Wolf Point Herald

Understanding Montana’s Block Management Program

As hunters begin planning their Block Management Area hunts, they’ll discover that more that 1,250 landowners have enrolled nearly eight million acres in the public hunting access program for the 2012 season.  
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks' BMA program, formally launched in 1985 and significantly enhanced in 1995, is a notable success, but many hunters and landowners still struggle to understand the basics of how the program works.
With so much private land available for public hunting access, so many landowners to contact, and more than 440,000 hunter days occurring annually on enrolled lands, what should hunters and landowners know about the program?  
To help get everyone up-to-speed, here's a brief BMA primer.
For Enrolled Block Management Program Landowners
•Landowners develop contracts with FWP about how free public hunting may occur on enrolled lands. Every BMA contract is tailored to the specific ranch. Enrolled lands remain under the control of the private landowner, while the contract allows FWP to enforce the rules.
•Each landowner determines ranch rules specific to his or her property.  Those rules specify how permission will be issued, whether or not hunter numbers are limited, which game birds or animals may be hunted, when the enrolled property is open to hunting, and what methods of travel may be