Anyone who has ever hunted in the vast wilderness available throughout the state of Montana is aware of the exorbitant fees required to legally harvest game. Montana has some of the highest hunting license fees in the country, and according to this piece from The Missoulian, it is the most expensive Western state for hunting elk and deer.
Montana is a state where the population density is fairly low, making nonresident hunting fees a needed source of income for the state’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks department. However, a nonresident hunter is currently charged a total of $809 for hunting elk within the state. Only Arizona, at $810 for nonresident elk hunting licenses, charges more money. The Montana nonresident deer hunting fee is also a fairly astronomical $570, far outpacing Oregon, the second most expensive state at $516 per nonresident deer hunting license.
What makes this even stranger is the fact that, for many other types of hunting licenses, Montana fees are comparable or even much cheaper than many other states. Overall, hunting licenses make up about two-thirds of the income for Montana’s FWP, and nonresident hunting license fees make up about two-thirds of that total. The state should be doing a much better job of opening up our wilderness to out-of-state hunters, as it could bring in even more revenues for public and private organizations.
Much of this dramatic increase can be attributed to the many regulations voted in by state citizens that were proposed in order to raise profits for the state. Legislation that was passed in 2011 also helped to raise the price of nonresident hunting tags and did away with guaranteed licenses for outfitters, hurting their revenues as well.
Hunting elk and deer in the wild hinterlands of Montana is a treasured tradition that bring many to the great outdoors in droves. When you want the best, most thorough hunting experience possible, check out Fort Musselshell Outfitters. We are the top guided big game hunting service in central Montana.
*Image courtesy of lightwise