Last month we discussed HB242, a bill that would create a late-season traditional muzzleloader season in Montana. The new season would run for nine days, it would start on the second Saturday after the general rifle season ends.
The bill is being hailed as a win for muzzleloader hunters in the state. However, the bill does have some limitations that muzzleloader hunters will have to follow. No inline muzzleloaders will be allowed during this hunt. Only sidelock, flintlock, or matchlock muzzleloaders will be allowed. Likewise, the muzzleloaders will be limited to iron sights and at least a 45 caliber.
HB242 passed the Senate on Tuesday, March 22nd. The bill was voted for along party lines for the most part, with only one Democrat voting in support of the bill. With the bill passing the Senate, it will now be sent to Gov. Greg Gianforte to approve.
Supporters of the bill have touted it as a way for them to promote the use of traditional muzzleloaders in Montana. Likewise, it will limit the issues between rifle hunters and muzzleloader hunters during the general firearm season. However, opponents of the bill have argued that Montana already has a firearm season and that muzzleloader hunters can use these weapons during that time. Opponents also were against creating changes without involving the Wildlife Commission.
Sen. Greg Hertz responded to those claims by stating that the Commission has not been willing to work with Montanans on muzzleloader hunts.
“There are times unfortunately when we must pass legislation to tell them what the citizens of Montana want.” – Sen. Greg Hertz
Now we will wait and see what the Governor will do with the bill once it reaches his desk. However, it is believed that he will support and pass the bill.
So, what are your thoughts on Montana’s new muzzleloader season? Do you plan to go hunt it if it passes? Let us know in the comments!