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Block Mananagment

Frequently Asked Questions

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Block Management

What is Block Management?

Block Management is a cooperative effort between Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), private landowners, and public land management agencies to help landowners manage hunting activities and to provide free public hunting access to private and isolated public lands.

How does the program work?

Block Management Area (BMA) cooperators receive benefits for providing free public hunting under certain terms. Annually, by August 15th, a BMA tabloid is published that explains current BMA opportunities, including BMA general locations, opportunities offered, and access information.

Are all BMAs the same?

No, each BMA is unique. BMAs range in size from 50 to more than 100,000 acres. Some BMAs have diverse habitat types and offer a wide variety of hunting opportunities; others offer limited hunting opportunities for specific game species. Some BMAs intensely manage hunting activities, while others have few hunter management restrictions.

How do hunters obtain BMA permission?

There are two basic types of BMAs:

Type I BMAs-areas where hunters administer their own permission, either by using sign-in boxes or rosters or hunting on areas that specify no permission is required. Typically, Type I BMAs do not limit hunter numbers.

Type II BMAs-areas where someone other than the hunter administers permission, typically with a landowner or FWP employee issuing permission slips. Type II BMAs often use hunter management systems that may limit hunter numbers, require reservations, assign pastures, etc.

What are BMA hunter responsibilities?

Hunters are granted access by permission to hunt on BMAs, subject to specific BMA rules. Hunters may not secure reservations on more than one BMA per day, and should cancel reservations if unable to hunt on a reserved day for Type II BMAs. Hunters may be denied access for cause, as specified in administrative rules.

How are landowners selected for enrollment?

Enrollment decisions are based on various criteria, including total acreage, habitat type and quality, potential hunting opportunities, regional wildlife management needs, and history of public access.

What incentives can landowners receive?

Landowners may receive a complimentary sportsman's license, limited liability protection, livestock loss reimbursement, and compensation (up to $15,000) to offset potential public hunting impacts. FWP also provides signs, maps, permission books, and on some BMAs, staff to patrol and assist hunters.

What are BMA landowner responsibilities?

Landowners agree to provide free public hunting opportunities under contract terms. Contracts stipulate how hunting will be managed and what kinds of opportunities will be made available.

How can hunters comment about BMA hunts?

Hunters are encouraged to return a completed Harvest Report/Comment Card after each BMA hunt. These cards are used to evaluate and improve BMAs. Formal complaints must be submitted in writing, signed, and should contain complete information about the incident.

Is outfitting allowed on BMAs?

Only a very few BMAs, under strictly-regulated circumstances. People observing suspected unauthorized outfitting activity are encouraged to report it to an area FWP employee.

Who pays for Block Management?

The program is funded by portions of various license fees, including the resident and nonresident Base Hunting License fee, nonresident upland gamebird license, nonresident deer, elk, and combination deer/elk licenses and SuperTag license revenue.

Are BMAs a hunter's only option?

No! Hunting access is available on many private and public lands not enrolled in the program.