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2020 Western Big Game Hunting Application Deadlines

2020 western hunting application deadlines

2019 Montana mule deer. Photo credit: Brady Miller

Every year while working on this article it seems hard to believe that the next year's application season is about to start. Exciting times are ahead as we all start to plan out our 2020 hunting season!

2020 dates and deadlines

In the table below you will find the tentative 2020 state application deadlines and tentative draw result dates. These dates will be modified as each state releases more information. Currently, they are based on previous years' deadlines/results by looking at what day of the week they are typically released or even the exact calendar date they tend to follow. And sometimes, unfortunately, there is no pattern, so I'm left to really analyze prior-year deadlines.

Note on draw result dates

Waiting on draw results can seem to take forever! And I'm just like everyone else that waits for results all year and then is constantly pressing the refresh button. Currently, the draw result dates are each based somewhat on when the 2019 and earlier year results were released. Keep in mind: each year we get questions on why our draw result dates don't exactly match up with what you might find in the regulations. And stay with me here... but for the most part, our draw results dates listed are actually more accurate based on the trends of how some states release their draw odds early every year. Most states go on a typical trend in releasing draw results and a lot of times they release them well before their listed date in the regulations. For example, Nevada and New Mexico list their draw result date in their regulations, but they always release them earlier than that.

Also, tentative application deadlines are used until each state release their 2020 regulations.

2020 State Application Deadlines, Draw Result Dates and Application Strategy Articles

State Species Strategy Article
Release Date
State
Application Deadline
(bold are final dates)
2019 Draw Result Date
(actual date of release)
Potential 2020
Draw Result Date
Idaho Deer & Elk over-the-counter* November 29 NA NA NA
South Dakota Preference Points NA December 15
(Approved)
NA NA
Alaska Moose, Caribou, Dall Sheep, Mountain Goat,
Brown/Grizzly Bear, Black Bear, Bison, Muskox,
Roosevelt Elk
November 27 December 16
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
Feb. 15
Tentative 2020:
Feb. 21
Wyoming Nonresident Elk January 10 January 31
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
Feb. 21 @ 10:00am MST
Tentative 2020:
May 21
(New change for 2020)
Oregon Black Bear NA February 10
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
Feb. 21
Tentative 2020:
Feb. 20
Arizona Elk, Antelope Elk - January 24 February 11
(Approved)
2019 CC hit date: March 1
2019 date: March 8
(Portal Account results)
Tentative 2020 results:
March 8
New Mexico Black Bear NA February 12
(Approved)
-- Tentative 2020:
Feb. 26
Utah Black Bear NA February 24
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
March 6
Tentative 2020:
March 4
Arizona CC Update Deadline
(Elk, Antelope) 
NA February 27
(Approved)
-- --
Arizona Leftover Elk/Antelope Permits Early March NA Available:
March 23
Tentative 2020:
Mid March
Washington Black Bear NA February 28
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
March 13
Tentative 2020:
March 11
Wyoming Moose, Bighorn Sheep,
Mountain Goat
All species - Early Feb. March 2
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
May 9 
@ 9 a.m. PST
Tentative 2020:
May 7
Utah Mule Deer, Antelope, Elk, Sheep,
Moose, Mountain Goat
(All Species)
Elk & Antelope - Early Feb.
Deer - Early Feb.
Sheep, Moose, Goat - Early Feb.
March 5
(Approved)
2019 CC hit date: May 10
2019 result date: May 13 - Emails sent
Tentative 2020:
May 11
Nevada Mule Deer
Guided Draw
Early Feb. March 9
(Approved)
2019 draw results: March 28
(results were emailed)
Tentative 2020:
March 26
Montana Deer, Elk Elk - Mid Feb.
Deer - Mid Feb.
March 15
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
April 22
Tentative 2020:
April 20
New Mexico Guided Draw
(All Species)
Mid Feb. March 18
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
April 17
Tentative 2020:
April 15
New Mexico Barbary sheep, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, antelope & oryx Deer/Elk - Late Feb.
Sheep/Antelope - Early Mar.
Exotics - Early Mar.
March 18
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
April 17
Tentative 2020:
April 15
Utah Modify/Withdraw   March 19
(Approved)
NA NA
Utah Bonus Point NA March 19
(Approved)
NA March 19
(Approved)
Arizona Leftover Elk/Antelope Permits Early March NA Available:
March 18
Available:
March 23
(Approved)
North Dakota Bighorn Sheep, Elk, Moose NA March 25
(Tentative)
2019 draw results
(elk & moose):
April 18
Tentative 2020:
April 18
Wyoming Bison Early March March 31
(Approved)
  Tentative 2020:
May 7
Colorado Mule deer, Whitetail Deer, Elk, Antelope,
Bighorn Sheep, Moose, Mountain Goat
Deer - Early Mar.
Elk, Antelope - Mid Mar.
Sheep, Moose, Goat - Mid Mar.
April 7
(Tentative)
Sheep & Goat
2019 draw results: May 3

Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope:
2019 draw results: June 5
Tentative 2020 Sheep & Goat:
May 1

Tentative 2020 Deer, Elk, Moose, Antelope:
June 5
South Dakota Special Buck NA April 10
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
April 17
Tentative 2020:
April 15
Wyoming Modify/withdraw:
Moose, Bighorn Sheep,
Mountain Goat, Bison
NA April 15
(Approved)
NA NA
Kansas Nonresident Deer Early April April 24
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
May 27
2020 Tentative:
May 25
Idaho Moose, Bighorn Sheep,
Mountain Goat
Early April April 30
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
May 17
2020 Tentative:
May 15
Montana Moose, Bighorn Sheep,
Mountain Goat, Bison
Mid April May 1
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
June 17
2020 Tentative:
June 15
Nevada Mule Deer, Elk, Antelope, Rocky Bighorn Sheep,
Desert Bighorn Sheep, California Bighorn Sheep,
Mountain Goat, Black Bear
Deer - Early April
Elk & Antelope - Early April
Sheep, Goat - Mid April
May 4
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
May 24
2020 Tentative:
May 22 
Wyoming Nonresident Elk Modify/Withdraw NA May 8
(Approved)
NA NA
Oregon Deer, Elk, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep,
Mountain Goat
Deer - Late Feb.
Elk, Antelope - Late Feb.
Sheep, Mtn Goat -  Early May
May 15
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
June 19
Tentative 2020:
June 20
South Dakota Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat NA May 22
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
Early June
Tentative 2020:
Early June
Washington Deer, Elk, Bighorn Sheep, Mountain Goat,
Moose
Early May May 22
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
June 13
2020 Tentative:
June 11
Wyoming Resident Elk Early Jan. June 1
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
June 20
2020 Tentative:
June 18
Wyoming Deer, Antelope Deer, Antelope - Early May June 1
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
June 20
2020 Tentative:
June 18
Montana Antelope, Deer B, Elk B,
Antelope B
Antelope
Early May
June 1
(Tentative)
2019 archery results: July 15
2019 rifle results: Aug. 8
2020 Tentative:
July 20 (archery)
Aug. 13 (rifle)
California Deer, Elk, Antelope, Bighorn Sheep Elk, Sheep - Mid May
Deer, Antelope - Mid May
June 2
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
June 11
2020 Tentative:
June 9
North Dakota Deer NA June 3
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
June 25
2020 Tentative:
June 23
Idaho Deer, Elk,
Antelope
Deer - Mid May
Antelope - Mid May
Elk - Mid May
June 5
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
June 25
2020 Tentative:
June 23
Iowa Whitetail NA June 7
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
June 21
2020 Tentative:
June 19
Arizona Deer, Bighorn Sheep, Bison Deer, Sheep, Bison
Mid May
June 9
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
July 5 (Portal)
2020 Tentative:
July 3
Kansas Kansas Elk, Antelope & Resident Deer Mid May June 14
(Tentative)
-- --
South Dakota Deer Muzzleloader, West River, East River, Black Hills
Custer State Park, NWR Deer
NA June 12 - paper
June 17 by 8 a.m. CDT online
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
June 27
2020 Tentative:
June 25
Utah Antlerless Elk and Deer NA June 18
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
July 11, 2019
On or before July 9, 2020
Wyoming Leftover Deer, Elk,
Antelope
Mid June June 22 to 26
(Approved)
2019 draw results:
July 11
2020 tentative:
July 9
Nevada Deer 2nd Draw Mid June June 29
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
July 12
2020 Tentative:
July 10
Nevada Second Draw Points** NA July 1
(Tentative)
NA NA
Wyoming Resident OTC Deer, Elk Licenses Available NA Available July 13
(Approved)
NA NA
Wyoming Leftover Deer, Elk,
Antelope (First Come, First Served)
NA Available July 13
(Approved)
NA NA
Utah Utah Remaining Limited Entry, Leftover General Elk Early June NA Available on July 16, 2019 Available on July 16, 2020
Utah Utah Remaining General Season Deer and Youth Early June NA Available on July 18, 2019 Available on July 21, 2020
Nevada First Come, First Served NA NA Available July 22, 2019 Tentative Available:
July 20
Arizona Leftover Mule Deer, Coues Deer, Javelina Early July NA Available July 22, 2019 Tentative 2020:
July 20
North Dakota Resident Only 2nd Deer Drawing NA July 24
(Tentative)
-- --
South Dakota 2nd draw for East River,
West River, Refuge Deer
NA Paper: July 24
Online: July 29
(Tentative)
-- --
Arizona First-come-first-served leftover tags available Early July NA Available July 29 Tentative 2020:
July 27
Colorado Leftover Deer, Elk, Antelope Late July NA Available starting August 6 Tentative 2020:
August 4
North Dakota Antelope NA August 5
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
August 14
Tentative 2020:
August 12
South Dakota Antelope - Firearm NA August 7 (paper)
August 12 (online)
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
August 15
Tentative 2020:
August 20
Montana Surplus 900-20 Antelope, Antlerless Deer and
Antlerless Elk Available
Early Aug. NA Starting August 12 Tentative 2020:
August 10
Idaho 2nd Controlled Draw Early Aug. August 15
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
August 22
Tentative 2020:
August 22
Arizona Spring Bison, Black Bear &
Javelina
NA October 13
(Tentative)
2019 draw results:
Oct. 30
Tentative 2020:
Oct. 30

* December 1, 2019 was the first day that nonresidents could start to purchase deer and elk tags (except Sawtooth elk tags). See more info here.
** During Nevada's second draw, you can pick up points only for the species with hunts available in the second draw.
Note: I've included some states that we currently don't cover on INSIDER for reference.

 

Bonus/Preference Point Only Deadlines

(These are states that have a separate point only period available after the main draw)

State Species State deadline
South Dakota Deer December 15
Utah All Species January 30 to March 19 - approved
Nevada All Species May 4
Kansas Whitetail Tentative - April 24
Iowa Whitetail Tentative - June 7
Montana All Species July 1 to Sept. 30
Oregon All Species July 1 to Nov. 30
Wyoming Antelope, Deer, Elk,
Rocky Bighorn Sheep, Moose
July 1 to Nov. 2
(extended date for 2020)
 

Other items worth noting

You can also see all of the important western hunting deadlines on our INSIDER Basecamp page. That is sort of like your INSIDER "homepage." You can find a quick link to Basecamp in the upper right-hand corner of the screen if you click on the INSIDER button. We keep that page updated with all the latest dates, deadlines and important INSIDER information.

If you're new to goHUNT, we release state-by-state INSIDER Application Strategy Articles three to four weeks before each state deadline. We feel this is the perfect length of time for you to check out the new for 2020 regulations, unit boundary changes, herd dieoff information, and tag allocation changes before you try to draw your dream tag. Keep in mind, that you can always research for your upcoming season by utilizing our Filtering 2.0 tools well before we release each state's application strategy article. 

Another benefit to our online presence is you will have access to the latest and best information possible to help you prepare for hunts (we don't have to rush to publish tentative application information to meet print deadlines). Also, once an application strategy article is released, INSIDERs will be able to click on the date of release in the table below to view the entire application strategy article.

Application season can be very overwhelming and we try to keep it simple with an easy to follow schedule of article release dates. Some of the Application Strategy articles are released within a small window, but that is done to ensure we are providing the best possible information to our users. Different states release their regulations and herd information at tight windows to the application deadline. So we strive to release these articles with all the information possible.

Best of luck in the 2020 draws! And as always, feel free to reach out to us at any time if you have questions.

goHUNT's INSIDER Research Tools

 

27 Comments

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Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 2 days ago on 01-23-2020 08:36:46 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Mike. I’m aiming to release Arizona elk on Friday. And will drop the antelope one over the weekend. Two great, great articles!

Mike S. - posted 2 days ago on 01-23-2020 07:06:05 am
goHUNT INSIDER

ETA on AZ (Elk and Antelope) draw strategies?

Brian B. - posted 5 days ago on 01-20-2020 06:12:40 pm

Hey Brady, thanks for the response, even though that is not what I wanted to hear. Wyoming changing the draw result date is really screwing things up this year. Problem is we won't hear about Wyoming until after the Colorado deadline to apply. Very frustrating.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 5 days ago on 01-20-2020 04:56:44 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Brian. Unfortunately, you can only modify your Colorado application up to the application deadline. So after the deadline, you cannot remove your application.

Brian B. - posted 1 week ago on 01-18-2020 04:22:09 pm

Brady - do you know if you can remove or change your Colorado elk application after the April 7th deadline but before the draw? Say I found out I drew a Montana or New Mexico tag so I didn't even want my application put in for the Colorado draw any longer.

Samuel B. - posted 1 week ago on 01-17-2020 11:05:24 am

I would like to try out Wyoming for mule deer. Only place I ever hunted was here in South Dakota.

Michael D. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-08-2020 07:30:18 pm

Great article Brady- thanks.

Wade S. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 02:47:02 pm
Colfax, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

@Shan, for sure, calendar reminders are always a great idea also, as long as the date doesn't change dramatically ;)

@Brady, no worries man, whenever you get time. Thanks for such quick replies so far! Enjoy the podcast!

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 02:24:11 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Very, very welcome Shan! Love tossing ideas back and forth. Funny thing is... after I wrote my last comment, it was like 30 minutes later that Arizona sent out an email saying their application period for elk and antelope is now open.

@Wade - I have another response typed up as a draft that I want to send to you on this comment thread, but I'm getting ready to jump on a podcast quick. I'll shoot you a response with some additional ideas I have to make this article have more information.

Shan M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 02:20:45 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Gonna get that AZ point now, thanks!

Shan M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 02:19:36 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

Brady, thanks for clarifying. I’m in the same boat as Wade. If it’s customarily approx 30 days before the deadline - that’s all I need to know! Sorry for the FNG questions and thanks for the prompt and sincere replies.

Wade - as an alternative to the spread sheet I started putting reminders in the calendar of my iPhone that warn me a week before the deadline to apply. You can set the alert to reoccur every year so you’ll never miss it! That way you just need to monitor whether or not a state changes its deadline - if it doesn’t, you’re gravy.

Wade S. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 12:33:00 pm
Colfax, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

...and I forgot to mention a very important point, I was only interested in open/end date for preference/bonus points for Archery Elk.

Wade S. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 12:27:13 pm
Colfax, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

Brady, thanks so much for all the info man. I personally love to see when I can apply, but if it's almost always 30 days prior to the closing deadline then no need for me. I just didn't even see CO or AZ listed on the Bonus/Preference Point Only Deadlines so that's what sparked this conversation for me.

I think I'll build a spreadsheet for further reference of the states I'm interested in, when the start/end deadline for Preference points is, and when the start/end deadline for application is. That might be the easiest way for me to see it all laid out.

This is my first year applying for points as I'm usually just an OTC Non-Res hunter, but the increase in public land hunting pressure has created the appeal of certain areas and has me re-thinking just hunting OTC only.

Thanks again Brady!

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 12:13:21 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@Shan and Wade - If you think it's valuable, I could run through and add the application open dates. States typically open up their applications one month before the deadline. One of the reasons I haven't provided the open dates is for example... in Arizona, there is no set open date in their regulations.

Arizona just lists this information, "The Department will accept Hunt Permit-tag Applications for big game listed above in early to mid-January, unless otherwise noted in the Hunt Permit-tag Application schedule."

You can currently purchase a bonus point on Arizona Game & Fish's website. I just ran through the process to see if the application was open and it gave me the option to purchase a bonus point only.

My main reason for not listing open dates, is me personally... I will never suggest someone to get their application in right away. I feel it is better to wait, take in all the research information you can, see if there are any changes to the regulations (some states make changes to their regulations after they are released to correct errors), see if I hear about any herd die off or winter kill information, and also I like to wait to see if I draw in another state if possible.

With all that said, I love seeing these types of comments. We are always looking for suggestions, and I'm happy to add more information to that table. Let me know if you think the open date is valuable and won't get confusing with too much data.

Wade S. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-07-2020 11:50:53 am
Colfax, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

I second what Shan said. I'm not able to apply for AZ bonus points yet, even when I have purchased the NR Hunting License. When does AZ give you the option?

Shan M. - posted 2 weeks ago on 01-05-2020 09:25:01 am
goHUNT INSIDER

I’m new to the point game and a little confused.... when does the application period OPEN for these states? All that is listed is the deadlines. For example - Arizona. I just bought the NR Hunt License but the website will not allow
me to purchase a bonus point.
Same for NV, and MT. Help! Thanks

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 3 weeks ago on 01-03-2020 04:01:48 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Wade. You have to pick up Arizona bonus points during the main draw. So the AZ elk and antelope deadline to get points is February 11. And the tentative date for AZ deer, bighorn sheep and bison will be roughly June 9.

Wade S. - posted 3 weeks ago on 01-03-2020 03:54:32 pm
Colfax, CA
goHUNT INSIDER

When is the AZ bonus point deadline?

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 3 weeks ago on 01-03-2020 03:34:55 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Ryan. In Colorado, you can pick up a point during the main draw period.

@Alexander - You can actually download that information right now on our INSIDER basecamp (it is located under the "Dates & Deadlines" on the right side if you are on a computer, just click on that icon to the right of the "Dates & Deadlines"), and then upload that calendar to your personal system: https://www.gohunt.com/insider-basecamp

Note... the only downfall with that option is it only downloads that current calender view and does not update it if the draw deadlines change once the state released changes. This would impact all the current "Tentative" application deadline dates. I'm currently brainstorming on a better way to roll that out to our INSIDERs.

@Trevor - That information typically is released by Colorado after their commission meeting around January 15. But keep in mind, they could change anything between now and when the regulations are printed too.

Ryan W. - posted 3 weeks ago on 12-30-2019 11:38:22 am
Virginia
goHUNT INSIDER

Thanks Brady! Does that mean that I can't buy a point for Colorado? Or just that it's during the normal application period?

ALEXANDER M. - posted 3 weeks ago on 12-30-2019 09:01:03 am
goHUNT INSIDER

Last year you guys uploaded a calendar file format that contained all the draw dates for each states. I uploaded this into my Gmail and it was super helpful. Will you be doing the same thing year?

Trevor G. - posted 4 weeks ago on 12-27-2019 07:09:43 pm
goHUNT INSIDER

when will Colorado note which units have changed to draw and to otc for elk tags

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 4 weeks ago on 12-27-2019 10:36:56 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Ryan. That is because Colorado does not have a separate point only period. That bottom table is just for states that allow you to purchase a point after the main draw.

Ryan W. - posted 4 weeks ago on 12-27-2019 10:29:03 am
Virginia
goHUNT INSIDER

Why doesn't Colorado appear in the preference points only table?

Nick M. - posted 1 month ago on 12-25-2019 05:08:02 pm
North Dakota
goHUNT INSIDER

That's what I like to hear! After they get posted, you can find me at my computer for about a week straight!

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 month ago on 12-24-2019 12:34:51 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Chance. I've heard draw odds for all states and species should go live around the 1st of the year.

chancemarquette90
Chance M. - posted 1 month ago on 12-24-2019 05:28:06 am
Casper, Wy
goHUNT INSIDER

When will you guys most likely update draw odds thus year for most states?