Last updateTue, 20 Aug 2019 3am

State News

For those hunters interested in applying for elk or deer permits for the 2019 season a critical deadline is approaching, March 15.

Fortunately, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks online application process and application packet make it simple to apply. An easy-to-use application packet is available at FWP offices and online at fwp.mt.gov.

Resident hunters need a 2019 conservation, elk or deer license, and base hunting license to apply for a special elk or deer permit. Everything else needed to apply is in the application and information packet.

Archery hunters must have purchased a Montana bow and arrow license prior to hunting.

To purchase a bow and arrow license an individual must meet one of the following requirements:

  • show completion of a bowhunter education course
  • show proof of purchase of a previous year’s bow and arrow license from Montana or another state

Signed affidavits are no longer acceptable as proof of bowhunter education.

Hard copies of the hunting regulations will be on the shelf at FWP offices and local license providers in April.

Hunters will notice some changes to this year’s Deer/Elk/Antelope Regulations. The regulations booklet has been reorganized and reformatted for better flow and clarity. In addition, the legal descriptions will be published in a separate booklet.


Printing costs for Montana Fishing Regulations updated

The 2019 Montana Fishing Regulations were printed and distributed with incorrect information on the costs for printing and distribution.

The correct information is as follows:

“295,000 copies of this public document were published at an estimated cost of $0.2033334 per copy, for a total cost of $59,983.53, which includes $59,983.53 for printing and $.00 for distribution.”


Winter is the perfect time to check the condition of your life jacket

Even though most of Montana’s waters are covered in ice right now, boating season is just around the corner! This month take some time to check the condition and fit of your life jacket before boating season arrives. Life jackets don’t last forever and the amount of buoyancy (and life-saving value) your life jacket provides will decrease over time.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts of Life Jacket Maintenance.


  • Check that all hardware and straps are in good shape, firmly attached, and in working order.
  • Check for leaks, mildew, lumpy or hardened buoyancy material, and oil saturation in the fabric.
  • Make sure that there are no rips or tears in the fabric.
  • Make sure that the label stating USCG approval is attached, and that it is readable.
  • Discard and replace life jackets that show signs of deterioration — tears, mildew stains, punctures, etc.


  • Don’t use a life vest or throwable flotation cushion as a kneeling pad or boat fender.
  • Don’t use harsh detergents to clean a life jacket.
  • Don’t remove any labels, straps, or buckles.
  • Don’t dry in a dryer, in front of a radiator, or other source of direct heat. This will destroy its buoyancy.

While checking the condition of your life jackets, make sure they also still fit the intended wearers. A life jacket should fit snugly without being too tight. If your life jacket doesn’t fit snugly, then it’s too big. If you can’t comfortably put it on and fasten it, it’s too small.

Try It On:

  • Check the manufacturer’s label to ensure that the life jacket is a proper fit for the wearer’s size and weight.
  • Make sure the jacket is properly fastened.
  • Hold arms straight up over head.
  • Ask a friend to grasp the tops of the arm openings and gently pull up.
  • Make sure there is no excess room above the openings and that the jacket does not ride up over the chin or face.

Remember, if you are replacing life jackets, always choose a life jacket that is the right size and type for your boating activities. If you have any questions please contact Sara Smith, Boating Education Coordinator for the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Recreational Boating Safety Program at 406-444-5280 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


2019 Territorial Days Parade!