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New License Year Began March 1; Here’s What You Need To Know

2020 Montana hunting and fishing licenses went on sale Sunday, March 1, and this year people will see some changes to how they can buy general licenses and apply for special (limited draw) licenses and permits.

This year, FWP will not accept paper applications. That means to apply for a special license/permit in 2020, hunters will need to apply online or at an FWP office. Additionally, all people applying for a special license/permit will need to have a valid email address.

This email address is how successful (limited draw) applicants will receive a link to their permit and/or carcass tags. This year, carcass tags will be printed on normal paper, which will allow customers the convenience of printing them once at home. Reprints will need to be done at a license provider and will cost $5 each.

The deadline to apply for deer and elk permits is April 1.

Here are a few things to remember: •Even though applications will now be done online or in person at an FWP office, general licenses can still be purchased at all license providers.

•Hunters can apply for all special (limited draw) licenses and permits beginning March 1. That means deer, elk, antelope, moose, sheep, goat, bison and your B licenses. To purchase a license online, go to

•Drawings will be completed two weeks after the deadlines. The deer and elk permit deadline is April 1. The moose, bison, sheep and goat deadline is May 1. The antelope, elk and deer B license deadline is June 1.

•You can keep an electronic version of your licenses on your smart phone. The only thing you legally need to have printed and in your possession is your carcass tag, which still needs to be validated and attached to the carcass. Reminder: FWP recommends all carcass tags to be kept in a small Ziplock-type plastic bags.

Along with these reminders, here are a few tips:

•If you don’t have an email address, you can create one through a variety of free email services, including gmail. com,, and To use these services, you’ll be required to set up a username and password. It’s relatively simple.

•If you don’t have access to a computer, you can apply for your special (limited draw) licenses/permits at an FWP office. With the ability to apply for all your special (limited draw) licenses/permits starting March 1, hunters can submit all their applications in one trip to an FWP office.

•General licenses can still be purchased at any license provider.

•If visiting an FWP office is inconvenient, another option for applicants is to use a computer at a public library or team up with friends or family members that have a computer and printer. The important thing to remember is that a valid email address is required for the new application process so that if you are successful, you can receive your email with a link to print your permit and/or carcass tags. If your only option is to use a computer at a public library, if successfully drawn you will still need to be able to print your permit and/or carcass tags after the drawing. Verify your library has a print option.

•If you are a successful applicant, you must print the permit and/or carcass tags. For people who don’t have a printer, you can forward the email with the link to your permit and/or carcass tags to a friend or family member who has both a computer and printer and is willing to print those for you.

For Landowner Preference and Landowner Sponsored applications, customers choosing to utilize their options will go online or to an FWP office to apply and purchase their licenses/permit. These applications will require customers to mail FWP additional information to confirm their eligibility. Once we receive the required documentation, those applications will be entered into the drawing.


•The change to normal 8.5x11 paper for carcass tags serves two main purposes:

•Most customers will enjoy the convenience of making these purchases whenever best suits their schedule and enjoy having their licenses and carcass tags immediately available to them at the time of purchase.

•The cost of the thermal paper used traditionally for licenses and carcass tags continues to increase along with the problems of our aging equipment. For example, the seemingly disappearing ink issue with last year’s licenses was due to the aged thermal printers not being able to “burn” hot enough. Additionally, FWP can no longer obtain replacements for the printers needed to print on the old-style paper.

These changes to modernize licensing and the special permit application processes are beneficial because they allow much quicker drawing results and general licenses/ carcass tags to be printed immediately after online purchase.

The switch to online only applications (via your computer or an FWP office) will better serve our customers by significantly reducing the timeframe to conduct the drawings. From now on, most drawings will be completed two weeks after the deadline.

Hunting Regulations Available Online The 2020 Deer, Elk, Antelope, Black Bear, and Moose, Sheep, and Goat hunting regulations are available online.

The regulations were finalized by the Fish and Wildlife Commission Feb. 13. Printed copies will be available at all license providers and FWP offices.

A few things to look for in this year’s regulations:

•Elk shoulder seasons have changed, depending on the hunting district. While they’re still in place in many hunting districts around the state, the Commission looked to apply them more specifically depending on hunting district and region. If you’re interested in participating in shoulder seasons this year, please pay close attention to the hunting district specific regulations and license requirements. Some may require a special application.

•CWD information in this year’s regulation is more general than in years’ past but includes very good information for hunters. This is due to the reality that as FWP continues to sample deer, elk and moose across the state, the specifics about its presence continues to change. More information will be available later this summer prior to hunting season. The most current information can always be found online at

During the past two years, FWP has worked to simplify the hunting regulations. These changes should make the regulations easier to read and understand. Additionally, information will be simpler to find with a convenient table of contents.

To see this year’s regulations, go online to and click on “hunting” and then on “regulations.”

Amendments Proposed To Hunting License Replacement Rules Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is looking to change the administrative rules governing license replacements for hunters.

The proposed rule changes will make it more convenient for customers to replace their hunting licenses and permits during this time of transition to regular paper for licenses and permits. The department has seen an increase in need for replacement licenses during this transition.

Currently, license holders can replace a hunting license or permit that is lost, stolen or destroyed by signing an affidavit and submitting the affidavit at an FWP office or license provider and limits the number of replacements to two within a two-year period.

The proposed rule amendments remove the number of reprints allowed and the requirement for customers to sign an affidavit to receive a replacement license or permit.

The language of the proposed rule amendments can be found on FWP’s website at publicNotices/rules/pn_0302. html.

In addition, public comment can be submitted in writing to FWP, Attention Licensing, PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701 or emailed to [email protected] The deadline for public comment is March 27.

A public hearing on the matter was postponed.

Licensing Call Center Extending Hours Of Operation Hunters and anglers who are purchasing licenses online and have questions for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks can take advantage of extended hours at the licensing call center through April 1.

The call center will be fielding calls from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The licensing call center number is 406-444-2950.

All special permit applicants can check their status by visiting, then clicking on the MyFWP tab at the top, then on Check Drawing Results, Register for Lists button on the left.

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