Disabled vets hunt for free in Montana thanks to donations

hunting license donations

A Navy SEAL goes on his first elk hunt in Montana. (Photo: Skull Bound TV)

Montana hunting licenses can now be donated to a deserving disabled veteran, state wildlife officials announced last week.

Donors have until Sept. 15, the start of general hunting season, to apply and surrender licenses to the department via the Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ website.

While donors cannot choose the person or organization they wish to receive the permit, all licenses go to Purple Heart recipients with a 70 percent or greater disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Non-profits and individuals can apply for the donated permits. However, individuals seeking a personal license will need a sponsorship from an organization before heading into the woods.

Warriors for Freedom Foundation is a one such group that rehabilitates service members through activities aimed at helping them reconnect.  Executive Director for the foundation, Amber Moulder, told Guns.com that partnership with local outfitters helps provide these services to those that need it.

Warriors for Freedom Foundation hosts three formal, larger scale events each year, but also partners with outfitters to take veterans on several, small hunts throughout the year,” Moulder said.

Hunting, in particular, is a popular hobby she said comes with a significant benefit.

“One of the main comments we hear from veterans once they leave the military is the loss of camaraderie can be crippling. By providing outlets such as hunting for veterans to come together and participate, a healing begins,” she said.

Montana issues more than 1.8 million total permits and tags according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — just behind Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Deer led the pack as the most abundant resource in the state last year with an estimated mule and white-tail population well over 505,000.