By Robert Lucke
With general big game hunting season opening Sunday, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks block management guides are available at the Havre office.
There are a few tips to remember about the program. The plan establishes cooperative agreements between private landowners, public land agencies and Fish, Wildlife and Parks to provide free public hunting on private property and isolated public lands. The program is funded by nonresident hunters who buy upland gamebird or outfitter-sponsored deer/elk licenses.
Landowners who enroll land in the program receive various incentives to offset the impacts of allowing free public hunting opportunities. This does not mean they forfeit any private property rights, including the right to deny access for cause and the right to enforce ranch rules.
There are two distinct kinds of block management areas. There are those where hunters can check in themselves and hunt. At other locations, someone must physically give permission to hunt.
These hunting areas encompass all types of hunting, big game and upland game bird.
Chouteau County has three block management areas with 51,200 acres enrolled.
Hill County has five block management areas for a total of 25,500 acres available.
Blaine County has 38 block management areas encompassing some 382,177 acres.
Block management pamphlets are necessary to hunt block management areas. They give general directions about areas and specific information about separate block management lands. For instance, take the Phalen Ranch. The block management pamphlet states that it is in Hill, Chouteau and Blaine counties. It is located 30 miles south of Havre on the Clear Creek Road and includes 10,640 acres. It is open to hunting from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15, and hunters need to get written permission slips from the house between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. The area is located within hunting District 690. White-tail, mule deer and elk may be hunted there. The hunting area can be found on the federal Bureau of Land Management map for the Rocky Boy quadrangle. Some 20 hunters per week can park and walk from designated areas. There is no driving off main roads and no hunting near buildings.
Those same descriptions go on for each hunting area in Region 6.
For further information, contact the Havre FWP office at 265-6177.