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Hey everyone, I am a non-resident looking to travel from Kentucky to bow hunt the milk river. I like the DIY experience and would like to camp and hunt the BMA's around the Milk River.
Does anyone have any suggestions they would like to share? Or point me in the direction of a few BMA's around the Milk River that have produced good deer? I know no one wants to give up their honey hole but this will be a one time trip for me most likely and would love to take the best advantage of the limited time I will have.
Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
You can't camp on block Management property, landowners don't allow it. Your best bet is to pull up theBMA maps from the FWP website, do some research online maps and then put boots to the ground. That's what I do and i live here.
MT Livin', that's simply not true. Some landowners will let you. I've camped on several over the years.
Tcart93, some (maybe even most) BMA's say they prohibit camping but it never hurts to ask. If they say no, grab a map and find some public land. Most is open to camping.
I appreciate the info. Would you guys care to share your thoughts on some of the better districts for whitetails around the milk river and smaller rivers or creeks that feed the Milk?
I would look for a private landowner who will let you camp and hunt. A small trespass fee will be worth it. For good hunting, avoid the block management war zones.
So the BMA's are that bad as far as being crowded? My plan is to bow hunt the early season and try to tag a buck in velvet, as I really do not gun hunt. What is the pressure like on BMA's in that area during early September?
Missouribreaks, the last thing we need in Montana is people paying "small" trespass fees. I'm sure they started out "small" in Texas too... Word travels fast between landowners. It does not take long for trespass fees to exceed BMA payments and then we are in the same boat as states like Texas. Think about it...
The OP needs an honest answer, and I gave him one. Block management areas are war zones in Montana, I have hunted them.
My question is are BMA's crowded for Whitetail in early September? In my experience hunting public land here in KY, public lands open to all season are very rarely bowhunted.
You're going to have a lot of company if you hunt any Block Management... An army invades region 6 (and I'm guessing all regions) from Western Montana and out of state. I could go on and on about block mgt, but in a nutshell it is great for Landowners. They don't have to deal with hunters knocking on their door and calling and they get a check from the F&G every year. For hunters, it's been great for someone too lazy to get permission form landowners and who are satisfied to take a walk in the great outdoors and maybe kill a doe or a little 2-Point (if they get lucky). Every local hunter I know hates block mgt. with a passion. Around here, every block mgt. unit and every piece of public land (state and BLM) was absolutely hammered to death this year. FYI...the Milk River runs about a half mile behind my house... Nothing along the Milk River is in Block mgt. around here...you have to get further east and from what I hear from friends down that way, those BMA unit's get hammered to death as well. Nough said.
There is a good campground facility at Fort Peck, we have stayed there many times in years past. I believe it has RV hookups. Glasgow has some options as well though we have never stayed there. I am sure if you search on Google Maps you'll come up with more options in the region. Good luck!
Yes block management is congested in early September. In some areas the early antelope archery season is in August, elk and all deer(whitetail and mule deer) begins the first part of September in most areas. Heavy bowhunting takes place in early September along with some upland bird hunting. I would avoid block management at all times if I was serious about a quality trip.
Well I appreciate all the insight. Sounds like I may just save my time and hunt the great state of KY where I have multiple private land places to hunt. After hearing all of this I won't make a trip to Montana until I'm ready for fork over good money for an outfitter and private land.....
tcart- Thats what I would do if I were you. MT is a great place and you should come hunt here for sure but not for public land/BMA whitetail. We just don't have good hunts where you could just show up for a week and kill a good deer. Too much pressure and our seasons are so long these animals get worked over hard. We could grow some amazing deer if we had some limits but I know that's unpopular too. Anyways, I wouldn't waste my time or money doing a public land or BMA hunt and I hope you don't feel I'm pushing you away from our great state. Just not for THAT hunt. Good luck to ya and hope you can make it out here sometime.
not sure where you guys hunt (probably the BMAs in and around the Missouri Breaks, those do get extreme pressure) but I hunt almost exclusively BMA land. The bowhunting has been outstanding and the past two seasons I had several 150 class whitetails to hunt and one this season pushing B&C. I hunted 27 days in September and never saw another bowhunter. Gun season was a different story, the place got hammered but looks like several of the big ones survived as only they know how to do. I've taken good antelope over the years off of BMAs in central Montana and pressure was not extreme. Two years ago I took a really nice mulie buck off a one square mile BMA in the middle of gun season. The other two BMA's that I've gun hunted over the last few years have little or no pressure, 4 other hunters in 3 years.
montnatom- If you don't mind me asking what districts are you concentrating on? I'm surprised to hear so much pressure is there during early bow season. This will be a one time trip for me when I make it out there. So you won't be competing with me year in and year out. I'd love to find a couple BMA's within short distance of each other that I could focus on and hopefully find a few shooters to chase for a week or two while there.
X2 montnatom- BMA's during archery season have treated me excellent also. Trespass fee......totally unnecessary.
This is funny sh#t, another out of stater asking where to find a big buck, as if there will be an honest reply. Anyone who gives out info-don't bitch when people start showing up in your hunting areas and you are wondering where all the good bulls/bucks have gone. You can thank Jackie bushman for all the hunters wondering about the milk. You'd keep your mouth shut if you knew it was good for ya
LOL @Dirtknap37. I kill deer every year bigger than what the milk river has to offer. It's not about killing "your" deer in "your" spot. I can come out there and kill a good buck without this thread or talking to anyone from the area. I promise you that. If it weren't for us out of stater's paying $600 for license and tags you likely wouldn't have the hunting opportunities you do. If you ever make it over to Kentucky give me a shout and I'll show you how its done. If not I'll just post my harvest photo to this thread so you can actually have something to complain about.
While I have zero issues with out of state hunters, to say we would have less opportunities is just plain false. The only downside would be for the outfitters. Money aside, the herds still need managed and the least expensive and most effective is allowing hunting. In fact, without " money " there isn't an outfitter business, and history will show that we ALL have actually lost opportunity.
Tcart, why would you go on a public forum asking about spots to hunt ,if you can do it on your own? We would have plenty of good hunting without out of state hunters. Stay home and shoot your whitetail. Just remember you came to this site looking for advice.
Tcart, Montana has a lot to offer. Block management can be difficult and crowded. CWD is throwing Montana a curve ball and may alter how some units, especially trophy units, are managed. Montana is however a great state to visit and hunt but many resident hunters are not too welcoming to nonresidents. Resident hunters have turned off many landowners with their anti-rancher approach to issues such as I-161, trespassing, grazing BLM, and calling farmers and ranchers welfare citizens. I know some ranchers who will not let residents hunt but are receptive to non residents who do not vote against them at every opportunity. Kind of the haves vs the have nots, lots of jealousy.
You may want to use a licensed outfitter in the area you hope to hunt, nothing wrong with that if it helps you gain access and plan your hunt. Most Montana hunts are very affordable. I would not expect much real help from this board.
I grew up hunting the milk river during the 1980's when it was superb. You could hunt the vast majority of the ranches and the deer numbers were ridiculous. We had die offs, floods and winter kills but the deer just seemed to bounce back every time.
Fast forward to today and for whatever reason, the deer numbers have not rebounded very well after some recent die offs several years back. There are always a few big bucks around with low deer numbers and extra browse available. We're talking alfalfa fields that used to have 80-100 deer that have a doe and a fawn wandering around now.
You won't be seeing buckmaster or realtree video type stuff right now but an experienced bow hunter should be able to kill a deer. I've switched to hunting mule deer the past several years for that very reason. I know about every inch of the milk river from the confluence of the milk and Missouri river east of Nashua all the way west to Malta. There are probably some places that used to be leased to outfitters that may be open now to someone knocking on doors. Any BMA along the river probably holds deer early in the season but once it gets pushed out and the leaves drop, it may be void of deer.
One look in the mud along the river or field edge will give you an idea of how many deer are around. A couple of my friends own land along the river and are hunting mule deer right now too. Here's a velvet buck from many moons ago in the late 80's along the milk river with a black widow recurve......I believe the second day of the season and I'd seen 5 bucks that evening and this one was the only buck still in velvet. (just so you don't think I'm bull-crappin you)