Tags: Gun Control | hunting | Montana | private land

Hunting in Montana: 4 Things to Know About Hunting on Private Lands

By    |   Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:56 AM

Montana is known for its great expanse, so hunting in Montana is diverse. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks reports that there are about 23,000 landowners in Montana who control a combined total of almost 60 million acres of private land. Many of these lands are great for hunting, and, luckily, there are several ways that hunters can gain access to them. Here are four things to know about hunting on private lands in Montana.
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  1. General Guidelines - It is important to remember that although land is privately owned, it is not necessarily off limits. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials remind hunters that, more often than not, private landowners are willing to let others hunt on their grounds following a polite conversation accompanied with “simple courtesy.” In order to hunt on any private lands in Montana, hunters must receive permission from the landowners, so having an open dialogue with these landowners is often the best way to gain access. Officials suggest working around the landowner’s schedule when planning hunting excursions, providing full detail about yourself and what and how you plan to hunt, and planning far in advance to get the best results when asking a landowner for permission to hunt on their lands. Of course, if a hunter is granted access to private lands, it is in their best interest to sincerely thank the landowner after the hunting date.
  2. Block Management Program - Beginning in 1985, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks has worked to bridge the gap between hunters and private landowners through their Block Management Program. In this system, officials accept voluntary applications from landowners who are willing to let others hunt on their lands. Then on August 15 of every year, the officials publish a Hunter Access Guide that lists the sections of private lands, called Block Management Areas, which are open to the public. There is no charge for hunters wishing to use the program. Instead, the majority of its funding comes from the sale of necessary hunting licenses. Once the list of participating areas is live, hunters can look through the options and begin making reservations for locations that require such. The program seems to have a bright future, as around 7.4 million acres were provided by about 1,230 landowners in 2014 alone.
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  4. Conservation Easement Program - The conservation easement program enables landowners “to protect traditional farm and ranch land while at the same time allowing FWP to preserve natural resources such as wildlife habitat.” Many of these lands are also managed through the Block Management Program, and those that are not can still be found in the mapping section of FWP’s Hunt Planner.
  5. Other Programs and Opportunities - Some private lands are also enrolled in other specific conservation programs, such as the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program and the Migratory Bird Stamp Program. A number of these allow hunting, and more information can be found by contacting the local FWP office. Further, hunters can learn about even more private land hunting opportunities by contacting the Montana Outfitters and Guides Association.
This article is for information only. Please check current regulations before hunting.

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Montana is known for its great expanse, so hunting in Montana is diverse. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reports that there are about 23,000 landowners in Montana who control a combined total of almost 60 million acres of private land.
hunting, Montana, private land
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2015-56-27
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 12:56 AM
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