If you’re planning on hunting in Montana, there are few key things you need to know. When planning an outfitted hunt be sure to talk with your hunting consultant or outfitter. Do this prior to purchasing your license and tags! Some outfitters like to do this process with you to insure all paperwork is in order.
What You Need to Know About Hunting in Montana:
- You need your Hunter/Bowhunter Education Certification information before purchasing or applying for a Montana hunting license if you were born after January 1, 1985.
- The Apprentice Hunter program allows anyone 10 or older to hunt for up to two years without completing a hunter education course. Certain restrictions apply.
- Choose your species. Montana big game animals include: whitetail deer, mule deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, bison, black bear, mountain lion and mountain goat.
- Choose a Hunting Region that you would like to hunt. Montana is divided into seven administrative regions. Each region is broken down into hunting districts. The regions are numbered 1 through 7 with the hunting districts in the region corresponding to that number.
- Example: Region 1 hunting districts start with 1 or 001; Region 2 starts with 2 or 002, etc.
- When and how do you want to go hunting in Montana? Montana offers a six-week archery season; a five-week general big game season; a 101-day waterfowl season; spring and fall turkey and bear seasons; a six-month wolf season, and a liberal upland game bird season.
- There are two primary types of hunting licenses:
- General licenses that can be purchased over the counter.
- Special limited permits and licenses that are available through drawings.
- Know the legal boundaries of where you are hunting.
- Bonus points can increase your chances of drawing a special limited permit/license. You can only earn 1 bonus point per license year for a specific special permit or license. Purchase Bonus Points.
Application Dates for Hunting in Montana
Hunters can apply for all special limited licenses and permits beginning March 1. That includes deer, elk, antelope, moose, sheep, goat, bison and B licenses.
To apply for a special license/permit, hunters can apply online through the Online Licensing System or at an FWP regional office. General licenses can be purchased over the counter at all license providers.
Deadlines to Apply for Permits
- Deer and elk: April 1
- Moose, bison, sheep, and goat: May 1
- Antelope, elk B, and deer B: June 1
Drawings will be completed approximately two weeks after the deadlines except for antelope, which occurs in August. Check for drawing results at: fwp.mt.gov/myfwpApps/myfwp_input.action
Each year, eight lucky hunters win a SuperTag license. The SuperTag can be used in any hunting district in Montana, including the state’s legendary trophy districts.
SuperTag chances are available for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, antelope, elk, deer, bison, and mountain lion. One SuperTag will be drawn for each species.
You must have a current year’s Conservation license to purchase SuperTag chances. An unlimited number of chances may be purchased at $5 per chance. To purchase chances online go to FWP’s Online Licensing Service. You’ll receive a receipt verifying purchase that lists your lottery numbers. SuperTag chances are also available for purchase at FWP offices and license providers.
Moose, sheep, goat, deer, elk, antelope, bison, and mountain lion: June 30
In Montana you will need a hunting license as well as your conservation license before applying. Before you can purchase a license on-line, you must meet and be aware of certain criteria:
- To purchase licenses online, you must already have a lifetime ALS number assigned to you by purchasing a conservation license at a FWP License Provider location. Per Montana Statute, proof of residency for a conservation license must be presented in person. You may use the online service after you purchase at least one resident conservation license in person.
- To purchase any other resident licenses online, you must have a valid Montana driver’s license number or photo ID card issued by the Driver Examination Bureau. Your driver’s license information will be verified against the Dept. of Justice driver database.
- A resident minor may use their parent’s Montana drivers license number or photo ID to purchase a resident license.
RESIDENTS / NONRESIDENTS:
- If you were born after January 1, 1985, you are required to show proof of completing a Montana hunter safety and education course or an approved hunter safety course from any other state or province prior to applying for or purchasing a hunting license, whether the hunting license is for the rifle or archery season.
- All first time bow and arrow license purchasers must enter their bowhunter education certificate number (NBEF) or a previous years archery license number from any state or province.
- Licenses purchased online (except for those identified on the previous page) must be printed from your home printer. Licenses in your physical possession are valid for immediate use.
- If you need to purchase licenses for yourself and immediate family member(s), you must do so in separate transactions and provide the appropriate identification required for each individual.
- If you intend to purchase a black bear license for the first time, you need to have passed the FWP Bear Identification test.
- Nonresidents who do not have an ALS number established and are purchasing a conservation license for the first time must be prepared to provide the last 4 digits of their social security number per Montana Code Annotated to comply with the Federal Welfare Reform Law.
- Nonresidents must hold a Big Game or Deer Combination License before applying for a deer permit.
- Nonresidents must hold a Big Game, Elk or Combination License before applying for an elk permit.
- Nonresident holders of a Landowner Sponsored Deer Combination License are reminded that the license (including deer B licenses) entitles them to hunt deer only on the deeded lands of the sponsoring landowner. This license may not be used on leased or public land. However, the license is valid statewide for fishing and hunting upland game birds.
- Nonresident holders of a Landowner Sponsored Deer Combination License may apply for a deer permit or deer B license only in the hunting district where they are authorized to hunt deer.
This box will pop up so be sure to PAY ATTENTION!
You have indicated you do not have an ALS number.
If you purchased a license since January 1, 2002, you should have been assigned an ALS number that is printed on your license.
Failure to use your assigned ALS number may result in a loss of previously accumulated bonus points.
The last thing you want is to lose your hard earned points so when ever filling out forms online be sure to read every pop up and line!
Keep in mind that regulations can, and often do change from year to year, and you should confirm prior to your hunt. For more information on hunting in Montana please check their website at: http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/regulations/.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701
Phone: (406) 444-2535
Fax: (406) 444-4952