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2018 Montana alternate list for deer and big game combo licenses

2017 Montana mule deer buck

2017 Montana mule deer taken on public land. Photo credit: Brady Miller

Update: As of July 2, the 2018 nonresident alternate list results are now available. Check your number on the list here.

Similar to what happened in 2017, if you still want to get your hands on a 2018 Montana deer or an elk/deer combo tag... you're not alone. But, all hope is not lost because you have a slight chance to pull a tag, even after the unsuccessful results that were handed out to a lot of people in the main draw. On May 15, Montana opened up their 2018 Alternate List that runs from May 15 through June 30. The alternate list is used for nonresident combination licenses that were returned.

Note: FWP is giving preference to people who applied in the 2018 draw and were unsuccessful. No payment will be collected at the time of signing up for the alternate list. Being on the list, or obtaining a license from the list has no impact on your existing preference points.

Once the alternate list application deadline has closed, you'll be assigned a number and a random drawing of all the names in each alternate list category will be conducted. Starting in early July, you'll be able to check your position on the alternate list after the drawing takes place. The odds of getting a license can change throughout the season. Refunds and reissued licenses may occur at any time, but the volume of returned licenses normally increases before the general rifle hunting season kicks off in late October. I have personally gotten a returned tag during the middle of the season in the past and last year my brother picked one up late in the year. So all hope isn't lost.

I've already walked several people through this simple process, so to make it even easier, I've broken down the process step-by-step. Note: when filling out your alternate list application, the day you register does not matter. Also, you can only choose one of the license types available.

Step 1

MY FWP log in page

Log into your MyFWP page here.

Step 2

Once you're logged in, select the "Combination License Alternate List" tab.

2018 Montana combination license alternate list registration

Step 3

Select which alternate list license type that you'd like to sign up for. The General - Deer Combo is a deer tag only and the General - Big Game Combo is a deer and elk tag. These tags allow you to hunt the general hunt districts in Montana. More information on these hunt districts can be found on Filtering 2.0 by clicking on the links below:

2018 Montana combination license alternate list selections

Step 4

After you made your selection and clicked register, you'll get a message letting you know that your choice is final if you confirm and cannot be changed. If you're happy with this selection, click "Confirm."

2018 Montana combination license alternate list confirmation page 

Step 5

You'll now see the following screenshot on your MyFWP page after you've successfully completed the 2018 alternate list registration.

2018 Montana combination license alternate list successful application

Step 6

Let the waiting game begin.

The cost to pick up a 2018 returned combo license

The cost for picking up a returned combination license is the same as the cost during the regular draw.

  • Big Game Combination license cost is $1,041 (deer and elk)
  • Deer Combination license cost is $625 (deer only)

I'll keep this article updated as the summer progresses on any new information and will let everyone know when you can see your number after the drawing has taken place. Best of luck in 2018!

Register for the 2018 alternate list here

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Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 08-27-2018 01:44:40 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey John. We are in the middle of gathering reports and processing draw odds for the coming year. As of now, Montana hasn’t released any information on the general hunts but we are actively in discussions with them.

John D. - posted 1 year ago on 08-27-2018 07:08:11 am
Lewes, DE

Is there any sense of what the draw odds were for the non-resident deer, elk, deer/elk combo tags? or when will that be available.

Ellis M. - posted 1 year ago on 08-11-2018 10:43:04 am

I was approximately number 370 after the alternates list draw last year and was offered a Big Game Combo around the beginning of October. The MFWP department sends out lettters in small groups offering tags on a first come first serve basis. Hope this info helps somebody

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 07-09-2018 09:54:22 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

You're very welcome Charles. I'm always happy to help!!

Charles C. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 05:16:53 pm

Thanks for the reply. I drew 331 and a friend is 600 something. Just trying to get a bearing on our chances, and a potential timeline.

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 05:07:43 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@Charles - My brother was able to pick up a turned in Big Game Combo tag (deer and elk) in early November. So very, very late in the year. This was a separate surplus drawing FWP did in 2017. There were no surplus deer tags (because of the alternate list) so he had to buy the more expensive Big Game Combo tag, and then he basically ate the elk tag since we were only going to deer hunt. You can see the article I wrote on that opportunity here:

Note... I'm not sure that will happen this year, as that was a pretty random occurrence. But that is why I highly suggest checking often to see if they have an opportunity like this. I also will produce an article on these tag opportunities anytime they happen.

Charles C. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 04:39:10 pm

Brady - You said your brother got drawn late last year. What constitutes late?

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 02:15:18 pm
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

@Jason - My brother started at 960 last year on the release date. Then he moved up to 781 by the beginning of September. So there is definitely a chance for you!

Jason V. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 01:56:00 pm

It’s out. I’m 109 for big game combo. No clue if that’s good or bad. Any one with input on how many are returned each year?

Brady J. Miller
Brady M. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 09:59:12 am
Las Vegas, NV
goHUNT Team

Hey Kyle. Last year the results rankings were out on July 3, which was the first Monday in July. So I would hope they are out today. I have a screenshot of my brother's alternate list number last year on July 3 that I sent to him. So I think today "should" be the day.

Kyle J. - posted 1 year ago on 07-02-2018 09:52:48 am
Mukilteo, WA

Brady - I know it is only the 1st biz day of July but do you think the ranking will be available this week or next?