Montana on map
About hunting in Montana
The fourth-largest state in the United States, Montana is a hunter’s and outdoorsman’s paradise. Covering 147,000 square miles, Montana is split into distinct eastern and western regions by the Continental Divide. Most of the major mountain ranges (there are at least 100) are in the west. About 60 percent of the state, most of the eastern section, is prairie, but there are a number of isolated peaks and ranges that interrupt the prairie landscape. Huntable species in Montana include black bears, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain elk, Shiras moose, mountain goats, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, turkeys, wolves, and bison. There is also excellent hunting for upland birds and waterfowl in most of the state. Montana’s wildlife is well managed, with excellent trophies of nearly every big-game species being taken in the state every year. Some of the largest bighorn sheep in the world come from Montana, especially the Missouri Breaks region; however, drawing odds are extremely low. Hunting in Montana is conducted on both public and private land, and permission is required to hunt on private land. Outfitters and guides must by licensed by the Department of Labor and Industry. To hunt in Montana, you need a general big-game or species license as well as, in some cases, a permit entitling you to hunt in a specific area or type of animal. A Conservation License is also required. Consult with your outfitter and be certain that he or she is able to either provide the needed licenses and tags or instruct you on how to purchase them. Many of Montana’s hunting opportunities are only available through a draw system, which requires planning ahead. In some cases, however, licenses are available for purchase over the counter or outfitters have tags available for nonresident hunters. Big-game animals must be properly tagged before the carcass is removed from the kill site or before the hunter leaves the kill site. Montana requires that all hunters and guides must wear a minimum of 400 square inches of hunter orange visible above the waist. The rule does not apply to archery hunters hunting during the archery-only season, but it does apply to bowhunters hunting during the general big-game firearm seasons. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with Montana’s hunting regulations before you begin your hunt, even if you are hunting with an outfitter. Rules surrounding season dates and hunt area boundaries can be complex, and because rules often differ from species to species and region to region, be sure to read up on specific regulations for you particular hunt. Find information at Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (fwp.mt.gov) and specific hunting regulations here: http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/regulations/default.html.
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