The Application

To hunt in the great state of Montana, you must apply for the General Big Game Combination license through the general draw. The prices are listed above (plus an online convenience fee of $30.00). The online application is open beginning March 1. Sun Canyon Lodge suggests that you apply before March 10, of the hunting year.

The application is available at the Fish Wildlife & Parks website below. Click below for a direct link.

* Click on the “ONLINE LICENSING SYSTEM” and continue with the remaining steps.

* You are not applying for a Special Elk Permit. We are in a general area. (This is the only confusing question on the application.)


About the Draw

These licenses will be issued through a random computer drawing. IT IS CRITICAL/MANDATORY THAT YOU PURCHASE THE PREFERENCE POINT TO ENSURE DRAW SUCCESS. This will cost $100!.

Those that go into the draw with THREE preference points…100% success! Two preference points…76.99% opportunity. No preference point…less than 54% opportunity. IT IS CRITICAL EACH INDIVIDUAL HUNTER PURCHASE ALL AVAILABLE PREFERENCE POINTS.


The drawing results will be posted online April 15. Please let me know your status as soon as possible.

To quickly review draw results, click on the site below.

Successful applicants will be informed by email. PLEASE USE A WORKING EMAIL ADDRESS! Once successful, hunters will print their tags and licenses.

**If you have any questions or need assistance with the online licensing process, please do not hesitate to contact us via telephone before submitting your application.


In the past three years there has been a huge increase in big game hunting in Montana. For this reason, drawing a tag has become more difficult. As always, Sun Canyon Lodge is here to help our hunters draw tags and keep you up to date on changes. Below you will find the latest changes in preference points. Sun Canyon Lodge suggests that to increase your chances of drawing, that people start planning their hunting trips at least 1.5 years in advance. The information shared below came directly from FWP at the recent MOGA Convention. FWP is working on updating their website, but is still in the process, so some of the changes you will read about in this newsletter are not yet reflected on the FWP website.

Preference points are used for nonresident combination licenses and increase the likelihood of obtaining a Combination license. In a preference point system, licenses are awarded to applicants with the greatest number of preference points.

Guided Hunters

If you are hunting with an outfitter on a guided trip you are eligible to purchase two points at the time of application (regular point and outfitter point).


Up to 5 applicants may apply as a party. FWP shall use an average of the number of preference points accumulated by those applicants to determine the party’s preference points. FWP shall consider any fraction that result from the calculation of an average when determining that priority.

Purchasing Preference Points

Preference points for a nonresident big game, elk or deer combination license may be purchased for a nonrefundable fee of $100.

Preference points can be purchased:

  • at the time of application for the nonresident combination license; or
  • between July 1 and September 30 for individuals who did not apply for a nonresident combination license.

You can only purchase without applying for the combination license for 2 consecutive years.

If you skip 3 years of applying for the combination license, all preference points are zeroed.

Applicants may purchase only one preference point per license year. Preference points purchased at the time of application are awarded prior to the drawing.

2022 Hunting License Costs

  • Big Game Combo – Elk/Deer: $1,108.00
  • Elk Combo – Bull/Cow Elk: $934.00
  • These costs do not include the cost of preference points.

Josh & Niki Carlbom 406-562-3654

Fish, Wildlife & Parks 406-444-2950

customerS’ reviews

This is the most wonderful place to be. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in sun canyon and it has become our favorite place. I will continue to come here for as long as I can. This is a great place to make memories. Thanks Josh And Nikki. You are great people. Love you Charlie and Kadie

Cheri (Facebook Review)

I went to my friends wedding and from the time we got there to check in the staff was so awesome and the Sun Canyon lodge camping area is absolutely beautiful! Sleeping in your tent next to the creek was wonderful to listen to! Fun fun fun

Jennifer (Google Review)

We stayed here for several nights. The camp ground is terrific. Showers are amazing! The restaurant serves terrific meals and the prices are reasonable. They go out of their way to make you feel at home. They don’t treat you guests, they treat you like family. Thank you to Nikki, Josh and cowboy Nick for making our stay memorable and fun.

This is a beautiful spot. The fishing opportunities are excellent and you can’t beat the Bob Marshall wilderness for hiking and horseback riding. I’ve travelled all over the west and highly recommend this place.

Mike (Yelp Review)

Outstanding! From my initial phone call inquiring about scheduling a ride for nine, of varying ages and experience, to the end of the beautiful, amazing ride our day was spectacular. Gracious, kind, knowledgeable and a beautiful setting. A++++

Trip Advisor Reviewer

A true piece of heaven hidden in the Rockies. Whether you are a camping local or a cabin-renting out-of-state tourist, this is a place of peace, beauty, super clean facilities and some of the best burgers you will ever taste. The views are breathtaking and the staff is wonderful. A Montana “must do!” Would recommend without question or hesitation.

Carrie (Facebook Review)

Truly an amazing experience. Niki and Josh run a great business. Their staff is outstanding. I will definitely be back in the future.

Jeff (Google Review)

Sun Canyon Lodge is tucked in to a breathtakingly beautiful gulch with a cliff on one side and mountain views on the others. Josh and Niki are wonderful hosts, with Niki handling things at the Lodge and Josh guiding the wilderness piece of the adventure. The cabins surrounding the main lodge are charmingly rustic and immaculate. The main lodge, with the restaurant and bar, is warm and cozy. The stables and corrals are a short stroll away so you can visit the animals and if you’re lucky, see a new foal! Be sure to ask Josh and Niki’s young son Charlie for a tour.

Nadine (Trip Advisor Review)

The staff was amazing. The scenery was spectacular. The accommodations were cozy. I really appreciated the whole operation–this was in the middle of covid and though the mask mandate did not apply to Teton County, they struck a balance between careful and adaptable. I recommend highly!

Betsy (Yelp Review)