Training season with wild birds on public lands begins tomorrow, August 1 for Montana residents.

And while a new requirement may not apply to a lot of you bird hunters, it may have slipped past you, since the new rule was not in the printed handbook. But if it does apply, make sure you acquire the very inexpensive license.

According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, anyone training bird dogs using game birds NOT raised in captivity needs to hold a bird dog training license, whether on private or public land. If you are training dogs with captive-reared birds, a license is not required.

These licenses can be purchased online through the FWP Online License Service, as well as any Montana FWP regional office or any license provider. The license is only $5 for residents ages 18 and over and $10 for nonresidents 18 and over. For residents and nonresidents ages 12 to 17, the license is free.

Bird dog training season with wild birds on public lands begins August 1 for residents and August 15 for nonresidents. Both training seasons end March 31, 2024.

The license is a new requirement that was passed during the 2023 Montana Legislature. The license requirement was not included in the printed 2023 Upland Game Bird Regulations booklet, but it is in the online version.

Please contact your nearest FWP office for questions about dog training relative to this new license requirement. FWP also wanted us to point out that  for those who commercially train bird dogs on state trust land, a Special Recreational Use License is required from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

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