FWP: License required for training bird dogs using birds not raised in captivity

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During the 2023 Montana State legislative session, SB0280 was passed that requires a license be obtained for training bird dogs using birds not raised in captivity.

As of August 1, 2023, 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.

According to the FWP:

The Class D-5 licenses can be purchased online through the FWP Online License Service, any FWP regional office or any license provider. The license is $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 began on Aug. 1 for residents and Aug. 15 for nonresidents and ends March 31, 2024.

While the license requirement is not included in the printed 2023 Upland Game Bird Regulations booklet, it is included in the online version. You are invited to contact your nearest FWP office for questions about dog training relative to this new license requirement.

For those commercially training bird dogs on state trust land, a special recreational use license (SRUL) is required from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation.

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