Official Montana Hunting Safety Course Link to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks

Hello, hunter! Montana's online hunting course has moved. Click here to go to the latest version of the Today's Hunter in Montana course—the official hunting safety course of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.

The following course material is for reference only. Please go to the new course to complete your Montana certification.

Why Do You Need a Plan?

There are many benefits to planning your hunting trip. Planning increases your chances of having an enjoyable and successful outing, and, if you do it with your friends and hunting partners, it can also build excitement. Perhaps most importantly, a hunting plan could save your life. Here are a few more reasons why it is important to prepare a hunting plan:
Planning a hunting trip
Create a hunting plan
  • If someone in your family back home had an emergency while you were hunting, a person would know where to start looking for you.
  • If you or a hunting partner were injured while hunting and did not show up when you said you would, your family or the authorities would know where to look for you.
  • If you were already in the field and friends decided to hunt the same area, they would know where you were so they could avoid disturbing your hunt.

Your hunting plan should contain all the information necessary to help someone find you in case of an emergency. Start with the “3W’s”: Where, Who, When.

Review your hunting plan carefully and often. Add information as you have new ideas and eliminate things that are unnecessary or no longer relevant. As the time for your hunt approaches, finalize your plan. Leave the trip plan with somebody you trust and give them instructions on what they should do if you do not report back in time.

If you have done a good job of planning, it is likely that you will have a safe and enjoyable hunt. The best plan is of no value if you do not stick to it! There is much truth in the old saying:

Plan Your Hunt and Hunt Your Plan!

Trip Plans: Where? Who? When?

Where are you going?

  • Highlight an area on a map, or draw a map of your own.
  • Be specific about your location.
  • Notify someone if you change your plans while in the field.

Who is with you?

  • List the names of the people you are with.
  • List their contact information (phone numbers, addresses, etc.).

When are you returning?

  • Be specific (e.g. I’ll be back at the house by 8:00 pm on the 19th.)
  • Allow for delays.
  • Set “alarm” times. Tell your family or friends how long they should wait before taking action to find you. It is very important that you call someone if you change your plans and are going to be late.

On the next page is an example for you to use when setting up your own trip plan.

Montana Fish, Wildlife,
& Parks
White-tailed deer tracks
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Official hunting safety course for Montana hunters last modified: November 16, 2011
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