FWP News: Mule Deer Hunting Changes
By angelamontana

Posted: March 6, 2024

As you apply for licenses and permits for the 2024 hunting season, we’d like to highlight some changes for mule deer permits, B licenses, and antlerless deer hunting in Montana.

Recent droughts and harsh winters have resulted in poor mule deer survival, fawn production, and a general decrease in mule deer numbers. We’ve seen what hunters and landowners are seeing and have reduced the opportunity to hunt antlerless mule deer. In some areas, we’ve eliminated those opportunities all together.

In Region 4, you won’t be able to hunt antlerless mule deer hunting on general deer license in HDs 410, 411, 412, 417, 419, and 426. Antlerless mule deer hunting in these HDs will only be available with a limited entry B licenses only valid on private land.

Also, HDs 410 and 417 have changed to a limited entry permit for antlered buck, rather than a general license opportunity.

In HD 426, hunters can harvest an antlered buck with a general license during the archery season and the first three weeks of the general rifle season. This switches to a limited entry opportunity for the last two weeks of the general rifle and muzzleloader seasons.

In December, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission passed regulations that restrict antlerless mule deer harvest to occur only on private land in FWP Regions 6 and 7, to include 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 in Regions 6 and 7 that allow antlerless mule deer harvest on a general license.

If folks have questions, please call the FWP licensing call center at 406-444-2950 or email fwplic@mt.gov.

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