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Montana no stranger to hunting ballot measures

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May 25, 2010

HELENA, Montana: The state of Montana may see an initiative on this year's November 2, 2010 ballot, and if the measure is placed in front of voters, it won't be the first time the state has seen a question relating to hunting. While this year's proposed measure would increase nonresident big game license fees and abolish outfitter-sponsored licenses, two other hunting measures, one in 1998 and the other in 2004, would have impacted, and did impact, hunting in the state in a different way.[1]

In 1998, a measure was proposed to reserve approximately 7,800 outfitter-sponsored licenses for out-of-state hunters each year: 5,500 licenses that would have entitled 5,500 licenses to fish and to hunt birds, deer and elk, while the remaining 2,300 to exclude an "elk tag." The measure was defeated with only 44% in favor of the measure. In 2004, a measure was proposed to add a provision specifically to recognize and preserve the opportunity of Montana citizens to harvest wild fish and wild game animals. The measure was approved with 80.5% of voters voting 'yes'.

The current measure is circulating to collect signatures to qualify for the ballot. Petition circulators have until the June 18, 2010 petition drive deadline to turn in the required 24,337 signatures, since the proposed measure is a citizen-initiated state statute.

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