FWP-256x144

The new “Apprentice Hunter” law was enacted by the 2015 state Legislature creating the opportunity for youth 10-17 years of age to hunt without completing hunter education.

Download Apprentice Hunter Program Packet (PDF 957 KB)

People

An apprentice MUST:

  • be between the ages of 10-17 years old at the time of license purchase.
  • have appropriate current Montana hunting license(s) for the species being hunted; the licenses MUST show that he/she is Apprentice Hunter Certified.

An apprentice MAY:

  • be a resident or nonresident
  • obtain an Apprentice Hunter Certification for no more than 2 license years before they must complete a hunter safety and education course

An apprentice is NOT ELIGIBLE to:

  • obtain a special bow and arrow license without first having completed 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

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

A mentor MUST

  • be 21 years old 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
  • have completed hunter education–if born after Jan. 1, 1985
  • have a current Montana hunting license
  • complete a Apprentice Hunter Mentor Form
  • agree to accompany and supervise the apprentice hunter and remain within sight of and direct voice contact with the apprentice hunter at all times while in the field
  • confirm that the apprentice hunter possesses the physical and psychological capacity to safely and ethically engage in hunting activities
  • only accompany one apprentice at a time

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

If the mentor is not related to the apprentice by blood, adoption, or marriage, the parent MUST

  • designate the mentor on an Apprentice Hunter Mentor Form.

The Process

Who

The apprentice hunter MUST go to an FWP Office and have a completed Apprentice Hunter Certification Form to purchase their Apprentice Hunter Certificate.

Where

Purchase at any FWP office.

Fee

$5

Who

The apprentice may purchase any appropriate licenses that the apprentice is eligible for once they have received their Apprentice Hunter Certification.

Where

Purchase at any FWP office or license provider.

Fee

An apprentice hunter who is under 12 years of age is eligible to obtain the unlimited reduced cost licenses available to a person who is 12 years of age. All other normal license fees apply. 

Who

The mentor MUST complete the form. The mentor MUST sign their section and get signed approval from the parent or legal guardian, if applicable.

Where

The form can be picked up at any FWP office or downloaded.

Fee

There is no fee for the form.

The mentor MUST accompany and supervise the apprentice while hunting and MUST remain within sight of and direct voice contact with the apprentice hunter at all times. The mentor MUST have the Apprentice Hunter Mentor Form in his/her possession at all times while in the field.

The apprentice MUST have their Conservation License and other applicable licenses in their possession at all times while in the field.