Changes for Montana Archery Hunters

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Montana archery hunters need to keep a sharp eye out for several recently adopted regulation changes for the 2008 hunting seasons.

The changes affect elk archery hunters and antelope archery hunters in 30 elk-hunting districts and antelope archery hunters who seek the early season multi-region "900 series" licenses, which are valid in most of Montana's antelope hunting districts.

In each case, hunters need to apply by June 2 for a permit or license via Montana's annual special drawings. The availability of nearly 11,000 special hunting permits and licenses are among the changes.

The move change several elk- and antelope-archery regulations came in response to concerns about hunter crowding, opportunity inequities between archers and rifle hunters, and hunter-access concerns.

Here is a summary of the changes in effect for 2008.

Elk Archery—Missouri River Breaks

  • · In the sprawling badlands of the Missouri River Breaks in north-central Montana, archers now have to apply by June 2 for limited either-sex permits in all hunting districts as a first, second, or third choice. Limited anterless permits may be applied for as a second choice, after applying for a first choice either-sex license in the same district.
  • · Unsuccessful applicants will be considered for the limited number of antlerless elk permits—50 to 300 depending on the hunting district—that will be offered as a second choice.
  • · The changes in these elk-archery hunting districts were made to address crowding, equity of opportunity and hunter-access concerns. For instance, in hunting districts 410, 620, 621 and 622 archery hunters are routinely harvesting more than half of all the bull elk taken by hunters each year.
  • · Watch for hunting districts:
    o 410 and 417 where 2,400 permits are available.
    o 620, 621 and 622 where 1,670 permits are available.
    o 700 and 701 where 1,090 permits are available.

Elk Archery—Other Areas

  • · In 23 elk hunting districts outside the Missouri River Breaks all archers must apply for unlimited either-sex permits that will be bundled for use in several hunting districts to provide hunters with some destination flexibility under the new permit structure. Hunters must apply for these permits by June 2 as a first, second or third choice. Archers can, as in past years, hunt antlerless elk with a general elk license.
  • · In addition to concerns about hunter crowding, opportunity inequities between archers and rifle hunters, and hunter-access concerns, these changes are also aimed at creating uniform regulations in the either-sex elk permit areas and at anticipating a redistribution of elk-archery hunters from the Missouri River Breaks to these 23 hunting districts.
  • · Watch for these bundled hunting districts offering unlimited either-sex permits:
    o 401, 403, 441, and 450
    o 411, 412, 426, 511, and 530
    o 420, 447, and 455
    o 500 and 570
    o 502, 575, and portions 510 and 520
    o a portion 580 south of Sweetgrass Creek
    o 590
    o 702, 704, and 705

Elk Brow-tined Bull Permit In the upper Gallatin hunting district in southwestern Montana, rifle and archery hunters must apply for unlimited brow-tined bull permits by June 2. Watch for Hunting District 310.

Antelope Archery—900 Series

  • · The once unlimited 900 series archery antelope licenses have been replaced with 5,600 limited licenses, which will be available via the annual special drawings . Hunters must apply by June 2 for these permits as a first, second or third choice. Successful applicants can then also purchase up to two 900 series doe/fawn hunting licenses.
  • · About 5,520 of the unlimited licenses were sold to hunters in 2007. The unlimited antelope archery license was changed to limited in response to a significant increase in participation—up 460 percent since 1990—and hunter-access issues.
  • · Watch for the 900 series antelope archery hunting license.

The application deadline for these permits is June 2. Hunters are encouraged to save time by applying online. To apply online, or for more information, visit FWP's website at fwp.mt.gov. Click Licenses & Applications .