MBA Accomplishments

Why the MBA Exists

There’s nothing quite like bowhunting in Montana, and the MBA is central to the establishment and protection of our archery seasons. Our history is remarkable precisely because our members were responsible for each and every archery-only opportunity which exists in Montana. Prior to 1968, bow season was a collage of scattered opportunities around the state which only lasted for about two weeks. In 1966, Bob Savage noticed that the archery season was not listed in the regulations. Rather than passively lament the passing of an opportunity, he took action. In those days, members of the general public could not speak in front of the Commission. Despite this, Bob delivered a letter to the Commission requesting the reinstatement of the archery season. In 1968, the Commission reinstated the archery season, and MBA members have been instrumental in expanding archery-only opportunities ever since. Today, bowhunters have archery-only seasons for antelope, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, bears, mountain lions, bison, and wolves.

What We Do

While our mission of “preserving and promoting bowhunting” seems simple, it requires a great deal of work in many directions. Just as our founding members observed, we must actively participate in the season-setting process with the Commission to protect our opportunities. The same principle applies to the legislative sessions, where seasons and opportunities can also be affected. Essentially, we’re “on duty” constantly – every day, through every season, making sure our voice is heard. We advocate for increasing access, and support ongoing funding for Habitat Montana and the Block Management Program. We were at the forefront of preventing game farms from gaining a foothold in Montana.

Our responsibilities don’t stop there. The MBA has been involved in bowhunter education for decades, guiding new hunters in ethical, fair chase principles. We’ve hosted 3D shoots, the Canyon Ferry Carp Safari, Discover the Outdoors Camp, and participated in Becoming an Outdoors Woman. We helped FWP develop the Permit To Modify Archery Equipment, which allows hunters with disabilities to tailor bows to suit their needs. This provides accommodation to persons with disabilities while protecting our seasons from the encroachment of crossbows. Each of these actions is crucial to ensuring the bowhunting we enjoy today will be there for future generations.

Member Involvement

The MBA would not exist without individuals and families who feel just as passionate about bowhunting as our founders did in 1973. We face many challenges and we need a strong membership to meet those challenges. Our decisions are assisted by member input and we welcome your involvement, whether that is during bowhunter education or during the legislature. We all play a role in the success of the MBA, and by extension, in the success of bowhunting in Montana. We appreciate your support and input and thank you for your membership.

MBA’s Accomplishments:

Enhanced Archery Seasons
  • Archery-only wolf season (2012 Tentatives)
  • Archery equipment allowed for hunting bison (2011 Legislative)
  • Archery-only mountain lion season (2010 Tentatives)
  • Archery-only fall bear season (2010 Tentatives)
  • Archery-only bighorn sheep season (2008 Tentatives)
  • Archery-only antelope season August 15 opener (2004 Tentatives)
  • Archery-only antelope season (1984)
  • Expansion of archery season from two weeks in 1967 to six weeks


Tentative Accomplishments
  • Removal of HDs 420 and 455 from limited elk archery bundle (2012)
  • Removal of HD 441 from 23 Outside the Breaks limited districts (2010)
  • Supported limited elk archery permits in the Breaks districts (2007)
  • Adoption of Permit To Modify Archery Equipment (PTMAE), providing
  • accommodation for persons with disabilities to modify archery equipment (2002)
  • Supported trophy restitution proposals
  • Opposed efforts to introduce an early rifle bugle season (1984)


Legislative Accomplishments
  • Spearheaded bill adding bison to the list of species which can be hunted witharchery bison hunts (2011)
  • bow and arrow and confirmed the Commission’s ability to set rules governing
  • Supported bills urging the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act
  • Passage of bill allowing for archery-only lion, black bear, and wolf seasons (2009)
  • Supported ongoing funding for the Habitat Montana program (2005)
  • Supported ongoing funding of Block Management Program (2005)
  • Defeated bills allowing crossbows during archery seasons (1985, 1995, 2003, 2009, 2013)
  • Defeated bills allowing black powder rifles during archery season (1985)
  • Supported legislation granting Commission authority to regulate archery equipment (1991)
  • Sponsored legislation initiating bowhunter education for youth (1987) and adults (1991)
  • Encourage bills increasing land access for hunting every session
  • Lobbied for Commission authority to set moose, goat, and sheep archery seasons (1979)
  • Helped spearhead the bonus point system for moose, sheep, and goat (1977)
  • Supported trophy restitution laws (Federal and State legislative actions)
  • Defeated game farms