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Understanding what private land you can hunt on

Block Management Areas
Posted at 2:40 PM, Aug 29, 2023

We have a lot of public land that you can hunt here in Montana – but we also have a lot of private land.

In some cases though, it’s private land you can hunt.

It’s called Block Management – and it’s a partnership between landowners and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks to provide hunting access to the public.

The participation is voluntary, and landowners are compensated for their involvement. But as a hunter, it’s not as easy as showing up to an area marked with one of these signs. You have to do some homework first before heading out hunting.

And so I don’t make any mistakes this season I had Jason Kool with FWP explain it to me.

“Montana is very regional based, so each of our seven regions has over 900 Block Management Areas, so once you, kind of," said Kool. "Home in on where you’re going to hunt, look up the Block Management opportunities in our state-wide access guide kind of has the overview. Then each of the individual properties will have a separate map and rules. All those rules can be different, that’s one thing that is unique about Montana, is that the rules may be different by which property you go in because it is set up on a landowner-centric basis.”

Block Managment Web Extra

So, it should be easy enough if you just read the info at the entrance of the hunting areas first.

For example, here at The Prickly Pear Simmental Rach BMA where WALK-IN hunting from designated roads is allowed. Again, each hunter must sign in at the box each day before the hunt.

But that’s not the only type of BMA.

“So we have what we call a Type One and a Type Two. A type one is hunter-administered permission," Kool said. "Meaning you go to a box like this one the landscape, they’re all over Montana. Those individual maps that I show you where those sign-in boxes are at, and you give yourself permission. The other one we call is a Type Two, and those Type Two’s are generally limiting hunter numbers, limiting to certain parties per week, or certain parties per day and those parties will then allow those reservations on those properties to go.

And if you are looking to get started, there are plenty of resources at your disposal online.

“Do your research online, we have ourFWP hunt planner. It will show all of the properties that are closed, by a red outline and then as they start to open back up they’ll go back to a gray shading," Kool said. "Right now we have a handful that are closed, just due to fire danger across the state. The last week it was pretty hot.”