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Looking for MT Law about shooting/hunting on your own private property

sacountry

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Dec 29, 2011
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NW Montana
Curious. I recently moved out of the city and into the woods (county) in NW MT. The new property is a small 6 acre parcel with enough room in the front yard to safely shoot to 100 yards. A neighbor about 1/4 mile away came by randomly the other night after she noticed my son had begun building a tree stand in the front yard. She questioned the structure and made certain that I knew that it was illegal for us to discharge firearms within 1/2 mile of inhabited structures. I think she was misquoting the state law that says it's illegal to discharge a firearm within 1/4 mile of an inhabited buildings on state trust land without first obtaining permission.

Wondering if anyone has a link to a website or document that speaks to the rights of a private land owner to discharge a weapon on their own property if located outside of city limits.
 

Bambistew

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Chugiak, AK
Your neighbor is wrong. IRRC, there was a constitutional amendment in the early 2000s that allows for hunting on private land as long as its within the means and methods of current regulations in a safe manner. If there is no local ordinance (city limit, or weapons restriction zone), then she can pound sand.

The only distance rule I know about is the one you mentioned.
 

HONEYBADGER

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Aug 24, 2013
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Curious. I recently moved out of the city and into the woods (county) in NW MT. The new property is a small 6 acre parcel with enough room in the front yard to safely shoot to 100 yards. A neighbor about 1/4 mile away came by randomly the other night after she noticed my son had begun building a tree stand in the front yard. She questioned the structure and made certain that I knew that it was illegal for us to discharge firearms within 1/2 mile of inhabited structures. I think she was misquoting the state law that says it's illegal to discharge a firearm within 1/4 mile of an inhabited buildings on state trust land without first obtaining permission.

Wondering if anyone has a link to a website or document that speaks to the rights of a private land owner to discharge a weapon on their own property if located outside of city limits.
You should have told her to move back to California
 

OntarioHunter

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Sounds like a county ordinance. Not sure I would feel comfortable blasting high powered rifle on a six acre parcel in Montana suburbs. I would be extremely surprised if there isn't a county ordinance restricting half mile limit given the nutty rate of growth in that state. Quarter mile is what ... seven hundred yards? People I know regularly shoot targets at 600 yards. What's another hundred yards?

I think the key is be discreet. Building a treestand is not discreet. Tell her it's for bow hunting and that should work. Sight your guns at a range, not the back yard. A solitary bang in hunting season can easily be written off as vehicle backfire. Add a suppressor and you'll be super discreet.
 

wllm

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Boston
The covenants on our land which is in a 20 acre subdivision specifically say no discharge of guns over 22 cal. They were written in the late 1970s. The way it is written a 220 Swift is legal but a 25-20 is not. I don't know of any state law prohibiting shooting on private.
Last spring I was at a guy's house about 20 miles out of town in a 2 and a half acre subdivision when his neighbor came out on his deck and started blasting at a gopher in the front yard with an AR. If there was a safe direction to do that on his 2 acres it would be straight down. The guy said he does that all the time. If I lived there I would move.
Man you boys in MT are a bunch of softy gun hating liberals...

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Min distance for discharge 500ft from an occupied building, unless you have permission for closer from the occupant.
 

Hem

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Three Forks, Mt
We live in a subdivision made up of 5 acre parcels. I get steamed when I hear comments by residents exclaiming they moved to the " country" so they could shoot. "This is Montana " therefore anything goes.
Bullchit.
.22 bullets cartwheeling over my property is downright dangerous.
 

drifter52

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This is exactly why I don't live in a subdivision or have neighbors within 4 miles of us it also helps that we own the 105 acres immediately sourounding our house
 

sacountry

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NW Montana
We live in a subdivision made up of 5 acre parcels. I get steamed when I hear comments by residents exclaiming they moved to the " country" so they could shoot. "This is Montana " therefore anything goes.
Bullchit.
.22 bullets cartwheeling over my property is downright dangerous.
This isn't the same. Neighbors on both sides have 160 acres each. No subdivision / suburban sprawl. I'm not suggesting that I'm going to start throwing a bunch of lead either. I was just curious about the MT law.
 

Hem

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Three Forks, Mt
This isn't the same. Neighbors on both sides have 160 acres each. No subdivision / suburban sprawl. I'm not suggesting that I'm going to start throwing a bunch of lead either. I was just curious about the MT law.
I understand.
But respecting neighbors is better than not.
Just saying. Do what you can, but you have the right to shoot from the sounds of it.
 

Dan O

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Oct 28, 2014
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Seeley Lake, Mt
You would be best served by going into the Sheriff's office and talk to a Shift commander and explain the situation. Ask what the state law says regarding discharging a firearm in a residential area such as yours. Also ask them what is suggested for developing a safe range on your property.
Also is your property under a homeowner's association? If so, you would be wise to read them and see if shooting is covered in them. That could stop a lawsuit that could cost you a lot of money.
Good luck,
Dan
 

Irishman

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Jul 27, 2017
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Kalispell, Montana
Looks like legally you can shoot on your property. I'm guessing your neighbor with 160 acres doesn't want you shooting one of her "pet" deer. I have 5 acres in NW Montana also, but the only time I even used a 22 on it was before I had neighbors. I don't shoot because of the noise factor, and because even though I'm safe and responsible with a rifle - they don't know that, I could be one of those idiots who never should be allowed to touch a firearm. 😀
 

Straight Arrow

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Gallatin Gateway, MT
Our place is just a little larger than Sacountry's, with larger parcels as neighbors, but less than a mile from a little town. We have deer on the property daily and occasionally turkeys, pheasants, and waterfowl. However, my rule is to travel at least an hour to some more remote place to hunt, for a couple of reasons. First, with all the growth nearby it brings folks who are offended by gunfire and even by hunting, so I don't wish to create any "anti's" without even realizing it. Secondly, I do enjoy peace & quiet and wildlife watching when home.

One of my pet peeves is people who move to Montana and think this is still the "Wild West" where they can hunt, shoot, trespass, and generally disrespectfully misbehave because they think there are no rules in the rural un-zoned areas. Such attitudes are what create the anti-firearms and anti-hunting folks, and without the culprits even realizing the dynamics.

NW Montana is an area with many remote hunting spots where you won't risk the chance of offending anyone and where you will find enjoyment getting away from neighbors.
 

LuketheDog

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Nov 29, 2015
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Sedalia, Colorado
Curious. I recently moved out of the city and into the woods (county) in NW MT. The new property is a small 6 acre parcel with enough room in the front yard to safely shoot to 100 yards. A neighbor about 1/4 mile away came by randomly the other night after she noticed my son had begun building a tree stand in the front yard. She questioned the structure and made certain that I knew that it was illegal for us to discharge firearms within 1/2 mile of inhabited structures. I think she was misquoting the state law that says it's illegal to discharge a firearm within 1/4 mile of an inhabited buildings on state trust land without first obtaining permission.

Wondering if anyone has a link to a website or document that speaks to the rights of a private land owner to discharge a weapon on their own property if located outside of city limits.
Blast away, sounds like you and your son are enjoying your property.

I have 5 acres in a very old subdivision, and a nice big hill in the back to stop bullets, plus a much larger property behind that since I'm on the edge of the neighborhood. The new transplants who have moved here complained to the sheriff and the HOA about shooting, but both have confirmed that it's legal as long as the projectiles don't leave the property. I'm considerate of the times of day I'll shoot, don't want to interrupt folks' dinner or something, and I only shoot into my backstop, but just reading this thread makes me want to go out back and pop a few off with my new 10mm. I should have a late-season deer tag for my unit this fall, and I'm going to shoot one on my land (but I'll use my bow just to make it a bit more sporting).
 
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Straight Arrow

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Gallatin Gateway, MT
The fact that the sheriff is involved following a complaint, is strong indication that neighbors are upset. Likely it doesn't matter what time of day you exercise your "rights", it still perturbs your neighbors. They probably won't bring up the issue again until it's time for revisiting the HOA rules or go to the polls, at which time they will vote an anti-firearms option.

Although nobody seems to care anymore, I still contend that responsibilities are inherently associated with rights. As is respectfulness. 'Just saying.
 
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