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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:

Youth Hunter Requirements

Youth who have completed Hunter Education and will turn 12 years of age by 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 in 2015 and amended in 2017 by the state Legislature creating the opportunity for youth 10-17 years of age to hunt without completing hunter education.

This opportunity allows an individual 10 years of age or older to obtain a certificate and purchase some general licenses to hunt without completion of hunter education for two years. The apprentice hunter must be accompanied by a mentor at least 21 years of age and follow the apprentice hunter rules. Apprentice hunters cannot apply for limited permit or license drawings or purchase or apply for bighorn sheep, mountain lion, black bear or wolf licenses.

Landowner Preference

To claim landowner preference for a deer permit, a landowner must at least 160 acres of contiguous land which is primarily for agricultural purposes 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 used by elk and verified by FWP, within the applied for hunting district. To obtain the required 2018 Landowner Preference application form, call (406) 444-2950. Landowner preference applies to your 1st choice. If using landowner preference, you cannot apply as a party.

Duplicate Certificates

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