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Montana hunting licenses are required for residents and nonresidents looking to hunt in Montana’s wildlife. All recreational hunters need to buy a hunting license before heading to Montana’s hunting lands. These documents are handled and issued by the MT Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks. Different types of Montana hunting permits and licenses are available depending on the hunter’s age, residency status and the animal being hunted. However, no license can be issued unless the hunter has previously participated in and passed a hunter education program. Listed below are the various types of permits and licenses to hunt available to Montana residents and visitors, as well as special kinds of licenses for youths and disabled individuals. Montana hunting licenses can be purchased in many ways including online, in person and by mail. Residents and visitors alike are pleased to find that obtaining a license to hunt in MT is a convenient and straightforward process. Furthermore, for those who may have misplaced their hunting license document, or had it stolen or damaged, they can find information below on how to obtain a replacement with ease. To find out more about how to get hunting licenses in Montana, navigate through the following topics. The information is presented in a question-and-answer format and addresses some of the most commonly asked questions by hunters:

  • The license to hunt in Montana requirement
  • Types of hunting licenses in Montana
  • How to buy hunting licenses in Montana
  • Replacing hunting licenses in Montana
  • Hunter education in Montana

Who can get a hunting license in Montana?

Visitors and residents of Montana are eligible for many different kinds of hunting licenses, provided that they have successfully passed the required hunter education classes. In general, a license to hunt is required for all individuals who intend to hunt on Montana land.

What are the hunting licenses available in Montana?

The two main kinds of Montana hunting licenses are the non-resident hunting license and the residential hunting license. Furthermore, licenses are subdivided according to the type of animal being hunted.

A regular hunting license allows the hunter to harvest the species designated on the license, while a specific hunting permit allows the hunter to harvest the species designated on the permit, but it must be used together with a license. A base hunting license fee must be paid every year after the hunter has bought his or her first hunting license. The final credential that hunters must obtain, along with a hunting license, is a conservation license, which serves as a prerequisite for all resident and nonresident fishing, trapping and hunting licenses.

What are the resident and non-resident hunting licenses available?

Both residential hunting licenses and nonresident hunting licenses are available in Montana. Below are a select few types of hunting licenses available for residents and nonresidents, which are issued based upon species of game:

  • Bighorn sheep license
  • Elk hunting license
  • Black bear hunting license
  • Wolf license
  • Waterfowl license

Note that the license fees for residents and visitors differ. Also, not all subtypes of licenses are available to nonresidents.

How can I buy a Montana hunting license?

Buying a hunting license in Montana is easy and can be done in one of the following ways: online, in person or by mail.

The Montana DFWP offers a convenient online license service where all interested individuals can buy MT hunting licenses or permits. You will be asked to select whether you are a resident or a visitor (nonresident) and to proceed with the application accordingly. Hunting permits purchased via the online system must be printed and will be considered valid hunting licenses, but if a license requires a decal or a harvest tag, it will be sent in the mail. Make sure to prepare your Visa, MasterCard or AMEX credit card to pay the license fees. Note that only hunters who have previously purchased a hunting license and have received an ALS number will be able to use the online system. New resident hunters who are buying a license for the first time are required to buy it at any license retailer or DFWP office. Hunters who would like to buy a hunting license or permit in person may visit one of the many authorized license retailers or DFWP regional offices in the state.

Finally, one can always fill out a paper hunting license application and send it to the department directly. Pick one up from any DFWP office or print out the downloadable PDF form online. Send the completed application, together with your payment (a money order or check made payable to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks), to the address stated on the application. Make sure to send the application before the estimated deadline.

How can I replace a Montana hunting license?

Oftentimes, licenses to hunt in Montana become lost, stolen or damaged during hunting. In order to maintain hunting privileges, applicants must promptly obtain a duplicate. To receive a replacement hunting license, sign an affidavit confirming that the license was stolen, damaged or lost, then submit it to any department license provider/DFWP office.

How can I get a hunter’s education in Montana?

To get hunting licenses in Montana, all individuals born after January 1, 1985 must first enroll in a hunter safety and education program. If you are eligible, choose from the following hunter education courses:

  • Online adult hunter education
  • Apprentice hunter program
  • Wolf trapper education
  • Remedial hunter education

The hunter education course that most students will take is the basic hunter education course. Students 10 years of age and older are eligible to participate in the course, as are the parents of minor-aged students. Classes usually span two days and are a minimum of 12 hours in length.

Bowhunter education courses have similar requirements to the basic hunter education course and are mandated for persons planning to hunt with a bow and arrow. Students must be 11 years of age or older to take part in the bowhunter education course.

Both the bowhunter and the hunter education courses are offered in a web-based format. Though, only adults 18 years of age and older are allowed to sign up for remote hunter education courses. Participants in online classes are required to also sign up for a field course to complete their certification process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. All throughout the United States, hunters safety classes must be completed in order for applicants to obtain their desired hunting permits and stamps. Failure to take this specific course will result in the rejection of your hunting license request, thus requiring you to start over.
Depending on your state of residence, you may be able to buy hunting licenses in a variety of ways, including online (through your state department’s portal), by mail, by phone or in person. Choose the option that is most convenient for you. Make sure to also have any type of official documentation and payment for fees on hand.
No. Different states have different limits and regulations on hunting licensure. Certain animals may be considered “prohibited species,” whereas other animals may be legal to hunt, so long as you have the necessary hunting permit/stamp. Keep in mind that if you do hunt for any type of prohibited species, you will be subject to serious consequences.
Yes. States typically offer various short-term hunters license options, such as one-day and one-week passes, to those who do not meet residency requirements. In order to receive issuance of a short-term hunting license, make sure to get in touch with your state/hunting wildlife department to find out the available methods you have to apply.
In the event your hunting credentials are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed, contact your state hunting/wildlife department to order a hunting license replacement. You may have to make an in-person visit to a local office to complete the process. At the time of your replacement request, you may be asked to present your state driving license or another type of identification.
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