MISSOULA — The comment period for a proposal for elk hunting shoulder seasons has been extended for 18 days to allow more public review and commenting, according to a press release issued Monday by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The proposal for elk shoulder seasons would create guidelines for special seasons before and after general hunting seasons. The idea is to improve elk harvest in specific areas, according to the release.

The public comment period was extended to Aug. 18.

"Shoulder seasons add time for harvest to the existing general season," explained Quentin Kujala in the press release. Kujala is the wildlife bureau coordinator FWP in Helena.

"Based on population sizes and elk harvest rates, both the general season and shoulder seasons will need to contribute significantly to overall harvest," Kujala is quoted in the press release.

The proposal could include all currently available season structures, types of licenses and permits, game damage hunts, game management seasons and hunting season extensions.

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The shoulder season opportunities could occur between Aug. 15 and Feb. 15 and could be for antlered or antlerless elk, read the release.

For more detailed information on the proposal and to comment, go online to fwp.mt.gov, click "Submit Public Comments," then click "Hunting & Trapping." Or write to: FWP -- Wildlife Division, Attn: Public Comment, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701.

Additionally, the Oct. 8 FWP Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting has been moved from Kalispell to Helena to accommodate anticipated public interest in the proposal discussion.