Aside from Colorado, Montana offers more non-resident mountain goat tags than any state in the lower 48. This makes Montana an important state to include in your application strategy if you hope to draw a mountain goat tag. For 2021, FWP is proposing 179 goat tags be issued statewide and up to 16 of them will be available to non-resident applicants. Last year, 3,131 non-residents participated in the draw, and of those, 15 were awarded a tag.
This year, all but 25 of the state’s goat tags are going to be issued in region 3 alone. Units 314 and 323 will offer more than one non-resident tag. While the rest of the state is struggling with its mountain goat population, the mountain goats in region 3 continue to do well. The goats in this part of the state have had high reproduction rates, and the population has been steadily increasing. This has pushed some of the goats into some new country, and in 2020, a new unit was opened. This unit is not available to non-residents this year, but it should be in the next year or two.
If you’re after the best hunt in the state, there’s only one choice – 393-20 in the Bridger Mountains. The goat population is doing great in this area, and there are plenty of mature billies available. In this herd, 10” horns with 5 5/8” bases are common among billies, and there’s potential for bigger. Like most years, a couple of giant billies were taken here in 2020.
Montana is a great state for someone who is looking to do a self-guided mountain goat hunt. Almost every one of Montana’s mountain goat units will offer a great opportunity at an above average goat with 9” or better potential. Most goat country is going to be reached through a backpack or horseback type hunt. Keep in mind that most of the available goat units are in prime grizzly country and you will have a much lower chance of any conflicts if hunting in units 313, 350, and 393. Remember that mountain goats live in big, steep, rocky country, so be mentally and physically prepared before you apply for your hunt. If you want to harvest a true giant billy, you can expect to find them in the most remote, hard-to-reach sections of the units. If you don’t mind a shorter-haired goat, we recommend you hunt early before the snow piles up. Over the years, many hunters have been completely snowed out of their high-country units as they waited for good hair and instead ended up with tag soup.
As usual, Montana has shuffled the units that non-residents are able to apply for, so be sure you look over our goat table as we have included all non-resident goat hunts available in 2021. If you are a Montana resident and would like to talk about the other units available to you, give us a call. If you want a mountain goat but don’t want to travel to Alaska or Canada, you should be applying in Montana. Good luck in the draw!
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The Montana Mountain Goat application deadline is May 1, 2021
Mountain Goat..............Sept 15–Nov 28
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|Base Hunting License||$15|
|Bonus Points (optional/per species)||$20|
|Bow and Arrow License (required for all archery hunts)||$10|
|Mountain Goat Application Fee||$50|
|Mountain Goat Permit||$1,250|
|Wolf Permit (can purchase up to five)||$50|
|*Fees do not include the additional 2.5% convenience fee.|
Montana Mountain Goat Hunting Articles from Huntin' Fool Magazine