Senate passes sportsmen's bill in 84-7 vote

A sportsmen's bill that could help a Democratic incumbent in Montana has survived a procedural hurdle in the Senate.

The bill would allow hunters to bring back 41 polar bear carcasses from Canada as big game trophies. The bill also would permit more hunting and fishing on federal lands and let bow hunters cross federal land where hunting isn't allowed.

Other provisions would encourage federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges, exclude ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead, boost fish populations and protect animal habitat.

Republicans contend the only reason for the vote was to benefit Democratic incumbent Jon Tester's re-election prospects in Montana.

The vote was 84-7.