A voter-approved price increase for some Montana nonresident hunting licenses is being blamed for about 1,200 big game combination licenses remaining for sale after the March 15 application deadline.
Yet 7,500 nonresidents applied for licenses to hunt deer. Only 4,600 such licenses are available.
“Obviously the price is an issue,” said Ron Aasheim, Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ bureau chief. “Last year we had about 8,000 people who didn’t draw. This year we’re under by about 1,200.”
About 15,800 nonresidents applied for the 17,000 big game or elk combination licenses for the upcoming season. That means that every hunter who applied for either the $912 nonresident big game combination license, or the $812 elk combo license will receive one. Last year, more than 19,000 nonresidents applied for similar tags.
The remaining 1,200 nonresident big game combination licenses will be sold online only on a first-come, first-serve basis beginning April 18. The big-game combo includes licenses to hunt elk, deer and upland game birds and a season fishing license. The elk combo includes all of the same licenses except for deer.
“We’re confident that we’ll sell out again this year,” said Hank Worsech, license bureau chief for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, in a statement. “People are already sending in applications trying to get a jump on things, but in the interest of fairness, we’ll return them and ask those folks to reapply because they essentially missed the original deadline.” Click below for more.