Montana wildlife commissioners are to adopt hunting rules and seasons for the next two years today, including changes to the elk hunt and a ban on lead shot for upland game bird hunters.
One proposal on elk would end a late season hunt around Gardiner, where elk numbers have been in decline in part because of wolves. Also proposed is a change to the permit system that would allow hunters in some areas to take two elk instead of just one.
The lead shot ban would apply to upland game birds such as pheasant, grouse and partridge. A federal ban on lead by waterfowl hunters is already in place because the birds may eat the shot and die.
Fish Wildlife and Parks originally proposed a lead shot ban at all state-owned wildlife management areas. That's since been narrowed to the Canyon Ferry Wildlife Management Area near Helena and Freezeout Lake west of Great Falls.