Fish and Wildlife Commission adopts regulations for muzzleloader season
By angelamontana

Posted: September 15, 2021

HELENA – The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted regulations for Montana’s first traditional muzzleloader season at its meeting on Aug. 20.

House Bill 242 was passed in the 2021 Legislative Session and established a nine-day muzzleloader heritage hunting season for deer and elk that begins on the second Saturday following the end of the regular season. For 2021, the season is Dec. 11 to Dec. 19. To address this new statute, the commission adopted the following regulations, most of which are based on language from the statute:

  • A person may take a deer or elk with a license or permit that is still valid at the end of the general hunting season.
  • Hunters can use plain lead projectiles and a muzzleloading rifle that is charged with loose black powder, loose pyrodex or an equivalent loose black powder substitute and ignited by a flintlock, wheel lock, matchlock or percussion mechanism using a percussion or musket cap.
  • The muzzleloading rifle must be a minimum of .45 caliber and may not have more than two barrels.
  • During the muzzleloader season, hunters may not use a muzzleloading rifle that requires insertion of a cap or primer into the open breech of the barrel (inline), is capable of being loaded from the breech, or is mounted with an optical magnification device.
  • Use of preprepared paper or metallic cartridges, sabots, gas checks or other similar power and range-enhancing manufactured loads that enclose the projectile from the rifling or bore of the firearm is also prohibited.

For more information on hunting in Montana, visit


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