Hunting Public Land In Montana: How To

Here are instructions for how to find public hunting land in Montana. If you are a hunter, going to the state known as "The Last Best Place," offers you amazing hunting on public land. With a 2009 estimated population just under a million people, Montana is one of the most open, wild and unpopulated states in the country, a perfect place for hunters looking for access to public hunting opportunities.

What you'll need:

  • Hunter safety certificate
  • Montana hunting license, stamps, and tags as required for the game you wish to pursue
  • hunting bow or gun
  • knife
  • hunter orange vest and hat
  • game bags

1. Complete hunter safety. Hunters born after January 1, 1985 need to successfully complete a hunter safety course to purchase a hunting permit. Hunter safety classes are delivered in all counties, but classes fill up fast, so reserve your spot early. Bowhunters must also show either previous purchase of a bowhunting license, or completion of a bow hunter safety class from Montana or any other state to purchase a Montana bowhunting license.

2. Choose your hunt. Montana hunts range from black bear to, moose, elk, bison,  mountain goat, mountain lion and wolf. Each hunt has its own license and tagging requirements, so before you decide which public land in Montana you want to hunt, you'll want to determine the game type and availability within the region of the state accessible to you.

3. Research public land. To prepare for your hunt on public land you have a bit of leg work ahead of you. Maps of public land and information about restrictions are distributed by each department holding land in the state. The best place to start is on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website where you can download a directory of Montana maps. That will give you the information you need to begin your journey.

4. Review the Montana hunting proclamations. Game animals are a natural resource that must be managed closely by the state in order for us to maintain game populations for future generations. Checking the proclamations will give you the specific guidelines you need to know for pursuing the game you've chosen to hunt.

5. Plan your hunt. In such a wild and sparsely populated state as Montana you must plan your hunt. Make a list of all the items you'll need, including food and water, where you will go, and when you will return. Having a clear plan is the beginning of a safe hunt.

6. Give notice of your hunt. Once you've planned your hunt you need to notify someone where you will go and when you will return. That person can sound the alarm incase you become lost or injured in the wild.

7. Have  a great hunt. Because you've created a clear plan and have prepared for your hunt,  you can rest assured you will have a good hunt on public land in Montana. There is a lot to enjoy in the mountains and open spaces the state has to offer.

8. Prepare for your food. With so much big game to be had in the state your harvest is sure to last you a long time if you prepare the meat properly. Be sure to cool the meat and pack it properly so you can effectively remove the game from the field, preserve it through storage at a meat locker, canning or your own oversized freezer, and prepare it for your table.

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