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Application Overview: Montana's 2021 antlerless draw
Note: The application deadline for Montana antlerless deer, antlerless elk and doe antelope is June 1, 2021 by 11:45 p.m. MST. The application process is done completely online here or in person at any Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (Montana FWP) office.
View important information and an overview of the Montana rules/regulations, the draw system, tag and license fees on our State Profile.
Important dates and information
- Applications for deer B, elk B and antelope B licenses must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. MST on June 1.
- Applications can be submitted online here.
- An 80% refund can be requested on nonresident licenses if requested by Aug. 1, 2021.
- A 50% refund can be requested on nonresident licenses if requested after Aug. 1, 2021.
- Draw results will be available approximately two weeks after the draw deadline.
- Surplus licenses are available for purchase in early August.
- Preference and bonus points are available for purchase for nonresidents who did not apply in the general drawing between July 1 and Sept. 30 for a fee. See more information here.
The Montana draw system
Montana utilizes a separate points system for the deer B, elk B and antelope B licenses. These are separate from the typical bonus points used for the respective species' limited entry hunts. For the B license draw, Montana employs a random lottery that is weighted by bonus points. Additionally, bonus points are squared at every point level. This system heavily favors those with the most points; however, every applicant at every point level has a chance of drawing a tag every year. The bottom line: you’ll never draw if you never apply.
Check your draw odds for each antlerless species in Montana below:
Montana B license cost breakdown
|Base hunting license||$10||$15|
|Deer B license permit||$15||$80|
|Deer B license (OTC)||$10||$75|
|Elk B license permit||$25||$275|
|Elk B license (OTC)||$20||$270|
|Antelope B license||$19||$205|
Nonresident tag allocation
Montana grants nonresidents up to 10% of a district’s tag quota; however, the 10% is not guaranteed. Some years, the nonresident applicant pool will fill the entire 10% cap and other years it can be significantly less.
In addition to individual applications, hunters can also apply for deer B, elk B and antelope B permits as a party. The maximum party size is five. When processing a party permit, the state will consider the average number of points between all of the party members and then round to the nearest whole number for a final party permit total. For example, a party with an average of 2.33 points would enter the draw at two points while a party with 2.66 points would enter at three.
When used correctly, party applications can be very beneficial. Residents and nonresidents can apply jointly, but the party will be forced into the 10% pool for available permits.
Points only option
If applicants are simply looking to build points for the current year—both preference and bonus— they can skip the expensive application prerequisites. Bonus points can be purchased between July 1 and Sept. 30 for $15 per species for residents and $25 for nonresidents. Additionally, nonresidents can purchase combination license preference points during the same timeframe for $50. You cannot apply for a permit or combination license and purchase a separate point in the same year. Only one point per species can be accumulated per year.
OTC and draw options
A large majority of the B licenses can only be obtained through the drawing, but there is a ton of opportunity in OTC tags as well. Typically, the OTC licenses will be used in areas where biologists want to see populations reduced or in areas that may be largely private land. Some tags are even designated only for private lands so pay close attention to the regulations.