Anyone taken the Master Hunter program in Montana?

Luke_with_a_lab

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I'm considering applying for the Master Hunter program here in Montana. Its a sizable investment both in time and money. Curious if any of you guys have taken it and what your thoughts were? Did you find it to be worth the time and money? both in terms of what you learned as well as increased hunting opportunity?
 
I completed it this spring.
Firstly its not an access program, so temper you expectations about increased hunting opportunity. Some landowners do work with the group though and may give you some preference if your asking for permission.
It is a sizable investment, you are correct. I would like to work on ways to reduce this investment, monetarily, for students because I really feel like this class should be the base level of knowledge that we all as hunters should be operating on and that every Montana hunter should go through it.
Some of it is fairly elementary, but it does a good job of laying out a fairly complete base for everything from our history of US conservation, wildlife management, ethics, landowner concerns, tracking/trailing, navigation etc.
 
Sizeable investement? Is that the class fee? How much is it?
 
I completed it this spring.
Firstly its not an access program, so temper you expectations about increased hunting opportunity. Some landowners do work with the group though and may give you some preference if your asking for permission.
It is a sizable investment, you are correct. I would like to work on ways to reduce this investment, monetarily, for students because I really feel like this class should be the base level of knowledge that we all as hunters should be operating on and that every Montana hunter should go through it.
Some of it is fairly elementary, but it does a good job of laying out a fairly complete base for everything from our history of US conservation, wildlife management, ethics, landowner concerns, tracking/trailing, navigation etc.
Thanks for your response. What were the major things you took away from it you didn’t know before? I’m just trying to gauge if it’d be worth it. Looking at the course outline I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of most of it.

It’s Interesting you don’t see it as a way to get access. From hearing about it either online or by talking to people it has been made to sound like another means of getting access however perhaps that’s not true.
 
Thanks for your response. What were the major things you took away from it you didn’t know before? I’m just trying to gauge if it’d be worth it. Looking at the course outline I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of most of it.

It’s Interesting you don’t see it as a way to get access. From hearing about it either online or by talking to people it has been made to sound like another means of getting access however perhaps that’s not true.
I agree, thats what most people think of it as. Which, I feel, has been overplayed.
It is designed to bolster hunter/landowner relationships. One Montana coordinates lots of opportunities to go volunteer and work with landowners on their properties, fencing, weed control, etc. Put in your time developing a relationship and that will be your key to access. It doesn't necessarily just come with graduation of the course.

I guess first off, I hate (and I purposely try not to over use the word hate) HATE the name. I don't feel like hunting is a pursuit that anyone could ever releasitically gain mastery over, and certainly not from taking a class.
I wish it was called something like,,, Hunting 201, "How not be an A-hole hunter"... Doesn't quite roll of the tongue as nicely though.

Probably like you, I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of most of it too. I don't know that I was presented with anything "earth shattering" that I had never heard before and like I said some of it is quite basic. But just putting in the time to be presented with all of it in one sitting was worth the experience. The instructors where all fantastic, clearly passionate and professional. The diversity of my class was really intriguing as well. There where students who probably could have been up there teaching the subjects and people who where undoubtably being exposed to brand new information they had never considered.

The open discussions on ethics is great for all of us to consider, for some reason it seems almost taboo to talk about ethics, so engaging in that discussion was valuable.
The information presented on lead poisoning of raptors got me reconsidering (again) my current projectile choices.
The need to be advocates and leaders within our community, got me interested enough that I am now working on becoming a hunters ed instructor. Im not real big on R3, but we do need to realize that there are folks coming into the hunting world who didn't grow up with it and they are in desperate need of ethical mentorship. I think those of us who came into hunting in a traditional manner of family mentorship, just being part of our upbringing can take this for granted.

As a guy who concentrates on public land 99% of my time, I gained alot from the landowner panels, understanding their concerns with the public, the impacts the public can have on there operations, impacts of weeds on habitat and our impacts of spreading them.
The tracking/trailing portion was good too, though pretty basic. It is something I personally feel like I could further pursue and develop.

Honestly, maybe the biggest thing the Master Hunter program is doing is proving that there are folks who are willing to invest in being the best steward they can be. Combating the idea that hunters are lazy, unethical, slobs.

It may seem like I am presenting a luke warm view of the course, but I can't recommend it enough. I really think everyone should have this as a base level of knowledge.
 
Sounds like a program designed to entice newbie-instate-flatbrimmers with a few bucks to blow.
 
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I know a few people who have participated in the course. The folks I know who have taken it became even more (heavily) involved with conservation groups, have taken on leadership roles, and are doing good work on behalf of hunters in MT since taking the course. Not sure what all the course equipped them with knowledge-wise, but there must be something going on with what they're teaching.

As far as access, I do know it opened up an opportunity for a "management" cow hunt or two locally. Nobody I know who took the course did it for more opportunity though.

I think they offer some financial assistance if it tickles your fancy but the bill seems high.

Otherwise, take the free FWP Hunter-Landowner Stewardship Project course. It'd probably be the Hunting 101 version of "How to Not to be an A-Hole Hunter" that was alluded to above. I believe it's required as part of the Master Hunter course. I haven't tried to get access to private in a bit, but one place a few years back liked that I had taken the FWP course when I wrote to them asking if I could hunt. They allowed me on. I personally think it should be required to get onto a lot of BMA's if FWP doesn't want to see more attrition from that program, but that's a whole 'nother can of nightcrawlers.
 
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Well I've got an Elite Hunter certification. For $599 I can provide a link to my course. Or you can make 3 easy payments of $199.

Here's a few of the things you'll learn in this exciting course:
  • Road Hunting Masterclass including the proper use of the patented mirror pod shooting system
  • OnX Expert Mode for accessing the best private land for trophy hunting. Learn the codes to unlock Expert Mode and go where the toads are hiding
  • Boone & Crockett add-ons - Learn how to add 6-12" to your trophy's score instantly
  • Backcountry Gourmet - How to ensure your buddies crap themselves so you can be the first one up the hill. We'll unlock the secret sauce.
  • Dress for Success - Learn the experts secrets to matching camo, layering with puffy's and the elite flat bill
  • Social for Predators - Become a master of social media to get likes and followers, endorsement deals, supplements, free gear and of course free guided hunts.
Don't wait! Prices will go up soon
 
Well I've got an Elite Hunter certification. For $599 I can provide a link to my course. Or you can make 3 easy payments of $199.

Here's a few of the things you'll learn in this exciting course:
  • Road Hunting Masterclass including the proper use of the patented mirror pod shooting system
  • OnX Expert Mode for accessing the best private land for trophy hunting. Learn the codes to unlock Expert Mode and go where the toads are hiding
  • Boone & Crockett add-ons - Learn how to add 6-12" to your trophy's score instantly
  • Backcountry Gourmet - How to ensure your buddies crap themselves so you can be the first one up the hill. We'll unlock the secret sauce.
  • Dress for Success - Learn the experts secrets to matching camo, layering with puffy's and the elite flat bill
  • Social for Predators - Become a master of social media to get likes and followers, endorsement deals, supplements, free gear and of course free guided hunts.
Don't wait! Prices will go up soon
Sounds like your referring to a tree line pursuits course :sneaky:
 
Well I've got an Elite Hunter certification. For $599 I can provide a link to my course. Or you can make 3 easy payments of $199.

Here's a few of the things you'll learn in this exciting course:
  • Road Hunting Masterclass including the proper use of the patented mirror pod shooting system
  • OnX Expert Mode for accessing the best private land for trophy hunting. Learn the codes to unlock Expert Mode and go where the toads are hiding
  • Boone & Crockett add-ons - Learn how to add 6-12" to your trophy's score instantly
  • Backcountry Gourmet - How to ensure your buddies crap themselves so you can be the first one up the hill. We'll unlock the secret sauce.
  • Dress for Success - Learn the experts secrets to matching camo, layering with puffy's and the elite flat bill
  • Social for Predators - Become a master of social media to get likes and followers, endorsement deals, supplements, free gear and of course free guided hunts.
Don't wait! Prices will go up soon
Everything you write is gold. I’ll take two!
 
With the overwhelming response we've received we've decided to open up 2 more spots, including 1 VIP Platinum Master's Class for the next person to jump on board.

This VIP experience will include a 1 on 1 driving course the likes of which we've never shared! Here's a quick teaser of just a few of the things you'll learn:
  • ATV Fast Pass - Your guide to the west's closed roads and trails. How to get past the gates and the peasants ($999 value).
  • Evade and Conquer - how to navigate private property and avoid it's owners to access your next trophy ($799 value).
  • Blackout Conversion System - how to modify any vehicle for stealth mode for creeping into your honey hole undetected ($499 value).
Don't delay! Book Today!
 

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