Similar to what happened in 2017, if you still want to get your hands on a 2018 Montana deer or an elk/deer combo tag... you're not alone. But, all hope is not lost because you have a slight chance to pull a tag, even after the unsuccessful results that were handed out to a lot of people in the main draw. On May 15, Montana opened up their 2018 Alternate List that runs from May 15 through June 30. The alternate list is used for nonresident combination licenses that were returned.
Note: FWP is giving preference to people who applied in the 2018 draw and were unsuccessful. No payment will be collected at the time of signing up for the alternate list. Being on the list, or obtaining a license from the list has no impact on your existing preference points.
Once the alternate list application deadline has closed, you'll be assigned a number and a random drawing of all the names in each alternate list category will be conducted. Starting in early July, you'll be able to check your position on the alternate list after the drawing takes place. The odds of getting a license can change throughout the season. Refunds and reissued licenses may occur at any time, but the volume of returned licenses normally increases before the general rifle hunting season kicks off in late October. I have personally gotten a returned tag during the middle of the season in the past and last year my brother picked one up late in the year. So all hope isn't lost.
I've already walked several people through this simple process, so to make it even easier, I've broken down the process step-by-step. Note: when filling out your alternate list application, the day you register does not matter. Also, you can only choose one of the license types available.
Log into your MyFWP page here.
Once you're logged in, select the "Combination License Alternate List" tab.
Select which alternate list license type that you'd like to sign up for. The General - Deer Combo is a deer tag only and the General - Big Game Combo is a deer and elk tag. These tags allow you to hunt the general hunt districts in Montana. More information on these hunt districts can be found on Filtering 2.0 by clicking on the links below:
After you made your selection and clicked register, you'll get a message letting you know that your choice is final if you confirm and cannot be changed. If you're happy with this selection, click "Confirm."
You'll now see the following screenshot on your MyFWP page after you've successfully completed the 2018 alternate list registration.
Let the waiting game begin.
The cost for picking up a returned combination license is the same as the cost during the regular draw.
I'll keep this article updated as the summer progresses on any new information and will let everyone know when you can see your number after the drawing has taken place. Best of luck in 2018!
Big Game Combination license cost is $1,041 (deer and elk)
Deer Combination license cost is $625 (deer only)