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Hunting Access Opens Acres To Public

This hunting season, two Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks programs will open up access to more than a million acres of private and inaccessible or under accessible public land.

At its meeting on June 8, the Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission approved 49 Elk Hunting Access Agreement applications, which will allow access to a half million acres of private land.

In addition to this, in 2023 FWP staff worked with landowners to open up 540,000 acres of inaccessible or under accessible public land through the Public Access Land Agreement program. At its June 1 meeting, the Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Committee recommended 66 projects to move forward.

EHA agreements provide landowners with an opportunity to obtain an elk license, permit or combination thereof in exchange for allowing free public hunting access to a minimum of three public hunters — one of which may be selected by the landowner. The public hunter slots for three agreements in Region 4 and Region 5 will be offered in a random-draw opportunity with public sign-up taking place from June 15 to July 15 because there’s no specific elk B license for those districts. The remaining public hunter slots will be offered to hunters successful in the elk B license or either-sex elk permit draws in the order they were drawn.

The EHA program is increasing in popularity with landowners and hunters alike. In 2022, the commission approved 34 EHA agreements with 41 licenses/ permits being issued to landowners (or their qualifying designees) allowing for free public access on 376,504 acres and resulting in at least 285 elk harvested (47 bulls and 238 antlerless).

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