I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Rob Arnaud, who is finishing his 8th year on the Montana Board of Outfitters and is arguably the most knowledgeable resource in Montana regarding the application process for Montana Big Game hunting licenses and special permits.

During our discussion, we thoroughly explored the options that Montana resident and nonresident landowners have for obtaining big game licenses and permits and some of the levers an educated landowner can pull to maximize their success in getting these tags.

We first touched on the low-hanging fruit, over-the-counter licenses. Black Bear, Wolf, and Mountain Lion are available over the counter for both resident and nonresident landowners. In addition, for a resident that owns land in a general license hunting district, a bull elk, whitetail, or mule deer buck license can be purchased over the counter. A nonresident who owns land in a general hunting district must still apply for the general elk and deer licenses. If you are unfamiliar with the Montana nonresident application process, I recommend reading my previous article, Apply for a nonresident elk license in Montana. This may provide needed clarity as you continue below.

From there, we dove into the nuances a Montana landowner needs to understand, related explicitly to elk and deer tags, to maximize their opportunity at these pursuits on the land they own.