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New Hunting, Fishing License Year Begins March 1

The new license year opens March 1, which means that is the day you can buy your 2024 hunting, fishing and conservation licenses and begin applying for permits and special licenses.

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

Applications for most species — deer, elk, antelope, deer B licenses, elk B licenses, antelope B licenses, moose, sheep, goat, bison, bear, turkey — can be made beginning March 1.

A new online feature this year is the option for applicants to reapply for the same offerings as last year with just a simple click, eliminating the need to search through previous applications.

Hunters and anglers can buy licenses and apply for permits on the FWP website beginning at 5 a.m. on March 1; click on “Buy and Apply.”

Most FWP offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The licensing call center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from March 1 through April 1; after April 1, the hours will return to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call center can be reached at 406-444-2950.

This year, FWP produced clearer information for hunters on bonus points and how they are used. A bonus point is an extra chance for a hunter to draw a license or permit in a Montana drawing.

Preference points are used only for drawing Nonresident Combination Licenses. Preference points move you ahead in line for the drawing. If you are a Montana resident, preference points don’t apply.

Tips And Reminders

Don’t wait until the last day to apply.

If you’re applying for a special license or permit, you will need to have a valid email address.

Make sure to check the regulations. Some permit/licenses have changed.

The Online Licensing System is available from 5 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.

Everyone 12 and older needs a Conservation License to access most state lands, including fishing access sites, wildlife management areas and wildlife habitat protection areas.

Montana State Parks do not require a Conservation License.

A separate and rotating moose, bighorn sheep or mountain goat SuperTag lottery for resident hunters will be conducted annually. Montana residents will receive one free chance in the lottery for every General Elk or General Deer License purchased.

Application Deadlines

Smith River Super Permit – March 22 Paddlefish (white tag) – March 22 Deer and Elk: Special Permits – April 1 Special Licenses – June 1 Bighorn Sheep – May 1 Bison – May 1 Moose – May 1 Mountain Goat –May 1 Antelope – June 1 SuperTags: Antelope, Bighorn Sheep, Bison, Deer, Elk, Moose, Mountain Goat and Mountain Lion – July 1 Mountain Lion Special Licenses – July 22

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