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Elk in snow on private land

Hunt > Landowner Programs Elk Hunting Access Agreements

Landowner elk licenses/permits or both for allowing public hunting 

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ elk hunting access (EHA) agreements provide landowners with an elk license, permit, or combination thereof in exchange for allowing free public elk hunting access as described in a signed agreement approved by the commission. These permits and licenses are valid only on the landowner’s property.  The program was first codified in Montana statute in 2001. The most recent changes to the statute came in 2023.  

New for 2024

  • Landowners must make their selections known to FWP no later than three weeks prior to the agreement start date (i.e., the first hunting season the landowner/designee license is valid)

  • Once the sign-up period closes, FWP will randomize the public hunter list, confirm the public hunters possess the required permits/licenses (if applicable), and then start notifying eligible public hunters of the opportunities via email only.

  • Public hunters must respond and accept the opportunity within 72 hours from the time the original email invitation was received. 

  • Stemming from House Bill 596 in the 2023 legislative session, the department is implementing some new changes for the program this year. Specific changes are: 1) landowners must own at least 640 acres of occupied elk habitat (except smaller acreages are eligible if the department determines site conditions exist to accommodate successful public hunting); 2) landowners can enroll private land they lease from another landowner for agricultural purposes; and 3) for every permit/license issued to a landowner or designee, at least one of the department-selected public hunters must hold the equivalent license, permit or combination of the two that is issued to the landowner or the landowner’s designee.  

How to Apply

Deadline: Applications must be received by mail or via email with required documentation by May 1 at 5 p.m. 

Mail to:
FWP Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Elk Hunting Access Program 
PO Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701

Or email:

Elk Hunting Access Agreements Master list
Elk Hunting Access Agreement Program Reports

Program at a Glance

For this access tool, landowners may apply for an elk license, permit, or combination thereof, in exchange for allowing hunting access to a minimum of three public hunters. A landowner may designate the license/permit benefit to an immediate family member or an authorized full-time employee of the landowner.  

Additionally, landowner's enrolled in an agreement may select one of the three statutorily required public hunters – the other two being randomly selected by FWP. For each license or permit issued to a landowner, family member, or authorized full-time employee, three public hunters will be selected to hunt the land included in the agreement. The public hunter sign up period is July 1-15.

Landowners may also offer additional public hunting access beyond the minimum three required.  

Questions? Please contact: or your local access manager, biologist, or game warden.