Montana Bonus and Preference Points Purchase 2024

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Montana is one of a handful of states that allows hunters to purchase points directly, outside of the standard draw windows for respective species. Hunters can also purchase both bonus and preference points during the draw process for the species or license they are seeking. Points are purchased  through the Montana fish game, though there are different dates depending on the type of points you are purchasing.

What is the difference between preference and bonus points in Montana?

Here we will consider only elk and deer hunting, as those are the species where preference points are applicable in the state. You can read about the Montana Elk and Deer draw here, including how bonus and preference points are applied in the draw and how the draw works. Montana has a system with some similarities and some differences to other states draw systems. Similar to many other states, they have both general tags and limited draw unit tags. In short, preference points are used in drawing a general big game hunting license. Bonus points are used in drawing a limited entry draw unit tag.

Unlike most states, nonresident applicants must draw a general hunting license, for either deer, elk, or a combination tag (using preference points), prior to consideration in the limited entry, species specific unit draws that use bonus points. For Montana residents, general tags are not limited so they only need to be selected in the limited entry process to secure a limited entry tag.

When is the Montana bonus and preference point deadline?

Dates are the same each year for the bonus and preference points purchase windows. For more information on how the points system works you can read our overview on the subject in the Montana hunting overview.

Montana bonus points dates and deadline

The bonus points window opens annually on July 1st and continues through September 30th. The 2024 dates are below, and you can track the application date and your points in the OnPoint app.

Point Sale BeginsJuly 1st, 2024
Point Sale ClosesSeptember 30th, 2024

Montana preference points dates and deadline

The preference points window also opens annually on July 1st, but continues through December 31st. Dates for the 2024 window are below.

Preference Point Sale BeginsJuly 1st, 2024
Preference Point Sale ClosesDecember 31st, 2024

What species can I acquire points for?

Montana allows purchase of all points types during the points purchase windows. A summary of the available points in Montana are below.

NR Combo License Pref PointPreference PointNon-Resident
ElkBonus PointBoth
Elk BBonus PointBoth
DeerBonus PointBoth
Deer BBonus PointBoth
AntelopeBonus PointBoth
Antelope BBonus PointBoth
Antelope 900-20Bonus PointBoth
Mountain GoatBonus PointBoth
MooseBonus PointBoth
Mountain LionBonus PointBoth
Bighorn SheepBonus PointBoth
TurkeyBonus PointBoth
SwanBonus PointBoth
Sandhill CraneBonus PointBoth
PaddlefishBonus PointBoth

How much do Montana bonus and preference points cost?

Bonus point cost varies by species, and are summarized in the table below.

ItemResident PriceNon-Resident Price
Preference PointN/A$100.00
Elk, Antelope, Deer Bonus Points$15.00$25.00
Moose, Sheep, Goat Bonus Points$15.00$75.00

What is required to purchase points during the points-only periods?

Unlike purchases during normal draws, you do not need to have an active license to purchase points during the window. You only need to pay the required fee for the type of points you are buying.

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