Apprentice Hunter Program enters second season

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Apprentice Hunter Program is entering its second season. Under this program, youths 10 to 17 years of age can hunt with an adult mentor for two license seasons without first completing Hunter Education.

2015 was the first season allowing apprentice hunters, and 3,711 youths signed up to hunt in Montana. To participate in the Apprentice Hunter Program, familiarize yourself with the following rules and make sure to refer to the hunting regulations or call any FWP regional office if you have questions.


An Apprentice MUST:

• Be between 10 and 17 at the time of license purchase

• Fill out a certification form at an FWP office and pay a certificate fee (forms available online)

• Hunt with a mentor who is at least 21 and who has completed Hunter Education if born after Jan. 1, 1985

• Have the appropriate current Montana hunting licenses for the species being hunted; the licenses must show that he/she is Apprentice Hunter Certified

• Stay within sight of the non-hunting mentor at all times


An Apprentice MAY:

• Be a resident or nonresident.

• Obtain apprentice certification for no more than two license years before he or she must complete a hunter safety and education course


An Apprentice 


• Obtain a special bow and arrow license without first completing a Bowhunter Education course

• Obtain a resident hound training license for chasing mountain lion

• Participate in a hunting license or permit drawing with a limited quota

• Obtain any bighorn sheep license

• Obtain an elk license if under 15 years of age


A Mentor MUST:

• Be 21 or older

• Be related to the apprentice by blood, adoption or marriage; or be the apprentice’s legal guardian or be designated by the apprentice’s legal guardian (guardian must complete form)

• Have completed Hunter Education if born after Jan. 1, 1985

• Have a current Montana hunting license

• Complete the Apprentice Hunter Mentor form and carry with you while hunting

• Agree to accompany and supervise the apprentice hunter and remain within sight of and direct voice contact with the apprentice at all times while in the field

• Confirm that the apprentice possesses the physical and psychological capacity to safely and ethically engage in hunting activities

Violation of these terms could result in the loss of hunting privileges for up to one full license season.

Apprentices can hunt during the Youth Deer Hunt on Oct. 20 and 21, and they can participate in the general season Oct. 22-Nov. 27.

For questions about the apprentice hunter program, visit the FWP website at, click on the tab for Hunting, select Licenses and Permits, then Types of Licenses and Permits with Costs.



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