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Region 4

Elk Shoulder Season Fact Sheet

How will elk shoulder seasons be used in FWP R4 in 2017-18?

  • R4 has a number of elk hunting opportunities before the archery elk season, Sept. 2- Oct. 15, and after the general elk season, Oct. 21-Nov. 26, as part of the new elk “shoulder season” approach to reducing elk populations where needed.
  • Early shoulder seasons will happen in some R4 hunting districts, beginning Aug. 15, and late shoulder seasons start after the general season and run till Jan. 15 or Feb. 15, depending on the HD.
  • There are no weapons restrictions during shoulder seasons.

Where can I hunt and when?

  • Shoulder season opportunities in Region 4 occur in HDs 411, 412, 421, 422, 423, 445, 446, 449, 451 and 452. Check the 2017 regulations for open season dates in these districts.
  • Only private, Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation, and Bureau of Land Management lands are open to elk hunting during the shoulder seasons.
  • Hunters must have landowner permission to use private property in a shoulder season, just as they would during the general hunting season.

What about overlap with archery season?

  • There is no overlap in Region 4 between the early elk shoulder seasons and the archery season, Sept. 2-Oct. 15.
  • There are no weapons restrictions during the shoulder seasons, which means hunters may use archery equipment in a shoulder season, but they must wear hunter orange.

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

  • A general elk license and an elk B license are valid for the shoulder seasons in Region 4 HDs 411, 412, 445, 446, 449, 451 and 452.
  • In HDs 421, 422 and 423 only elk B licenses are valid for the shoulder seasons. To obtain an elk-B license, hunters must have applied by June 1 and been drawn.
  • Always check the regulations before going afield.

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.
  • You will find information on the back of each BMA map in an affected district as to whether or not they are participating. In one or two instances, the information on the back of the BMA map may contradict what is in the BMA guide. In all cases use the information on the back of the BMA map as a final determination.

Where can I find out more information?

  • General questions can also be directed to the FWP R4 office at (406) 454-5840
  • In Great Falls, questions can be answered at the FWP office or by calling (406) 595-6689
  • In White Sulphur Springs, information is available by calling (406) 836-0451