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Hunt Hunting Licensing basics

Hunting in Montana


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.

Before hunting, you need to determine the following:


1. Have you completed Hunter/Bowhunter Education or signed up as an Apprentice Hunter?

You'll need to have your hunter education certification information before purchasing or applying for a Montana hunting license if you were born after January 1, 1985. 

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. 


2. Which species do you want to hunt?

Montana manages abundant populations of game animals, including deer, elk, antelope, ducks, geese, swans, game birds and furbearers.


3. Where do you want to hunt? (Find the Hunting District)

Montana’s vast 147,164 square miles is divided into seven administrative regions. Each region is 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.

  • Check out maps and unit descriptions with the Hunt Planner


4. When can you hunt? 

Montana offers a six-week archery season; a five-week general big game season; a 101-day waterfowl season; spring and fall turkey and bear seasons; a six-month wolf season, and a liberal upland game bird season.


5. How do you want to hunt? (Archery or General Weapon)

Montana has seasons for archery and rifle/associated methods. Legal requirements and restrictions for various methods are described in the regulations.


6. Required licenses or permits and deadlines? Find out what you need and how to get it.

In Montana, there are two primary types of licenses: General licenses that can be purchased over the counter; and special limited permits and licenses that are available through drawings. 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. Different permits have different deadlines, listed below and on the individual species guide pages.


7. It is your responsibility to know the legal boundaries of where you are hunting.

It is every hunter's responsibility to know the land ownership of the area he or she intends to hunt and any land use restrictions that may apply there. The law requires every hunter to have permission from the landowner, lessee or agent before hunting on private property regardless of whether the land is posted or not.


8. Familiarize yourself with the regulations.


2023 Resident Worksheets
2023 Nonresident Worksheets

Base License Requirements & Fees

To hunt in Montana, you will need:

1. Conservation License

2. Base Hunting License Fee
  • This is an annual fee and will be assessed at the time the hunter purchases or applies for his/her first hunting license, including upland and migratory bird licenses.

    • Deadline/Availability: Over-the-Counter

    • Resident Cost: $10

    • Nonresident Cost: $15

3. Carcass Tag and/or License for the species you are hunting


Bow and Arrow (Archery)

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.


Apprentice Hunter Program

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. 


Hunter Education 

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.


Duplicate Certificates

Duplicate certificates of completion for the Montana hunter education and bowhunter education courses may be obtained online at MyFWP using the Hunter/Bowhunter Education Certificate Form.


Bowhunter Education 

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.

Bonus Points System

Bonus points increase your chances of drawing a permit or license.  

Bonus points offer you additional chances in the drawing. Bonus points accumulate until you are successful in the drawing. You can only purchase one bonus point per license year for each type of permit or license. You can purchase a bonus point  one of two ways: 

  • When you apply for a license or permit 

  • Separately from July 1 through Sept. 30. If you apply for a license or permit but do not purchase a bonus point when you apply, you will not have the opportunity to purchase a point from July 1 through Sept. 30. 

You can only purchases one bonus point per license year.  

How bonus points are used 

If you purchase a bonus point with your application, your accumulated points and the point you purchased with your application are squared. For example, if you have accumulated 3 bonus points from prior years and purchase one when you apply this year, you'll have 17 total chances in the drawing; your 4 bonus points will be squared (42=16) and your application would count as one chance for a total of 17.  

If you do not purchase a bonus point with your application, any accumulated bonus points are not used in the drawing and you’ll have one chance in the drawing. For example, if you accumulated 3 points from prior license years, and you do not purchase a bonus point when you apply this year, you would have one chance in the drawing and you will keep your accumulated points. 

If you are successful in drawing the license or permit using your bonus points, then your bonus points will be reset to zero. However, if you are unsuccessful in drawing your first choice for a license or permit, and you are successful in drawing your second or third choice, then your bonus points will not be reset to zero. 


Buy Bonus Points at the Online Licensing System


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

Deadlines & Drawing Dates

In Montana, there are two primary types of licenses:

  • General licenses that can be purchased over the counter

  • Special limited permits and licenses that are available through drawings

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.


Drawing Applications

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.

Deadlines to Apply for Permits
  • Deer and elk: April 1

  • Moose, bison, sheep, and goat: May 1

  • Antelope, elk B, and deer B: June 1



Drawings will be completed approximately two weeks after the deadlines except for antelope, which occurs in August.


  • Anyone applying for a special license/permit will need to have a valid email address. This email address is how successful applicants are notified.

  • If applying for a permit, your first choice is required; second and third choices are optional. If you have only one choice, do not repeat the choice as a second and third option.

  • Your second choice will only be considered if there is quota remaining after all applicants with that district as a first choice have been filled, or the quota is unlimited and allows second choice applicants.

  • Your third choice will only be considered if there is quota remaining after all applicants with that district as a first or second choice have been filled, or the quota is unlimited and allows third choice applicants.

  • Your best chance to use your second or third choice is if you choose a hunting district where the drawing odds are 100% or unlimited and allow second or third choices.

  • Nonresidents are limited to up to 10% of the permits available in any district.

  • Hunters can keep an electronic version of their licenses on their smart phone. The only thing hunters legally need to have printed and in their possession is their carcass tag, which still needs to be validated and attached to the carcass. FWP recommends all carcass tags to be kept in a small Ziplock-type plastic bags.


Special Drawing Status

MyFWP provides applicants with the status of their application and whether their application is pending, successful, or unsuccessful.

Disabled & Special Licenses

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.



Donate License Programs

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% or greater disability rating.


Donating your hunting license

  1. Purchase the hunting license(s) you wish to donate.

  2. Download the 2023 Application to Donation of Hunting License to Military Veterans (PDF) 
    This application must be completed and submitted to an FWP office or by mail as instructed on the form, along with the licenses for donation.

  3. Check with your financial advisor to determine if the donation is tax deductible.

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 participation

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.

  1. Download the 2023 Disabled Veteran Application (PDF)
    This application must be completed and submitted to an FWP office or by mail as instructed on the form.

  2. 2023 Organizational Affidavit for Donated Licenses (PDF)
    Can be attached to the organization application or sent separately to:

Donated License Program
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks
P.O. Box 200701
Helena, MT 59620-0701

Disabled veterans & disabled Armed Forces participation

Disabled veterans and disabled active duty members may participate in the program by following these steps:

  1. Find a participating nonprofit organization that provides rehabilitation services in Montana. 

  2. Contact the sponsoring organization to ensure they are able to provide the hunt you desire.

  3. Download the 2023 Disabled Veteran Application (PDF)
    This application must be completed and submitted to an FWP office or by mail as instructed on the form.

  4. Be sure to list the sponsoring organization that you want and that copies of the supporting documentation are attached.

Drawing Statistics

Hunt Roster

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:

  • Game Damage Hunt

  • Management Hunt

  • Supplemental Game Damage License Hunts

  • Elk Management Removals

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–February 15. Elk Management Removals may extend for a longer period of time in the spring.


How to Sign Up

  • The sign-up period for the Hunt Roster is June 15–July 15 each year.

  • Sign up for the Hunt Roster on MyFWP.

  • The rosters are randomized at the end of the sign-up period. The roster is NOT on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Select deer, elk and antelope and choose one available hunting district per species.

  • Hunters are encouraged to select hunting districts they are familiar with and can get to quickly if contacted for a hunt opportunity.


Game Damage Hunts

Game damage occurs when wildlife such as elk, deer, and antelope concentrate on private farms and ranches and damage crops and property. 

Landowners may be eligible for game damage assistance if they allow public hunting during established hunting seasons. Assistance may include hazing, repellants, temporary or permanent stackyard fencing, damage hunts, kill permits, or supplemental game damage licenses.


Management Hunts

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.)


Elk Management Removals

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.


Supplemental Game Damage License Hunts

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 a 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.



Landowner Preference & Sponsor Licenses

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.


Landowner Preference

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.

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 more information, call 406-444-2950.


Landowner Sponsor

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.

Hunters can apply for a Nonresident Landowner Sponsor Deer Combination through the Online Licensing System.

Landowner Report Form

NOTE: All active landowner sponsors must submit a report form by December 31 of each year to remain in ‘Active’ status and to continue to sponsor hunters on their land.


Landowner Application

To register as a landowner sponsor for the 2023 license year, download the application below.

Deadline: To be approved and eligible to sponsor deer hunters on your land for the 2023 season, this application and any supporting documents must be postmarked by December 31, 2023

Military Servicemembers & Residency

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:

  1. The member was a resident of Montana under the residency provisions decribed in the Residency Requirements section and detailed in MCA 87-2-102; OR

  2. The member is currently stationed in and assigned to active duty in Montana, has resided in Montana for at least 30 days, and presents official assignment orders and proof of completion of a hunter safety course approved by the department, or a certificate verifying the successful completion of a hunter safety course in any state or province. The 30-day residence requirement is waived in time of war. Reassignment to another state, United States territory, or country terminates Montana residency for purposes of hunting, fishing and trapping licensing, except that a reassigned member continues to qualify as a resident if the member's spouse and dependents continue to physically reside in Montana and the member continues to meet the residency criteria described in the Residency Requirements section of this page. The designation of Montana by a member of the regular armed forces as a "home of record" or "home of residence" in that member's armed forces records does not determine the member's residency for purposes of hunting, fishing and trapping licensing.

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.

Nonresident Alternates List

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 Alternates 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.


How to sign up

Hunters can add their names to the Alternates List from May 15 until June 30, 2023 through MyFWP.

  • Each hunter may only register on one combination license list (Big Game Combination, General Elk or General Deer), and is not eligible to purchase more than one nonresident combination license a year.

  • After the sign up period closes, the list of interested hunters will be randomized to determine each hunter’s prioritization on these lists.

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.

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.

Nonresident Licenses

Montana offers three general hunting packages to nonresidents through a random computer drawing:

  • General Deer Combination

  • General Elk Combination

  • General Big Game (Deer & Elk) Combination

Other individualized combination opportunities include:

  • Landowner Sponsored Deer License

  • Come Home to Hunt License

  • Nonresident Native License

  • Youth Combination License

  • Nonresident Student Hunters

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

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:

General Big Game Combo (Deer & Elk): $1,208

General Elk Combo: $1018

Quota for both Big Game and Elk Combo: 17,000

General Deer Combo: $704

Quota for Deer Combo: 4,600


Landowner Sponsored Licenses

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:

Landowner Sponsored Deer Combo: $704

Quota: 2,000


Come Home to Hunt License

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. The applicant must have completed a Montana hunter education course and have previously purchased a Montana resident hunting license.

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.

Fees & Quotas:

Big Game Combo (Deer & Elk): $604

Quota: 500

Elk Combo: $509

Quota: 500

Deer Combo: $352

Quota: 500


Nonresident Native License

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 Base Hunting License, Conservation License, Aquatic Invasive Species, Fishing license, General Deer and/or Elk license, hunting of upland game bird, excluding turkey.

Fees & Quotas:

Big Game Combo (Deer & Elk): $604

Quota: Unlimited

Elk Combo: $509

Quota: Unlimited

Deer Combo: $352

Quota: Unlimited


Nonresident Student Hunting License

If you are a nonresident college student currently carrying 12 credits or more at a Montana college or university, you can fish and hunt upland game birds, deer, and or elk.

Nonresident Trapping Reciprocity

A person seeking a license to trap fur-bearing species shall:

  • Provide a notarized affidavit on a form approved by the department listing the person's legal residence, including the state;
  • Provide documentation that the person's resident state issues nonresident trapping licenses that allow Montana residents to trap the same species for which the person seeks to trap in Montana; or
  • Attest on the affidavit that the person's resident state does not offer reciprocity for trapping the fur-bearing species the person seeks to trap in Montana because the species does not exist in the resident state.
  • 2023 Nonresident Trapping Reciprocity Required Additional Information (PDF)


Additional Opportunities

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, Deer B & Elk B

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 

Preference points prioritize a nonresident combination license applicant with more preference points over an applicant who holds fewer preference points.


  • Per state law, 25% of General Combination licenses are issued, via a random draw, to applicants who have not purchased preference points. The remaining 75% of General Combination licenses are issued to individuals who have purchased a preference point in order of points held. For example: a person with 3 points will receive a license before a person with 2 points receives a license.

  • Depending on how many applicants purchase preference points, the draw odds for applicants with zero preference points may be higher or lower than the draw odds for applicants who have purchased preference points. It is your responsibility as an applicant to review drawing statistics from prior years and make the best decision for your particular situation.

  • If you elect to purchase a Preference Point select “YES” on the preference point question. The additional $100 fee will be added to your total.

  • Accumulated preference points will be used during the current drawing whether you purchase an additional preference point or not. Any accumulated preference points are lost if the applicant does not apply for a nonresident combination license in consecutive years, or if you are successful at obtaining a combination license.

  • If you apply for a combination license and an elk permit, you will have the opportunity to select the 80% refund option. If you select that option and are successful in the combination license drawing but unsuccessful in the elk permit drawing, you will receive an 80% refund of your license fee. Additionally, the number of preference points you hold will be reset to 0.
  • Outfitter clients are eligible to purchase second preference point for an additional $100 at the time of application. Licenses issued using this point are only valid for hunting with an outfitter.

  • No one may hold more than 3 preference points.

  • Those who do not apply for a combination license may purchase one preference point for $100 over the counter from July 1 through December 31.


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.

Residency Requirements

Visit the Buy & Apply > Residency Information Overview page for details on qualifying for Montana resident status when purchasing a license.


Win the hunt of a lifetime!

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


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 


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.

Guided hunts on the Blackfeet Reservation

Surplus Licenses

Licenses and permits may be made available for purchase after the drawing if the department receives fewer applications than the number of licenses available for the department to issue. These licenses are called surplus licenses.

To purchase a surplus license, you must first sign up for the Surplus License List during the sign-up dates shown in the table below. The dates are dependent upon the date each drawing is held and are subject to change from year to year.

2023 Surplus Schedule


Surplus List Sign-up Dates

Deer Permit

6/20/2023 - 7/20/2023

Elk Permit

6/20/2023 - 7/20/2023

Deer B License

6/20/2023 - 7/20/2023

Elk B License

6/20/2023 - 7/20/2023


Resident and nonresident hunters can sign up through the MyFWP portal. Payment of the license fee is not required at the time you sign up on the Surplus License List.

Once the sign-up period is closed, the list will be randomized and 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. Hunters must finalize the purchase of the license/permit within the timeframe specified in the email (typically a five day window), otherwise, your opportunity will be offered to the next hunter on the randomized list. Obtaining a license from this list has no effect on your existing bonus points.

After the surplus purchase dates listed in the table shown above have closed, remaining unsold surplus licenses may be made available to purchase over-the-counter at any license sale providers.

License limits per hunter:

  • 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.

For more information, contact the FWP licensing office at 406-444-2950.

Youth Licenses

License Refunds

The appropriate documentation must accompany the unused license. The department will review all applicable information in evaluating requests per ARM rule 12.3.402.

Preference points and bonus points cannot be reinstated due to refund of the licenses.

Conservation license, base hunting license, and aquatic invasive species prevention passes are non-refundable.


Nonresident Combination Licenses - Any Reason

Nonresident Combination license holders may return their license for a refund for any reason according to the following schedule provided the nonresident certifies that the license was not used. No other licenses than a nonresident combination license qualify for an ‘any reason’ refund.

80% refund - Postmarked on or before August 1 of the license year

50% refund without a bow license - Postmarked after August 1 of the license year, but on or before the general big game hunting season (on or before October 21, 2023)

50% refund with a bow license - Postmarked after August 1 but before opening of archery season (on or before September 2, 2023)



Medical emergency: License holders may receive a 90% refund in the event that a medical emergency prevents the license holder from using the license.

Death of family member: License holders who experience the death of an immediate family member and are prevented from using their license may receive a 90% refund.

Death of the licensee: will receive a 100% refund of the license.

Deployed Military

A member of the armed forces who forfeited a license or permit issued through a drawing as a result of deployment outside of the United States is guaranteed the same license or permit, without additional fee, upon application in the year of the member's return from deployment or in the first year that the license or permit is made available after the member's return. Please contact Licensing for more information 406-444-2950


Please contact FWP Licensing at 406-444-2950