Gastro Gnome - Eat Better Wherever

Non-Res MT question


Well-known member
Jan 23, 2008
Eastern Idaho
Never crossed the border to hunt elk/deer, but considering it for next year. Reading through the regs, I can see that a non-res has to apply for a general tag ( combo looks to be the way to go ). Looks like if drawn, the general tag allows hunting in any open general area. Maybe I am missing it, but I can't find any history of what the odds are of a non-res drawing the general tag combo?
I hunt Montana every year and have drawn the big game combo Every year especially since the price went to almost a grand. Don't forget you can also put in for example a special draw area say to hunt elk, and if you buy the bonus point extra even if you don't draw the special draw you earn a point!
Yeah, every year there are hundreds of leftover NR combo tags. Like sneakypete said, if you are going to put in for a combo tag, usually it is a good idea to apply for a special permit, also. However, it is too late for that this year. There should be leftover NR combo tags available for purchase, though.

Then when you get your tag, you can hunt in any general area. These typically have different regs. For instance, in some hunting districts (HDs) you can hunt only branch-antlered bulls with a general tag, but in other districts, you can only hunt spikes and cows with a general tag. Just depends on the HD. There is a wide variety of good hunting on public land with a general tag, though.
I'm not sure what the draw odds are but the general big game combo for a non resident has to be close to 100%. There have been leftovers every year since they changed it. If you know that you would like to hunt MT even with just the general tags you might as well apply for the special permits. That way you can build points. It's kind of like ID in that if you know you are going to be hunting there with the general tags, you might as well put in for a controlled hunt. Obviously you just don't get points in ID. Good Luck, MT is an awesome state!
MT has not had all of their deer, elk, or deer/elk combo's sell out in the draw since they raised the prices and every year it had taken longer for them to sell out if they sold out at all. MT does not post stats for the general NR draws. I contacted them last year and they were unable to provide any draw stats. About all I got from them is there were still tags left.
I heard they came close to or did sell out all of their deer combo tags this year. But, the buck/bull combo i am sure is still under-subscribed.
If you are only interested in a general elk you could likely buy a elk license the that someone turned back when they didn't draw a limited permit but kept the deer portion of the elk deer combo.
MT is my Plan C if am shut out on other draws around the West and do not want to pick up OTC tag somewhere. MT makes it easy to sit on the sideline rather than commit months earlier. Thanks F&G.

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