Required Changes Coming for Bowhunters for 2017

Bowhunters will have yet another possible requirement to fulfill and another license to pay for before being able to hunt in one popular state this season.

If you’re used to paying for different season periods or weapons, this does’t sound like a big deal. Some states have had this kind of setup for years. Want to bowhunt? Buy an archery permit. Want to use a muzzleloader or firearm or crossbow? Those would be separate costs, possibly on top of a general hunting license and before quota draws that might cost more.

Montana deerThese weapon-specific costs smack of revenue-generation more than anything, to be honest. But with state agencies hurting for money and taking hits for license increases this seems to be a more palatable sales pitch to hunters.

Montana is the latest to make this move, announcing that bowhunters will have to purchase a separate bowhunting license before applying for any archery-only permits. To buy this license, you’d have to also complete or have completed a bowhunting safety course or show proof of a prior license purchase.

Here’s a press release from the Montana FWP about changes for the 2017 season for bowhunters:

This year, hunters will be required to purchase a Montana bow and arrow license prior to applying for any archery only permit.

To purchase a bow and arrow license an individual must meet one of the following requirements:

  • show completion of a bowhunter education course
  • show proof of purchase of a previous years bow and arrow license from Montana or another state
  • sign an affidavit that they have previously purchased a bow and arrow license in Montana or another state.

First time archers needed to have planned ahead to have the prerequisite bowhunter education certificate in order to apply for 2017 archery-only drawings. The first drawing deadline is March 15.

Montana FWP Bowhunter education classes are offered around the state.  Please visit: to register for a bowhunter education course.