Taking Game and Giving Back

With spring in the air, it’s time to look ahead at improving the hunter experience and preparing Montana youth to hunt safely.


Application Deadline Changes

This year, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) instituted a new application deadline of March 15 for special permits (deer and elk). Application packets are now available at all FWP license providers, FWP offices, and online. This means both residents and nonresidents will get their drawing results by mid-April as opposed to June 1. The move was in response to public comment requesting more time to scout, make landowner contact, and get in shape. The deadline for moose, goat, sheep, and bison licenses remains May 1. For antlerless deer B, elk B, and antelope licenses, hunters need to apply by June 1. Check out fwp.mt.gov for more information on deadlines and drawings.


Winter Hunting Season Roundup

Montana’s bison season got off to a moderate start in November but slowed greatly in January due to mild conditions and a general lack of snow in the Gardiner and West Yellowstone areas. By February 15, state hunters had harvested a total of 11 bison. Meanwhile, Montana's wolf season closed with 166 wolves harvested (75% of the 220 quota); 66 of those wolves came during the FWP-authorized season extension. The winter mountain lion season continues until April 15, except in areas where the quota has been met. Find information about harvest numbers and quotas at fwp.mt.gov.


Shaping Future Hunters

It takes a dedicated team of volunteers to educate the future hunters of Montana. These experienced and invaluable volunteers spend hundreds of hours each year teaching the fundamentals of hunting and firearm safety to young and old alike under FWP guidance. Montana is lucky to have hundreds of qualified instructors, and FWP is always looking to add more to the ranks. We’re streamlining the certification process, so if you’re interested in helping shape the future of hunting in Montana by becoming a hunter (or bowhunter) education instructor, call your regional FWP office. FWP honors its instructors by recognizing their years of service through a system of awards.


Andrea Jones is the FWP Region 3 Information and Education Program Manager.