Fox Hunting Laws for Montana

What are the fox hunting laws for in Montana? This article covers many of the fundamental laws you will need to know to get started. It also provides information such as seasons, harvest limits, and required permits for fox hunting in Montana. It is not a legal document and is not intended to cover all hunting laws and regulations.

Fox hunting laws for Montana
Red fox in the snow. Photocredit: Ninger.

In Montana, Red Fox are classified as a non-game species (defined as any wild animal not otherwise legally classified by statute or regulation). As such, there is no closed season. Swift Fox are classified as furbearers and may only be taken during the trapping season.

Red fox hunting on private land with permission does not require a license.

A Conservation License, or a state school trust lands recreational use license, is required to shoot predators on state school trust lands. Likewise, permission must be obtained to shoot predators on private land.

Purchase a Montana hunting license online here.

Related article: Learn the rules and regulations for hunting coyotes in Montana.

Related: Learn the rules for hunting bobcats in Montana.

Is night fox hunting allowed in Montana?

Yes, for predators and non-game species like the fox, on private land.

Can lights be used for hunting fox in Montana? Yes.

Is baiting allowed? On private land, yes.

Use of night-vision or IR scopes allowed? Yes, on private land.

Thermal scopes? Yes, thermal riflescopes are permitted.

Related: The best IR scope for new predator hunters.

Related: The best thermal scope for new predator hunters.

Legal equipment when fox hunting in Montana.

Are decoys legal in Montana? Yes.

What firearms are approved/disapproved for coyotes in Montana? No special State regulations.

Are suppressors allowed in Montana? In Montana, you can use your silencer for target shooting, home defense, hunting, or other legal use.

Possession? Foxes are a non-game species and can be possessed. 

Electronic callers?  Hunting fox in Montana using manual or electronic predator calls is legal. Fox calling tips.

Related: Price check electronic callers on Amazon.

Related: Price check decoys on Amazon.

Avoid a trespassing charge while fox hunting in Montana.

Trespassing is easy to do if you are not careful. Private landowners are not required to post their property. It is your responsibility to stay off their land. The use of an App is strongly encouraged. 

Montana’s FWP offers you these tips: 


A few things to keep in mind will greatly improve results when attempting to secure hunting access to private land.

  • Show courtesy to the landowner and make hunting arrangements by calling or visiting at times convenient to the landowner.
  • Whenever possible, plan and secure permission well before the actual hunting date.
  • Provide complete information about yourself and your hunting companions, including vehicle descriptions and license numbers.
  • Explain what type of hunting you wish to do, and be sure to ask any questions that can help clarify access conditions.
  • Follow the landowners’ instructions, and bring with you only the companions you obtained landowner permission.
  • Be sure to thank the landowner after your hunt, and consider sending a subsequent note to show your appreciation for being granted the privilege of hunting on private land.

Knowing where you are is always your responsibility.

It’s your responsibility to understand the regulations specific to the land you hunt on. Montana has tribal lands, national forests, BLM lands, and they are all governed by different state and federal regulations.

If you decide to hunt these areas, make sure you know exactly where you are at all times. A Montana game warden stumbled into a disputed area back in 2014 and was detained by tribal officers. If the game warden can get his location mixed up, what are your chances as a nonresident?

A Conservation License, or a state school trust lands recreational use license, is required to shoot on state school trust lands. 

Related: Want more tips on securing permission to hunt private property? Read this article.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr.

Dennis V. Gilmore Jr. is a former Marine Sergeant and the author of several books, including two on night hunting coyotes and red and gray fox. He has written several hundred articles on predator hunting for

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