Understanding non-res point system Montana

freediver111

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John Day, OR
I’m a little confused regarding the MT draw process for non-residents applying for the general deer/elk combo licenses.

The scenario: I have 2 points for the general combo hunt, and my buddy has 3. He bought one this year and I haven’t as of yet.

We planned to hunt in 2023, but I was told that you can’t accumulate points for more than 2 or 3 years before applying, and if you keep buying a point after 3 years you lose them if you don’t apply. With that many points, you should draw it, so applying essentially means we hit MT in 2022 rather than 23.

Am I understanding this correctly and we can’t wait until 2023 as our points will be wiped out if we don’t apply for the tags in 2022? We can make it work in 2022, but if there’s a scenario where our points aren’t wiped clean and still draw in 2023 I’d like to know.

Thanks!


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bsnedeker

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This is what the regs say exactly:

"You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.

If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed."

Seems pretty straight forward. You can purchase 2 points without applying. If you don't apply the third year you lose all of your points.
 
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freediver111

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This is what the regs say exactly:

"You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.

If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed."

Seems pretty straight forward. You can purchase 2 points without applying. If you don't apply the third year you lose all of your points.

I read that but it wasn’t clear to me if I could buy a point or two and wait a year to apply, but it makes sense now. Basically we need to apply this spring and hunt in 2022 or we lose the points. Seems to make sense now. I was hoping there was a work around and we could sit on them for 2023, but that doesn’t seem possible.


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littlered16

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I could be wrong on this, but I think you can apply in 22 for a low odds permit and request an 80% refund if not drawn to keep your points. Will cost a couple hundred bucks this way though.
 

wind gypsy

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I could be wrong on this, but I think you can apply in 22 for a low odds permit and request an 80% refund if not drawn to keep your points. Will cost a couple hundred bucks this way though.

Last I looked you don’t get to keep your points, just 80% of your money.

Now that general tags are getting harder to draw, this creates problems for folks trying to draw LE permits because if they get a general tag but fail on a permit in ‘22 they might not even get into the LE draw again until ‘25, possibly even later.
 

Erict

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near Albany, NY
This is what the regs say exactly:

"You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.

If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed."

Seems pretty straight forward. You can purchase 2 points without applying. If you don't apply the third year you lose all of your points.
That is not "exactly" what the new regulation says and I respectfully disagree with the info above. See THIS for an explanation.
 

bsnedeker

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That is not "exactly" what the new regulation says and I respectfully disagree with the info above. See THIS for an explanation.
Lol...dude. I copied that directly from the FWP website so yeah, it is exactly what the regs say. I read your write up, I'm not sure what exactly you think is wrong about what the regs say but the way I interpret them is exactly what you have in the post you referenced.
 

Erict

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Lol...dude. I copied that directly from the FWP website so yeah, it is exactly what the regs say. I read your write up, I'm not sure what exactly you think is wrong about what the regs say but the way I interpret them is exactly what you have in the post you referenced.
(Edited) - Yes, you are correct and I was wrong. LEGEND pointed out that the NR PP section is not yet effective, but effective March 1, 2022:

1. PP will be $100, not $50,
2. PP can be purchased until DECEMBER 31, not September 30,
3. The part about skipping years will be incorrect.

HB 637 states: "The department shall delete the an applicant's accumulated preference points if the applicant...does not apply for a Class B-10 or Class B-11 license in consecutive years." Consecutive means every year - skip a year, lose accumulated PP.
 
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freediver111

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John Day, OR
So what’s the verdict! I called MFWP and they told me that I have to apply in 2022 or my points for the general NR elk/deer combo points are nullified.

I plan on switching gears and hitting MT in 2022 rather than 2023 due to the threat of losing my points. If I don’t buy a point in 2021, will my points get nullified when I apply in 2022? Wtf. This is a cluster. Do I buy a third point this year when I don’t need more than two to draw the NR elk/deer combo?


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Legend

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FYI - Don't believe everything you read on the internet. The Montana FWP website is incorrect as it does not reflect changes caused by HB637 and I even told them about it last time I spoke to them. Since HB 637 became law:

1. PP are now $100, not $50,
2. PP can be purchased until DECEMBER 31, not September 30,
3. The part about skipping years is incorrect.

HB 637 states: "The department shall delete the an applicant's accumulated preference points if the applicant...does not apply for a Class B-10 or Class B-11 license in consecutive years." Consecutive means every year - skip a year, lose accumulated PP.

__________________________________________

As of 9/28/21, the Montana FWP webpage incorrectly states in the Nonresident License section:

"Purchasing Preference Points​

Preference points for a nonresident big game, elk or deer combination license may be purchased for a nonrefundable fee of $50.

Preference points can be purchased:
  • at the time of application for the nonresident combination license; or
  • between July 1 and September 30 for individuals who did not apply for a nonresident combination license.
You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.

If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed."
I just pulled up the bill. If you go to the bottom of the bill it states when the bill is effective. It says that section 6 becomes effective on March 1st, 2022. I believe all the details you described above are located in section 6.
 

sneaky

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ID
I’m a little confused regarding the MT draw process for non-residents applying for the general deer/elk combo licenses.

The scenario: I have 2 points for the general combo hunt, and my buddy has 3. He bought one this year and I haven’t as of yet.

We planned to hunt in 2023, but I was told that you can’t accumulate points for more than 2 or 3 years before applying, and if you keep buying a point after 3 years you lose them if you don’t apply. With that many points, you should draw it, so applying essentially means we hit MT in 2022 rather than 23.

Am I understanding this correctly and we can’t wait until 2023 as our points will be wiped out if we don’t apply for the tags in 2022? We can make it work in 2022, but if there’s a scenario where our points aren’t wiped clean and still draw in 2023 I’d like to know.

Thanks!


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Your buddy can't have 3. If you don't apply for the combo tag after two years of buying preference points your points are zeroed out. Happened to me this year after everyone bailed on me. That was $100 donated to MT.

I bought points in 19 and 20, didn't apply this year, and my points were wiped. Lesson learned.

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freediver111

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John Day, OR
Your buddy can't have 3. If you don't apply for the combo tag after two years of buying preference points your points are zeroed out. Happened to me this year after everyone bailed on me. That was $100 donated to MT.

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He bought one Saturday. Checked today and shows 3 pts. Seems like he has three, unless they zero him?


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Erict

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I just pulled up the bill. If you go to the bottom of the bill it states when the bill is effective. It says that section 6 becomes effective on March 1st, 2022. I believe all the details you described above are located in section 6.
Thank you sir. I was wrong, well, at least until next March! Every other section of HB 637 is already in effect.
 

sneaky

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He bought one Saturday. Checked today and shows 3 pts. Seems like he has three, unless they zero him?


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Mine zeroed out right after the draws in April. He have 3 preference points or 3 bonus points? Bonus points don't zero

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freediver111

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John Day, OR
Mine zeroed out right after the draws in April. He have 3 preference points or 3 bonus points? Bonus points don't zero

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He has 3 PP, not bonus. I assume we have to apply by March 22, or they’ll zero out if he doesn’t apply.


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