May 2019

Why It's Important To Set Your Sights On 2020 Now!

Montana has become increasingly more difficult for non-residents to obtain a deer or elk license. With so many non-residents wanting to come hunt in Montana, it is becoming more important to start planning for hunts a couple of years in advance. The days of planning or booking a hunt less than a year out, are becoming a thing of the past.

Montana issues 17,000 big game and elk combination licenses and 4,600 deer combination licenses to non-residents each year, for a total of 21,600 combination licenses. For the 2019 license year, just over 24,275 hunters applied for the non-resident big game combo licenses and 7,823 hunters applied for the non-resident deer combo licenses. As a whole, that would give applicants a 67% chance of drawing a their combo licenses.

To get a better look at it, we need to break it down into the 2 categories that FWP actually draw for. That would be deer combination licenses as one group and the big game combo and elk combo licenses as the second group. A non-resident had a 58% chance of drawing a deer combo license and a 70% chance of drawing either the big game combo or elk combo license, in the 2019 drawing.

These odds of drawing do not reflect applicants using the preference point system, they only reflect how it would be with no points and all applicants on the same playing field. When you throw the preference point system into the mix, things change drastically and this is where MHC has worked so hard at understanding. Understanding the preference point system and watching the trends of the drawing success rates, Montana Hunting Company has again come through the drawing with 100% of our clients drawing their licenses.

The preference point system for non-resident licenses in Montana does work. MHC hunters have gone through the drawing with 100% success over the last 2 years, proving that knowing the system is working. It has also proven that planning ahead for these hunts and licenses is critical in making it all work.

As we move forward and the drawings become more difficult, the ability for a non-resident to draw a license to hunt every year in Montana is going to be harder to do. Preference points will become increasingly more important and chances of drawing a license with no points will become very difficult. The big picture out of all this, is that planning for future hunts will pay huge dividends when it comes to being successful in getting your licenses.

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