87-2-806. Taking fish or game for scientific purposes. (1) An accredited representative of an accredited school, college, university, or other institution of learning or of any governmental agency or an individual who is investigating a scientific subject for which collection is necessary, may take, kill, capture, and possess for that purpose any birds, fish, or animals protected by Montana law or department or commission rule if a permit to collect is authorized by the department. Under the provisions of this section, a permittee may take, kill, and capture protected or unprotected birds, fish, or animals in any way that is approved by the department, except by the use of explosives. A permittee may not take, kill, or capture more birds, fish, or animals than are necessary for the investigation. A collection permit may not be given for a species for which a taking is prohibited by statute or rule.
(2) A person who desires to engage in the scientific investigation shall apply to the department for a permit. The department may require the applicant to submit a plan of operations that includes the purpose for the collection, collection methodology to be employed, and the qualifications of the person who will be doing the collecting. The department may set qualifications for persons to whom permits are issued and may place special authorizations or special requirements and limitations on any permit. If the department is satisfied of the good faith and qualifications of the applicant and that the collecting is necessary for a valid purpose, the department:
(a) may issue a permit that must place a time limit on the collections and may place a restriction on the number of birds, fish, or animals to be taken; and
(b) shall require a report of the numbers and species of animals taken by collection areas.
(3) The department may deny a permit if:
(a) the applicant is not qualified to make the scientific investigation;
(b) the proposed collecting is not necessary for the proposed scientific investigation;
(c) the method of collecting is not appropriate;
(d) the proposed collecting may threaten the viability of the species; or
(e) there is no valid reason or need for the proposed scientific investigation.
(4) By December 31 of each year, a permittee shall submit a report to the department that lists the species and numbers of individuals of the species taken and locations from which collections were taken. A permittee who fails to file a required report may not be issued another permit.
(5) The permittee shall pay $50 for the permit, except that a permittee who is a representative of an accredited school, college, university, or other institution of learning or of any governmental agency is exempt from payment of the fee.
(6) The permittee may not take, have, or capture any other or greater number of birds, fish, or animals than are allowed in the permit.
(7) A representative of an accredited school, college, university, or other institution of learning or an individual permittee who may have various students or associates assisting throughout the year may apply to have a permit issued that includes the individual and the students or associates. The department shall approve the qualifications of a student or an associate and the level of supervision required by the primary permittee. The students or associates, when carrying a copy of the permit, have the same authorizations and restrictions as the primary applicant. The primary applicant shall keep a record of all students or associates listed on the permit and of the dates when each student or associate conducts a collection under the permit. The primary applicant is responsible for the students' or associates' use of the permit or copies of the permit.