Fishing Conservation photo

Designed to end outfitter-sponsored nonresident big game licenses, Montana’s Citizen’s Initiative 161 could have far-reaching implication. The proposal reflects the public’s frustration with outfitters tying up all the best hunting land–a feeling that’s plainly shared by many hunters beyond Montana’s borders.

From the Great Falls Tribune:
The struggle for access to public wildlife on private land in Montana may go to the ballot box in the form of a citizen’s initiative that would abolish outfitter-sponsored nonresident big game licenses.

Citizen’s Initiative 161, sponsored by Montana Public Wildlife, was certified by the Montana Secretary of State’s Office and is out for signature gathering. If enough people sign the petition, it will be on the ballot in November.

“This is a natural progression of people being upset over a long period of time,” said Kurt Kephart of Billings, who heads MPW. . . .

Kephart is upset that outfitters lease private land and lock out the general public. He blames the outfitter-sponsored nonresident big game licenses, created by the Legislature in 1995, adding that no other industry in the state is guaranteed a client base.

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