The bird hunting opportunities in central Montana are abundant, yet varied. Our region has excellent habitat for 2 species of mountain grouse (ruffed and blue), 2 species of prairie grouse (sharptails and sage), hungarian partridge and pheasants. We have a variety of hunting opportunities including guided hunts, access fee opportunities, block management areas, BLM and State Land areas, FWP habitat improvement areas and many hospitable land owners who, with courteous advance inquiries, allow access for bird hunting.
Access Fee Opportunities
These are always changing, please contact Jim using the contact information provided to have him email a current information.
Block Management Areas
You’ll probably want to get the FWP Block Management map index books for both Regions 4 and 5. They are available from the Regional FWP Offices (Region 4: 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls, 59406. (406) 454-5840; Region 5: 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings, 59105. (406) 247-2940) after August 15 each year. Once you receive the map index books you can write, or call, or pick up in person, the detailed maps for 5 Block Management Areas at a time. This requires some careful advance planning but is an excellent program and offers a broad range of opportunities.
BLM and State Lands
Another opportunity area, particularly for the two prairie grouse, are the numerous BLM and State Lands. These can be identified from the Montana topographic atlases (Landmark is best) but I prefer to also have the BLM Montana Recreation Access Guide maps which give much better detail. The easiest place to get these maps is the Regional BLM Office in Lewistown (406) 538-1900 or from either of the two local sporting goods stores identified below.
All the rules and regulations are available on the Montana FWP web site at fwp.mt.gov/hunting/planahunt/gamebird.html. This site also indexes a large number of habitat projects and pheasant release sites that provide interesting hunting opportunities.
Land Ownership Maps
I’ve often found that the land maps available at http://svc.mt.gov/msl/mtcadastral/ are helpful in identifying owners and property boundaries. An excellent new hard copy land onwership atlas for Fergus County is now available for $35 from the Fergus County Weed Department (406) 535-3970. You may also want to consider buying the chip for your GPS that has ownership, topography and many other useful features--$100 from www.huntinggpsmaps.com.