Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has developed a new system for issuing surplus licenses for residents and nonresidents.

FWP is attempting to give residents and nonresidents a more equitable opportunity for the licenses with this new system. Resident and nonresident hunters will be able to sign up for the new Surplus License List, with some sign-ups (deer and elk) already in place as of this past Monday, July 21.

Surplus licenses are leftover licenses from the special license and permit drawings that Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks conducts each year. As licenses become available, the list will be randomized. Hunters at the top of the list will be contacted via email with instructions to finalize their purchase. Hunters must keep their email address current.  Payment of the license fee is not required to sign up on the Surplus License List. Obtaining a license from this list has no effect on your existing preference points.

Hunters must finalize the purchase of the license/permit within the time frame specified in the email, otherwise, your opportunity will be offered to the next hunter on the randomized list. FWP may offer opportunities that have not sold out through the Surplus License List to over-the-counter customers at our internal and external license sale providers.

Yep, a bit on the confusing side. For starters, you can get more info and apply in the designated FWP portal. And some important dates to remember are:

Deer & Elk Permits, Deer B & Elk B License/Permits: July 21 through Aug. 7

Antelope, Antelope B, Swan, Crane, Special Mountain Lion: Aug. 12 through Aug. 24

Nonresident Hound Handler License: Sept. 16 to Sept. 28