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Pair of trumpeter swans

Hunt Species Guide: Swan

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Regulations & Maps


Regulations for upcoming seasons are posted online throughout the year. Waterfowl, Sandhill Crane, Mourning Dove & Snipe regulations are typically posted mid June.


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These dates are provided only as a general reference. Check current regulations or use FWP's online Hunt Planner for specific dates.


2024 Swan Season Dates

Central Flyway

Swan (special license only)

September 28 – January 2

Pacific Flyway

Swan (special license only)

October 5 – November 29

Licenses & Fees


Details: See Migratory Bird regulations for details


  • Resident: $5*

  • Nonresident: $5*

*Cost includes $5 nonrefundable drawing fee


Swan — Central Flyway Only

Details: See Migratory Bird regulations for details


  • Resident: $0

  • Nonresident: $0

Application & Drawing Deadlines



June 1


This licenses is available via Special Drawing. Application period opens May 1


Swan Identification

Swan hunting is allowed in Montana only by holders of a special permit.

Two species of swans can be found in Montana:

  • Trumpeter Swans
  • Tundra Swans

It is legal to hunt either species of swans in a small portion of the Pacific Flyway part of the state. The later opening date and earlier closing date in the Pacific Flyway are intended to reduce the chance of harvesting trumpeters.

It is also legal to hunt both tundra swans and trumpeter swans in the Central Flyway part of the state. Even though both swan species are legal in both parts of the state, hunters are encouraged to focus harvest on tundra swans so that trumpeter swan populations may continue to increase. Swan identification can be difficult, but understanding the different characteristics of swans can help you. 

Distinguishing Trumpeter Swans from Tundra Swans is possible by paying close attention to calls, although bill characteristics and other features may be helpful at close range.

Montana's Animal Field Guide offers information about both the Trumpeter Swan and the Tundra Swan.

For further information about swan identification and to hear additional swan calls, visit The Trumpeter Swan Society.


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Beautiful river lanscape