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  1. #11
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    Agree whole heartedly with the guys that the BM program is a great thing. I've lived in MT for my entire hunting life, and grew up hunting the river bottoms for whitetails. Nowadays it seems like everywhere I used to hunt is either leased by an outfitter and it will take $5,000 to hunt or it has been purchased by some super wealthy guy (Ted Turner, Hirsch, etc etc) that has completely locked up the place and in a lot of cases locked up access to thousands of acres of our federal lands.

    I haven't had a season in the last 5 years where I haven't hunted a BM area at least a few times. Is it over hunted, perhaps, but its no more crowded that the federal lands that are my alternative. It's like anything else when you're hunting ground that's open to the public, you have to go further and hunt harder than the next guy. Does it always pay off, absolutely not, have I come out of a BM area having hiked/hunted my tail off and seen little game and many hunters, of course. But I do know that having a place to hunt, and being able to access thousands of acres that could otherwise be leased by some JERK outfitter beats the heck out of the alternative.

    Plus if we don't use the funds for the Block Management program what will they be used for? I don't think using the money for wildlife management is a good idea, our biologists obviously aren't doing a very good job "managing" our deer herds now, just look at the crazy amount of doe tags still being issued!!

    I in fact think that the landowners that enroll in the BM program should be given a tax incentive as a reward for allowing public access to try and get more acres enrolled. I also believe that the landowners that are leasing their land to these JERK outfitters should be taxed differently (as recreational land and not agricultural land) to try and discourage the leasing/locking of private ground from the public.

  2. #12
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    And to tell a non-resident not to comment on the issue is wrong as well. They are paying to hunt just like the residents are, and significantly more too!!

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  4. #13
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    Wow. A hunter wanting less land available to hunt, increasing hunter density on what remains open to hunt. I've heard that kind of language from anti-hunting organizations but never from a hunter.

  5. #14
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    I see problems with the Block Management program but what else can you do? Private land is being closed to hunting like wildfire and there's only so much state land and national forest. Block management is the only thing out there to help spread the hunters out. Yes many of them are over crowded and extremely over pressured but the deer just move off and find better land to live on. Until all the hunters that give the rest of us a bad name are gone ( which will never happen) private land will remain private and all us hunters without our own land will be S.O.L. I have noticed that the area's that are written permission are much better than the sign in boxes.

  6. #15
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    I feel really compelled to respond to this post and add my own experience with Block Management Areas. First, I just want to say that the Block Management Program is a fantastic program and find it hard to believe someone on here finds issues with the premise of the program in general. You're allowing more hunter access and giving incentives to the landowners to allow hunting by compensating the landowners who participate... seems pretty win-win to me. But, secondly, I'd just like to relay my personal experience with hunting BMAs:

    2009 was the last year I hunted Montana as a resident. I ended up killing a bull in Western MT, a buck in Eastern MT (along with 2 other bucks my buddies took on the same BMA), and an antelope in Southwestern MT, ALL on different BMAs throughout the state. I grew up in Montana and, as a RESIDENT, had plenty of access at my disposal to private ranches, public land, etc. and still ended up harvesting all of my animals that season on BMAs. BMAs are a fantastic resource for ANYONE hunting Montana, including residents. Here are some pics from that year:
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    Can't spell scum without U&M... Go 'Cats!

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  8. #16
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    Looks like 09 was a great year for you!!!

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  10. #17
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    I agree with the majority, block management gets a thumbs up. I think how its being run right now is pretty darn good considering the scope and magnitude of the program. I hunted BM growing and consistently harvested mature whitetails ever year. I hunted BM that would have 2-12 entries everyday.

    You just have to know how to hunt it. Most people would hit the river bottoms at first light and there would be a truck at ever section of bottom. BUT deer get smart to that after opening weekend. Once they hear the trucks the deer go somewhere. You just have to find that particular somewhere.

    Also a perk of the program is the federal access it opens up. I have harvested numerous deer on BLM and state land that is locked by private but borders BM. I'll sign in and just use their land to access other areas.

  11. #18
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    I'm not from MT,but would like to say that I've hunted"sign in" and "reservation" BMAs! I have been super lucky I guess, I have taken antelope or deer(depending on which I was looking for!) on all 5 occasions. Not one time did I see other hunters. I really appreciate these opportunities and have made some real friendships out of them! I will say if these areas didn't exist that I would still hunt MT, I would just hunt the public land more, making it more crowded. I think a large portion of the funds to run most wildlife agencies comes from surcharge on hunting licenses (Resident and Non) as well as Pittman/Robertson act excise tax on sporting goods(federal funds from both Resident and Non) Although I'm not sure exactly how MT ear-marks each funding source! I Personally would like to thank MT and it's residents for welcoming us to hunt!

  12. #19
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    Great year!
    Quote Originally Posted by MSUcat61 View Post
    I feel really compelled to respond to this post and add my own experience with Block Management Areas. First, I just want to say that the Block Management Program is a fantastic program and find it hard to believe someone on here finds issues with the premise of the program in general. You're allowing more hunter access and giving incentives to the landowners to allow hunting by compensating the landowners who participate... seems pretty win-win to me. But, secondly, I'd just like to relay my personal experience with hunting BMAs:

    2009 was the last year I hunted Montana as a resident. I ended up killing a bull in Western MT, a buck in Eastern MT (along with 2 other bucks my buddies took on the same BMA), and an antelope in Southwestern MT, ALL on different BMAs throughout the state. I grew up in Montana and, as a RESIDENT, had plenty of access at my disposal to private ranches, public land, etc. and still ended up harvesting all of my animals that season on BMAs. BMAs are a fantastic resource for ANYONE hunting Montana, including residents. Here are some pics from that year:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	7126_1254876577336_3080098_n.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	92.6 KB 
ID:	7713Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Muley 2009.jpg 
Views:	74 
Size:	33.4 KB 
ID:	7714Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Antelope.jpg 
Views:	72 
Size:	74.9 KB 
ID:	7715Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Circle Whole Lotta Horn.jpg 
Views:	74 
Size:	41.9 KB 
ID:	7716Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bone's Muley 2009.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	89.6 KB 
ID:	7717

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  14. #20
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    As most have stated, not sure how a program that rewards landowners for opening up public access is a bad thing. Certainly some areas are overused, but others are well managed. With the rapidly declining lack of access in Montana, there are bigger issues that require hunters attention. Most importantly, it seems that the MT Outfitters and Guide lobby has way too much influence in the state of Montana. Eliminating the guaranteed tags was a good first step, but more needs to be done. Outfitters are having much more of a negative impact on hunting quality and access in Montana than BMAs.

 

 

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