FWP News: Application deadline for deer and elk permits is April 1
By angelamontana

Posted: March 18, 2024
Some changes to regulations in effect; new license year began March 1

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Some changes to regulations in effect; new license year began March 1

HELENA – Hunters have until April 1 to apply for deer and elk permits and nonresident combination licenses. Hunters can buy licenses and apply for permits on the FWP website; click on “Buy and Apply.”

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks offers several tools to help hunters navigate the application process. Click here to watch a video tutorial for Montana residents; click here to watch a video tutorial for nonresidents. To see a playlist of all FWP’s hunting license video tutorials, click here.

For help with understanding how bonus points are used, you can visit fwp.mt.gov/buyandapply/hunting-licenses/bonus-points

A new online feature this year is the option for applicants to reapply for the same offerings as last year with just a simple click, eliminating the need to search through previous applications.

Most FWP offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The licensing call center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. through April 1; after April 1, the hours will return to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call center can be reached at 406-444-2950.

Regulations changes

Before you purchase your licenses and permits, be sure to check the 2024 regulations. Several changes take effect this year.

In Regions 6 and 7, regulations are in place that restrict antlerless mule deer harvest to occur only on private land in FWP Regions 6 and 7, including private lands enrolled in the Block Management Program. That means all mule deer B licenses in Regions 6 and 7 will be valid only on private land. This restriction also applies to those hunting districts (HDs) in Regions 6 and 7 that allow antlerless mule deer harvest on a general license.

Also in Region 7, the commission voted to split the region into north and south segments for antelope hunting. The dividing line will be the Yellowstone River. North of the river, licenses will be 007-21 (either-sex) and 007-31 (doe/fawn). South of the river, licenses will be 007-20 (either-sex) and 007-30 (doe/fawn). Archery only licenses will remain the same, 900-20.

In Region 4 HDs 410, 411, 412, 417, 419 and 426, the general deer license changed to antlered buck only. As a result, the only antlerless mule deer hunting available in these HDs is via B licenses through the draw. In addition, these B-licenses will be valid only on private land.

Also, HDs 410 and 417 the general deer license structure changed to limited-entry permit only, meaning hunters with a general license can no longer hunt and harvest mule deer bucks in these HDs.

HD 426 will remain a general license for antlered mule deer bucks during the archery season and the first three weeks of the general season, but the last two weeks of the general season will only be open to hunters with a limited-entry permit.

HDs 411, 412 and 419 will remain general license for antlered bucks during both the archery and general mule deer seasons.

Get your 2024 Conservation License

If you’re heading out this year to recreate on state land, you need to make sure you have your 2024 Conservation License.

This license is required to recreate on fishing access sites, wildlife management areas, wildlife habitat protection areas and most Montana Department of Natural Resources Lands. State parks do not require a Conservation License. Anyone 12 and older needs to have a current Conservation License.

Recreationists who arrange a trip through a guide or outfitter, including tubing trips and horseback riding trips, need to make sure they follow Conservation License requirements.

These licenses can be purchased online at ols.fwp.mt.gov/at any FWP office or any of FWP’s 290 license providers located throughout the state. They cost $8 for residents, $4 for resident youth ages 12 to 17 and seniors 62 and older, and $10 for nonresidents.

If you’re a hunter, trapper or angler, the Conservation License is purchased when you purchase your other licenses.

Tips and reminders

  • Don’t wait until the last day to apply.

  • A valid driver’s license or valid photo ID is required to purchase a license.

  • If you’re applying for a special license or permit, you will need to have a valid email address.

  • The Online Licensing System is available from 5 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

  • A separate and rotating moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat SuperTag lottery for resident hunters will be conducted annually. Montana residents will receive one free chance in the lottery for every General Elk or General Deer License purchased.

 Application deadlines 

  • Smith River Super Permit – March 22

  • Paddlefish (white tag) – March 22

  • Deer and Elk

    • Special Permits – April 1

    • Special Licenses – June 1

  • Nonresident combination licenses – April 1

  • Bighorn Sheep – May 1

  • Bison – May 1

  • Moose – May 1

  • Mountain Goat – May 1

  • Antelope – June 1

  • SuperTags

    • Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Bison, Deer, Elk, Moose, Mountain Goat, and Mountain Lion –July 1

  • Mountain Lion Special Licenses – July 22

For more information on Montana hunting licenses and permits, go to fwp.mt.gov/buyandapply/hunting-licenses.


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