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Buy & Apply Commercial Fish & Wildlife Licenses & Permits

Fur Dealer

A person, firm, company, or corporation may not engage in, carry on, or conduct wholly or in part the business of buying or selling, trading, or dealing within the state of Montana in the skins or pelts of any animal or animals designated by the laws of Montana as fur-bearing or predatory animals without obtaining a fur dealer license or a fur dealer agent license. This requirement does not apply to a hunter or trapper selling skins or pelts which he has lawfully taken or to a person who purchases skins or pelts exclusively for his own use and not for sale.

Fur-bearing animals are defined as marten or sableottermuskratfisherminkbobcatlynxwolverine, northern swift fox, and beaver. Predatory animals include coyoteweaselskunk, and civet cat.

A fur dealer is required to keep a record of the number and kind of all skins or pelts purchased or sold, the place where the skins or furs were killed or trapped, a separate record of all the skins or pelts that were trapped or killed outside Montana, the trapping license number under which the furs or pelts were taken if one was required, the names and addresses of persons to whom skins or pelts were sold or from whom the skins or pelts were purchased. This record must be open for inspection at all reasonable times by FWP.

Fur dealer and fur dealer agent licenses expire on April 30 of each year.


Fur Dealer or Fur Dealer's Agent License Application Fees

License renewal fees are the same as the license application fees. The license application fee for a Montana resident fur dealer is $10. For a nonresident, the application fee is equivalent to what their state would charge a Montana resident for a nonresident license or, if that license is not available, $50. The license application fee for a fur dealer agent's license is $10.


Fur Dealer or Fur Dealer's Agent Laws

Fur Dealer or Fur Dealer's Agent License Application Form

Fur Farm

A person may not obtain, rear in captivity, possess, or sell furbearers or parts thereof without first obtaining a fur farm license. This requirement does not apply to the ownership, control, or propagation of furbearers if the ownership, control, or propagation is not for the sale or conveyance of furbearers or parts thereof. Fur-bearing animals are defined as marten or sableottermuskratfisherminkbobcatlynxwolverine, and beaver. All furbearers held either in private possession or on fur farms must have been obtained legally from captive stock and may not be obtained from the wild.

All furbearers held on a fur farm or in private possession must be kept in enclosures sufficient to prevent the entry of wild furbearers and to prevent the escape of fur farm animals into the wild. Furbearers may not be released into the wild at any time without authorization of the FWP Commission.


Fur Farm Application Fees & Requirements

There is a $25 application fee for a fur farm license. The department is required to do an environmental assessment on any new fur farm application. Following satisfactory completion of an environmental assessment and inspection of the fur farm enclosures by a representative of the FWP Enforcement Division, a fur farm license will be authorized. Each licensee is required to keep accurate records of the numbers and species of furbearers purchased, transferred, or sold, and the name of each person to whom or from whom such furbearers were purchased, transferred, or sold. Those records must be submitted annually to the department along with a $15 application fee on January 31 to renew the fur farm license.

License renewal fees are the same as the license application fees. The license application fee for a Montana resident fur dealer is $10. For a nonresident, the application fee is equivalent to what their state would charge a Montana resident for a nonresident license or, if that license is not available, $50. The license application fee for a fur dealer agent's license is $10.


Fur Farm Laws

Fur Farm License Application Form

Game Bird Farm

A person may not own, control, or propagate game birds for sale or conveyance of those game birds or parts thereof unless he holds a current game bird farm license from the department. Game birds are defined as sharptailed grouseblue grousespruce (Franklin) grouseprairie chickensage hen or sage grouseruffed grousering-necked pheasant, Hungarian partridgeptarmiganwild turkey, and chukar partridge.

Game bird farm licensees are authorized to raise and sell game birds or parts of game birds. The game bird farm licensee is responsible for assuring that the individual to whom game birds are being sold has the appropriate permit allowing for possession of those game birds and to record the permit number in the "Game Bird Farm Report Book." Each licensee is required to keep records of the number and species of birds purchased, transferred, or sold and the name of each person to whom or from whom such birds were purchased, transferred, or sold. Those reports, along with the license renewal fee, must be submitted to the department each year on January 31 to renew the game bird farm license.

A game bird farm license does not allow game birds to be released. All game birds on a game bird farm must be contained in an enclosure that is adequate to prevent the entry of wild game birds and to prevent the escape of game bird farm birds into the wild.

There is a $100 application fee required for a game bird farm license. Prior to licensure, the enclosures designed to hold the game birds must be inspected by the FWP Enforcement Division and must be adequate. A license is then issued which must be renewed annually by submission of a $50 renewal fee and an accurate game bird farm report by January 31.


Game Bird Farm Application Fee

The license application fee for a game bird farm license is $100, and the annual renewal fee is $50.


Game Bird Farm Laws

Game Bird Farm License Application Form

Roadside Menagerie

A roadside menagerie license is required for a facility where one or more wild animals are kept in captivity for the evident purpose of exhibition or attracting trade, on or off the facility premises. A person or organization cannot operate a roadside menagerie without first obtaining a permit from the department. In addition, a Class C Exibitors permit is required from the USDA.


Roadside Menagerie Application Fees & Requirements

An application for a roadside menagerie requires that an environmental evaluation be conducted by the department, with opportunity for public involvement. Completion of the environmental evaluation and inspection of the caging is required prior to authorization for operation as a roadside menagerie. The application fee and annual permit fee for a roadside menagerie is $10 for facilities with less than 5 animals, and $25 for facilities with more than 5 animals. Application also requires proof to the department that the proposed operation is covered by an insurance policy to cover personal injury or property damage to any member of the public while on the premises. Records must be kept of the history of each wild animal kept at the facility and an annual report of inventory, and any changes in that inventory must be submitted along with a renewal fee prior to expiration of the license on December 31. All wild animals must be confined at all times in cages of such strength and type of construction that it will be impossible for said animals to escape. Public contact with the wild animals is not allowed.


Roadside Menagerie Laws

Roadside Menagerie License Application Form

Shooting Preserve

Shooting preserves are defined areas of land up to a maximum of 1920 acres that allow the shooting of captive reared and released upland game birds from September 1 through March 31. Signs are required to be posted every 250 feet along the border of the shooting preserve. Clients that hunt on shooting preserves must possess a current hunting license for upland game birds.

All captive reared birds released on a shooting preserve must be marked prior to release in a manner that distinguishes them from wild upland game birds. A minimum of 100 upland game birds must be released from September 1 to March 31 every year the shooting preserve is licensed. All birds harvested on a shooting preserve must be marked with a “stick on tag” purchased through the department ($0.10 apiece) before the birds leave the shooting preserve. Licensees cannot harvest more than 80% of the birds that are released on a shooting preserve. For each shooting preserve season, a shooting preserve operator shall maintain a record of the total number, by species and source, of artificially propagated upland game birds released and harvested and the number of wild upland game birds harvested in the preserve. The record must be open to inspection by a delegated representative of the department at any reasonable time and must be the basis on which the game-recovery limits in 87-4-523 are determined.


Shooting Preserve License Application Fees & Requirements

The application fee for a shooting preserve is based upon the size of the shooting preserve with a charge of $100 for the first 320 acres plus $40 for each additional 160 acres or part thereof. The annual renewal fee for a shooting preserve is the same as the application fee. Licenses expire on March 31 of each year and must be renewed immediately to stay licensed.

Licensing of a shooting preserve requires that the department evaluate any potential environmental affects concerning public safety, the human environment, and the existing wildlife populations. The environmental evaluation and an inspection of the required signs must be completed prior to issuance of a license for a shooting preserve.


Shooting Preserve Laws

Shooting Preserve License Application Form

Taxidermist

A person may not conduct a business for the purpose of mounting, preserving, or preparing all or part of the dead bodies of any wildlife without first obtaining a taxidermist license. A taxidermist shall keep a written record of all of the articles of wildlife in the taxidermist's possession or control, including the kind and number of each article of wildlife, the name and residence of the owner of the article of wildlife, and all the articles shipped and to whom and where shipped. Those records are open to inspection by a Fish, Wildlife & Parks warden at any reasonable time.


Taxidermist License Application Fees & Requirements

The application fee for a taxidermist license is $50. Taxidermy licenses expire on April 30 of each year. Renewal fees are the same as the initial application fees.


Taxidermist Laws

Taxidermist License Application Form

Wild Animal Menagerie

A wild animal menagerie means a place where one or more bears or large cats, including cougarslions, tigers, jaguars, leopards, pumas, cheetahs, ocelots, and hybrids of those large cats are kept in captivity for use other than public exhibition. A wild animal menagerie is limited to a maximum of 10 bears or large cats. A person may not possess any of the bears or large cats for non-commercial purposes prior to obtaining a wild animal menagerie license from the department.


Wild Animal Menagerie Application Fees & Requirements

The application fee and annual permit fee for a wild animal menagerie is $10 for facilities with less than 5 animals, and $25 for facilities with more than 5 animals.

An application for a wild animal menagerie requires that an environmental evaluation be conducted by the department, with opportunity for public involvement. Completion of the environmental evaluation and inspection of the caging is required prior to authorization for operation as a wild animal menagerie. Records must be kept of the history of each wild animal kept at the facility and an annual report of inventory and any changes in that inventory must be submitted along with a renewal fee prior to expiration of the license on December 31. All wild animals must be confined at all times in cages of such strength and type of construction that it will be impossible for said animals to escape. Public contact with the wild animals is not allowed.


Wild Animal Menagerie Laws

Wild Animal Menagerie License Application Form

Zoo

A zoo is defined as any zoological garden chartered as a nonprofit corporation by the state or any facility participating in the American Zoo and Aquarium Association accreditation program that exhibits wild animals for public viewing. A person or organization cannot operate a zoo without first obtaining a license from the state.


Zoo Permit Application Fees & Requirements

The application fee and annual permit fee for a zoo is $10 for facilities with less than 5 animals and $25 for facilities with more than 5 animals.

An application for a zoo requires that an environmental evaluation be conducted by the department, with opportunity for public involvement. All wild animals must be confined at all times in cages of such strength and type of construction that it will be impossible for said animals to escape. Completion of the environmental evaluation and inspection of the caging is required prior to authorization for operation as a zoo. Public contact with the wild animals is not allowed. Records must be kept of the history of each wild animal kept at the facility and an annual report of inventory and any changes in that inventory must be submitted along with a renewal fee prior to expiration of the license on December 31.


Zoo Laws

Zoo Permit Application Form

Commercial Fish Permits

Permits are necessary to possess and/or use various types of wildlife, both native species and exotic species. There are some species of exotic wildlife that may NOT be possessed as personal pets. Learn the difference between controlled, noncontrolled, and prohibited species to be clear on which species you may possess.

No species of wildlife may be released into the wild without specific authorization from the department.

Private Fish Pond

Private Fish Ponds Application

A person who owns or lawfully controls a private fish pond may obtain a license from FWP to stock the pond with fish. 

Only lawfully purchased fish may be planted. Approved fish hatcheries (commercial fish ponds) for purchasing fish for private ponds:


Private Ponds License Search

Search for existing private pond licenses by name, business name, or license number.

No fishing license is required to fish on licensed, privately stocked fish ponds. Fishing license requirements apply to all other ponds and/or waters on private land.


Fees

The license application fee for a private or non-commercial fish pond is $10.


Fish Pond Laws

 

Import Permit Application

All importations of live fish or fish eggs for introduction into any private or public pond, stream, lake, or other water in Montana, or fish transported through Montana, must be accompanied by a permit issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Registration of Koi or Goldfish Ponds

Registration of Koi or Goldfish Ponds

Koi and goldfish are controlled exotic fish species that can be legally kept indoors in an aquarium or outdoors in ponds that meet certain criteria. Such ponds must be registered with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. For stocking of other fish species in ponds please contact your local FWP office.

Commercial Fish Pond

Commercial Fishing Ponds

A Commercial Fish Pond License entitles the holder to sell live fish or gametes within Montana. In addition to the license in order to sell live fish or gametes the applicant must obtain an annual Fish Health Certificate from FWP. An annual report of all fish/gamete transactions is required annually along with a $500 Corporate Surety Bond.


Fees

There is a $10.00 application fee and annual renewal fee. There is also an annual $500 Corporate Surety Bond.


Commercial Fish Pond Laws

Fish Ponds, Seining, and Commerical Taking of Aquatic Fish Food Organisms—MCA 87-4-603 to 87-4-607


Commercial Fish Pond License Application


Import Permit Application

All importations of live fish or fish eggs for introduction into any private or public pond, stream, lake, or other water in Montana, or fish transported through Montana, must be accompanied by a permit issued by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

Stream Permitting

Stream Permitting

If you are planning to do work on or near a waterway in Montana, one or several permits may be required. Refer to the Stream Permitting page from the Montana Department of Natural Resources & Conservation (DNRC) for information about permits, guidelines, and maps.