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2,400 hunters affected by FWP 'glitch' during elk, deer drawing

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 15, 2022

HELENA - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) say around 2,400 hunters were affected by an error during the recent 2022 deer and elk permit drawing.

The error is reportedly a result of a change from this year to 10 hunting districts that made them “first and only choice” for applications.

Hunters that selected those districts were unintentionally able to also submit second and third choices, which then caused their application to not process correctly.

Impacted applicants initially didn’t see results for the elk draw in their MyFWP account.

Until the situation is resolved, those individuals will see temporarily that they were unsuccessful in the draw.

Hunters who were already successful in their draw this year will not lose their permit.

FWP says the error affected 2,482 applications out of the 83,017 total statewide the agency received, or around three percent (2.99%) of the total submissions.

The agency is moving away from its current licensing system as part of the administration's effort to modernize state government.

“As soon as FWP became aware of the technical glitch, our licensing staff worked around the clock to fix it and make it right with hunters who were inadvertently removed from the draw,” said FWP Director Hank Worsech in a press release.

The state agency is taking action to help those impacted.

  • Hunters who submitted applications and are eligible for districts 411-21, 447-21, and 595-21 and entered second and third choices will receive a permit because the number of permits unallocated after the draw is greater than the number of applicants who were removed from the draw. Similarly, the 270-45 permit is unlimited, so applicants will all receive a permit.
  • Hunters who submitted applications for districts 411-20, 417-20, 417-21, 426-20, 799-20, and 799-21 and were removed from the draw will be entered into a random drawing next week. Those who are unsuccessful in this second drawing will receive bonus points.  

Worsech has the discretion to issue permits up to 10 percent above the quota. FWP says this 10 percent will be allocated in these second drawings.

“The fairest solution to this error is to use my discretion to give all impacted hunters the shot at a permit they’re owed,” Director Worsech said.