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Special Youth Hunting Opportunities in Montana

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Apprentice Hunter Program

The new "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. Learn more

Youth Rule

State law allows resident and nonresident youngsters who will reach 12 years of age by January 16, 2016, to hunt any game species with a valid license during an open season after August 15, 2015. They must first, however, successfully complete an approved hunter education course.

Free Hunting License

Montana resident youths, 12 to 17 years old, who have successfully completed a hunter education course, and who are purchasing their first ever Montana hunting license, are entitled to receive a Resident Youth Combination Sports License free of charge. The youth combo license, which normally costs $25, includes Montana's conservation, deer, elk, upland game bird, state lands, and fishing licenses.

Youth Waterfowl and Pheasant Weekend

Montana’s young hunters will have a special treat the weekend of the youth waterfowl and pheasant special seasons, 2015 date is to be determined. Licensed hunters age 12 through 15 will be able to hunt ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and pheasants statewide on these two days.

Also properly licensed youngsters who will reach 12 years of age by January 16, 2016 and have successfully passed hunter education may participate in this hunt. A non-hunting adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the young hunters in the field. All regulations apply.

The Canyon Ferry WMA is an exception—only to the youth waterfowl season shooting hours—they will be one-half hour before sunrise to noon.

Youth Deer Only Hunt at Fall Break

A youth hunt for deer limited to youngsters between the ages of 12–15 was approved for October 15–16, 2015. These dates coincide with Montana’s annual two-day teachers’ convention, which are no-school days for most public school students.

Also properly licensed youngsters who will reach 12 years of age by January 16, 2016 and have successfully passed hunter education may participate in this hunt. A non–hunting adult at least 18 years of age must accompany the young hunters in the field. This hunt is for deer only. All regulations apply. Elk hunting is prohibited.