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United States: Important Permit Deadlines

Here are the important permitting developments to watch for this month in the US.
Compiled by Mike Bodenchuk, Editor-at-Large
November 24, 2015

The listing below includes current year information for big game hunts in each state. The listing will be maintained and updated as a planning tool even though deadlines may have passed. As The Hunting Report is “…for hunters who travel”, all information below is based on non-resident status. Different license fees and, in some cases, deadlines apply to residents of the states listed.

Western States Deadlines
State   Telephone   Comments
Alaska   907-465-4210 Applications for 2016-17 hunts should be accepted November 1-December 15, 2015. While many nonresident opportunities do not require a draw, some of the best hunts (Dall sheep in the Chugach or Tok areas) and some of the most limited hunts (muskox and bison) are on a drawing basis. A license ($85 for nonresidents, $300 for nonresident aliens) is required to apply. A signed Guide-Client Agreement is required for all sheep hunts, all brown bear hunts and some goat and moose hunts. Nonresidents must be guided for brown/grizzly bear, sheep and goat hunts. Nonresident aliens must be guided for all species. Muzzleloader and archery hunts also require completion of training, including shooting proficiency, before applying. Applications are accepted online. The 2016-17 Draw Supplement book is now available online.
Arizona   602-942-3000 OTC lion permits are now available. The harvest year ends December 31 and a new lion tag is needed starting January 1. The deadline for the drawing for spring javelina, turkey, bison and bear was October 13, 2015, but leftover javelina tags are almost always available. The deadline for 2016 elk and pronghorn will be February 9 with the application book available in late December. Nonresidents are required to purchase a $160 Combination Hunting and Fishing License to apply for draw permits.
Colorado   303-297-1192 2015 big game deadline was April 7 for all drawing permits. Bighorn sheep and mountain goat permits are covered in one booklet while elk, deer, pronghorn and bear are covered in a separate booklet. You must pay for one $10 Conservation Stamp each year, but you can do so while applying for your special draw license (if applying for more than one species, you only need to pay for one Conservation Stamp). You must submit the entire license fee with your application (Deer $364, Bull elk $604, Pronghorn $364, Moose $2009, Bear $354, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep $2,009, Desert Bighorn Sheep $1,339, Mountain Goat $2,009). In 2015, there was one nonresident desert bighorn permit in CO and there are no preference points for desert sheep. Mountain lion season runs November through March with a new season (on the new license) April 1-30.
Idaho   208-334-3700; The 2016 hunting license goes on sale January 1. A nonresident hunting license ($154.75) is required for all applications. Many hunts, including panhandle whitetail deer, are available OTC. Applications for elk, deer and fall bear second draw were accepted in early August. Idaho wolf season now open in most units with OTC tags available.

The application period for controlled hunts for moose, mountain goat and bighorn sheep will be April 1-30, 2016. If a nonresident applies for moose or sheep or goat they are not eligible to apply for another species in the general draw. The 2015 application period for controlled deer and elk hunts plus all pronghorn licenses was May 1-June 5; expect a similar period in 2016.
Kansas   620-672-5911 2015 nonresident deer permit draw application period was April 1-24, 2015. Online or phone applications only. Nonresident deer permit fee is $346.96; if successful in the draw a nonresident hunting license ($72.50) is also required.
Maine   207-287-8000 Paper applications for Maine moose were due April 1, 2015 (postmark or delivered) and online applications were due May 14. Expect reduced numbers of permits, so the odds against drawing increased this year. You can increase your odds of drawing by purchasing additional chances in the moose lottery: 1 chance $15, 3 chances $25, 6 chances $35 and 10 chances $55. If successful in the lottery, a $585 nonresident moose license is required.
Minnesota   888-665-4236 Wolf applications were accepted online or by telephone (number above) through Sept. 4, 2014. Since that time, the US Fish and Wildlife Service relisted MN wolf, so hunting will not be available without court or Congressional intervention.
Montana   406-444-2950 General mountain lion tags are now available OTC, but waiting period applies before you can use the tag. All applicants must purchase the $10 conservation license in addition to tag and application fees. Montana wolf season is now open and tags are available OTC.

In 2015, applications for spring bear were due (through the general license order form) April 14. General applications for deer and elk were due March 15 while Deer B tags, Elk B tags and all antelope applications are due June 1. Sheep, goat, moose and bison applications were due May 1. Elk Combination licenses $826, Deer Combination licenses $580. The elk or deer combination license is required to apply for special permit drawing (if unsuccessful in the permit drawing you may still use the combination license in the general elk or deer season). Moose, sheep and goat tags cost $755 each, bison tag is $750. Super Tag Raffle permit deadline was July 2. The 2015 deadline for mountain lion drawing permits was August 13 while the general mountain lion and fall bear deadline was August 31.
Nevada   775-688-1500 The 2015 deadline for the mule deer guide draw was March 13. Application period for all other draw hunts (bighorn sheep, pronghorn, deer and elk) was mid-March through April 20, 2015. Expect similar dates in 2016. A $142 nonresident general license is necessary to apply for any tags. Tag fees are: deer $240, pronghorn $300, bighorn $1,200 bull elk $1,200. Additional application, predator control and convenience fees apply. Results are posted in early June.
New Hampshire   603-271-2461 Applications for 2015 moose permits were due May 29. Online applications encouraged. Application fee of $25 due at the time of application. If drawn, you will need to submit moose license fee of $500. Results mailed to successful applicants in early July.
New Mexico   505-476-8000 Applications for ibex, oryx, Barbary sheep, deer, elk, pronghorn, javelina and bighorn sheep were due March 18, 2015. Expect similar dates in 2016. Nonresident quotas now apply to all drawing permits. All hunters must create an account within the drawing system to apply. A drawing tutorial is available online. A $65 nonresident license is required to apply for any tag and the fees must be paid at the time of application.

New Mexico changed the bighorn sheep application significantly beginning with the 2015 applications. Hunters now apply for one of 2 codes for sheep (one for Rocky Mountain bighorn rams or the other for desert bighorn sheep) then list their top three preferences. Due to the application of nonresident quotas, the odds of drawing a sheep tag will be better for applicants in the outfitter pool. See Article 3489 in the February 2015 issue.

Habitat Management and Access validation ($4) required of all hunters and Habitat Stamp ($5) required for hunts on BLM or US Forest Service property. Full license and application fees due upon application: Standard Elk $555, High Demand Elk $780, Standard deer $290, High Demand deer $375, Pronghorn $290, Javelina $185, Bighorn (Rocky Mountain or Desert) $3,180, Oryx $1630, Ibex $1630, Barbary sheep $380. Additional fees for desert bighorn or oryx on White Sands Missile Range.
Oregon   503-947-6100 Spring 2015 black bear deadline was February 10, 2015. Applications for controlled deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and pronghorn were due May 15, 2015. Expect similar dates in 2016. Results available online June 20. All hunters must purchase $148.50 hunting license before applying. Application fee $8 per species.  Tag fees (due only if successful in the drawing): Deer (mule deer or blacktail) $ 383.50, elk (Rocky Mountain or Roosevelt) $508.50, Bighorn sheep (California or Rocky Mountain) $1,308.50, Mountain goat $1,308.50, pronghorn $341.50. Fall bear available OTC through the license division (not from vendors).

OTC General elk, bear and deer licenses are sold through the license division by mail or fax. Many people wait until after the controlled hunts are posted to purchase general licenses, so expect OTC licenses with nonresident quotas (such as fall general bear) to fill quickly.
South Dakota   603-253-7660 South Dakota offers a variety of hunting opportunities with different deadlines. In 2015, private land “special buck” deer tag applications were due April 17, Blackhills and West River Deer were due July 17, East River deer applications are due October 9. Firearms pronghorn applications were due August 7. Muzzleloader and National Wildlife Refuge deer applications were due August 28, Custer State Park nontrophy bison due November 13 while trophy bison applications were due August 7.
Texas   512-389-4505; Texas drawn public hunts are available online only with online hunt information, applications, email notification and permit issuance. Hunters need to create an account and research opportunities online. Twenty categories (including 8 youth-only categories) exist, including desert bighorn sheep, exotics, trophy and management deer, alligator and turkey. Application fees vary between $3 and $10 per hunter per category. Applications for 2015-16 now available. Deadlines in 2015-16: Alligator- August 3, Exotics- August 3, Pronghorn- August 25, Archery deer (both whitetail and mule deer) August 25, javelina- August 25, Rifle whitetail- Sept. 11, Gun mule deer- October 14, Archery Exotic- November 11, Feral hog- December 7, Guided gemsbok and Guided scimitar-horned oryx- Dec 7, Guided desert bighorn- December 7, Spring turkey- December 30.
Utah   801-538-4700; Bear applications for spring and fall 2016 will be due in early March (in 2015 they were due March 2). The application period for limited-entry mountain lion drawings were due October 8, 2015. Harvest objective tags for units with a mortality objective are now available OTC. The 2016 Big Game application book will be available by early December with an application period from late January through early March (in 2015 applications were due March 5). 

In 2015, applications for bonus points only was through March 19. Antlerless application period was May to June 18. Applicants must purchase $65 nonresident hunting license to apply. Online applications include credit card authorization to charge permit fee if successful in the draw. Permit fees: General deer $268, limited entry deer $468, Premium deer $568, general elk $393, limited entry elk $800, pronghorn $293, Once-in-a-lifetime Species (moose, desert bighorn, Rocky Mountain bighorn, mountain goat or bison) $1,518, Antelope Island bison $2,615.
Vermont   802-828-1000 Moose applications were due June 17, 2015. Both paper and online applications accepted. Nonresident application fee $25 per lottery. Two separate lotteries- one for archery permits and another for general season.
Washington   360-902-2464; Multi-hunt applications (allows hunters to hunt all three seasons for deer or elk) were due March 31. Application period for mountain goat, bighorn sheep, moose, or draw tags for bear, turkey, deer and elk was April 15-May 15. The application fee (per permit) for “Quality elk”, “Quality deer”, any moose, bighorn ram or mountain goat is $110. Deer-only permit $434.30, elk $497, Moose, goat or bighorn $1,652. General deer, elk, cougar and bear tags available OTC and combination licenses for these species are available.
Wyoming   307-777-4600 Wyoming application period for 2016 elk should be January 1-30, with sheep, goat and moose applications due in February. Application booklet available online in December. In 2015, applications for deer and pronghorn were due May 31. All applications now online only. Permit and application fees due at the time of application; elk $591, deer $326, pronghorn $286, moose $1,416, mountain goat $2,166, bighorn sheep $2,266. Additional costs for special elk, deer or pronghorn licenses (separate pool with higher fees). Wyoming will not have a wolf season in 2015. 

Application period to purchase preference points only was July –November 2, 2015.
* Over-the-counter

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