The opportunity to buy hunting licenses for 2012 arrived early this year. Because elk hunters wishing to apply for special permits need an elk license to apply, hunting and fishing licenses went on sale Jan. 16. March 15 is the new deadline for residents and nonresidents to apply for deer and elk permits.
In past years, hunting licenses went on sale at the end of February and June 1 was the deadline for special deer and elk permit applications.
The early start means resident and nonresident hunters will have their drawing results by mid-April, rather than the end of July. That gives hunters three additional months to plan their hunt, scout hunting areas, get in shape, and talk to landowners about access for hunting.
Resident and nonresident applications and information, including application success tips, are available online at fwp.mt.gov . Click "New Deadline – March 15 Deer & Elk Permits" under the "For Hunters" tab.
The deadline to apply for moose, sheep, goat and bison licenses remains May 1. June 1 remains the deadline to apply for antlerless deer B and elk B licenses and antelope and antelope B licenses.
Montana's new hunting and fishing license year runs from March 1 to Feb. 28, 2013.