hunting in central montana

Hunting is a Montana tradition and Central Montana still lives up to that tradition. Residents and nonresidents alike enjoy hunting a variety of big game animals and upland game birds.

For nonresidents, the permit application deadline for deer and elk hunting in Montana is April 1. All applications are submitted online. Antelope hunting license deadline is early June. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website has forms and more information about licenses.

If you are a bow and arrow hunter, be sure to check archery requirements. A Bow and Arrow license, in addition to the proper hunting license, is required during Archery Only Season for any species or to archery hunt in an Arch-Equip only area or hunting district.

Upland game bird licenses, including license for pheasants, may be purchased over the counter along with your conservation license. Hungarian Partridge and several varieties of grouse are common in Central Montana. Turkey licenses are also sold over the counter with the exception of special spring and fall turkey hunts. Hunting for Montana migratory birds requires a Montana migratory bird license and a federal waterfowl stamp. Central Montana is often referred to as the Golden Triangle because of all of the grain grown in the area. Those same grain fields also provide good habitat for birds.

The Block Management program managed through Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks offers access to private land from 1,230 landowners and covers 7.4 million acres of land. There is no charge to hunt on Block Management land. A Hunters Access Guide is published each year giving details about the program and it is usually available by August 15. Central Montana also has public land managed by the U. S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

In 2009, the Montana legislature passed legislation to benefit former Montana residents who want to “Come Home To Hunt”. If you still have direct family in Montana who hunt, check the guidelines to see if you qualify for this program.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Hunting Licenses and Permits

Find a Hunting Guide