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Licensing Requirements

Hunter Education Requirements

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.

Bowhunter Education Requirements

To purchase a Montana Bow and Arrow license, a hunter must:

  • provide a certificate of completing the National Bowhunter Education Foundation course, or
  • provide any prior year’s bowhunting/archery stamp, tag, permit, or license from any state or province. If you can no longer produce this license, for a $5 fee you may sign an affidavit stating that you previously held such a license. The affidavit is available at all FWP License Providers. The affidavit entitles you to purchase a current year’s Montana Bow and Arrow license.

Youth Hunter Requirements

Youth who have completed Hunter Education and will turn 12 years of age before January 16 of the license year may purchase or apply for licenses and hunt after August 15 of the license year.

Apprentice Hunter Program

The "Apprentice Hunter" law was enacted by the 2015 state Legislature creating the opportunity for youth 10-17 years of age to hunt without completing hunter education.

Landowner Preference

To claim landowner preference for a deer permit, a landowner must own or be contracting for purchase of at least 160 acres of contiguous land within the applied for hunting district. For a landowner preference elk permit, the landowner must own or be contracting to purchase at least 640 acres of contiguous land within a district regularly used by elk. To obtain the required Landowner Preference application form, call (406) 444-2950.

Duplicate Certificates

Duplicate certificates of completion for the Montana hunter education and bowhunter education courses may be obtained online.