SB354 - Allow Non-Residents To Trap In Montana

Montana SB 354 – An act revising laws related to reciprocity for nonresidents seeking to trap in Montana

Primary Sponsors:

Senator Bob Brown (Senate District 7) 

Representative Paul Fielder (House District 13)

Representative Ross Fitzgerald (House District 17)

Senator Steve Hinebaugh (Senate District 18)       

Trappers were among the earliest explorers leading to westward expansion of North America. These individuals and parties forged new trails through unexplored areas, harvesting game and fur along the way. While nonresidents are permitted to hunt in Montana, they are not currently permitted to partake in trapping in Montana.

This bill seeks to revise laws prohibiting nonresidents from trapping by granting reciprocity to nonresidents coming from states that permit Montanans to trap. If passed, this bill will aid the Montana Fish, Wildlife, & Parks in their conservation mission to proactively manage furbearer populations across the state by allowing both residents and non-residents to use the conservation tool of trapping to regulate furbearer populations to ensure that they are balanced with their habitat availability which will increase population resiliency, decrease human-wildlife conflict, and lower disease transmission across various species.

Allowing nonresidents to trap in Montana will also generate additional income to rural communities through the purchase of hotel stays, food and fuel. In addition, nonresidents will also contribute sales tax revenues and purchase non resident trapping licenses which will support the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks through both direct license revenues and increased certifications for federal Pittman-Robertson Act funds which are allocated based on state land areas and license sales.