Montana: General Big Game Season Ends in Region 6

Elk Hunting
Elk Hunting
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana-( This year, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 has a shoulder season that allows antlerless elk hunting from Dec. 15-Dec. 31, with a specific B-license.

Elk licenses (general elk or B-licenses) valid during the archery and general seasons are not valid for the shoulder season in Region 6. Hunters must have previously applied for this opportunity during the June 1 license drawing, and received their elk B-license that is only valid during the R6 shoulder season, either a:

  • 699-00 Elk B-license-valid in HDs 620, 621, 622, 630, 631, 632-on all lands (private and public) outside CMR National Wildlife Refuge
  • 696-00 Elk B-license-valid in HD 680 & 690-on all lands

A shoulder season is a firearms season that occurs outside the general season and is focused on antlerless elk harvest. Shoulder seasons are not intended to replace harvest during the archery or general firearms seasons, but aim to provide additional antlerless elk harvest to bring elk populations closer to objectives.

Shoulder seasons have specific objectives, and the Fish and Wildlife commission and department will annually monitor the success of shoulder seasons in each hunting district to ensure they are meeting the fundamental objectives.

All hunting regulations apply to the shoulder season, including obtaining landowner permission. FWP suggests that hunters contact private landowners as early as possible, and to please be respectful during the holiday season. Shoulder-season licenses are also valid on legally accessible public lands (except CMR Wildlife Refuge), and in participating Block Management lands.

Block Management Cooperators were given the opportunity to opt out of the shoulder season, and four BMAs are not participating in the shoulders season for elk: #1 Springer, #21 Thorsdad, #43 Dry Fork APR, #218 Midale APR, and #48 Burke Ranch. These BMAs are, however, still open for upland bird hunting through Jan. 1.

Biologists would like to remind license holders that this is not a “damage hunt,” with elk stacked up in concentrated areas. Hunters should prepare to hunt hard for elk, no different than any other hunting season. Expect variable weather conditions to possibly include deep snow, cold, and/or muddy conditions. Hunters should have means to retrieve elk over potentially long distances.

Region 6 will not have any shoulder season hunt information coordinators. If there are any general questions concerning the shoulder season in Region 6, the FWP website contains a wealth of information at, or please contact the following:

  • Marc Kloker — Region 6 Information and Education Manager, (406) 228-3704
  • Scott Thompson — Region 6 Wildlife Manager, (406) 228-3710
  • General questions can also be directed to the FWP R6 office at (406) 228-3700.