Montana Hunting Seasons (2022-2023)

Welcome to the Montana Hunting Seasons page. Updated US Hunting Seasons for 2022 and 2023.

As part of our comprehensive guide to US Hunting Seasons By State on this page, you will find out “When Is Hunting Season for Montana?”

There is also general information on the different hunting seasons for a wide range of wild game species. You will find links to the relevant State Authority so you can make sure you have all the correct legal obligations in place before you start your hunt.

Montana Hunting Seasons Dates

The Montana hunting season provides the hunter with some amazing big game opportunities. Species to be hunted in Montana during hunting season include:-

Deer, Elk, Moose, Bison, Black Bear, Wolf, Antelope, Mountain Lion, Bighorn Sheep, Turkey and a range of small game and game birds.

IMPORTANT. All care has been taking in preparing this hunting season information for you. Please check the relevant State Authority’s Website for further information and any changes to current US Hunting Season Regulations. We have provided a link to each States hunting season website for your convenience.

The following dates are provided as a general reference. 

Montana Hunting Season Dates

The hunting season in Montana is the longest in the West. Each of the seven regions numbered 1 through 7, has an area of 147,164 square miles.

Antelope Hunting Season

Montana Antelope Hunting Season

Antelope 900 SeriesAugust 15, 2022 – November 13, 2022
ArcherySeptember 3, 2022 – October 7, 2022
GeneralOctober 8, 2022 – November 13, 2022

General Antelope License

Details: General licenses are only valid in certain districts. Applicants must pay the full license fee. The price includes a $5 nonrefundable application fee.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $205

Antelope Multi-Region Archery

Details: Either sex can get an archery license. The license can only be used in certain hunting areas. Must be the first and only choice of the applicant. Before going hunting, you must buy a Bow and Arrow (Archery) license. Applicants must pay the full fee for a license. The cost includes a $5 application fee that cannot be refunded.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $205
Bighorn Sheep Hunting Season

Montana 2022 Bighorn Sheep Season Dates

ArcherySeptember 3, 2022 – September 14, 2022
GeneralSeptember 15, 2022 – November 17, 2022
The Archery Only Season is only for bighorn sheep hunting districts with limited entry, and it will start before the general bighorn sheep season opens in any district. In CLOSED or unlimited entry districts, there is no “Archery Only Season.” You need a license to shoot a bow and arrow.

Bighorn Sheep Limited / Unlimited Licenses & Fees

Details: To apply, you need to have both a Conservation and a Base Hunting license. For each license or permit you want, you have to pay a non-refundable application fee of $10 if you live in the area or $50 if you don’t.

License holders can legally kill one bighorn sheep, as long as they follow all the rules on the license.

Fees:

  • Resident: $125
  • Nonresident: $1,250
Bison Hunting Season

Montana Bison Season Dates 2022

GeneralNovember 15, 2022 – February 15, 2022

Bison Hunting License & Fees

Details: To apply, you must already have a Conservation and Base Hunting license. For each license or permit you want, you have to pay a non-refundable application fee of $10 if you live in the area or $50 if you don’t.

A hunter can only have one license to hunt bison.

Black Bear Hunting Season

Montana 2022 Black Bear Hunting Dates

SpringApril 15 – May 31*
Spring Hound HuntingApril 15 – May 25
Spring Hound TrainingMay 26 – June 15
ArcherySeptember 3 – September 14
FallSeptember 15 – November 27
*NOTE: Some districts may vary, check regulations for more information.

Black Bear Hunting Licenses & Fees

Only one black bear license can be bought over the counter each year by a hunter.

Prerequisite

Before they can buy a black bear license, hunters have to show proof that they passed a free test on how to tell a bear apart.

Spring Season 

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $350
Fall Season 

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $350
Bow and Arrow (Archery)

Details: During black bear archery-only season or to hunt black bears with a bow and arrow in an archery-only area or hunting district, you need a bow and arrow license and the right hunting license.

Fees:

  • Resident: $10
  • Nonresident: $10
Deer Hunting Season

Montana 2022 Deer Hunting Season Dates

ArcherySeptember 3 – October 16
Two-Day Youth HuntOctober 20 – October 21
GeneralOctober 22 – November 27

Backcountry Deer & Elk (Hunting Districts 150, 151, 280, 316)

ArcherySeptember 3 – September 14
GeneralSeptember 15 – November 27

Black Deer Hunting Licenses & Fees

General Deer License

Details: The license is valid for one deer. Hunters can only have one general deer license, which can be used for deer as stated under the “General Deer License” heading on the deer and elk hunting regulations. This license costs $8 for people who live in Montana and are 17 years old or younger, have a disabled resident conservation license, or are 62 years old or older.

Fees:

  • Resident: $16
  • Nonresident: N/A
Deer B — Drawing

Details: The B License is a license for hunting deer without antlers that is good for a certain amount of time and in a certain hunting district or group of districts. Applicants must pay the full fee for a license. The cost includes a $5 application fee that cannot be refunded.

Fees:

  • Resident: $15
  • Nonresident: $80
Deer B — Over the Counter

Details: The B License is a license for hunting deer without antlers that is good for a certain amount of time and in a certain hunting district or group of districts.

Fees:

  • Resident: $10
  • Nonresident: $75
Deer B — Antlerless Whitetail, Single Region

Details: Only white-tailed deer without antlers can be hunted in one area. Hunter must choose a region when they buy. Not available in every area.

Fees:

  • Resident: $10
  • Nonresident: $75
Deer Combination — General

Non-residents can only apply for a combo license once a year. Includes a General Deer License and lets you fish and hunt upland game birds other than turkey, but not turkey. Conservation with State Lands, Base Hunting, and Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Pass (AISPP) must all be bought separately. 4,600 licenses are available.

Fees:

  • Resident: N/A
  • Nonresident: $646
Montana Elk Hunting Season

Montana Elk Hunting Dates 2022

ArcherySeptember 3 – October 16
GeneralOctober 22 – November 27

Backcountry Deer & Elk (Hunting Districts 150, 151, 280, 316)

ArcherySeptember 3 – September 14
GeneralSeptember 15 – November 27

Black Elk Hunting Licenses & Fees

Elk — General

Details: The license is good for one elk. Hunters may only have one general elk license, which can be used for elk as indicated on the deer and elk hunting regulations under the “General Elk License” heading. This license is $10 for Montana residents aged 12 to 17, holders of a disabled resident conservation license, or residents 62 and older.

Fees:

  • Resident: $20
  • Nonresident: N/A
Elk B — Drawing

Details: The B License is an antlerless elk license that is valid for a set period of time and in a specific hunting district or group of districts. Applicants must pay the full license fee. The price includes a $5 nonrefundable application fee.

Fees:

  • Resident: $25
  • Nonresident: $275
Elk Combination — General

Details: Nonresidents may not apply for any other combination license. Includes a General Elk license and permits upland game bird fishing and hunting (excluding turkey). Conservation on State Lands, Base Hunting, and AISPP are all separate purchases. This license is part of the 17,000 license quota for Big Game Elk/Deer Combination.

Fees:

  • Resident: N/A
  • Nonresident: $934
Montana Furbearer Hunting Season

Montana Furbearer (Trapping) 2022 Season

Trapping Districts 1, 2 & 3 Beaver:Nov. 1 – Apr. 15, 2023
Trapping Districts 1, 2 & 3 Bobcat:Dec. 1 – Feb. 15, 2023*
Trapping Districts 4, 5, 6 & 7 Beaver:Sept. 1 – May 31, 2023
Trapping Districts 4, 5, 6 & 7 Bobcat:Dec. 1 – Mar. 1, 2023*
Portion of Trapping District 6 Swift Fox:Nov. 1 – Jan. 15, 2023*
Fisher, Marten Where open:Dec. 1 – Feb. 15, 2023*
Mink, Muskrat, OtterNov. 1 – Apr. 15, 2023*
May close earlier when the quota is reached.
Migratory Birds Hunting Season

Montana Migratory Birds Hunt 2022

Statewide Common (Wilson’s) SnipeSept. 1 – Dec. 16
Statewide Mourning DoveSept. 1 – Dec. 16
Statewide Youth WaterfowlSept. 24 – 25
Pacific Flyway Ducks (including Mergansers)Oct 1. 2022 – Jan 13, 2023
Pacific Flyway CootsOct 1. 2022 – Jan 13, 2023
Pacific Flyway GeeseOct 1. 2022 – Jan 13, 2023
Pacific Flyway FalconryOct 1. 2022 – Jan 13, 2023

Central Flyway

Ducks (including Mergansers) Zone 1:Oct 1. 2022 – Jan 5, 2023
Ducks (including Mergansers) Zone 2:Oct. 1 – Oct. 9 & Oct. 22 – Jan. 17
Coots Zone 1Oct 1. 2022 – Jan 5, 2023
Coots Zone 2Oct. 1 – Oct. 9 & Oct. 22 – Jan. 17
Geese Zone 1Oct 1. 2022 – Jan 13, 2023
Geese Zone 2Oct. 1 – Oct. 9 & Oct. 22 – Jan. 25
Falconry: Ducks (including Mergansers) and Coots Zone 1:Sept. 21 – Jan. 5
Falconry: Ducks (including Mergansers) and Coots Zone 2:Sept. 21 – Oct. 9 & Oct. 22 – Jan. 17
Falconry: Geese Zone 1Oct 1. 2022 – Jan 13, 2023
Falconry: Geese Zone 2Oct. 1 – Oct. 9 & Oct. 22 – Jan. 25

Montana Migratory Birds Hunting Licenses & Fees

2022 Special Light Goose Conservation Order License

A free special light goose conservation order license is all that is required. There is no other license required. There is no need for a federal “duck stamp.”

Hunters taking advantage of the Light Goose Conservation Order are not required to complete a HIP survey.

Fees:

  • Resident: Free
  • Nonresident: Free
Migratory Bird License

Residents and nonresidents 17 and under must purchase a Conservation and Base Hunting License, and they may purchase a Migratory Bird License for half the price (resident – $3.25; nonresident – $25). Individuals 16 and older, both residents and non-residents, must also purchase a Federal Migratory Bird Stamp. The federal stamp is available at all FWP offices as well as the US Postal Service.

Fees:

  • Resident: $6.50
  • Nonresident: $50
Moose Hunting Season

Montana 2022 Moose Season Dates

MooseSeptember 15 – November 27*

Montana Moose Hunting Licenses & Fees

Details: Conservation and Base Hunting licenses are required in order to apply. Each license or permit requires an additional nonrefundable application fee of $10 for residents and $50 for nonresidents.

For the next seven years, an applicant who receives a moose license is ineligible to apply for or receive another moose license.

License holders may legally take one moose, subject to the terms of the license.

Fees:

  • Resident: $125
  • Nonresident: $1,250
Mountain Goat Hunting Season

Montana Mountain Goat Hunting 2022

Mountain GoatSeptember 15, 2022 – November 27, 2022*
* some districts vary

Mountain Goat Hunting Licenses & Fees in Montana

Details: Conservation and Base Hunting licenses are required in order to apply. Each license or permit requires an additional nonrefundable application fee of $10 for residents and $50 for nonresidents.

Holders of a license may legally take one mountain goat, subject to the terms of the license.

For the next seven years, an applicant who receives a mountain goat license is ineligible to apply for or receive another mountain goat license.

Fees:

  • Resident: $125
  • Nonresident: $1,250
Mountain Lion Hunting Season

Mountain Lion Hunting Season in Montana 2022

Archery (without hounds)September 3, 2022 – October 16, 2022
Fall (without hounds)October 22, 2022 – November 27, 2022
Winter (with hounds)December 1, 2022 – April 14, 2022

Montana Mountain Lion Hunting Licenses & Fees

Mountain Lion — General (without dogs)

Details: A General Mountain Lion License may be used in any valid LMU during the archery only and dog-free fall season, even if the LMU is a Limited Special Mountain Lion License LMU during the winter season. The LMU will be closed when the harvest reaches 20 percent of the quota.

In all areas, male and female mountain lion harvest from all license holders will be deducted from the respective male or female mountain lion quotas or subquotas during the combined archery only and fall season without dogs. Purchase online or at any license provider, FWP office, or license provider. Apprentice hunters are not permitted.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $320
Limited Special Mountain Lion License

Details: A Limited Special Mountain Lion License is issued through a drawing and designates the LMU within the regulations for which the license is valid. Even if quotas are met, the license is valid for the entire season until the season ends. Apply online or in person at an FWP office by July 22. Residents and nonresidents pay a $5 nonrefundable drawing fee; successful applicants must pay the full license fee. Apprentice hunters are not permitted to hunt.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $320
Unlimited Special Mountain Lion License

Details: An Unlimited Special Mountain Lion License is valid until the quotas are met or the season is over, whichever comes first, and is only valid in the region, LMU, or group of LMUs specified on the license, with the exception of the archery only and dog-free fall seasons, when an Unlimited Special Mountain Lion License may be used in any valid mountain lion management unit. Purchase online or at any license provider, FWP office, or license provider. Apprentice hunters are not permitted.

Fees:

  • Resident: $19
  • Nonresident: $320
Sandhill Crane Hunting Season

Mountain Sandhill Crane Season Dates 2022

Over the Counter (For mid-continent Sandhill Crane populations)October 2 – November 28
Special Permits (For Rocky Mountain Sandhill Crane populations)September 1 – October 30

Montana Sandhill Crane Hunting Licenses & Fees

Sandhill Crane

Details: See Migratory Bird regulations for details

Fees:

  • Resident: $5*
  • Nonresident: $5*
Sandhill Crane — Central Flyway Only

Details: See Migratory Bird regulations for details

Fees:

  • Resident: $0
  • Nonresident: $0
Swan Hunting Season

Swan Hunting Season 2022 in Montana

Central Flyway Swan (special license only)October 2 – January 6
Pacific Flyway Swan (special license only)October 9 – December 1

Swan Hunting Licenses & Fees

Swan

Details: See Migratory Bird regulations for details

Fees:

  • Resident: $5*
  • Nonresident: $5*

*Cost includes $5 nonrefundable drawing fee

Swan — Central Flyway Only

Details: See Migratory Bird regulations for details

Fees:

  • Resident: $0
  • Nonresident: $0
Turkey Hunting Season

Montana Turkey Season 2022

SpringApril 15 – May 31
FallSeptember 1 – January 1

Turkey Hunting Licenses & Fees Montana

A turkey hunter is permitted up to 11 licenses per year. This may consist of:

  • 1 General Turkey License valid statewide in the spring for male turkeys and in the fall for turkeys of either sex in Regions 1-3 and 5-7.
  • 1 Regional Turkey License in each of Regions 1, 2, 5, and 7 is valid for male turkeys in the spring and turkeys of either sex in the fall (Region 5 license valid only in the spring).
  • 1 license for a female or bearded turkey in Region 1.
  • 4 Female or Beardless Turkey Licenses are valid in the counties of Missoula and Ravalli.
  • 1 Female or Beardless Turkey License is valid in the counties of Missoula, Ravalli, and Mineral.
Turkey — with Upland Game Bird

Details: Prerequisite of Upland Game Bird license

Fees:

  • Resident: $6.50
  • Nonresident: $57.50
Turkey — without Upland Game Bird

Fees:

  • Resident: N/A
  • Nonresident: $115
Upland Game Bird Hunting Season

Montana Upland Game Bird Hunting 2022 – 2023

Mountain GrouseSeptember 1 – January 1
Sage GrouseSeptember 1 – September 30
Sharp-Tailed GrouseSeptember 1 – January 1
PartridgeSeptember 1 – January 1
Pheasant GeneralOctober 8 – January 1
Pheasant YouthSeptember 24 – September 25

Upland Game Bird Licenses & Fees in Montana

Upland Game Bird

Details: Purchases are half off ($3.75) for residents aged 12 to 17, those 62 or older, and people with disabilities. Non-residents aged 12 to 17 may purchase for $55.

Fees:

  • Resident: $7.50
  • Nonresident: $110
3 Day Upland Game Bird

Details: Nonresidents can get a 3-day license. The license is not valid for sage grouse at any time, nor is it valid for ring-neck pheasants during the season’s first week.

Fees:

  • Resident: N/A
  • Nonresident: $50
Upland Game Bird 3-Day Preserve

Details: Nonresidents must first obtain a Conservation and Base Hunting License. This offer is only valid on state-licensed private Shooting Preserves.

Fees:

  • Resident: N/A
  • Nonresident: $20
Nonresident Montana Native Upland Game Bird License

Details: Other requirements apply to a former resident who was born in Montana and has a current resident relative.

Fees:

  • Resident: N/A
  • Nonresident: $55
Wolf Hunting Season

Montana Wolf Hunting Season in 2022

ArcherySept. 3 – Sept. 14
GeneralSept. 15 – March 15, 2023
TrappingNov. 28*-March 15, 2023

Montana Predators Hunting

According to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks the rules regarding the shooting of Predators is as follows:-

Montana statute classifies predators as coyote, weasel, (striped) skunk, and civet cat (spotted skunk). Predator shooting is not regulated by federal or state law or regulation.

Predators can be shot in Montana year-round without a license by both resident and nonresident hunters. A Conservation License, or a state school trust lands recreational use license, is required to shoot predators on state school trust lands. Permission must be obtained to shoot predators on private land.

Nonresidents are required to purchase a Nonresident Trapping License to take nongame or predatory species using traps and/or snares. See the Deer, Elk and Antelope regulations below for more information about take of predatory species.”

I hope you have found this State hunting season information helpful in planning your next great hunting adventure. Please feel free to share this page with your hunting buddies. In addition to these US Hunting Seasons by State pages, you may be interested in these posts.


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