Quote Originally Posted by Alabama View Post
There are 13000 elk/deer combo or elk only combo licenses and 4600 deer combo licenses for non residents. You have to apply (and you will get it if the last 2 years trends continue and they will because of EHD, wolves etc) then you apply for a limited area with the bonus point option and $20 extra. If you don't draw the limited area and you want the bonus point you will forfeit the $20 and 20% of the combo license cost. They only refund 80% of the cost of the combo license if you want a bonus point. Pretty good for Montana, not so good for your wallet!

So if you do this just plan to hunt that year in the general areas instead of requesting the refund. I've never been to Montana but there has to be good hunting in the general areas for both deer and elk.

They have it set up that way intentionally I think to keep the limited draw areas from becoming impossible to draw and encouraging hunters to apply at least every few years so that their bonus points don't expire. (And to make money of course).
This makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for all the help. I really does seem like a money grab where they jacked up prices a few years ago and refund quite a bit less than most other states. I'm sure I'll try some hunting there some day in the general area and trying for a limited. Depending on how that goes decide if I want to keep hunting there regularly in the general and trying for the limited draws.

It seems like a lot of $$ to give up and not hunt to try and build bonus points for the LEs. But, if a guy can get into an area and work a place where the general hunting is decent and can go most years it wouldn't be a bad way to go. If the general hunting is tough then I don't see it being worth the money to keep either not going or having crummy general hunting as you say, while waiting on a LE tag.