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Buy & Apply Licenses & Permits FAQ

What are the most common application errors?

The most common errors found on applications are:

  • Missing information on the mandatory and general portion of an application, e.g., no signatures
  • No payment, wrong amount of money, wrong form of payment, e.g., nonresidents paying with personal checks
  • Missing supplemental information, e.g., copy of Hunter Education Certificate
  • Not marking "yes" on preference point or bonus point
  • Not writing in the correct 5 digit number for hunting district opportunity

What is an ALS number & how do I find it?

ALS stands for Automated Licensing System. An ALS number is assigned by date of birth, followed by 1-3 digits sequentially.

All applicants applying since 2001 will have an ALS number. If you have not applied since 2001, you will be assigned an ALS number once you apply for or purchase a license.

You can find your ALS number located at the top of any previous Montana license/permit.

If you can't find your ALS number, click here.

Call our Licensing Division at (406) 444-2950 if you have questions.

 

What is the difference between Landowner Sponsor and Landowner Preference?

The difference is:

  • Nonresident Landowner Sponsor Deer Combination Licenses may be applied for when a Montana resident land owner is granting access to hunting on their property. The landowner must be registered with the Special Licensing Bureau. The landowner will send a certificate to each of the hunters who plan to apply and the applicant will send the certificate with their completed application. If drawn, the hunter must conduct all deer hunting on the landowner’s property. The Upland Game Bird & Fishing licenses that come with the deer combination license are not restricted to the landowner’s property.

 

  • Landowner Preference is for landowners (resident or nonresident) to get enhanced opportunities in drawing certain special permits or licenses. Fifteen percent of each hunting district quota for deer B and antelope licenses, and for deer permits are set aside for landowners owning, or contracting to purchase, 160 acres or more of land used primarily for agriculture and located in that hunting district. Fifteen percent of each hunting district quota for elk licenses and permits are set aside for landowners owning, or contracting to purchase, 640 or more acres of land used by elk in that hunting district.

When does a license year begin?

The general license year begins March 1 of each year. Over-the-counter licenses are typically available to purchase mid-January.

What is a Bonus Point and can I buy a point with out applying?

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:

  1. At the time of application for that species permit or license
  2. Between July 1 and September 30 if you did not apply for that species special permit or license

 

BUY BONUS POINTS AT THE ONLINE LICENSING SYSTEM

 

  • Unlike a preference system, the bonus points system does not guarantee a license/permit to the applicants with the most bonus points, and first-time applicants still have a chance to draw a license/permit.
  • Bonus points essentially offer you additional drawing chances and are used for the first hunting district choice only.
  • Existing bonus points will be mathematically “squared” prior to the drawing. That means if you already have 3 “base” bonus points those will be “squared” and you’ll then have 9 bonus points going into the drawing.
  • If you wish to participate in the bonus point program for licenses/ permits, at the time of your application, you must check “YES” on the bonus point questions and include the $20 (nonresident) or $2 (resident) bonus point fee per permit type. Then if you’re unsuccessful, you’ll be awarded an additional base bonus point for next year’s drawing.
  • If you did not apply for a license or permit, you can purchase a bonus point for that license or permit from July 1 through September 30. The fee to purchase a bonus point without applying is $15 per species for residents and the nonresident fees are $25 per species except for Moose, Sheep, and Goat, which are $75 per species. 
  • You cannot apply and purchase bonus points in the same year.
  • Any bonus points accumulated will not be lost unless you draw your first choice on the species you applied your bonus points.

Check Drawing Statistics online at MyFWP to see how bonus points affect your chances.

How can I update my personal information or mailing address?

If you have not changed your residency status and are applying/purchasing online, you can update your information at that time.

If you have moved to another state, send an e-mail or call the Licensing Bureau at (406) 444-2950.

What are the different ways to apply and/or purchase a drawing license?

There are two ways to apply and/or purchase a special limited permit and license that are available through drawings:

  • Purchase through FWP's Online Licensing System. Nonresident Landowner Preference cannot apply online.
  • Application can be completed at any FWP office that sells licenses. 

In order to apply for special permits and enter the drawing, you will need to supply a valid email address at the time of application. If you are successful in the draw, you will receive an email to that email address that contains the link to your permits/carcass tags.

All special permit applicants can check their status by visiting fwp.mt.gov, then clicking on the MyFWP tab at the top, then on Check Drawing Results, Register for Lists button on the left.

Call our Licensing Division at (406) 444-2950 if you have questions.

How do I purchase a SuperTag Lottery ticket?

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.

 

Purchase Deadlines

Moose, sheep, goat, deer, elk, antelope, bison, and mountain lion: June 30, 2020

 

How to Purchase

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.

 

Drawing Date

Moose, sheep, goat, deer, elk, antelope, bison, and mountain lion - mid-July each year

 

Check Your Drawing Status

Go to MyFWP and log in for your drawing status

 

If You Win a SuperTag

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.

When will Surplus hunting Licenses go on sale?

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.

  • Deer & Elk Permits, Deer B & Elk B License/Permits: July 21 through Aug. 7
  • Antelope, Antelope B, Swan, Crane, Special Mountain Lion: Aug. 12 through Aug. 24
  • Nonresident Hound Handler License: Sept. 16 to Sept. 28

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.

 

About Surplus Licenses

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.

License numbers:

  • The total number of Deer B licenses/permits a hunter may hold each year (through a combination of licenses acquired through drawings, purchased over the counter and through surplus sales is a total seven). Hunters electing Deer B license/permit opportunities will have the option to purchase two through the Surplus List.
  • For Elk and Elk B licenses a hunter may hold a maximum of three each year. Only one of the three can be a general elk license, and two could be Elk B licenses through various sources such as the original drawing, game damage, or surplus. If you do not hold a general Elk license, you could obtain up to three Elk B licenses. Hunters electing Elk B license opportunities through the Surplus License List may only purchase one. However, additional opportunities up to your maximum of three may be made available through over the counter or damage hunt sales.
  • For antelope licenses, a hunter may hold up to three in a year, of which, one can be either sex. Hunters electing Antelope license opportunities will have the option to purchase one through the Surplus License List.

How do I request to be added to the mailing list for applications?

Contact Licensing at (406) 444-2950 or by e-mail. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments on licenses, drawings, or this online information.