Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is offering youth agricultural groups, like 4-H and Future Farmer of America, the opportunity to get involved in the state’s revamped upland game bird release and habitat enhancement programs.
The programs can reimburse landowners and youth groups who attempt to enhance lands for upland game birds or to establish new upland game bird populations. Project lands must remain open to reasonable public hunting.
Upland game bird release projects eligible for funding must comprise at least 100 contiguous acres of land and contain a combination of winter cover, food, nesting cover, and other habitat features required by upland game bird populations. This program includes ring-necked pheasant releases.
Up to 75 percent of the cost the upland game bird habitat enhancement projects can also be reimbursed. Projects eligible for funding should comprise at least 160 contiguous acres of land, with some exceptions.
Application for upland game bird releases must be made by May 15 and birds must be released between Aug. 1 and Sept. 15.
Projects on private and public lands submitted in partnership with other youth organizations, sportsmen’s groups, or other associations that can guarantee the completion of all project requirements also are eligible. Hunting preserves, lands that host commercial hunting enterprises, and lands where hunting rights are leased or paid for are not eligible.
For more information and an on-line application form, visit FWP’s website at www.fwp.state.mt.us and click on Wildlife; or call 406-444-2612 in Helena; or contact your nearest FWP office.