Night Hunting in Montana: Laws & Regulations

montana night hunting

Heading for a night hunting trip to Montana? 

Sounds great!

But, are you aware of the main hunting laws and regulations in the state?

If not, here are some important ones.

General Night Hunting Laws

Is a Hunter Education Certificate required for a hunting license in Montana?

Yes. Anyone born after January 1, 1985, needs to complete the Montana  Hunter  Safety and  Education Course before applying for a hunting license. A certificate of completion of a similar course from other states will also be accepted.

Is night hunting allowed in Montana?

Night hunting is allowed for predators and some non-game species. Animals like the coyote, (striped) skunk, weasel, and civet cat are classified as predators. The non-game species include badger, raccoon, marmots, hares, rabbits, ground squirrels, red fox, and others.

Can artificial light be used for night hunting in Montana?

The use of any kind of artificial light for taking down any game animal or game bird is unlawful. The use of rifle scopes that project artificial light or infra-red light is also not allowed. However, night vision equipment can be used for hunting predators.

Are there any other restrictions on the use of equipment for hunting in Montana?

The use of motion tracking devices, thermal imaging devices, and satellite and radio telemetry devices is prohibited. Hunting from any motorized or a drawn vehicle is also illegal.

Is there any hunter orange requirement for hunting in Montana?

Yes. For all game animals,400 square inches of hunter orange (fluorescent) material is the minimum amount that’s to be worn above the waist.

Coyote Hunting at Night

What is the season for hunting coyotes in Montana?

Coyotes are classified as predatory animals. So they can be hunted all year-round and a license isn’t required.

Can electronic calls be used for hunting coyotes at night?

Yes.

Is the use of thermal imaging allowed for night hunting of coyotes in Montana?

Yes. The use of night vision equipment and thermal imaging is also allowed.

Is there a bag limit for coyotes in Montana?

No.

Deer Hunting at Night

Is deer classified as a game animal in Montana?

Yes.

What is the deer hunting period in Montana?

The hunting season is five weeks long. In general, the period is from mid-October through late-November. The final dates are decided as per the individual hunting district regulations.

Can artificial lights be used for hunting deer at night in Montana?

No.  Riflescopes that project artificial or infra-red light is also not allowed. However, scopes with   illuminated reticles and built-in range finders can be used.

Are there any caliber restrictions on the rifles used for hunting deer in Montana?

No.  There are no magazine/round capacity limits either.

Wolf Hunting at Night

What are the authorized hours for wolf hunting in Montana?

The authorized hours are between one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset in the hunting season.

What are the restrictions on wolf hunting in Montana?

The use of motion-tracking devices and recorded bird or animal calls aren’t allowed. Hunting from motor-driven or drawn vehicles or the use of unmanned aerial vehicles is also prohibited.

Rabbit Hunting at Night

Can rabbits be hunted at night in Montana?

Yes

Is the use of night vision equipment allowed for hunting rabbits in Montana?

Both thermal imaging and night vision equipment can be used.

What are the bag limits on rabbit hunting in Montana?

There are no limits.

Conclusion

So, we have highlighted some of the most important hunting regulations in Montana.

Now, it’s down to you.

In case you need to pick some top-grade thermal imaging equipment before the hunting trip, take a look at our reviews.

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About Annalena Wood

Annalena is carrying her rifle with passion and pride for her love of the outdoors and the experience of hunting. Her most memorable hunting season was back in 2015 when she and her dad were drawn for special elk tags. That allowed them the chance to fill their tags with an actual bull elk rather than a spike. That year both her and her dad came home with their first trophy elks, with hers a 6 by 6 pointer and her dad’s a 6 by 5.