Hunters in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 7 will have ample opportunities and many choices for where to hunt turkeys this spring, with 50 Block Management Areas allowing public access for turkey hunting.
Spring turkey season opens April 11 and runs through May 17.
For a complete list of landowners participating in the Block Management Program and opening parcels for turkey hunting in Region 7, visit fwp.mt.gov. Click on the “Hunting” tab, under “Hunter Access” select “Block Management,” and click on Region 7 on the map. To the left you will find a file called “2020 R& Spring Turkey BMAs.”
The 50 parcels are scattered across 10 southeastern Montana counties and add up to more than 290,000 acres of access. Prairie County has the most access available, with 10 BMAs offering a total of 173,526 acres.
Type 1 BMAs will be accessed with sign-in boxes. Permission for the Type 2 BMAs is granted/issued by the landowner.
Limits on numbers of hunters or parties vary by BMA. Many of the BMAs only allow walk-in access, often from designated parking areas or county roads. Several landowners caution against driving on ranch roads when wet or muddy, and some ban OHVs and smoking. Hunters should be mindful that many of these landowners may be in the process of calving or other farming activities.
With the social distancing and stay-at-home directives from Gov. Steve Bullock, it’s important that hunters gain permission through phone calls, rather than in-person requests. Also, hunters should try to hunt as close to home as possible.
Signing in will allow hunters access only for turkey hunting. Other activities such as shed hunting, fishing or small game hunting are not allowed. Permission for such activities must be obtained separately.
All BMA rules and expectations in place during the general season will still apply. These include, but are not limited to, leaving gates as they are found, using caution around livestock, and more. Hunters should refer to the individual rules associated with each BMA.
Property boundaries may not be well marked, so hunters need to be aware of their location.
Hunters should be aware that some public land facilities, like bathrooms, may be closed or not cleaned as frequently given a shortage of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment.