Avoid Common Violations by Remembering These Montana Hunting Regulations

By Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Before heading to the field for Montana’s big game season opener on Saturday, Oct. 22, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials ask that hunters avoid common violations by remembering these tips:

Secure permission before entering private land. In Montana, private land does not have to be posted for a hunter to be guilty of trespassing. Hunters must ask first before hunting or retrieving an animal on private land.

Do not shoot from the road or right of way. State law makes it illegal for anyone to shoot on, from, or across a road or right of way. The right of way generally lies between the fences on either side of the road. It’s also known as the shoulder or borrow pit.

Leave evidence of sex attached. When transporting a big game animal, evidence of the animal’s sex must remain attached to the carcass. This is especially important early in the season when the heat of the day may lead a hunter to remove the hide from an animal’s carcass.

Make sure of sunrise and sunset times. Big game shooting hours run from one half hour before sunrise to one half-hour after sunset. Use only the sunrise-sunset tables supplied by FWP in the Hunting Regulations, not the times in the local newspaper or on television.

Properly validate your tag. Proper validation means completely cutting out the month and day on the tag immediately after taking an animal. It also means thinking ahead so you don’t put a deer tag on an elk.

Use your own tag. Transferring licenses between spouses or using a friend or family member’s tag is illegal.

Drive only on established roads. On public land, stay on the road. On private land, drive only where the landowner tells you.

Stop at check stations. Hunters and anglers are required to stop at all check stations, going to or coming from the field, with or without game.

Don’t shoot from a vehicle. Only individuals with a disability may qualify for a special permit, issued by FWP, to hunt from a vehicle.

Wear hunter orange. Big game hunters must wear at least 400 square inches of hunter orange above the waist, and it must be visible from all sides.

Hunters should take the time to review Montana’s Hunting Regulations to ensure they avoid violations. Any violation afield can be reported to TIP-MONT at 1-800-TIP-MONT, which is 1-800-847-6668.

Check out Captain Catchem, Mark Ward’s Hunter’s Checklist and his blog, There’s No Place Like Missoula in the Fall.