The first part of the new year is always tough on this Montana outdoorsman. Nearly all of the hunting seasons have ended. Sure there are opportunities to hunt cow elk with Montana's shoulder season coming to an end soon. Sure I can go ice fishing or skiing. But I am already counting the days until Spring turkey season and bear season. I need the thrill of the hunt. Thankfully there are many opportunities to hunt, even in the "off-season."

Growing up, I always enjoyed the cold winter days when my "ol' man" would pack me into the pickup truck and take me rabbit hunting. I have core memories of stalking cottontails like a lion stalking prey in Africa. Just me and an old WWII-era, single-shot .22 caliber rifle.


According to the "ol' man," winter was always the best time to harvest a rabbit. Dad always says "If the month has the letter "R" in it, then a rabbit is safe to eat." So February was always his favorite time to rabbit hunt because it has 2x the letter "R."

Small game hunting is the perfect tool to introduce young kids to hunting and gun safety. For 6-year-old me, nothing made me prouder than providing a meal for my family by bringing home a bunch of rabbits for dinner. Plus, small-game hunting does NOT require a permit or license to do.

attachment-Untitled design - 2024-01-29T135236.808

This got me thinking. What other animals can you hunt year-round in Montana?

According to the Montana FWP, many non-game species can be hunted all year.

According to

There are a number of species found in Montana that are classified by Montana statute as nongame wildlife, some are shot for sport while others are shot for consumption. Examples of these species include raccoon, red fox, badgers, hares, marmots, tree squirrels, ground squirrels and prairie dogs. There are currently no regulations restricting the shooting of nongame species.

Shooting of any animals on private land requires landowner permission. Shooting of animals on public land may require land management agency permits or fees. For details on Forest Service, BLM or other public lands, contact the appropriate land management agency.

Clearly, not all non-game animals are meant to be hunted for food. Some are hunted for predator management or pest control.

We put together a list of the top 10 Montana animals that can be hunted year-round.

10 Animals That You Can Hunt Anytime of the Year in Montana

Gallery Credit: KC

States with the most registered hunters

Stacker analyzed data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine which states have the most registered hunters. Read on to see how your state ranks on Stacker’s list.

Gallery Credit: Meagan Drillinger

More From Mix 97.1