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March 15 Permit Deadline Important for Many Western Montana Hunters

Hunting - Region 2

Monday, February 29, 2016

The March 15th deer and elk permit application deadline has gained more importance to hunters in west-central Montana as a result of the new regulations for the 2016 hunting season.

This year, the Fish & Wildlife Commission reinstated antlerless elk permits in 13 of the 30 hunting districts in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Region 2, and the deadline to apply for these and other deer and elk permits is March 15.  Find out more and apply online at Hunters can also apply at FWP offices and all license providers.

These antlerless permits replace antlerless “B” licenses in many hunting districts. Unlike a B license, the permit does not allow hunters to harvest a second elk.  Instead, it provides the holder an opportunity to use a general elk license to harvest an antlerless elk in a particular district. 

The change was made to address public concerns in some parts of Montana, according to Mike Thompson, FWP Region 2 Wildlife Manager.

“Many people didn’t feel it was right for one hunter to harvest two elk in the same area, particularly on public lands where elk are vulnerable to harvest,” Thompson said. 

Antlerless permits for elk are available for 2016 in Hunting Districts 200, 201, 202, 210, 211, 213, 214, 215, 216, 270, 281, 291 and 293.  Hunters must apply by March 15.

Also due by March 15 are applications for special permits to hunt bull elk and mule deer bucks in some hunting districts, as in previous years.  Hunting for bull elk is by permit in Hunting Districts 250 and 270, as in the past, and new HD 217 (southeast of Drummond).

Hunting for mule deer bucks is by permit in Hunting Districts 202, 204, 210, 212, 213, 214, 215, 217, 240, 250, 261, 262, 270, 281, 291, 292 and 298, which has not changed from previous years.

Elk B licenses—valid for taking a second elk—will still be available in some hunting districts in Region 2, particularly where elk populations are over objective, or on private land portions of districts. The deadline to apply for B licenses is June 1.

The permit application information is available online at now, and the complete hunting regulations for 2016 are expected to be online at in early to mid March.