Hunters and their gun dogs have less than a month before the upland game bird season begins, so it will be a good time to dig into this season's hunting access guide.
To get started, hunters can refer to the Projects Access Guide, published annually by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks’ Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program (UGBEP). The guide contains all active projects administered through the UGBEP, including Open Fields, habitat management leases, food and cover plots, CRP enhancements, shelterbelts, and grazing systems. These project types are designed to enhance upland game bird habitats on lands open to free upland game bird hunting when permission to hunt is secured.
The guide includes tables that provide hunters with project-specific information such as project location, acres, and the method to contact landowners for permission.
Hunters should note that several private land projects are walk-in game bird hunting with no further permission required. Many UGBEP projects are located on lands enrolled in Block Management, and hunters will need to refer to the Block Management guide for specific access and permission information.
FWP reminds hunters to obtain landowner permission before hunting private lands in Montana.
Beginning Aug. 10, hunters can find the new guide and the maps online at fwp.mt.gov. Click UGBEP Projects Access Guide. FWP anticipates newly enrolled Open Fields projects available for game bird hunting this fall that won’t be included in the published access guide due to timing. FWP will create an addendum available for download on the Access Guide web page as soon as the enrollment process is complete and will include maps and access information.
Printed access guides will be available at FWP headquarters and regional offices late August. Hunters can also request a copy of the access guide via FWP's website. FWP will begin mailing guides to hunters the week of Aug. 17.
FWP extends thanks to all partners who collaborate on habitat conservation and access opportunities that benefit wildlife and hunters. Through critical partnerships formed with private landowners, government agencies and conservation organizations, UGBEP enhanced nearly 370,000 acres of habitat while providing nearly 700,000 acres of access to upland game bird hunters.
For more information, contact Debbie Hohler, UGBEP Coordinator, at: 406-444-5674, or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.