Outdoors

FARWIDE ALERT: Last Chance To Buy Montana Bonus & Preference Points

By FarWide September 28, 2021

Bonus Points

Bonus points can increase your chances of drawing a special limited permit/license. 

Bonus points essentially offer you additional drawing chances and are used for first-choice drawings only. Every year that you are unsuccessful in the drawing, and participate in the bonus points system, you will be awarded a point. When you apply in the draw your accrued points are squared to increase the odds for the applicants with more accrued points. All base bonus points accumulate over time until you draw a permit.

You can only earn 1 bonus point per license year for a specific special permit or license. 

The options are:

  1. At the time of application for that species permit or license
  2. Between July 1-September 30 if you did not apply for that species special permit or license
Reminders:
  • Unlike a preference system, the bonus points system does not guarantee a license/permit to the applicants with the most bonus points, and first-time applicants still have a chance to draw a license/permit.
  • Bonus points essentially offer you additional drawing chances and are used for the first hunting district choice only.
  • Existing bonus points will be mathematically “squared” prior to the drawing. That means if you already have 3 “base” bonus points those will be “squared” and you’ll then have 9 bonus points going into the drawing.
  • If you wish to participate in the bonus point program for licenses/ permits, at the time of your application, you must check “YES” on the bonus point questions and include the $20 (non-resident) or $2 (resident) bonus point fee per permit type. Then if you’re unsuccessful, you’ll be awarded an additional base bonus point for next year’s drawing.
  • If you did not apply for a license or permit, you can purchase a bonus point for that license or permit from July 1-September 30. The fee to purchase a bonus point without applying is $15 per species for residents and the nonresident fees are $25 per species except for Moose, Sheep, and Goat, which are $75 per species. 
  • You cannot apply and purchase bonus points in the same year.
  • Any bonus points accumulated will not be lost unless you draw your first choice on the species you applied your bonus points.

Check Drawing Statistics online at MyFWP to see how bonus points affect your chances.

Preference Points 

Preference points are used for nonresident combination licenses and increase the likelihood of obtaining a Combination license. In a preference point system, licenses are awarded to applicants with the greatest number of preference points.

Purchasing Preference Points

Preference points for a nonresident big game, elk, or deer combination license may be purchased for a nonrefundable fee of $50.

Preference points can be purchased:

  • at the time of application for the nonresident combination license; or
  • between July 1 and September 30 for individuals who did not apply for a nonresident combination license.

You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.

If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed.

Applicants may purchase only one preference point per license year. Preference points purchased at the time of application are awarded prior to the drawing.


All information is found here: https://fwp.mt.gov/buyandapply/hunting-licenses#:~:text=Preference%20points%20can%20be%20purchased,for%20a%20nonresident%20combination%20license.

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