State of Montana Website Montana State Parks Website
Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters

2013 Program Sign-up Is Now Open

Open Fields targets CRP and other highly productive game bird habitats on private lands that allow walk-in access for fall game bird hunting. Enrolled lands will be clearly posted to identify the area open to walk in game bird hunting.

Additional program information will be available midyear, 2014.

Program Details

Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters is an exciting new program administered through FWP’s Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program (UGBEP). The goal of the Open Fields program is to conserve CRP and other quality habitats on private lands while providing walk-in hunting opportunities for game bird hunters. No further permission is required from the landowner.

Since 2012, nearly 100 private landowners have enrolled approximately 32,000 acres of CRP and other quality habitats.

When accessing Open Fields project sites, please remember that you are on private lands. To ensure that Open Fields has a future in Montana, please act responsibly:

  • No motorized vehicles
  • Don’t litter
  • Pick up spent shells
  • No fires or smoking

Lands are only open for walk-in upland game bird and waterfowl hunting during the fall season.

Open Fields Hunter Survey

Your opinion matters! Please take a moment to participate in an online survey. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks appreciates your feedback on the Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters program! Take survey

Open Fields Hunting Atlas

All program information and maps are available in the 2014 Open Fields Hunting Atlas. The Atlas contains detailed one-page, region-wide maps of all current projects enrolled in the program. All project boundaries and most county roads and highways are depicted.

On the back of the Atlas, a map index provides the name and number of the regional maps. By identifying the map number and name of the area of interest, simply look for the map number in the Atlas.


Open Fields Index Map references regional maps. Click map to enlarge.

Map # Map Name Size
Download the 2014 Open Fields Hunting Atlas PDF icon and link 11 MB
1 Cut Bank PDF icon and link 1.3 MB
2 Shelby PDF icon and link 1.3 MB
3 Valier PDF icon and link 1.3 MB
4 Conrad PDF icon and link 1.4 MB
5 Tiber PDF icon and link 1 MB
6 Big Sandy PDF icon and link 1 MB
7 Power PDF icon and link 1.4 MB
Map # Map Name Size
8 Belt PDF icon and link 1.2 KB
9 Geraldine PDF icon and link 1 MB
10 Scobey PDF icon and link 1 MB
11 Redstone PDF icon and link 1 MB
12 Plentywood PDF icon and link 1 MB
13 Culbertson PDF icon and link 1.2 MB
14 Fort Peck PDF icon and link 1.4 MB
15 Richey PDF icon and link 1 MB
16 Lambert PDF icon and link 1.2 MB
17 Brockway PDF icon and link 1 MB
18 Glendive PDF icon and link 1 MB
19 Ekalaka PDF icon and link 1.3 MB
  Map Index PDF icon and link 200 KB

Through the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program, FWP will accept “Open Fields” applications from eligible landowners May 20 through June 14, 2013.

Maps

FWP offers different ways you can locate Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters project areas.

FWP is currently in the process of finalizing contracts and maps. If you would like to be alerted when maps become available for viewing and download, please subscribe to FWP’s upland game bird hunting news. FWP will send out brief email announcements to alert you when maps and other information are ready.

FWP wants to hear from hunters! Please take a moment to participate in a brief, 5-question online survey on Open Fields.

County Maps

Click to see a larger version of the map.

Web View maps are 11" x 17". For your convenience, Print View splits the map into 2 pages (8.5" x 11" each).

Map A: Daniels, Roosevelt, Sheridan, and Valley Counties

Web View

PDF icon and link 2 MB

Print View

PDF icon and link 1 MB

Map B: Dawson (South), Fallon, and McCone Counties

Web View

PDF icon and link 2 MB

Print View

PDF icon and link 1 MB

Map C: Dawson (North) and Richland Counties

Web View

PDF icon and link 2 MB

Print View

PDF icon and link 1 MB

Map D: Glacier, Pondera, and Toole Counties

Web View

PDF icon and link 2 MB

Print View

PDF icon and link 1 MB

Map E: Cascade and Teton Counties

Web View

PDF icon and link 2 MB

Print View

PDF icon and link 1 MB

Map F: Chouteau County

Web View

PDF icon and link 2 MB

Print View

PDF icon and link 1 MB

FWP Hunt Planner

Open Fields for Game Bird Hunter project locations available on the interactive Hunt Planner. Hunters may view project locations and download or print individual maps. Use the “Zoom In” button on the upper left of the Hunt Planner to view Open Fields properties closely. You may also click on the “Map Tools” button on the upper right of the Hunt Planner to print maps or create a GPS file.

GIS Data

Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters GIS Data is available for download.

Program Eligibility

The following counties outside Indian Reservations are eligible for Open Fields enrollment:

Region 4
(North-Central Montana)

  • Cascade
  • Chouteau - South
  • Fergus
  • Glacier
  • Pondera
  • Teton
  • Toole

Region 6
(Northeast Montana)

  • Chouteau - Northeast
  • Daniels
  • McCone - North
  • Richland - North
  • Roosevelt
  • Sheridan
  • Valley

Region 7
(Eastern Montana)

  • Dawson
  • Fallon
  • McCone - South
  • Prairie
  • Richland - South
  • Wibaux

Application Deadline

The application deadline has passed. It was June 14, 2013.

Review Process

Enrollment in Open Fields is voluntary and competitive. All applications will undergo a review and scoring process by FWP staff. Contracts will be awarded based on evaluation scores and available funding. FWP will alert applicants of their status mid-July.

The Open Fields Application Packet provides additional details about eligibility, program compensation, access requirements, general application tips, and the application form.

Send the completed application and required maps to the address on the bottom of the application. Applications must be RECEIVED by June 14, 2013.

During 2012, game bird hunters had walk-in access with no further permission required on 55 enrolled lands totaling 17,000 acres of CRP and other quality habitats.

Watch for these signs!
During the fall season, hunters may walk in to hunt upland game birds and waterfowl without further permission. All lands enrolled in Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters will have boundaries signed.

FWP Hunt Planner
Open Fields for Game Bird Hunter project locations will be available on the Hunt Planner before the upland game bird season launches.

To view maps depicting lands enrolled in Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters, please visit the FWP Hunt Planner.

2012 Notice to Hunters
Be aware that some parcels of land enrolled in the Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters may be newly-seeded stands of CRP, may have recently undergone USDA-required maintenance provisions that include haying or grazing activities, or may have been hayed or grazed under the 2012 USDA-sanctioned drought & wildlife fire emergency provisions just prior to enrollment in the Open Fields program. Subsequently, for this first year of enrollment, the habitat on some parcels may not meet hunter expectations. Please keep in mind that these lands are enrolled in long-term contracts for up to 10 years, so subsequent years can be expected to yield improved habitat on affected parcels.

Downloadable County Maps
Downloadable county maps will be available before the 2013 bird season. Get your maps here.

2013 Notice to Hunters

Be aware that some parcels of land enrolled in the Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters may be newly-seeded stands of CRP or may have recently undergone USDA-required maintenance provisions that include haying or grazing activities. Subsequently, for this first year of enrollment, the habitat on some parcels may not meet hunter expectations. Please keep in mind that these lands are enrolled in long-term contracts for up to 10 years, so subsequent years can be expected to yield improved habitat on affected parcels.

 

Contact

For more information, contact your local FWP biologists:

Region Biologist Phone  
4 Diane Boyd (406) 271-2680 Email
4 – Fergus County only Sonja Smith      (406) 538-4658  x228 Email
6 Ryan Williamson       (406) 895-2468 Email
6 – NE Chouteau County only Scott Hemmer (406) 265-6177 x224 Email
6 – Valley County only Drew Henry                (406) 228-3709 Email
7 Steve Atwood           (406) 234-0940 Email

For more information:

  • Debbie Hohler
  • (406) 444-5674
  • E-mail