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(1) An outfitter shall not expand net client hunter use without first applying for and receiving approval from the board for such expansion.

(2) Except as provided in (4) and (5) , net client hunter use for outfitters shall be determined by taking the highest total number of hunting clients served by the outfitter and any guides working under the endorsement of the outfitter in a year during which the outfitter was licensed in the state of Montana, with a categorical breakdown of hunting clients served using licenses issued no later than December 31, 1995 as follows:

(a) Category 1, consisting of nonresident deer or elk clients holding B-10 or B-11 licenses ("big game outfitter sponsored") ;

(b) Category 2, consisting of all non-outfitter sponsored big game species clients; and

(c) Category 3, consisting of upland game bird and migratory game bird (waterfowl) clients ("non-big game") .

(3) The outfitter shall designate net client hunter use for each of the categories, under affirmation by oath on a form provided by the board. The outfitter shall specify the year or years from which the use is designated. If use is designated from any year prior to 1988, the outfitter claiming such use must submit documentation of such use, which shall be subject to approval of the board. The use designated by the outfitter shall be subject to random audit by the board's investigators. Submission of false information regarding net client hunter use is specifically designated as unprofessional conduct, and may result in revocation of the outfitter's license.

(4) When an existing outfitter purchases an outfitting business or any portion thereof in the state of Montana and makes application to the board for an expansion, the outfitter may designate net client hunter use in an amount equal to his or her historical use, plus the net client hunter use transferred from the selling outfitter to the applicant outfitter. For proposed new use by a newly licensed outfitter, net client hunter use shall be determined by the board as part of its order under this rule.

(5) In cases where a federal agency limits use on federal lands, hunter use of the outfitter providing authorized services on such lands shall be regulated by such federal agency. In all other cases, net client hunter use on federal lands shall be determined under either (2) , (3) or (4) as applicable.

(6) Net client hunter use of each outfitter must be specific as to the category designated by the outfitter (big game outfitter sponsored, big game non-outfitter sponsored and non-big game) . An outfitter may, in any one year which the outfitter has unserved Category 1 clients (outfitter sponsored) , serve the unserved clients under Category 2. An outfitter shall not exchange, trade or substitute between any other category of net client use.

(7) An application for proposed expansion in net client hunter use under an existing operations plan, and applications by license applicants proposing new operations plans involving hunting use, shall be made on forms provided by the board. The board shall maintain a copy of the proposal in the board's office.

(8) The board shall issue an order, in accordance with the provisions set forth in 37-47-316 and 37-47-317 , MCA, supported by findings of fact and conclusions of law, either granting, denying or modifying the proposal. A copy of the order shall be provided by regular mail to the individual submitting the request and any persons, associations or agencies submitting comments.

(9) Any party aggrieved by the board's decision may appeal such decision to the district court in the county affected by the proposal, within 30 days following the date of service by regular mail of the final order.

History: 37-1-131, 37-47-201, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-47-201, 37-47-316, MCA; NEW, 1996 MAR p. 145, Eff. 3/15/96; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 2267, Eff. 8/28/98; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 730, Eff. 3/17/00; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 1193, Eff. 6/13/03; TRANS, from Commerce, 2006 MAR p. 324.

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