A growing trend in Montana has been trainers coming to Montana's open fields to train hunting dogs. However, the training can get too close to nesting birds.

The Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks has started a permit system to get some clear rules about training bird dogs around wild birds.

Greg Lemon of FWP said that trainers with dozens of dogs can at times disturb gamebirds. He wrote in a news release that flushing coveys of young birds can break up family groups. In Montana, it is illegal to train dogs within a mile of nesting birds, wildlife management areas and game preserves without a permit.

The free permit is available at the Fish Wildlife and Parks website.

There is separate permit for those trainers using pen-raised birds.

The trainer still needs to get permission from private landowners and other land management agencies, depending on the area they're using.