Due to legislation in 2021 there have been some changes to free landowner elk tags and after the changes, there has been a jump in interest by landowners. There have been free landowner tags in place for the last ten years but just a few have taken advantage of them because for every free landowner tag, they had to allow four public hunters access to their property to hunt. The tags are good for any season but not for special game damage hunts. There is no acreage requirement in the statute, the property just has to be large enough in the department’s determination to accommodate successful public hunting. FWP selects success tag holders from a list to be contacted to participate in permit areas. Districts for general areas will have a list sign-up period following the draw.
Now, with 454 being modified last year, it has gained more interest from landowners. For every free landowner tag, they only have to allow three public hunters access with the landowner able to pick one of the three hunters. Last year 13 landowners applied for the tags and some were awarded after the season had started. Free landowner tags are only good on the landowner’s property.
There is a cap on these free landowner tags and they will be limited to 10% of the permit or license quota for that hunting district. If a district has 100 permits, 10 new permits will be available for qualifying landowners. If the requests for permits or licenses are more than 10%, FWP would hold a random drawing for the landowners.