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In 2019, the Montana State Legislature passed House Bill 29, which changed the legal requirements for certain activities related to field trials and the training of dogs using captive-reared upland game birds.  In response, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) worked with constituent groups, including representatives from most major sporting dog training organizations in the state, to better understand how training activities are conducted.

To ensure compliance with the state law changes made by HB 29 and to amend and repeal unnecessary and unauthorized rules, FWP is proposing new rules and amendments to the state’s field trial and bird dog training regulations.  They include requiring:

  • Applications to conduct a field trial on public lands must include (1) the number and species of captive-reared birds to be used for the trial, and (2) the written consent from the controlling land managing agency.
  • That all captive-reared game birds used for dog training originate from National Poultry Improvement Plan sources.
  • A person using captive-reared game birds, for which an approved hunting season exists, for dog training or a field trial to retain proof of purchase that the birds were legally obtained from a licensed game bird farm, and provide certain details about the purchase.

How to Comment:

Please be advised that no in-person hearing will be held because of the current COVID-19 public health crisis.  However, interested parties are encouraged to participate in a virtual public hearing on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, at 10 A.M., via the Zoom meeting platform.  Call 1-646-558-8656 and use Meeting ID: 988 8864 1013 and Password: 809105.

Additionally, interested parties may submit written comments to Phil Kilbreath, Dept. of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Enforcement Division, P.O. Box 200701, Helena, Montana 59620-0701, or by email at  Comments must be received no later than Friday, December 18, 2020.

Check out AKC’s Regulatory Resource Center for more information on federal and state-level regulatory proposals that impact dogs and dog-related activities.  For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at