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A Guide to the Best Moose Hunting In Montana

Moose is one of the most sought-after trophy animals in North America. These giants related to deer are some of the most majestic and reclusive animals in Montana.

As an important animal to the wetland and aquatic ecosystems in Montana, moose hunting is highly regulated and has one of the shortest hunting seasons of the game species in Montana.

The History of Moose Hunting in Montana

history of moose hunting

Moose have inhabited most of North America for around 14,000 years. While considered rare in many other places in the Rocky Mountains, the population of moose in Montana has always been fairly robust.

Hunting for moose became legal in Montana in 1872. But rapid over-harvesting of moose caused the species to become nearly extinct. For nearly 50 years following the near decimation of the moose population in Montana, hunting moose was prohibited. This allowed the moose population to grow and return to healthy levels.

Hunting of moose resumed in 1945 with a very limited number of licenses allowed. Today, Montana releases around 600 moose tags through an application and lottery system. Residents and non-residents can submit multiple applications to the lottery

When is the Montana Moose Hunting Season?

Moose hunting season is quite short in Montana. This short season allows hunters to safely harvest moose when they are not in a rut or tending to young.

Not all management units in Montana allow moose hunting, so make sure that you check the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks website for complete information.

Moose season in Montana runs from September 15 to November 27.

When is the Best Time to Go Moose Hunting in Montana?

Moose hunting in Montana is limited to a fairly short window that runs generally from mid-September to the end of November. However, the best time to hunt moose in Montana is during the rut season.

This runs from late September to early October, so you only have a few weeks to hunt moose during the best time. If you don’t fill your tag during this time, try later in November, when early season snows will allow you to track larger bull moose.

Where is the Best Place to Hunt Moose in Montana?

best place to hunt moose

While moose are fairly common throughout most of the state, the best habitat for moose in Montana is found in the Rocky Mountains and the western half of the state.

Moose tend to spend their lives in the willowy riparian areas around streams, lakes, and wetlands. In Montana, you’ll find prime moose habitat in the southwest part of the state. Many hunters have great luck with harvesting trophy-quality bull moose in the Centennial or Big Hole valleys.

Moose also tend to travel to young forests that are recovering from heavy logging activity. The availability of aspen and other deciduous plants is a draw for moose looking for shelter and an ample food source.

Current Moose Hunting Laws in Montana?

Hunting for moose in Montana is a great opportunity for those that are able to acquire a license. If you are lucky, you’ll need to know the rules and regulations surrounding moose hunting in Montana.

For complete details on Montana moose hunting rules, visit the Montana FWP website.

  • Hunters may only take one individual with their moose tag.
  • Archery equipment cannot be modified.
  • Aircraft cannot be used to hunt moose.
  • Dogs are not to be used to chase game animals. But can be used to locate wounded animals.
  • All hunters must wear hunter orange when hunting.
  • Hunting is authorized only between sunrise and sunset.
  • Harvested animals must be properly tagged and are subject to inspection by the game warden.
  • Montana hunters are encouraged to use lead-free shots.

How Many Moose Can Be Taken with a General License?

Because there is a very limited number of moose licenses available each year, an individual is allowed only one license per year, and may only take one animal under the moose tag.

Additionally, if your application is drawn in the lottery, you will not be eligible for another moose license in Montana for 7 years.

How Do You Get a Moose License?

Resident and non-resident hunters can apply for a moose tag through the Montana FWP website. Hunters can submit multiple applications for multiple hunting units. Applications must be received by May 1st.

The distribution of moose licenses is through a lottery system. Regular moose tags are drawn in mid-May. Moose SuperTags are drawn in early July. If your application is drawn through the lottery, you will then be responsible for paying all of the applicable fees for your hunting license and moose tag.

For some tips and tricks on the Montana application and lottery system make sure you check out this video from GOHUNT.

Moose License and Tag Fees

 

Resident

Non-Resident

Base License Fee

$10

$15

Conservation Fee

$8

$10

Bow and Arrow License

$10

$10

Moose Tag

$135

$1,300

Guided Tours to Hunt Moose in Montana

If you want the best moose hunting experience possible, with your moose tag, a hunting guide is a great way to increase your odds of successfully harvesting one of these animals.

Sage Peak Outfitters

If you acquire a moose tag for management unit 307, Sage Peak Outfitters is a great company to help you plan your hunt and guide you to the best moose hunting locations. Sage Peak guides hunt for moose in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness.

Upper Canyon Outfitters

Located near Alder, MT, Upper Canyon Outfitters are licensed hunting outfitters with the State of Montana. They are well versed in moose hunting and are able to help you plan your hunt when you acquire your license.

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