Paying it Back (and Forward)
Each year FWP distributes nearly $30 million to Montana landowners in Block Management Program payments, conservation easements, and other wildlife habitat and hunter access programs.
Plan your hunt using our statewide map displaying private and isolated public land enrolled in our Block Management Program.
A cooperative program between private landowners and FWP, Block Management helps landowners manage hunting activities and provides the public with free hunting access to private land, and sometimes to adjacent or isolated public lands.
Landowner participation in block management is voluntary. Contracts are negotiated annually in the spring and summer. After enrollment is complete, FWP publishes a Hunter Access Guide, which lists all block management opportunities available to you for the current season. Block Management guides are made available on or before August 15, annually.
For the 2020 hunting season, approximately 1,200 landowners have enrolled about 7.1 million acres of land in the Block Management Program. By researching your options, you can probably find a block management hunting opportunity that fits with your needs.
Formally started in 1985 and expanded significantly in 1996, Block Management has provided free public hunting experiences across the state since its inception. Positive working relationships have been formed between landowners, hunters, and resource managers. The future looks promising, but is dependent on you. By following the rules for the BMA, as well as demonstrating courteous, legal and ethical behavior, sportsmen and women can do their part to assure future access to private lands in Montana.
You can order the Block Management Hunter Access Guide between June 1 and December 31 each year. Guides will be available online and will be shipped beginning mid August.
Using the guide, determine which Block Management opportunities in the area you wish to hunt fit in best with your hunting methods and style. Then contact the appropriate regional office to obtain detailed maps and regulations for those block management areas (BMAs) that interest you.
There are two types of BMAs:
This includes BMAs that use sign-inboxes, and BMAs that do not require hunters to obtain permission. Typically, Type 1 BMAs do not limit hunter numbers or require reservations, although some parking areas have vehicle limits.
This includes BMAs where the landowner or an FWP staff member issues permission. Type II BMAs often require reservations and utilize pasture assignments, hunter number limits, and other hunter management systems.
New in 2017: The Montana Legislature provided Block Management cooperators the ability to provide preference to veterans on Veteran's Day for those BMAs requiring reservations (mostly Type 2). Some of the cooperators who may be providing this preference have been listed in each Regional section in the BMA Access Guide.
Each BMA has its own rules agreed upon by the landowner(s) and FWP regional personnel. Be sure to read, understand and follow the rules for the BMA you plan to hunt. Ethical behavior afield, in following rules for such things as obtaining permission, vehicle restrictions, game retrieval, hunting area boundaries, camping, etc., will help assure future access to private lands.
Look for block management signs on site and abide by the instructions conveyed. Generally green signs mean hunting behind the sign is allowed with certain restrictions. These may include hunting by written permission only, signing a roster before entry, vehicles on established roads only, etc. Orange signs are used for areas closed to hunting or motorized travel, such as for safety zones (residence and livestock areas), no shooting zones, or road closures.
There is no charge to hunt on block management lands (referred to as Block Management Areas or BMAs). Program funding comes from the sale of various licenses, including the resident and nonresident hunting access enhancement fee, nonresident upland gamebird licenses, nonresident combination deer/elk licenses, and chances sold in the Supertag license lottery.
Block Management is a cooperative effort between Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP), private landowners, and public land management agencies to help landowners manage hunting activities and to provide free public hunting access to private and isolated public lands.
Block Management Area (BMA) cooperators receive benefits for providing free public hunting under certain terms. Annually, by August 15th, a BMA tabloid is published that explains current BMA opportunities, including BMA general locations, opportunities offered, and access information.
No, each BMA is unique. BMAs range in size from 50 to more than 100,000 acres. Some BMAs have diverse habitat types and offer a wide variety of hunting opportunities; others offer limited hunting opportunities for specific game species. Some BMAs intensely manage hunting activities, while others have few hunter management restrictions.
There are two basic types of BMAs:
Type I BMAs-areas where hunters administer their own permission, either by using sign-in boxes or rosters or hunting on areas that specify no permission is required. Typically, Type I BMAs do not limit hunter numbers.
Type II BMAs-areas where someone other than the hunter administers permission, typically with a landowner or FWP employee issuing permission slips. Type II BMAs often use hunter management systems that may limit hunter numbers, require reservations, assign pastures, etc.
Hunters are granted access by permission to hunt on BMAs, subject to specific BMA rules. Hunters may not secure reservations on more than one BMA per day, and should cancel reservations if unable to hunt on a reserved day for Type II BMAs. Hunters may be denied access for cause, as specified in administrative rules.
Enrollment decisions are based on various criteria, including total acreage, habitat type and quality, potential hunting opportunities, regional wildlife management needs, and history of public access.
Landowners may receive a complimentary sportsman's license, limited liability protection, livestock loss reimbursement, and compensation (up to $15,000) to offset potential public hunting impacts. FWP also provides signs, maps, permission books, and on some BMAs, staff to patrol and assist hunters.
Landowners agree to provide free public hunting opportunities under contract terms. Contracts stipulate how hunting will be managed and what kinds of opportunities will be made available.
Hunters are encouraged to return a completed Harvest Report/Comment Card after each BMA hunt. These cards are used to evaluate and improve BMAs. Formal complaints must be submitted in writing, signed, and should contain complete information about the incident.
Only a very few BMAs, under strictly-regulated circumstances. People observing suspected unauthorized outfitting activity are encouraged to report it to an area FWP employee.
The program is funded by portions of various license fees, including the resident and nonresident Base Hunting License fee, nonresident upland gamebird license, nonresident deer, elk, and combination deer/elk licenses and SuperTag license revenue.
No! Hunting access is available on many private and public lands not enrolled in the program.
Program reports and landowner/hunter survey results are posted here. Program reports are typically prepared on a biennial basis, while hunter/landowner research evaluations are conducted at periodic intervals.
10 landowners have enrolled approximately 710,000 acres to form 15 Block Management Areas.
For the 2020 fall hunting seasons, there are over 727,000 acres of private and isolated public lands enrolled in FWP’s Region 1 Block Management program. Most of these lands are owned by corporate timber companies: Southern Pine Plantations, Stimson Lumber Company, and F.H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company. Traditional private ranch land BMAs can also be found in Region 1. This region of Montana has primarily dense conifer forest habitat and offers hunters the opportunity to hunt elk, deer, moose, black bear, wolf, mountain grouse, turkey, and occasionally waterfowl.
Region 1 Block Management Areas consist primarily of corporate timber lands through agreements with Weyerhaeuser Company (formerly Plum Creek Timber Company), Stimson Lumber and Stoltze Land & Lumber Co. Weyerhaeuser lands make up nearly 98 percent of all our current Block Management lands and their open use policies make it easy for all sportsmen and women to use these lands. Weyerhaeuser also has special areas set aside for hunters with disabilities.
The best way to recognize Corporate Timber Lands is on the Flathead, Kootenai and Lolo National Forest Service maps. Weyerhaeuser Company lands are coded on these maps by orange and pink for easy identification. Weyerhaeuser Block Management lands are also posted at the main points of entry with signs identifying the area and explaining recreational use regulations. Adherence to these regulations is the best way to ensure that these lands remain open for generations to come. Maps and regulations for traditional BMAs, Weyerhaeuser, and Stoltze Land & Lumber are available at the Kalispell FWP office.
Like other regions, Region 1 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. It is very important to obtain the current year's BMA map and regulations for the BMA’s 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 1 FWP Office at (406) 752-5501. Region 1 Hunting Access maps and regulations will also be displayed at the Region 1 Headquarters, 490 North Meridian Road, Kalispell, Montana 59901. Most BMAs have maps available on site in hunter registration boxes or in map dispensers. Maps are usually posted at common BMA access points.
Remember, Block Management lands are private lands that are open for public use. They are available to us only as long as we treat these properties with respect and follow all rules and regulations.
Some of the regulations you will need to know before you go hunting are:
And as always, remember that a State Lands Recreational Use permit is required if you plan to utilize state lands for activities other than hunting, fishing or trapping.
For a copy of these regulations or directions to "disabled only" hunting areas, visit the Region 1 FWP Office.
FWP Region 1 Office
490 North Meridian Road
Kalispell, Montana 59901
Phone: (406) 752-5501
Approximately 541,000 acres form the R2 Block Management Areas, including DNRC, Weyerhaeuser Company and The Nature Conservancy Lands.
For the 2020 fall hunting seasons, there are approximately 541,000 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. It is very important to obtain the current year's BMA map and regulations for the BMA’s 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 Hunting Access Office at (406) 542-5510. Region 2 Hunting Access maps and regulations will also be displayed at the Region 2 Headquarters, 3201 Spurgin Rd, Missoula, MT 59804. 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 to motorized travel. 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 non-motorized bicycle; but in some instances, exceptions are made to allow hunters to drive in with vehicles to retrieve harvested game animals. Weyerhaeuser Company (formerly Plum Creek Timber Company) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have once again enrolled their land into Region 2's Block Management Program. Prior to recreating on Weyerhaeuser Company and TNC lands, pick up a 2017 map and regulations so you are aware of the current rules and regulations as well as any landownership changes that have occurred.
Region 2 Block Management Program
3201 Spurgin Road
Missoula, MT 59804
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
116 landowners have enrolled 530,000 acres to form 94 Block Management Areas in Region 3.
By working with private landowners in the region, the block management program has opened over 830,000 acres to form 94 Block Management Areas in Region 3.
Most block management areas in Region 3 provide opportunity for deer and elk hunting, however, uplands birds, antelope, moose and waterfowl are also available. Approximately 50% of the elk harvest in the state occurs in Region 3.
Region 3 consists of over 11.5 million acres in Southwestern Montana, or 12% of the entire state land base. Public land, including the Forest Service and BLM, accounts for over 6.9 million acres in the region.
The Block Management Program in Region 3 (300 series districts) maintains access and hunting opportunity on private lands throughout southwest Montana. Under this program, hunters are granted free access to 87 Block Management Areas (BMAs) which currently encompass nearly 529,000 acres of private and public lands in Southwest Montana.
There are two general types of BMAs:
Type I BMAs
areas where hunters administer their own permission. This includes areas that use sign-in boxes, places that do not require hunters to obtain specific permission, or places where some other method of self-administered permission is used. Typically, Type I BMAs have no limits on the number of hunters using the area, although certain parking areas may impose limits on the total numbers of vehicles per area.
Type II BMAs
areas where someone other than the hunter administers permission. This includes areas where landowners issue permission slips, department staff administers permission, or some other permission method is used. Reservations, pasture assignments, limits on hunter numbers, and other hunter management methods are often used on Type II BMAs. Most Region 3 BMAs are open to non-motorized travel (foot or horseback) with only a few main roads open to motorized vehicles. Reasons for limiting vehicle access in BMAs include:
Area BMA maps, including permission information and area rules, can be obtained by visiting our self-help stations at the regional office in Bozeman or at area offices in Butte or Helena. Information is also available through voice mail by calling (406) 994-3288 or by e-mail request at firstname.lastname@example.org. We ask that you limit your map requests to five (5) per phone call, office visit or e-mail to maintain the ability to fill requests in a timely fashion and for fairness. Although FWP provides maps for individual BMA’s, it may be helpful to purchase the BLM or Forest map that is listed in the BMA informational chart.
As you enjoy the hunting access provided by this program, please be sure to obey the rules these landowners have requested. This is a voluntary program designed to benefit you. Enjoy this opportunity and respect landowner rights.
It is important that all hunters register at access points on the BMAs that use sign-in rosters before hunting. This provides important hunter use information and serves as your permission slip to be on the property to hunt. Be sure to fill out all information completely and accurately.
Map boundaries, rules or permission information may change from year to year. Be sure to obtain current maps and permission information every year.
Reservations are available on some BMAs. No reservations will be accepted or issued prior to August 22. Failure to show up for a reserved slot on a BMA denies other hunters opportunity. Please make every effort to cancel reservations if you are aware you will not be able to make your arranged time. Be aware that on some BMAs, failure to show without prior notice is grounds for exclusion from further hunting opportunities on the area. Making reservations on multiple BMAs at the same time is grounds for exclusion from hunting any BMA.
Noxious weeds are becoming a serious concern to landowners. Please do your part to limit the spread of weeds. Try to keep equipment clean and avoid driving, parking or walking through weeds.
Bozeman Regional Headquarters
1400 South 19th
Bozeman, MT 59718
Phone: (406) 577-7900
Butte Area Office
1820 Meadowlark Lane
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 494-1953
Hours: 9:00 AM–12:45 PM
Helena Area Resource Office
930 Custer Avenue West
Helena, MT 59620
Phone: (406) 495-3260
In Region 3, we recommend that you consider all access options when planning your hunt, utilizing BMAs when and where they fit into your plans. About 60% of Region 3 is made up of public lands administered by the U.S. Forest Service and BLM providing extensive hunting opportunity. Travel plan maps depicting these lands and public accesses can be obtained at BLM, U.S. Forest Service, and FWP Offices throughout the region.
Regional Land Ownership Patterns
In Region 3, we recommend that you consider all access options in planning your hunts, utilizing BMAs when and where they fit into your plans. Southwest Montana has abundant public land (i.e., BLM, U.S. Forest Service & State Trust Lands) with extensive hunting opportunity. Travel maps that show these lands and public accesses can be obtained at land management agency offices throughout the area.
1.24 million acres form over 137 Block Management Areas in Region 4.
Welcome to Region 4 FWP Administrative Region. This page summarizes the Region 4 Block Management Areas (BMA) enrolled in the current year's Block Management Program (BMP). There are many hunting opportunities available in Region 4, many of them on lands not enrolled in the program. Hunters are encouraged NOT to focus solely on BMAs. The private lands enrolled in the Block Management Program represent a small percentage of all the lands (private and public) open to hunters each fall. Hunters seeking access should try to develop positive relationships with landowners throughout the region, whether they are Block Management cooperators or not.
Each BMA has access requirements and hunting use rules specific to that BMA. These rules and access requirements will be listed on the back of each individual Region 4 BMA map. To hunt ANY BMA in Region 4, a hunter (at least one hunter in a group) must first obtain a BMA map from FWP. Maps are valid from 1 September through January 1 of each year. Check the data contained in the annual Hunting Access Guide each year to see if a previously issued map is still current or if a new map is required. Lands are only enrolled in Block Management for the FALL hunting season (September 1–January 1).
The only valid and authorized BMA maps are provided free of charge from either the cooperator direct or from an FWP office. NO OTHER SOURCE(S) ARE AUTHORIZED TO DISTRIBUTE BMA MAPS. Failure to abide by the rules and procedures specified either in the regional guide or on the BMA map violates the conditions of the cooperative agreement between FWP and the landowner, and may result in denial of future access to the BMA and/or citations being issued.
Region 4 landowners are very concerned about noxious weeds. Hunters should ensure vehicles, clothing, and animals are free of mud and debris that may contain weed seeds. Landowners may deny access to hunters driving excessively muddy vehicles that pose a risk of noxious weed introduction.
BMA reservations may not be accepted before August 22.
For BMA information, including information about BMA closures, contact the Region 4 Block Management Office by calling (406) 454-5862, Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, or via the R4 BM e-mail address: email@example.com.
Region 4 Block Management Program
4600 Giant Springs Road
Great Falls, MT 59406
Lewiestown Area Office
(406) 538-4658 ext. 221
555,000 acres form 109 Block Management Areas in Region 5.
In 2020, there are 109 Block Management Areas (BMAs) that will provide access to approximately 555,000 acres of private, state, and federal lands.
These areas offer opportunities to hunt whitetail and mule deer, antelope, elk, upland birds, and waterfowl.
Most Block Management Areas in our Region are open September 1 through January 1. About one-half of our BMAs are Type I, where hunters administer their own permission, and half are Type II, where someone other than the hunter administers permission.
Beginning August 15, hunters may call (406) 247-2940 to request a Hunting Access Guide or specific BMA maps/rules. The Hunting Access Guide will include block management information for all 7 FWP administrative regions. This guide will show lands enrolled in Block Management, by Region, and give further instructions on securing maps and permission to hunt.
For Region 5 Block Management or other Fish, Wildlife & Parks information, please call (406) 247-2940.
Region 5 Block Management Program
2300 Lake Elmo Drive
Billings, MT 59105
Lands enrolled in Block Management represent approximately 7% of the land base within Region 5. As such, there are many other hunting opportunities outside of the Program. These include non-enrolled private lands, federal lands (USFS and BLM), and state lands. Hunters are encouraged to utilize these opportunities and not focus solely on BMAs.
1.31 million acres form 211 Block Management Areas in Region 6.
Region 6 has 417 landowners enrolling approximately 1.31 million acres in Block Management. These areas offer an excellent opportunity to hunt whitetail and mule deer, elk, antelope, upland game birds, and waterfowl. Please see the Statewide Hunter Access Guide for dates. Some landowners, including those not enrolled in Block Management, may be able to accommodate hunters with special needs. Hunters are encouraged to contact our regional FWP Office to determine if opportunities exist to meet specific needs.
These areas offer excellent opportunity to hunt whitetail and mule deer, elk, antelope, upland game birds, turkey, and waterfowl. Please be sure to read the county information below for 2020 hunting outlooks and the BMA tables for specific hunting opportunities.
Two kinds of BMAs are available in Region 6, classified as Type I and Type II BMAs. In this region, Type I BMAs are areas in which hunters administer their own permission by using daily sign-in boxes. Type II BMAs are areas in which written permission is given to the hunters by landowners.
Hunters can obtain specific BMA maps and rules on the FWP website under Region 6 after August 15th, on site at sign-in box locations or at landowner residences. Region 6 maps showing all BMAs are on display at the Glasgow and Havre offices. The Statewide Hunter Access Guide is available on-line and by mail through all regional offices. Hunters can use this guide and the included map and chart to compare size, geographical location, and hunting opportunities desired on each BMA.
The Region 6 Block Management Staff encourages you to share your experiences on specific BMAs by sending comment cards, pictures, or letters to the Glasgow office. You may also drop off comment or survey cards in sign-in boxes. We share these with landowners to show your appreciation, and to help improve the program.
Region 6 Block Management Program
54078 US Hwy 2 W
Glasgow, MT 59230
Havre Area Office
Cooperators have enrolled 2,122,89 acres to form 260 Block Management Areas in Region 7.
In 2020, there are 260 Block Management Areas (BMA’s) that provide access to 2,122,89 acres of private, state, and federal lands. Similar to other FWP Regions, Region 7 (R7) has Type 1 and Type 2 BMA’s, 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 BMA’s allow the hunter to administer their own permission, while Type 2 BMA’s require obtaining permission from the landowner or a representative. Regardless of permission type, please keep in mind that BMA’s 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 BMA’s. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Along with comment cards, the pictures will be shared with the landowners to express your gratitude.
Region 7 produces, on average, one-quarter (25%) of the state’s annual mule deer harvest; 10% of the state’s white-tailed deer harvest (17% of the total statewide deer harvest); 35% of the state’s annual antelope harvest; and 5% of the state’s elk harvest. The Region supports populations of six species of upland birds and a variety of waterfowl to provide diverse hunting opportunities.
Antelope are common throughout Southeastern MT (R7). Hunting Districts (HD) 701 and 705 are traditionally the more productive antelope districts.
Isolated but expanding populations of elk exist throughout Region 7. Primary elk hunting opportunities are located in the northern portion of HD 700 as well as the southern portion of HD704.
Mule Deer are common throughout Southeastern MT (R7). HD 704 and 705 are traditionally the more productive mule deer districts.
White-tailed deer can be found across the region associated with riparian and agricultural habitats. 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. Sharp-tailed grouse are well dispersed throughout 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. Turkeys are generally found across the region in association with riparian bottoms and forested areas where adequate cropland food sources exist.
Several species of waterfowl can be found throughout the region in stock ponds, reservoirs 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.
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 BMA’s:
How to Obtain Permission to Hunt R7 BMAs
Again, Type 1 BMA’s are hunter administered (see step 2 above). For Type 2 BMA’s, landowner contact information will be given for up to 5 BMA’s 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 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM 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 BMA’s within R7, please keep the following administrative rules/policies in mind:
Region 7 Block Management Program
352 I-94 Business Loop
PO Box 1630
Miles City, MT 59301
Approximately 10% 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 259 BMA’s, enrolling approximately 1.56 million private acres (8%) 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 or waterways, adjacent public land and adjacent private land with landowner permission. Hunting activities on federal lands are subject to both state and federal regulations. Some legally 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. If a BMA contains formally enrolled State Land, it will be noted in the Access Guide and on the map. Please contact regional FWP staff to verify accessibility and use rules for accessing public lands contained within BMA boundaries.
FWP administers Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) throughout the region, each of which provides some hunting opportunities. WMAs in the region include:
WMA maps available online in our Hunt Planner
FWP also administers numerous Fishing Access Sites (FASs) and State Parks (SPs) throughout the region that provide some hunting opportunities. These sites include:
Maps available online in our Hunt Planner
Other public hunting opportunities include:
Maps available at the Region 7 FWP office in Miles City
Paying it Back (and Forward)
Each year FWP distributes nearly $30 million to Montana landowners in Block Management Program payments, conservation easements, and other wildlife habitat and hunter access programs.