Mathews Inc.
Hunting Pressure
Contributors to this thread:
Tatonka 30-Nov-17
Tatonka 30-Nov-17
Highllainsdrifter 06-Dec-17
Missouribreaks 06-Dec-17
Bigdan 07-Dec-17
Dirtknap37 07-Dec-17
From: Tatonka
Hunting pressure around here (District 600 and 690) was the worst I've seen in the 37 years I've lived here. It's been progressively increasing the past several years (basically since the block mgt. program was implemented). It starts with the opening of bird season. A few years back it was rare to see anyone out bird hunting in September. Now there are trucks with campers and dog trailers scattered here and there. When pheasant season opens, it's a total fiasco and when the general deer season opens it's worse yet. Every block mgt. unit as well as state and blm lands get hammered to death day after day after day.

In August I took a drive one morning to see what was around for deer (mostly in the North Blaine Block Mgt. Unit, which is a combination of private and public land). There were deer everywhere. Between Mule deer and whitetail I'm sure I saw well over 300 deer. I took the same drive the last day of deer season just for the fun of it and I saw 23 mule deer (all does and fawns except for one little buck I tooted the horn at to try to save his life!!). I saw no whitetails.

I don't know what the answer is, but it has to be looked at. The vast majority of vehicles I see are from western Montana and out of state. We are getting a ton of hunters from Washington State around here, and I see several from Idaho and Minnesota.....doesn't really matter where they are from. To clarify, I'm absolutely not against non-resident hunters or people from the west coming to hunt, but there has to be a way to reduce the pressure.

Block mgt. is a real catch 22. I'm sure the landowners love it. They don't have to deal with people calling or knocking on the door and the get a check from the F&G every year. I completely understand why they like it. I'm guessing non-residents and hunters from western Montana like it....despite how poor the hunting is on Block Mgt., at least they know they'll have a place to take a hike if nothing else. Every local hunter I've talked to despises block mgt. The hunters I know around here are knocking on more doors trying to get permission from landowners not in block mgt, which is putting more pressure on them.

I don't know what the answer is. Maybe the state needs to allocate non-resident licenses by region... divide up the tags allocated to non-residents and divide them by 7 and when they apply for a license require that they apply for a specific region. That may or may not help, but it wouldn't do anything to reduce the pressure from hunters who come over from the western part of the state.

I'm going to talk to a friend of mine who is on the F&G board and voice my concerns. The quality of the hunting around here has declined and will continue to decline if something doesn't change.

I don't really like signing into the boxes.......a real pain especially if you're coming in from the opposite direction on a sizeable chunk.

Alot of areas get beat up pretty bad.......some family members hunted a community spot in northeast montana and counted over 250 mule deer does on a cold day during the rut and virtually no bucks around. They WERE there but had been obliterated by every Tom, Dick and Harry over the course of a month long high power rifle season shooting anything with horns. We're talking two-track roads that looked more like county roads:(

From: Tatonka
The places I used to hunt that are in block mgt. would allow anyone to hunt if they stopped and asked. I'm sure they like not having to deal with people asking and getting a check every year......If I were a farmer or rancher I certainly would to, but the places that didn't allow hunting before block mgt. still do not. It's not opened up any new places to hunt around here. Block Mgt units need to be more spread out. They seem to be in clusters, which draws people like flies. Example: In Hill County I believe there are 6 or 7 block mgt. units. Blaine County borders Hill County and I believe we have 38 block mgt units. Where do you think Hunters go when they look at the maps? It appears that is the case around the state, or at least Eastern Montana.

We can sit her and complain about it or we can try to do something... I'm going to voice my opinion with the F&G and our board member. I'm not sure what else I can do, but I'm going to be brainstorming. Hopefully others here might have some ideas. It's not about keeping non-residents and people from other parts of Montana's about figuring out how to relieve the pressure so that everyone has quality hunting to the greatest extent possible.

And there's this to think about it..... This is a bowhunting site, but the bird hunters, rifle hunters, etc. certainly impact bowhunting. When hunters are whacking anything and everything with antlers it definitely affects the quality of bowhunting, and when pheasant hunters are hammering the creek bottoms and river bottoms, big game will most certainly react to the pressure....

If you draw a Breaks archery elk permit you should not be allowed to bowhunt elk anywhere else in the state. 410 is overrun by hunters from Bozeman, Butte Missoula and Kalispell . These guys have tons of elk in their back yard and then go home and archery hunt there. It’s not fair or right. Draw there and only hunt there in archery season

I agree with highllainsdrifter.

From: Bigdan
Is not Bozeman, Butte, Missoula& Kalispell in Montana? And there are no wolves or Grizz in the 600 units. If you think its so good in Western Montana come here and try it Non residents are limited to no more than 10% of the draw tags

From: Dirtknap37
You can thank onyx maps and all these other apps. The good hunting is harder to find. Anybody can find a spot to hunt just by looking at their phone. I've hunted up north for a couple decades. Ever since those maps came out for your phone and gps, there has been exponentially more pressure in my opinion. You used to have to find these honey holes by doing it right by hiking and scouting and knocking on doors. The land owners enrolled in BM could limit the hunters by only allowing a set # per day, or, you could do it like the Cowan's and have a pasture reservation system. Technology is ruining hunting. Randy Newberg needs to shut his mouth. All this talk about "come to Montana, there's plenty of opportunities with OTC tags.

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