 30 – Rivers and streams close for fishing.

• Dec. 1 – Mountain lion winter season opens (with dogs).

• Dec. 2 – Mountain lion hound training season opens.