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.
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:
Lands are only open for walk-in upland game bird and waterfowl hunting during the fall season.
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.
|Map #||Map Name||Size|
|Download the 2014 Open Fields Hunting Atlas 11 MB|
|1||Cut Bank||1.3 MB|
|6||Big Sandy||1 MB|
|Map #||Map Name||Size|
|14||Fort Peck||1.4 MB|
|Map Index||200 KB|
The PDF maps available for download on this Web page utilize a geospatial format. Geospatial PDFs have the same features as standard PDFs and also allow mobile device users to utilize 3rd party applications for viewing their current location within the PDF map if the mobile device supports location services. These geospatial PDF maps, once loaded on the device, allow visitors to dynamically visualize their position in the field relative to important features in the map, such as roads, without an Internet connection or cell coverage. Because cell phone and internet coverage are often unavailable in the field, it is often best to download these location-specific geospatial PDFs to your device before heading out. Due to the static state and fixed scale at which features are shown on the maps, users should not rely on them for determining current property boundaries and/or ownership. By using the maps, users acknowledge that the positional accuracy of features in the maps have a margin of error that is inherently present due to mapping error and the ability of a mobile device to locate its relative position. Below is a list of known third party applications that allow visitors to load, browse, navigate, and interact with geospatial PDF maps in online and offline environments. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks does not endorse any of these third party mobile applications.
Avenza Systems’ PDF Map application for iOS and Android can be downloaded for free and allows smartphone and tablet users to plot locations with pushpins, make GPS tracks, and measure distance and area. Users can also link photos and download GPS data to Microsoft Excel.
Users can consume coordinates of a geospatially enabled PDF using version 9 of Acrobat or Reader. This provides a universal format for viewing GIS layers without having to install a GIS program. To turn layers on and off, access the Navigation Panel Layers tool.
TerraGo’s software consumes geospatial PDF applications in a mobile platform and allows users to create GeoPDFs and integrate them into customizable interactive applications.
Through the Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program, FWP will accept “Open Fields” applications from eligible landowners May 20 through June 14, 2013.
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.
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
Map B: Dawson (South), Fallon, and McCone Counties
Map C: Dawson (North) and Richland Counties
Map D: Glacier, Pondera, and Toole Counties
Map E: Cascade and Teton Counties
Map F: Chouteau County
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.
Open Fields for Game Bird Hunters GIS Data is available for download.
The following counties outside Indian Reservations are eligible for Open Fields enrollment:
The application deadline has passed. It was June 14, 2013.
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.
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.
For more information, contact your local FWP biologists:
|4||Diane Boyd||(406) 271-2680|
|4 – Fergus County only||Sonja Smith||(406) 538-4658 x228|
|6||Ryan Williamson||(406) 895-2468|
|6 – NE Chouteau County only||Scott Hemmer||(406) 265-6177 x224|
|6 – Valley County only||Drew Henry||(406) 228-3709|
|7||Steve Atwood||(406) 234-0940|
For more information: