Applications for Deer and Elk permits are due March 15. In Keeping with the tradition of the Montana FWP the regulations are as clear as mud. HD’s 200, 201, 202, 210, 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 250, 270, 291, 292, 293, 313, 318, 335, 339, 340, 343, 426, 620, 621, 622, 630, 631, 632, 680 & 690 are still pending approval so you must check the Montana FWP website: http:/fwp.mt.gov on February 16 before you apply to one of these districts.
You must purchase a conservation license and a new base hunting permit (probably a new way for FWP to charge more $) before you apply.
If applying for deer you must own a general deer license, and if applying for elk you must own a general elk license.
Any applications that are not correctly coded are automatically tossed out of the drawing.
Never apply as a party, if one person doesn’t draw nobody gets to go.
Use the Bonus Point System it’s worth the extra $2.00. I have 9 bonus points for elk, The Montana FWP takes my bonus points and squares them so this year I will 81 chances in the drawing.
Your second and third choices are only considered for the area if the quota is not filled after all the first choices for that area are filled. In other words you will only draw a second or third choice if the drawing odds are at least a 100%
Apply for land owner preference if you own land in the district that you want to hunt in. You need 160 acres for deer and 640 acres for elk.
For Deer hunting districts 204-5, 212-50, 213-50, 214-50, 215-50, 240-51, 281-50, 292-50, 300-50, 318-50, 319-50, 324-50, 329-50, 335-50, 339-50, 343-50, 380-50, 390-50, 391-50,392-50, 510-50 & 630-20 are all guaranteed draws for resident hunters.
For Elk 310-45 is the only guaranteed draw, followed by 900-20 at 84% and 620-21 at 80% for resident hunters.
Non Resident hunters only receive 10% of the tags.
The two best hunting districts: The Elkhorns district 380-20 has only has a 1.11 % chance and the Western Missouri Breaks district 410-20 has a 2.17% chance.
P.S. Montana FWP is planning on having shoulder seasons to hunt cow elk before and after the regular season next fall. They are proposing 43 HD’s in districts in Regions 3, 4, 5 & 6. The question is how are bow hunters and rifle hunters going to get along when hunting in the same area at the same time? The answer is they don’t. If the shoulder seasons get approved there will be either very limited or no archery seasons in these districts, because Montana FWP views archery as good fun but not a good management tool. Sorry archery hunters you lose, so if you are thinking applying for an archery elk permit in one of these regions you might want to reconsider.
Good Luck and Good Hunting!