Use the Online Licenses Service to purchase all your Montana hunting and fishing licenses without having to visit an FWP office or License Provider location.
Montana has some of the longest hunting seasons in the West, healthy herds of game and access to millions of acres of public and private land. Montana wildlife managers structure seasons to provide a wide variety of hunting experiences with a strong emphasis on sustainable opportunity.
Montana’s vast 147,164 square miles is divided into seven administrative regions, each with a main regional office. Each region is then broken down into hunting districts. The regions are numbered 1 through 7 with the hunting districts in the region corresponding to that number. Example: Region 1 hunting districts start with 1 or 001, Region 2 starts with 2 or 002, etc.
Carcass Tag and/or License for the species you are hunting
A Bow and Arrow license, plus the proper hunting licenses, is required during an Archery-only season for any species or to archery hunt in an Archery-only area or hunting district.
To purchase or apply for a Montana hunting license, any person born after January 1, 1985, must provide proof of having successfully completed a hunter education course issued by Montana, any other state or any Canadian province.
A student must be at least 10 years old to register for Montana's hunter education courses. Students ages 10-11 can take the course and hunt as an apprentice but will not be fully certified until the year they turn 12. Youth who have completed hunter education and will turn 12 years of age by January 16 of the license year may purchase or apply for licenses and hunt after August 15 of the license year.
To purchase a Montana bow-and-arrow license, hunters must either complete the bowhunter education course from Montana or any other state, or show any prior year's bowhunting license from any state or province. A student must be at least 11 years old to register for a bowhunter education classroom course.
The Apprentice Hunter program allows anyone 10 or older to hunt for up to two years without completing a hunter education course. Certain restrictions apply, and anyone certified as an Apprentice must be accompanied by a certified Mentor.
In Montana, there are two primary types of licenses:
The availability of special limited permits and licenses is dependent on the hunting district and/or species you want to hunt, and what you would like to hunt with, such as rifle or archery equipment.
For the latest information on availablility and drawing deadlines for specific species licenses and permits, refer to the Hunting Regulations page.
Hunters can apply for all special limited licenses and permits beginning March 1. That includes deer, elk, antelope, moose, sheep, goat, bison and B licenses.
To apply for a special license/permit, hunters can apply online through the Online Licensing System or at an FWP regional office. General licenses can be purchased over the counter at all license providers.
The deadline to apply for deer and elk permits is April 1.
The moose, bison, sheep and goat deadline is May 1.
The antelope, elk and deer B license deadline is June 1.
Drawings will be completed two weeks after the deadlines.
MyFWP provides applicants with the status of their application and whether their application is pending, successful, or unsuccessful.
Visit the Buy & Apply > Residency Information Overview page for details on qualifying for Montana resident status when purchasing a license.
Residency requirements are fully defined in MCA 87-2-102.
2020 Service Member or Dependent of a Service Member Stationed in Montana: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
Generally, a member of the regular armed forces of the United States, a member's spouse or dependent who resides in the member's household, or a member of the armed forces of a foreign government attached to the regular armed forces of the United States is considered a resident for the purposes of hunting, fishing and trapping licensing if:
A member of the regular armed forces of the United States who is otherwise considered a Montana resident pursuant to item 1 above does not forfeit that status as a resident because the member, by virtue of that membership, also possesses, has applied for, or has received resident hunting, fishing, or trapping privileges in another state or country.
The information on this page is intended as a guideline only. Applicants should always refer to the most recent Montana Code Annotated prior to applying for licenses for specific terms, details and requirements.
Montana offers three general hunting packages to nonresidents through a random computer drawing:
Other individualized combination opportunities include:
All Combination licenses include a season Fishing license and Upland Bird license. Conservation license, base hunting license fee, and Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass (AISPP) must be purchased separately.
An applicant may apply for only one Combination license. Nonresident hunters can increase their likelihood of drawing a Combination license by accumulating Preference Points (see below).
For more information, call (406) 444-2950.
General Combination licenses are issued through a random computer drawing. The deer and elk licenses issued as part of a Combination license are valid throughout the state under the general hunting regulations.
Refer to the regulations for specific hunting district details.
Fees & Quotas:
A Montana resident landowner may sponsor nonresidents for a Deer Combination license. The applicant must conduct all deer hunting on the deeded property of the landowner. It is the applicant’s responsibility to find an enrolled landowner.
Fees & Quotas:
This law encourages nonresidents who once lived in Montana to "come home to hunt" with parents, siblings, and other close family members. The program is aimed at continuing Montana family traditions by making an effort to bring sons, daughters and family back home during hunting season at a substantially reduced price. The sponsoring adult family member must claim Montana as his or her legal residence and must have a valid Montana hunting license. The sponsor can be a parent, step-parent, grandparent, sibling, step-sibling, child, step-child, spouse, or in-law.
A total of 500 Nonresident Big Game Combination licenses, 500 Nonresident Elk Combination licenses and 500 Nonresident Deer Combination licenses will be issued to nonresident adults who have completed a Montana hunter education course, or have previously purchased a Montana resident hunting license and who are sponsored by a Montana resident family member.
Qualifying nonresidents 18 years of age or older need to apply for either a Deer, Elk or Big Game Combination license starting March 1 and the deadline is April 1. Come Home to Hunt licenses are issued on a first-come, first-served basis.
Nonresidents who are awarded a Come Home to Hunt license must hunt with a properly licensed adult family member.
Proceeds from the sale of Come Home to Hunt licenses are used by FWP to acquire public hunting access to inaccessible public land.
Come Home to Hunt License Application: This application is in PDF format, and must be completed by both the applicant and sponsor and submitted to an FWP office or by mail as instructed on the form.
2020 Come Home to Hunt Required Additional Information: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
Fees & Quotas:
Big Game Combo (Deer & Elk): $526
Youth Elk Combo: $444
Youth Deer Combo: $307
If you were born in Montana but now live out-of-state, had purchased hunting or fishing licenses as a resident, and have an immediate family member who is currently a resident, you may qualify for these Nonresident Native Hunting licenses at reduced prices. These Combination licenses include a Conservation, State Lands, and General Deer and/or Elk license, and authorizes fishing and hunting of upland game birds, excluding turkey.
2020 Nonresident Native Required Additional Information: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
2020 Nonresident Youth Required Additional Information: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
Fees & Quotas:
If you are a nonresident college student currently carrying 12 credits or more at a Montana college or university, you can fish and hunt deer, elk and upland game birds (this includes the AIS Prevention Pass and Base Hunting License).
Licenses go on sale after the second Monday in September at all FWP regional offices and the Helena FWP headquarters.
Students must provide at the time of purchase:
Successfully obtaining a Combination license is just the first step to a memorable Montana hunt. Hunters have a wide variety of options available to specialize their hunts: early archery hunts; late season migration hunts; remote backcountry areas; limited access areas with some true trophy animals; or even some additional licenses to add more meat to your freezer.
The Deer and Elk licenses issued as part of a nonresident Combination license are valid for both an early archery-only season and the general rifle season. To hunt during the archery season, hunters must purchase a $10 bow and arrow license after obtaining a hunting license. A certificate showing the completion of a Bowhunter Education course or a prior year’s archery license from any state is required to purchase the bow and arrow license.
Archery regulations in many districts may have changed and now require a special permit. Refer to the regulations for specific details.
Antelope, antlerless Deer B licenses, and Elk B licenses are available through a secondary drawing and in some areas over-the-counter. A Conservation & base hunting license fee are required. Refer to the regulations for specific details. The application deadline is June 1.
Preference points are used for nonresident combination licenses and increase the likelihod of obtaining a Combination license. In a preference point system, licenses are awarded to applicants with the greatest number of preference points.
Preference points for a nonresident big game, elk or deer combination license may be purchased for a nonrefundable fee of $50.
Preference points can be purchased:
You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.
If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed.
Applicants may purchase only one preference point per license year. Preference points purchased at the time of application are awarded prior to the drawing.
Up to 5 applicants may apply as a party. FWP shall use an average of the number of preference points accumulated by those applicants to determine the party's preference points. FWP shall consider any fraction that result from the calculation of an average when determining that priority.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks gets a number of unused nonresident Combination licenses (Big Game Combo, General Elk and General Deer) returned by customers each year. FWP resells these returned licenses through our Alternate’s List.
The Alternates List is an option for nonresident hunters to express interest in purchasing one of the returned licenses mentioned above. A hunter can sign up to purchase their choice of nonresident combination license. Once the list is randomized and a license becomes available, the hunter at the top of the list will be contacted to finalize the purchase of the license.
Hunters can add their names to the Alternates List from May 21 until July 7 through MyFWP.
Payment for the license fee is not required to sign up for the Alternates List. If your name comes up, you will be contacted with instructions on how to complete the purchase of the license. Being on this list or obtaining a license from this list has no effect on your existing preference points.
In addition to entering your request between May 21 and July 7, MyFWP allows you to check your relative position on the Alternates List after the list is randomized in mid-July. The odds of getting a license from these lists vary greatly from year to year. Refunds and issuance may occur at any time but availability of these license increases between early fall and the opening of general hunting season in late October.
Bonus points can increase your chances of drawing a special limited permit/license.
Bonus points essentially offer you additional drawing chances and are used for first-choice drawings only. Every year that you are unsuccessful in the drawing, and you participate in the bonus points system, you will be awarded a point. When you apply in the draw your accrued points are squared to increase the odds for the applicants with more accrued points. All base bonus points accumulate over time until you draw a permit.
You can only earn 1 bonus point per license year for a specific special permit or license.
The options are:
Check Drawing Statistics online at MyFWP to see how bonus points affect your chances.
Use the following applications to prepare and apply for special status licenses offered by FWP. All forms are in PDF format and must be completed and returned to FWP as instructed on each form.
State law allows resident and nonresident youngsters who will reach 12 years of age by January 16, 2021, to hunt any game species with a valid license during an open season after August 15, 2020. They must first, however, successfully complete an approved hunter education course.
The Apprentice Hunter program allows anyone 10 or older to hunt without completing hunter education. Certain restrictions apply. Learn more here.
Includes fishing, upland game bird (excluding turkey), general deer and general elk licenses. Conservation with State Lands, Base Hunting and AISPP must be purchased separately. Available only to Montana residents 12-17 years of age.
A youth, age 12-17, can be sponsored for a discounted Big Game, Elk or Deer Combination license by a parent, grandparent, or sibling at least 18 years of age, who at the time of application possess a valid 2020 Nonresident Big Game, Elk or Deer Combination license or a valid 2021 Resident Deer or Elk license.
Nonresident Youth Combination Application: This application is in PDF format, and must be completed and submitted to an FWP office or by mail as instructed on the form.
Fees & Quota:
Montana’s young hunters will have a special treat the weekend of the youth waterfowl and pheasant special seasons, September 26-27, 2021. Licensed hunters, 15 and under, will be able to hunt ducks, mergansers, geese, coots and pheasants statewide on these 2 days.
The 2-day youth hunt is open to:
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.
A youth hunt for deer limited to youngsters between the ages of 12–15 was approved for October 15-16, 2021. These dates coincide with Montana’s annual 2-day teachers’ convention, which are no-school days for most public school students.
The 2-day youth hunt is open to:
This hunt is for deer only. All regulations apply. Elk hunting is prohibited.
Not available online
Use the following application to prepare and apply for the Exceptional Youth special status license offered by FWP. The form is in PDF format, and must be completed and returned to FWP as instructed on the form.
Each year, eight lucky hunters win a SuperTag license. The SuperTag can be used in any hunting district in Montana, including the state's legendary trophy districts.
SuperTag chances are available for moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, antelope, elk, deer, bison, and mountain lion. One SuperTag will be drawn for each species.
Revenue from the new SuperTag sales is used to enhance hunting access and boost FWP enforcement efforts.
Moose, sheep, goat, deer, elk, antelope, bison, and mountain lion: June 30, 2020
You must have a current year's Conservation license to purchase SuperTag chances. An unlimited number of chances may be purchased at $5 per chance. To purchase chances online go to FWP's Online Licensing Service. You’ll receive a receipt verifying purchase that lists your lottery numbers. SuperTag chances are also available for purchase at FWP offices and license providers.
Moose, sheep, goat, deer, elk, antelope, bison, and mountain lion: mid-July
Go to MyFWP and log in for your drawing status
If you win a SuperTag, and also draw a license or permit through FWP’s special permit license drawings, you will be required to surrender that license or permit before receiving the SuperTag. FWP will refund the license fee associated with the special permit or license and reinstate any bonus points. Montana’s seven-year wait for individuals who draw a moose, sheep or goat license through Montana’s special permit license drawings will not be imposed on SuperTag winners.
Residents and nonresidents can donate their hunting license to a disabled military veteran or disabled active duty service member who is working with an organization that uses hunting as part of the rehabilitation process.
While one cannot choose the organization to receive a donated license, the disabled veteran or armed forces member who receives the license will be a Purple Heart recipient and have a 70 percent or greater disability rating.
Each license must be donated or surrendered before the beginning of the general hunting season. Once you donate your hunting license, you are no longer eligible for any refund for the cost of the license. In addition, you cannot purchase the same license again during the license year.
Nonprofit organizations that work to rehabilitate disabled veterans and active duty members may participate in Montana's donated hunting license program. The organizations must use hunting as part of the rehabilitation process.
Download the Disabled Veteran Application: This application is in PDF format, and must be completed and submitted to an FWP office or by mail as instructed on the form.
Disabled veterans and disabled active duty members may participate in the program by following these steps:
The Hunt Roster is one of the ways FWP selects public hunters to participate in hunts where animals are causing damage to stored agricultural crops or private property.
FWP may also utilize other means of hunter selection besides the Roster, including first-come, first-served advertised opportunities, unsuccessful special license or permit applicant lists, or lists of names supplied by landowners. No more than 25% of the total hunters authorized to participate in a game damage hunt or management hunt may be selected from a landowner’s list, and if any antlered animals are authorized for harvest during a hunt, no names may be selected from a landowner’s list.
The Hunt Roster, and hunters from this roster, may be used for four types of hunts:
FWP regional offices will be the point of contact for Hunt Roster opportunities. Depending upon their randomized order on the list, hunters registered on the Hunt Roster may be contacted by FWP regional offices if a hunt emerges for the species and hunting district they've identified. Such hunts often come forward quickly and cannot be predicted.
Hunter names are cycled through and never deleted from the current Hunt Roster unless they have been identified for a hunt for that species that year. Hunters may only participate in one game damage hunt, management hunt, or management removal for each species per year.
Given the General Season Antlerless Deer B Licenses are allocated separately, it is possible for hunters to participate in a game damage hunt or management hunt for deer and also receive an antlerless deer B license for use during the general season.
There is no guarantee that hunts will occur in the same hunting district in subsequent years as game animals, weather, natural causes such as fire and drought, human pressure, etc., are all factors for population distribution.
A Conservation, base hunting license, and valid General Deer, Elk or Antelope hunting license is required to hunt. Valid license types are identified for each hunt. Depending on the type of hunt, the FWP Regional office may require or offer the purchase of additional B license(s).
Game Damage and Management Hunts could take place anytime from August 15 through February 15; Elk Management Removals may extend for a longer period of time in the spring.
Typically these hunts are small in geographic scale and occur only on one landowner's land, with a relatively small number of hunters recruited from the Hunt Roster and, if requested by FWP, a list of names submitted by the landowner (no more than 25% of the total hunters may be selected from the landowner’s list.) The primary intent of a damage hunt is to reduce crop and property damage by re-distributing game animals with only minimal harvest.
A management hunt is a proactive measure to prevent or reduce potential damage caused by large concentrations of game animals resulting from seasonal migrations, extreme weather conditions, restrictive public hunting access on adjacent or nearby properties, or other factors. Management hunts typically occur on a larger scale than game damage hunts and may take place across multiple ownerships. There may be relatively large numbers of hunters recruited from the Hunt Roster for a longer period of time with the potential for a significant harvest. Some hunters (no more than 25% of the total) may also be selected from a list of names submitted by the landowner or landowners, if requested by FWP.)
An elk management removal is a management response to the risk of brucellosis transmission between elk and livestock. These small-scale removals reduce commingling events between elk and livestock using a very limited number of hunters and harvest to adjust elk distribution in a localized area. These removals may take place throughout the winter and early spring and are applied only in those areas near Yellowstone National Park with brucellosis prevalence.
Elk management removals are not used to control elk population size. Before the management removal option can be used, it needs to be adopted by the Fish & Wildlife Commission.
A supplemental game damage license hunt is a very small-scale measure trying to harvest no more than 12 animals to prevent or reduce crop or property damage in situations where larger-scale game damage hunts or management hunts are not applicable.
By law (MCA 87-2-520), FWP may issue a specific type of license called supplemental game damage license, valid only for antlerless or doe/fawn elk, deer, or antelope, and valid only for a specific property, specific time period, and this specific type of hunt.
Also by the same law, depending upon whether the hunting district regulations offer limited permits or not, landowners may designate some or all of the hunters who may receive supplemental game damage licenses.
By statute, a landowner may designate 75% of the hunters eligible to receive supplemental licenses if the hunt occurs in a hunting district with limited permits, and up to 100% of the hunters eligible to receive supplemental licenses if the hunt occurs in an unlimited permit district.
Landowners are critical to the work of conserving Montana’s wildlife populations and habitat. To recognize their important role in conserving these resources, landowners have opportunities to receive licenses or permits and to sponsor hunters to hunt on their deeded land.
To claim landowner preference for a deer permit, a landowner must own at least 160 acres of contiguous land that is primarily for agricultural purposes within the applied for hunting district. Fifteen percent of each hunting district quota for deer B and antelope licenses and for deer permits is set aside for landowners in that hunting district.
For a landowner preference elk permit, the landowner must own or be contracting to purchase at least 640 acres of contiguous land used by elk and verified by FWP, within the applied for hunting district. Fifteen percent of each hunting district quota for elk licenses and permits is set aside for landowners in that hunting district.
2020 Landowner Preference Deer & Elk Permit: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
2020 Landowner Preference Deer B, Elk B, Antelope & Antelope B: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
Landowners can apply for their preference license/permit through the Online Licensing System. Landowner preference applies to your first choice when applying for a permit. If using landowner preference, you cannot apply as a party.
For additional information about the Landowner Preference application process, call (406) 444-2950.
Montana landowners can sponsor nonresident deer hunters to hunt on their deeded land. 2,000 sponsored Combination licenses are set aside annually. Landowners who own 640 or more contiguous acres are eligible to sponsor hunters. Licenses are distributed equally, up to two sponsored hunters per landowner, before the remaining licenses are issued in a random drawing.
To be certified as a Landowner Sponsor, contact (406) 444-2950.
2020 Landowner Sponsor: Required additional information that MUST be submitted to complete your license.
Hunters can apply for a Nonresident Landowner Sponsor Deer Combination through the Online Licensing System.
Surplus licenses are leftover licenses from the special license and permit drawings FWP conducts each year.
To sign up for the Surplus License List, resident and nonresident hunters can sign up through the MyFWP portal. As licenses become available, the list will be randomized. Hunters at the top of the list will be contacted via email with instructions to finalize their purchase. Hunters must keep their email address current in their ALS record. Payment of the license fee is not required to sign up on the Surplus License List. Obtaining a license from this list has no effect on your existing preference points.
Hunters must finalize the purchase of the license/permit within the timeframe specified in the email, otherwise, your opportunity will be offered to the next hunter on the randomized list. FWP may offer opportunities that have not sold out through the Surplus License List to over-the-counter customers at our internal and external license sale providers.
Surplus License List sign-up timeframes referenced below are based on when the original drawing date for each species is scheduled to occur and are subject to change from year to year.
Nonresidents who hold a NR Native license, Youth Combo license, or NR College Student Combination license may purchase Deer B and Elk B licenses at half price. For more information, contact the FWP licensing office at 406-444-2950.