Another BMA sign-up story

Nunyacreek

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Dec 13, 2013
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223
So at 6am sharp I dialed the number only to receive a message on the ranch phone that the power and phone were out and the voicemail full. I tried a couple more times between 6 and 6:30 and finally waited until 8:30 when the FWP Region 4 BMA coordinator had office hours. I reported the problem and she said" oh I just got off the phone with them, that's just an old message they were just so busy taking phone calls and they haven't he time to change it." By the time the FWP office was open it was too late to try the BMA until tomorrow..
This is disappointing, but not a huge deal, it just means that instead of diligently trying to get through I gave up (I thought logically) and as a consequence I am sure the BMA is long booked up. It does, however, make me think we need a better system, like the one in Wyoming pointed to in an earlier post. Simply put this is access bought by sportsman's dollars being allocated in an arbitrary and archaic way. As a practical matter it cannot be every BMA landowner participant's favorite thing to get phone calls for the next three months asking for access that was allocated in the first two hours. Anyone experience similar problems?
 

----

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Jan 12, 2009
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Not this year, but I had a similar thing happen last year. I was trying to get access to one of the ranches that FWP runs through an answering service. The answering service received too many calls and crapped out. I spent four hours rotating calling the FWP block management coordinator and the answering service.

The way their phone finally ended up working was you had to sit on a silent line until an open operator came up. No busy signal, no ringing, nothing. There was no way to know you needed to do this either. I finally just left my phone on the open line and 30-40 minutes later an operator picked up and told me they were already booked up for that unit.

Another group of guys that also wanted to hunt that unit drove by the parking area a couple times on opening day, and there was never anyone parked there. It was a joke.

A couple of the high demand BMA's in region 2 are ran on a lottery just like applying for a permit. I think that might be a way more of the high demand ranches to start going, as it's becoming painfully obvious that the phone reservations are a very flawed way of going about it.
 

Greenhorn

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Dec 19, 2000
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MONTANA
I've been trying to snag dates on one that is reservation only. Started calling the first day, maybe tried 50 times. There's no msg to leave - just the "we're sorry, your message cannot be processed. - click"

Have tried multiple times every day just to see if anybody actually ever answers. I would guess is "all booked up". But I'm curious.

Ranchers can't like their phone ringing like that. I'd agree - there are some improvements needed.
 

RobG

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Dec 10, 2010
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Bozeman, MT
I've been trying to snag dates on one that is reservation only. Started calling the first day, maybe tried 50 times. There's no msg to leave - just the "we're sorry, your message cannot be processed. - click"

Have tried multiple times every day just to see if anybody actually ever answers. I would guess is "all booked up". But I'm curious.

Ranchers can't like their phone ringing like that. I'd agree - there are some improvements needed.
How do we get this on the agenda of the various hunting groups so they can push it?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
281
Location
Billings, MT
I have yet to try and call for reservations. But I did try to go out opening weekend to hunt antelope on one that was open on the 15th. No sign in box where the map showed it to be. I called the ranch with no answer. I called FWP first thing the Monday after and they said the box just go installed that morning. I could have easily screwed up 10 stalks that morning if I could have signed in.
 

Straight Arrow

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Jun 10, 2009
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Gallatin Gateway, MT
Over the years I've had some successes in acquiring BMA access permission over the phone, but after several frustrating attempts such as described above, now I mostly limit any BMA hunting to the Type I hunter-administered sign-in areas.
 
Last edited:

Topgun 30-06

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Jun 8, 2009
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Allegan, MI
I can't believe in this digital age that Montana is using that antiquated phone in method. In Wyoming it's so simple to log in to the public access section of the G&F website, make an account with the necessary information (vehicle, license plate number, etc.) and then print out the permission slip you carry with you and the other that is placed on the dash of the vehicle. HMAs that have limited permits are also simple to apply for and hope that you draw just like you do in the tag drawing itself. As BuzzH mentioned, it shouldn't take but one person with computer capabilities to run the program like Wyoming has and it would stop the BS you guys are putting up with!
 

Nunyacreek

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Dec 13, 2013
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It seems like it might be cheaper In the long run as well, right now on August 14 you call in and request maps that are then printed and mailed so that you can look at the BMA to decide if you might want to hunt it.. Just the idea that these offices have accordion folders of maps that are then sent out when you leave a message on the coordinator's voicemail is kind of unbelievable for a statewide program. Mostly just a lot of work and expense. I know FWP constantly fights for funding, for resources, and for political capital, but this seems like an improvement could benefit everybody.
 

double_a85

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Apr 30, 2014
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Roundup, MT
It seems like it might be cheaper In the long run as well, right now on August 14 you call in and request maps that are then printed and mailed so that you can look at the BMA to decide if you might want to hunt it.. Just the idea that these offices have accordion folders of maps that are then sent out when you leave a message on the coordinator's voicemail is kind of unbelievable for a statewide program. Mostly just a lot of work and expense. I know FWP constantly fights for funding, for resources, and for political capital, but this seems like an improvement could benefit everybody.

You can print most of the maps online off the Block Management site, that what I do.
 

Nunyacreek

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Dec 13, 2013
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223
Not In Region 4, it specifically says that the maps are available only from FWP offices or in limited cases from the landowner. However, if you go through the hunt planner you actually can get to the maps. In other regions there is (or was) a big overview map and if you clicked on the BMA # it was a link to the map. Not so anymore as far as I can tell.
 

Rat Fink

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Aug 17, 2010
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Helena, MT
The online maps are still available. Just gotta look for them a little harder. They kind of hid them this year and they are not as easy to find.
 

Greenhorn

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Dec 19, 2000
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MONTANA
406-342-5610

Ha! Try this number - just for shits and giggles. I've made around 500 attempts since the 21st. If somebody happens to get through, please let me know. What a farce.
 

BR-549

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Jun 29, 2015
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Ohio
406-342-5610

Ha! Try this number - just for shits and giggles. I've made around 500 attempts since the 21st. If somebody happens to get through, please let me know. What a farce.

Maybe he/ they are out looking for their lost black cat
 

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