7 million acres of private land available for hunters

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Over 7 million acres of private land is now available for hunters and other recreationists to use during the 2020 hunting season.<br><p>{/p}
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For decades, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials have asked private landowners across the state to participate in the Block Management Program.

Private landowners can work with FWP to enroll their land in the program. It helps landowners manage hunting activities and provides the public with free hunting access to private land.

This season more than 1,200 private landowners enrolled in the program.

Over 7 million acres of private land is now available for hunters and other recreationists to use during the 2020 hunting season.

Landowners do not forfeit any private property rights by enrolling in the program, including the right to deny access for cause and the right to enforce ranch rules.

Dillion Tabish, FWP spokesman, said this is an unique opportunity for the public.

Hunters can pick up a copy of the 2020 hunting access guide along with several maps that allow them to identify which block management area they wish to hunt, or they can visit the website.

Hunters can use the access guide and maps to identify a region and block management area. From there, they need to identify if that area is Type 1 or Type 2.

Type 1 BMA areas are where hunters administer their own permission and they do not require permission from the private landowner. Type 1 does not limit hunter numbers or require reservations.

Type 2 BMA areas are where someone other than the hunter issues permission to use the land. This includes BMAs where the landowner or a FWP staff member issues permission. Type 2 often requires reservations and limits hunter numbers.

The 2020 Hunting Access Guide is broken down by region. From there, hunters can read about the general location of the BMA, identify how many acres are available, learn if it is Type 1 or Type 2 and read the primary hunting opportunities on the land.

There is also an additional column in the book that provides information from landowners, such as restrictions or who to contact for permission.

Tabish said it is entirely up to the landowner how they wish to have their land utilized, and it is the responsibility of the hunter to follow those guidelines and respect the land.

“For a program like this to succeed, hunters need to respect the land owners, they need to respect the rules, and it’s just so important for them to know what the rules are for where they want to go,” said Tabish.

The program is funded primarily through the sales of nonresident licenses. Tabish said that money then goes back to the landowners as compensation for allowing hunting on their land.

“This is something that I think is really neat to Montana, and it really speaks to Montanans’ spirit of working together, providing access and being respectful to private landowners,” said Tabish.

The land is for everyone — residents and nonresident hunters.

Hunters must obtain the proper hunting license, know when the hunting seasons are and follow all of the hunting laws and regulations.

For a list of the 2020-21 hunting seasons visit their website.

For a list of Montana hunting regulations click here.

To apply for a Montana hunting license click here.

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