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Author Topic: Montana BMA question.  (Read 1054 times)

Offline atfulldraw

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Montana BMA question.
« on: April 22, 2021, 01:14:11 PM »
I am looking at some BMA land I want to hunt in Montana and I cant find anything that says if you have to park at the sign in box only. One of the spots I want to get to would have better access from the public road. If anyone has some input on this I would appreciate it.

Offline Stein

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2021, 01:16:28 PM »
Get the map for that BMA from the MTFWP website, it will have access roads and parking clearly marked.  Sometimes they will say that you can park XXX as long as you don't block a road or gate, but most have designated parking spots.

Offline go4steelhd

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2021, 03:56:24 PM »
Check on the notes page for each BMA when they come out. Everyone is different.
In general stay off the roads when it's muddy, Don't block the roads (Which I have seen almost every season), Leave gates as you found them, pack it in pack it out, and don't shoot by the house. Treat it how you would want someone to treat your land.


 
If you follow those rules you will have no issues.

Last year there was hunters who gutted deer in the parking area and left the pile there on two separate BMA's. The fish and game posted about it on facebook to remind us to be good stewards. They also posted about driving on muddy roads, and driving off road. With that being said I hope that they don't close these BMA's over it.

The BMA's are fantastic to hunt, I believe I have harvested most if not all my deer in Montana on BMA's

Online Mtnwalker

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2021, 04:05:46 PM »
Check on the notes page for each BMA when they come out. Everyone is different.
In general stay off the roads when it's muddy, Don't block the roads (Which I have seen almost every season), Leave gates as you found them, pack it in pack it out, and don't shoot by the house. Treat it how you would want someone to treat your land.


 
If you follow those rules you will have no issues.

Last year there was hunters who gutted deer in the parking area and left the pile there on two separate BMA's. The fish and game posted about it on facebook to remind us to be good stewards. They also posted about driving on muddy roads, and driving off road. With that being said I hope that they don't close these BMA's over it.

The BMA's are fantastic to hunt, I believe I have harvested most if not all my deer in Montana on BMA's

Last time I said something on here about not thrashing the roads when they're muddy I was appalled at how many people argued about it. Probably one of the biggest gripes that I've heard from landowners over there and a big reason why one of the BMA's we used to hunt pulled out of the program. Doesn't shed a good light on us out of staters

Offline Torrent50

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2021, 06:52:23 PM »
Talked with a warden in Montana about that subject last fall.  He said that they don't usually mess with people as long as they are completely off the county roads.  He said that it is a big problem when people park along the roads and farm equipment can't get thru.  We found a couple of spots that were not at the sign in box but were well off the roadway and didn't have any problems.
"when you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."  Friedrich Nietzsche

Offline Stein

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2021, 06:59:37 PM »
With BMA, you never know when they are going to be moving animals or equipment, so I always park where indicated as I don't want to be the guy that messes it up for everyone.  In my experience, they do a good job of telling you where you can park and if it's not specifically listed I always walk the extra distance.

Offline Wingin it

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2021, 07:15:04 PM »
As already stated each BMA has its own set of rules. Just follow them and you will be fine. In my experience if you hike in and harvest an animal and there is an access road nearby, the property owner will grant access for you to drive in and get it. That is provided the access road is in good shape, livestock isnít an issue, and itís safe. Most folks Iíve encountered have had a bad experience or two with out of staters. Just be respectful and make sure you secure permission before before you step outside the bounds of the written rules. Iíve never asked unless we had an animal down. Also, remember that if a landowner grants permission to do that once, it isnít an open ended grant of permission. That is a major gripe over there. Someone will ask permission once and assume they have it for life.

Offline 270Shooter

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2021, 07:37:42 PM »
If the roads look wet youíll want to stay off of them anyway. The mud over there is the real deal. Even some of the county roads in eastern montana are sketchy at best when they get wet like they did for us last fall.

Offline atfulldraw

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2021, 10:21:06 AM »
Thanks for all of the good input guys. The spot I'm looking at would be accessed from a public paved road.

Offline Stein

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2021, 11:56:18 AM »
The Wardens are pretty quick to write BM tickets in order to keep landowners happy.  I saw a guy who didn't follow the rules and got a trespassing ticket because you only have permission to be there under a certain set of circumstances and if you do something else you don't have permission.

If you have the wardens number they are virtually always easy to talk to and super helpful with questions like the one you have.

Offline go4steelhd

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2021, 12:56:10 PM »
Check on the notes page for each BMA when they come out. Everyone is different.
In general stay off the roads when it's muddy, Don't block the roads (Which I have seen almost every season), Leave gates as you found them, pack it in pack it out, and don't shoot by the house. Treat it how you would want someone to treat your land.


 
If you follow those rules you will have no issues.

Last year there was hunters who gutted deer in the parking area and left the pile there on two separate BMA's. The fish and game posted about it on facebook to remind us to be good stewards. They also posted about driving on muddy roads, and driving off road. With that being said I hope that they don't close these BMA's over it.

The BMA's are fantastic to hunt, I believe I have harvested most if not all my deer in Montana on BMA's

Last time I said something on here about not thrashing the roads when they're muddy I was appalled at how many people argued about it. Probably one of the biggest gripes that I've heard from landowners over there and a big reason why one of the BMA's we used to hunt pulled out of the program. Doesn't shed a good light on us out of staters

I hate hearing that this upset people about not driving on muddy roads in other posts. I want to hunt some of those days to. But it ruins there roads for months or years depending on how bad the ruts become. Ultimately when ranchers have enough bad experiences gates get locked.

Offline wooltie

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2021, 10:09:32 AM »
I always question driving down a "road" that goes through private property - whether that's en route to BMA or otherwise.

Nearly all road I see aside from main public highways aren't "maintained" as in paved or graveled.

Some of these roads are named per Onx, some of these roads aren't named.

For example, if I see a named road on On X that starts from a public highway, transverses through ungated private property and ends on BLM, can I drive on that road to the BLM or is action considered trespassing?

I asked montana game and the person I spoke with said the road has to be "maintained" to be public.

Much of my e-scouting consists of finding access spots with BLM near a what is likely maintained road, that I can hike into.

Offline 300rum

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 10:17:59 AM »
There are lots of roads like that in Montana that weave through a private house/shop/barn etc.  Some of them are legal to drive through, some aren't.  I never have found a good safe way to figure it out other then talking to the land owner (who may not tell you the whole truth) or a game warden or the owner of the property on the other side. 

One time I basically drove through a guys yard to get to a spot I had permission on, it was a county road.  The owner was feeding cows outside so I stopped to talk and he admitted that it was county but also that he keeps it under the lid so to speak. 

I always question driving down a "road" that goes through private property - whether that's en route to BMA or otherwise.

Nearly all road I see aside from main public highways aren't "maintained" as in paved or graveled.

Some of these roads are named per Onx, some of these roads aren't named.

For example, if I see a named road on On X that starts from a public highway, transverses through ungated private property and ends on BLM, can I drive on that road to the BLM or is action considered trespassing?

I asked montana game and the person I spoke with said the road has to be "maintained" to be public.

Much of my e-scouting consists of finding access spots with BLM near a what is likely maintained road, that I can hike into.

Offline wooltie

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 11:38:44 AM »
If you dig through montana gov websites, you can find county road maps.  Gotta drill down the city or county you want and look for GIS or rural addressing information to find a map of the county, which identifies county roads.

Offline wpgx2

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Re: Montana BMA question.
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 06:16:10 PM »
Unfortunately, there is not a black and white way to tell if a road is public.  The best way is to contact the county roads department and ask them if they think the road is public.  However, there are lots of situation where a landowner may not agree with the county and it would take a lawsuit to settle the issue.  You can ask the county attorney for an opinion because he is the one that would prosecute you for trespassing.  However, you could be sued by the landowner for trespass in civil court.

 


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