What's new this hunting season?
Montanans are fortunate to enjoy 10 months of hunting opportunities each year, beginning with the antelope archery season in mid-August and ending with the spring black-bear season in mid-June. That timeframe includes shoulder seasons, general seasons, a heritage muzzleloader season, B licenses, surplus licenses, game-damage hunts, and much more.
Variety of this extent comes with some complexity. Hunting regulations are updated each year, and it’s essential for hunters to read and understand the regulations as they prepare to go afield. Here are a few highlights hunters should know about this season.
Montana MyFWP App
Montana hunting and fishing licenses are now accessible through a secure and convenient mobile app. Montana’s MyFWP app provides a digital wallet to store and display licenses, permits, and digital carcass tags, known as E-tags, which can be used in the field without cell service. When hunters purchase hunting licenses, they now have the option to carry traditional paper tags or E-tags for each transaction, but not both. Your decision between an E-tag or paper tag for each license is final for the remainder of the license year.
If you decide to carry E-tags, make sure you’re logged into the app and your E-tags have been downloaded before going afield to ensure access without cell service. Validating an E-tag via the app is the same as notching your paper tag. Even if you opt for paper carcass tags, you can still use the app to carry and view your licenses and permits for the current year and one prior year.
The Montana MyFWP app is free and available for download on Apple and Android devices. By Montana law, no location data is shared with FWP through the app.
The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted several changes to this year’s hunting regulations. In some areas, hunting districts were combined or reconfigured to create fewer and larger districts. Region 3, for example, contained 45 deer and elk hunting districts in 2021; this year, there are 34. Get to know the current boundaries and the license opportunities for the area you plan to hunt.
If you purchased an elk permit, there are new rules about using your general elk license. Permits for either-sex elk and permits for brow-tined bull and antlerless elk have limits on hunting antlered elk, which is only allowed within the hunting districts and dates identified on the permit. For example, if your permit allows you to hunt antlered elk in Hunting District 621 during the archery-only season, you cannot hunt antlered elk elsewhere during the archery-only season. Antlerless-elk hunting is not limited by the permit, and a general elk license may be used to hunt in any open district during dates outside of those identified on the permit. Learn more about these and other updates at fwp.mt.gov.
Morgan Jacobsen is the public information officer for Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.