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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reminds hunters that the deadline to apply for deer and elk licenses for nonresidents and deer and elk permits for everyone is April 1. The purchase deadline for spring black bear is April 14 without a 24-hour wait.

Hunters who are applying for special licenses and permits need to have a valid email address. Hunters can apply for permits on the FWP website; click on “Buy and Apply.” Most FWP offices will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Please verify your application prior to submission, as changes after submission will not be permitted. Special licenses and permits will be printed and mailed to hunters after the drawing.

The licensing call center will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, through April 1; after April 1, the hours will return to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The call center can be reached at 406-444-2950.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has extended the application deadline for landowners to enroll in the Unlocking Public Lands (UPL) Program or the Public Access Land Agreement (PALA) Program to April 2.

These programs are designed to provide recreational public access to state (Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation) or federal (Bureau of Land Management or United States Forest Service) land where no or limited legal public access currently exists.

For enrollment in UPL, landowners will receive a tax credit in the amount of $750 per agreement and up to a maximum of $3,000 tax credits in exchange for allowing access across the private lands, roads or trails to reach inaccessible public land. Landowners decide how the public may cross their private property and may limit access to foot traffic only.

For enrollment in PALA, landowners will receive monetary compensation, including possible reimbursements to facilitate public access to inaccessible public lands based on the location, duration and opportunity provided. Compensation amounts vary based on a variety of factors. The governor-appointed Private Land/Public Wildlife (PL/PW) Advisory Committee will review complete applications at an upcoming meeting and make a recommendation to the FWP director whether to extend an agreement.

While Montana contains millions of acres of public land, much of this land is inaccessible and requires landowner permission to cross private land to reach the adjoining state or federal land.

More information about these two programs, including enrollment criteria, application forms, and fact-sheets describing these and other FWP public access programs can be found at: fwp.mt.gov/hunt/landownerprograms.

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