The 2013 Hunting Access Guides and Regional Maps will be available for download (here) August 15, 2013.
There are two versions of the map. The "view" version is one 17" x 22" page and is for ease of viewing on the website. The "print" version is four 8.5" x 11" pages and is made to print at home.
Over 137 landowners have enrolled approximately 654,000 acres to form 67 Block Management Areas, including DNRC, Plum Creek Timber Co. and The Nature Conservancy Lands.
For the 2012 fall hunting seasons, there are approximately 654,000 acres of private and isolated public lands enrolled in FWP's Region 2 Block Management program. Most Region 2 Block Management Areas (BMAs) are in mountain valleys and foothills, with deer and elk the primary species to hunt. Over half of the Region 2 hunting districts require a special permit to hunt mule deer bucks. White-tailed deer are more prevalent than mule deer in west-central Montana and currently make up three-fourths of the deer harvest within the region. Prairie habitat and associated grain production to support pheasants, prairie grouse species and antelope are lacking in this part of the state. Limited BMA opportunities exist for waterfowl hunting along the Bitterroot and Clark Fork Rivers.
Like other regions, Region 2 has Type I and Type II BMAs. A Type I BMA allows hunters to administer their own permission to hunt, while a Type II BMA requires a hunter to obtain permission through other means. BMA hunting opportunities vary greatly with regard to methods of gaining access, opening and closing dates, vehicle travel, game retrieval, camping, presence of public lands, size, limits on hunter numbers, etc. Therefore, it is very important you get a current year's BMA map and regulations sheet for the BMA you intend to hunt.
The easiest way to receive free BMA maps is online. Please be aware that all BMA maps are in color. It is recommended you print your maps from a color printer to ensure color coded restrictions and landownership is clearly displayed. Maps may also be requested by calling our Region 2 Block Management office at 406-542-5530. More specific information about Region 2 BMAs will be displayed at the Region 2 Headquarters, 3201 Spurgin Rd, Missoula, MT 59804. If requesting maps over the phone or at the Region 2 Headquarters, please keep your requests to those BMAs you desire to hunt (maximum five maps per day). Additionally, most BMAs have maps available on site in hunter registration boxes or in map dispensers. Maps are usually posted at common BMA access points.
In most instances, motorized travel on Region 2 BMAs is restricted to a few main roads, with private ranch roads and logging roads closed by gate or earthen berm. The reasons for limiting motorized access are: 1) reduce noxious weed spread, 2) minimize road damage, and 3) improve hunting quality. Travel on gated roads is typically open to foot, horse and nonmotorized bicycle; but in some instances, exceptions are made to allow hunters to drive in with vehicles to retrieve harvested game animals.
Plum Creek Timber Company (PCTC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have once again enrolled their land into Region 2's Block Management Program. Plum Creek and TNC's private lands provide access for public hunting and other forms of year-round recreation. Prior to recreating on Plum Creek and TNC lands, pick up a 2012 map and regulations so you are aware of the current rules and regulations as well as any landownership changes that may have occurred.
The Montana State Prison Ranch, west of Deer Lodge in deer/elk Hunting District (HD) 212, allows hunting on about 31,000 acres. The ranch is divided into an archery-only area and a rifle area. The archery-only area requires written permission, administered by Montana Correctional Enterprises (permission processed annually from August 1 through December 15). The Prison Ranch rifle hunting area does not require permission before gaining access. Contact the Region 2 FWP Office (Missoula) or Montana Correctional Enterprises at 406-846-1320 ext. 2296 for a map, with regulations and access instructions.
The Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge (administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, USFWS), located north of Stevensville in deer/elk HD 260, allows deer (archery-only) and waterfowl (from blinds only) hunting in designated areas. To request hunting information, contact the refuge by phone at 406-777-5552 or by mail at 4567 Wildfowl Lane, Stevensville, MT 59870.
The Blackfoot Waterfowl Production Area (USFWS) is in the upper Blackfoot Valley in deer/elk HDs 281 and 290 (archery-only). This area provides deer, elk, and waterfowl hunting opportunities on about 2,000 acres.
FWP administers numerous Fishing Access Sites (FASs) and State Parks (SPs) throughout the region. Some, in addition to providing water access to anglers and boaters, have considerable acreage with deer (archery-only) and waterfowl hunting opportunities. Maps of these areas are available from Region 2 FWP Office (Missoula) or online. Opportunities in HD 260 include:
FWP also administers Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) throughout the region, each of which provides some hunting opportunities. These areas are usually labeled as WMAs or Game Ranges on Forest Service travel plan and BLM maps. Some larger WMAs include:
Maps of each WMA are available from the Region 2 FWP Office in Missoula.