The general big game rifle season came to a close in Montana on Sunday, but some license holders may get an "elk reprieve."

Low elk harvest on private lands during the general hunting season in places where elk numbers are above population objectives was the primary factor in a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks decision to grant Some Elk B license holders an extended hunting opportunity in select west-central Montana districts. Officials have extended the elk hunting season through January 15, 2021, for holders of certain unfilled, antlerless Elk B Licenses that are valid in portions of west-central Montana, FWP Region 2.

The Elk B Licenses for which the season is extended are 213-01, 215-02, 217-02, 262-01, 291-03 and 293-01.  Hunters were awarded one of these special licenses through a drawing earlier this year, and 262-01 was available over the counter prior to the start of the season.  No licenses are available for purchase now.The license opportunity would have ended at the close of general season on November 29, but will be extended by approximately six weeks due to relatively low elk harvest so far in places where elk tend to congregate and cause private land damage over the winter months.

The B Licenses are almost exclusively valid on private lands, and in some cases on adjoining DNRC lands outside the National Forest boundary.  DNRC lands within FWP Wildlife Management Areas are specifically closed to the extended elk season.  Regulations that governed the use of these Elk B Licenses during the general season will continue to be enforced in the extended season.  Hunters, landowners and other interested parties are advised to closely review the2020 Montana Deer,  Elk and Antelope Hunting Regulations for specifics.

No doubt, this is a select group of you elk hunters, but if you have one of these tags, here's hoping you can get it filled by January 15.

 

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