Archery season is upon us and general big game hunting season in Montana is approaching. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is reminding hunters to get permission to hunt on private land - and get that permission early.

It is against the law to not get permission as explained with Montana's Hunter-Landowner Stewardship Project, which is on the Fish, Wildlife and Parks website. Click on the quick link Hunting.

FWP has a few tips:

  • Show courtsey to the landowner and make hunting arrangements by calling or visiting at times convenient to the landowner.
  • Plan ahead and get permission well in advance of your actual hunting date.
  • Give complete information about yourself and the people who will be with you, including vehicles and license plate numbers.
  • Tell them what type of hunting you're planning.
  • Make sure the access instructions are clear and don't bring more people along than the number you told the landowner.
  • Follow the landowner's hunting access instructions.
  • Thank the landowner!!!

By the way, bears are becoming regular news stories this year. There are the usual large populations of black bears in this area. But now, the grizzly bears are being seen more often in new areas, including parts of the Bitterroot Valley. So take along that bear spray, and really know how to use it. Stay alert to fresh sign of bears and if you find a lot, try hunting someplace else. Follow your food storage rules. Avoid carcass sites. If you harvest an animal, get it off the field as soon as possible.

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