The 2013 Hunting Access Guides and Regional Maps will be available for download (here) August 15, 2013.
The Region 7 map is divided into a northern area and a southern area. For each area, there are two versions. 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.
339 landowners have enrolled nearly 2.5 million acres to form 288 Block Management Areas.
In 2012, there are approximately 288 Block Management Areas (BMAs) that provide access to over 2,475,000 acres of private, state, and federal lands. Similar to other FWP Regions, Region7 (R7) has Type 1 and Type 2 BMAs, which give hunters flexibility in gaining permission. About one-third of Region 7 BMA’s are Type 1 and two-thirds are Type 2. In general, Type 1 BMAs allow the hunter to administer their own permission, while Type 2 BMAs require obtaining permission from the landowner or a representative. Regardless of permission type, please keep in mind that BMAs are comprised wholly or partially of private lands. As a hunter you have the privilege to access these lands and your behavior will play an important role in the future of Montana’s hunting heritage. Good luck and be safe!
The Region 7 staff encourages hunters to share their experiences on specific BMAs. Please return comment cards to sign-in boxes and/or mail in the self-addressed, postage paid comment cards. These comments are used to improve the program as well as to show your appreciation to cooperating landowners. Pictures from your hunt are also an effective way to share your experience and can be emailed to email@example.com. Along with comment cards, the pictures will be shared with the landowners to express your gratitude.
Included in this Guide is a regional map depicting the general location, identification number, and permission type for each BMA. There is also an associated chart that is organized by county and arranged in order by the BMA number. This chart gives general information for each BMA. The information in this chart will help locate the hunting opportunities you wish to pursue. It is important to recognize each BMA cooperator utilizes their own management style; this may include limits on daily hunter numbers, vehicular travel restrictions, pasture assignments, temporary closures, etc... The following outlines the procedure to request additional information for individual BMAs:
Again, Type 1 BMAs are hunter administered (see step 1 above). For Type 2 BMAS, landowner contact information will be given for 5 BMAs per phone inquiry. Contact information usually consists of the name and phone number of the person(s) with authority to grant permission. When you are contacting landowners to secure permission to hunt, please abide by the specified calling times for the cooperator. When call times are not specified, please call between 7:00am and 9:00pm Mountain Time. Due to the volume of calls received, landowners are not required to and should not be expected to return phone calls. While obtaining permission to hunt BMAs within R7, please keep the following administrative rules/policies in mind:
Approximately 12% of the total land base in FWP Region 7 is enrolled in the Block Management Program, leaving a substantial amount of land and associated hunting opportunities for hunters to explore. As a result, hunters are encouraged to consider these alternative opportunities and not limit their hunting activities to only Block Management Areas.
Private Lands NOT Enrolled in Block Management
Region 7 is comprised of primarily private land (76%). Although the region hosts the largest Block Management Program with 339 cooperating landowners, enrolling approximately 2.5 million acres (12%) of the 19.2 million acres of private land in Region 7, hunting access can often be obtained on non-Block Management private property throughout much of the region by respectfully asking for hunting permission. Always remember to “Ask First” before hunting on private land.
In Region 7, there are over 3.8 million acres of public ownership (BLM, State Lands, National Forest Service and National Wildlife Refuge). This assortment of public land constitutes a land base composition of 18 % federal land and 6% State of Montana Department of Natural Resources (DNRC) land. Public lands are accessible via public roads, adjacent public land and adjacent private land with landowner permission. Hunting activities on federal lands are subject to both state and federal regulations. Some accessible tracts of Department of Natural Resource Land (State School Trust Land) are formally enrolled in the Block Management Program. Formally enrolled State Land must be posted with contact information for the method of obtaining permission. Please contact regional FWP staff to verify accessibility and use rules for accessing public lands contained within BMA boundaries.
Region 7 produces, on average, one-third of the state’s annual deer harvest as well as up to 45% of the state’s annual antelope harvest. The Region also supports adequate populations of upland birds and waterfowl to provide diverse hunting opportunities.
Antelope – Antelope are common throughout Southeastern MT (R7). Hunting Districts (HD) 701 and 705 are traditionally the more productive antelope districts
Elk – Isolated populations of elk exist throughout Region 7. Typically most of the elk hunting opportunities are locate in the northern portion of HD 700 as well as the southern portion of HD704.
Mule Deer – Mule Deer are common throughout Southeastern MT (R7). HD 704 and 705 are traditionally the more productive mule deer districts.
White-tailed Deer – White-tailed deer can be found in conjunction with riparian and agricultural areas throughout Region 7. HD 701 and 703 offer the majority of white-tailed deer habitat.
Upland Game Birds - Six species of upland game birds occur in Southeastern Montana. Native birds include sharp-tailed grouse, sage grouse and the migratory mourning dove. Non-native species are the ring-necked pheasant, Hungarian (gray) partridge and Merriam’s turkey. Grouse species are well dispersed through the region. Pheasant numbers are generally stronger in the NE portion of the region but can be found concurrent to major riparian areas throughout the region.
Waterfowl - Several species of waterfowl can be found throughout the region in stock ponds and major river systems. Excellent late-season Canada goose hunting opportunities are present along the Yellowstone River Valley. The Yellowstone River, below the high-water mark is closed to waterfowl hunting from the mouth of the Big Horn River east to the Rosebud/Custer County line. Waterfowl hunting is legal off the river on adjacent land. (See waterfowl regulations)