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How to purchase Montana bonus points and preference points

How to purchase Montana bonus points for hunting

Don't miss out on a chance to grab Montana bonus and preference points!

If you didn't apply for certain species in the main draw, or are new to hunting, you can purchase bonus points and nonresident preference points for Montana from July 1 through September 30. Purchasing these points will help you in the following years' draw.

This point only period does not allow you to gain more than one point per year as you cannot apply for a species and then purchase points for that same species in the same year. Hunters can only purchase bonus points for species which they have not yet applied for, and also a nonresident preference point if you didn't apply earlier in the year. For instance, if you did not apply for a bighorn sheep license, you can purchase a bighorn sheep bonus point. Any accumulated bonus points will not expire, but preference points are lost after two years of not applying for a nonresident Combination License.

Nonresidents who did not apply for a combination license during the main draw (deer, elk or the big game combo), may purchase a preference point to be used in next year’s combination drawing.

Purchase Montana points here

New for 2019/2020

New Montana 900-20 archery only Montana bonus point

You now have two different bonus point options for buck antelope and going forward, there will be two different draws for antelope in Montana. You can now get bonus points for the 900-20 archery-only hunt, and the normal antelope bonus point. Technically there are three options, as you can still pick up an antelope B bonus point.

  • For the 2020 draw, you can only apply for one permit or the other, just like before (A refresher: 900-20 must still needs to be your first and only choice if making this selection during the draw)
  • You can buy a point for both providing you did not apply for either
  • You can draw one permit in a year and purchase a point for the other during the same year

The difference between Montana's bonus and preference points

Bonus points

Montana has a bonus point system in place for all special permits (deer, elk, antelope, sheep, moose and mountain goat). Every year that you are unsuccessful in the drawing, and you participate in the bonus point system, you will be awarded a point. When you apply in the draw your accrued points are squared to increase the odds exponentially for the applicants with more accrued points. All base bonus points accumulate over time until you draw a permit.

Preference points

Montana also has a preference point system for nonresident Big Game Combination, Elk Combination, and Deer Combination Licenses. Preference points increase the chances of drawing a combination license and essentially move you ahead in line. 75% of all combination licenses awarded during the drawing will be issued to hunters with preference points. Anyone applying with three preference points will draw the license before anyone with two, and so on. Preference points accumulated will be used during the current drawing whether you purchase an additional preference point or not.  

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Montana's point only fees

Below are the fees for purchasing bonus points and a nonresident preference point without applying for a license. There are no prerequisites to purchase the points.

Resident & nonresident bonus point fees

Species Resident Nonresident
Deer $15 $25
Elk $15 $25
Antelope $15 $25
Moose $15 $75
Bighorn sheep $15 $75
Mountain goat $15 $75
Preference Point* NA $50

* The nonresident preference point is for the nonresident combo tags (deer, elk and big game).

How to purchase bonus and preference points

You can purchase bonus points and nonresident preference points online here or at any FWP license provider.

Montana bonus points purchase screenshot
Screenshot of the Montana bonus point application page.
Montana nonresident preference points purchase screenshot
Screenshot of the Montana preference point purchase page. You can still purchase preference points for general nonresident combination licenses until September 30.

Note: This new system doesn't allow an additional opportunity to gain two bonus points in the same year because you cannot apply for and purchase bonus points in the same year.


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