Look for more public elk hunting this fall thanks to American Prairie Reserve, a conservation nonprofit that recently deeded private land for hunting in Montana. The organization is working with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (Montana FWP) to increase public access to acres of land by adding more of its private land to the Block Management Program and open “its newest property to limited elk hunting,” the Sidney Herald reports.
“Hunting is an American tradition and an important economic contributor for Montana,” said Alison Fox, CEO of the American Prairie Reserve. “We strive to provide the public with high-quality hunting opportunities while also working to restore habitat needed to sustain elk, mule deer, pronghorn, and upland game bird populations.”
The nonprofit is dedicated to creating more public access to lands in the American prairie region. In 2017, it opened 47,000 acres north of Winifred along the Missouri River Breaks to public hunting.
“Our objective for all visitors, whether they are bird watchers, hikers, mountain bikers or hunters, is to create richer and more satisfying outdoor experiences as wildlife populations in the region continue to increase,” said Fox.
According to Mike Quist Kautz, Montana FWP director of recreation and public access, enrolling the property into the state’s Block Management Program helps “streamline the reservation process for hunters.”
“We doubled the number of APR acres enrolled in Block Management this year because it’s a well-managed program and we’re looking forward to working with FWP to help Montanans plan their fall hunting trips,” said Kautz. “The PN provides very high-quality hunts in some truly spectacular country.”
American Prairie Reserve has over 64,000 acres enrolled in the Block Management Program, including the newly-enrolled Dry Fork property as well as the Two Crow, Timber Creek and Blue Ridge properties. The Blue Ridge is a newly-acquired property comprised of 9,695 acres. Through its enrollment into the program, “hunting access will be granted by way of a random drawing of eligible permit holders,” thus allowing access to private land that was previously unavailable “while also maintaining a healthy wildlife population in the Larb Hills,” according to the Sidney Herald. There will be a total of 16 bull elk hunting opportunities – eight archery and eight rifle – and those who already possess a 620-20, 620-21 or 622-20 elk permit can enter the free drawing. You have until 11:59 p.m. MST July 31 to enter. Lucky individuals will be notified by Aug. 10.
“North Central Montana is a hunter’s paradise and it is a huge benefit for the public to have access to these new opportunities to pursue elk, mule deer, and upland game birds,” said Nick Gevock, conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation.