It’s that time of year again, time for Montana elk and deer applications again. The deadline has been March 15th for many years until this year. It will be bumped back two weeks to April 1st. The good thing is that the results will be available two weeks after the deadline! No holding on to your money for weeks and weeks anymore. This is a win-win for applicants and if you apply for multiple states out West, you will have the ability to plan your Montana hunting before nearly any other state results are available.
In addition, you will be able to apply for all the species in Montana at one time. Once again, due to the workload relief from omitting paper applications, drawings and results will be easier and available sooner than years past. Also, Montana no longer offers paper applications. This gives FWP the ability to save massive amounts of time and money and get the draw results to you quicker. There still are two ways to get your applications in, one being online, inside your FWP portal and the second is electronically in person at any FWP office.
Another change you will see is the transition away from mailing you your licenses and permits. Now, each person will be able to print their carcass tags from home on regular paper. If you are successful in a drawing, you will receive a link in your email to print your tags one time.
These are huge money and time-saving changes for FWP but the hurdle I see is the downfall of waterproof carcass tags. When you print off your carcass tag I would highly suggest you store your tags in a sealed Ziploc bag and when you do harvest an animal, notch your tag, put it back in the Ziploc then attach it to the animal. As you know, computer paper won’t hold up to inclement weather, so keep your tags protected which will keep you protected if you get checked by a warden and have a tag that isn’t legible. I have yet to hear how they will prevent any counterfeiting from going on but I imagine this could be a hard one to regulate.
Is this a change for the better or worse? Let us know your thoughts.