A top complaint in today’s nomadic America is that when families move away and out of state, it’s costly or nearly impossible for a nonresident to return and hunt with families and friends. A new program in Montana could set the standard for other states to follow.
The “Come Home to Hunt” program is a result of Montana House Bill 585 that was passed in 2009. This legislation makes it possible for former Montanans who purchased a resident hunting license in the past, or were awarded a Montana hunting education certificate prior to 2010, to be sponsored by a family member to obtain a nonresident combination deer or elk license.
The program is aimed at continuing Montana family traditions by making an effort to bring sons and daughters and family back home during hunting seasons. The sponsoring adult family member must claim Montana as his or her legal residence and must have a valid Montana hunting license. The sponsor can be a parent, step-parent, grandparent, sibling, step-sibling, child, step-child, spouse, or in-law.
Qualifying nonresidents must apply for either a $542 deer or $912 big game combination license and apply before a March deadline. To actually hunt in Montana, the nonresident awarded a “Come Home to Hunt” license must then hunt along with a properly licensed adult family member. Proceeds from the sale of “Come Home to Hunt” licenses will be used by FWP to acquire public hunting access to inaccessible public land.