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FWP reminds hunters BMAs are on private property


October 29, 2015

From FWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reminding hunters that although Block Management Areas allow public hunting — with permission — they are still private property, and most are working farms and ranches.

Many hunters have been hitting the field since the Oct. 24 opener for general season deer and elk. However, remember that this time of year is also a very busy time for landowners. Cattle and other livestock are being moved from their fall pastures, and are often times brought near the home site for winter feeding and care.

    Region 6 BMA Coordinator Tim Potter, Jr., who is also a family rancher and BMA participant, knows that landowners need their space when working cattle and performing other ranch operations.

“Sportsman must be aware that they are hunting on private land when they are on BMAs,” Potter said. “Many times, a landowner may need to work cattle in areas a hunter might normally hunt. Hunters need to be patient and give the landowners room to work.”

Also, hunters need to be sure to check the rules for each individual BMA before venturing out on the hunt. Some BMAs have no shooting zones, archery only areas, walk-in only areas, designated access trails, driving restrictions, policies concerning gates, etc. These rules are in place for safety, hunter success, room for ranchers to work, or a combination of things.

Many of these suggestions also apply to public land, such as BLM, State, and USFWS properties. In most cases, these agencies lease pastures to individuals who actively farm or ranch on these properties. In all cases, know the property you are hunting and their policies.


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