Montana clarifies muzzleloader heritage season

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If you have an unused and valid deer or elk tag and want to use it after the general season has ended on Nov. 28, grab your black powder because you can hunt during Montana’s muzzleloader heritage season. Last week, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission clarified the regulations for the upcoming season, which will run Dec. 11 to 19, according to a press release.

The nine-day season is a result of House Bill 242, which was passed during the 2021 Legislative session. It establishes the season to begin on the second Saturday following the end of the regular season. The regulations are fairly straightforward and as follows per Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks:

  • A person may take a deer or elk with a license or permit that is valid on the last day of the general hunting season.
  • Hunters can use plain lead projectiles and a muzzleloading rifle that is charged with loose black powder, loose pyrodex or an equivalent loose black powder substitute and ignited by a flintlock, wheel lock, matchlock or percussion mechanism using a percussion or musket cap.
  • The muzzleloading rifle must be a minimum of .45 caliber and may not have more than two barrels.
  • During the muzzleloader heritage season, hunters may not use a muzzleloading rifle that requires insertion of a cap or primer into the open breech of the barrel (inline), is capable of being loaded from the breech, or is mounted with an optical magnification device.
  • Use of preprepared paper or metallic cartridges, sabots, gas checks or other similar power and range-enhancing manufactured loads that enclose the projectile from the rifling or bore of the firearm is also prohibited.

Good luck!


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