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Region 3

Elk Shoulder Season Fact Sheet

How will elk shoulder seasons be used in FWP Region 3 in 2017-18?

  • Region 3 has three hunting districts with firearm elk hunting opportunities before and after the general 5-week elk season (Oct. 21-Nov. 26), as part of the new elk “shoulder season” approach to reducing elk populations where needed.
  • Early shoulder seasons in the three hunting districts (312, 390, 393) in Region 3 will run Aug. 15- Sept. 1.  Late shoulder seasons will continue after the general season through Jan. 1.
  • There are no weapons restrictions during shoulder seasons. 

Where can I hunt and when?

  • In R3, shoulder season opportunities are offered in hunting districts 312 (West Bridger), 390 (Sixteenmile Creek), and 393 (East Bridger). Check the regulations for open season dates in these districts.
  • Only private lands are open to hunting during the shoulder seasons in Region 3.
  • Hunters must obtain landowner permission to access private property during a shoulder season, just as they would during the general hunting season, and should start establishing contacts early in order to request access. 

What about overlap with archery season?

  • There is no overlap between rifle hunting for elk during shoulder seasons and the archery-only season in Region 3. 

What license do I need & how do I get it?

  • In HD 312 only holders of an Elk 397-00 B License may hunt elk during the shoulder seasons. 
  • In HD 390 and HD 393, hunters may use a general license and/or the Elk 397-00 B License.
  • Hunters may purchase the Elk 397-00 B License for these districts (beginning August 8) over-the-counter or online at fwp.mt.gov.
  • FWP recommends that hunters secure access to private lands before purchasing an elk B license for a shoulder season.

Can I hunt Block Management Areas during the shoulder seasons?

  • Some landowners who enroll land in the Block Management Program have chosen to allow public elk hunting ONLY during the archery only and general firearms hunting seasons, while other landowners have chosen to allow public elk hunting during all legal seasons between the Block Management contract dates of September 1 – January 1.

How do shoulder seasons relate to game damage hunts?

  • Game damage hunts remain viable as a tool for FWP and landowners to alleviate crop damage by elk when the damage is happening. Damage hunts may occur, though probably fewer than in recent years.
  • As in the past, hunters need to register online for a hunting district on the Game Damage Hunt Roster by July 15 in order to become eligible to be selected for a game damage hunt.

Where can I find out more information?

  • You may direct any questions on Region 3 elk shoulder seasons to FWP at (406) 994-4042.