Everything You Need to Know About Hunting Season in Montana


Montana is a unique state in that you can hunt nearly year-round, with different seasons overlapping to cover nearly every month. Hunting is a strong part of the culture here, dating back millennia, and it ties into sustainability and managing wildlife populations. Dollars from license fees, tags, and taxes on guns and ammunition go towards conservation efforts. From the Townsend Warbler to the alligator lizard, the whole ecosystem connects and thrives from a healthy big-game population.

Take advantage of the wild game and beautiful scenery while you’re in Montana, with a hunting experience you’ll never forget. Here’s what to consider as you begin planning your hunting trip in Big Sky Country.

Pick Your Species

Sure, it sounds obvious, but knowing the species you can and will hunt is a big part of preparing for your trip. Don’t be the hunter who mistakes a llama for an elk, or a turkey for a grouse. Outside the general license, tags for other species require a special draw. From game birds to big black bears, you have an abundance of choices in the Treasure State. Knowing what you want to put in for will determine a lot of other details about your hunt, like where to go, when to plan it, and where to stay.

Know Where You Want to Hunt

Front country, backcountry, north, south, east, west – you have a lot of location options even once you nail down the species you want to target. Get to know the area, learn the terrain, and uncover hazards and best routes. If you can, scout the area in advance, make use of local recommendations, or at least scope it out in satellite view.

											 HA Hunt 1

Learn the Regulations

As you dive into the prospect of a Montana hunt, pour over the downloadable or print regulations. It’s the hunter’s responsibility to know the rules and restrictions, so be sure to do more than skim as you make your way through these pages. That includes information on districts, tags, and when you can hunt during the six-week archery season, five-week general big game season, 101-day waterfowl season, bear and turkey seasons in spring and fall, six months of wolf season, and plenty of time for upland game birds.

											 HA Hunt 3

How to Get Your License and Tags

Residents and nonresidents alike can get their licenses and tags online or in person. You’ll need to take a hunter education course beforehand, but then you can register and pay through the online portal. Nonresidents may have equivalent courses from their home states that can meet the requirements in Montana, so check in if that applies to you.

Land Ownership is Key

Knowing who owns the land you’re standing—and shooting—on is key for a successful, legal hunt. Even if you plan to only hunt on public land, a mapping app like Montana-based onX Maps will help you parse which lands are public, and even give you info about who owns nearby private land if you need to request permission for access.

											 HA Hunt 2

Plan, Plan, Plan

A lot goes into planning a hunting trip in Montana. Fortunately, the Montana Hunt Planner can help cut down some of the time it takes to organize the logistics. You can also go with a guide to streamline the process and get an inside look at the terrain and hotspots.

When you emerge from the wilderness, find comfort and relaxation in eco-friendly accommodation at a Highline Adventures property. Book now to get the ball rolling for your Montana hunt.