Montana BMA Questions

Arch Stanton

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
80
Location
Altamont, OR
Hello

I live in Oregon, driving to Montana to scout can be a stretch. What is the best way to get a feel for the make-up of the terrain on the many different BMA's in region 4,5,6,7? Aside from Google Earth and calling the regional offices, what are some resources people use to figure out which BMA's they want to try to hunt?

We prefer open territory with minimal trees, spots of elevation to glass from. We hunt mule deer.

Thank you
 

Arch Stanton

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
80
Location
Altamont, OR
I know you can't reserve any of the type II's until Aug 22, how many are already reserved by folks with previous relationships on a type II BMA they have been coming back to, year after year?

Thanks
 

406LIFE

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
2,452
Location
Bitterroot Valley, MT
Unfortunately yes it is in some cases the landowners get to dictate who hunts
As a rule this is not the case. Some very limited contracts can have certain stipulations included to allow some other access (such as outfitting) but I am unaware of any that currently do. I'll check with the BMA Director Monday and see what he says.

Depredation hunts are different, and in those cases a small percentage are picked by landowners.
 

Arch Stanton

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
80
Location
Altamont, OR
Is it okay to contact the landowners between Dec and August to try and figure out what there land looks like? (Lots of timber vs broken timber/open country vs very open...…….broken elevations vs flat.....ect) Or do most folks use digital/online scouting from afar

Thank you
 

Hunting Wife

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Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
1,345
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Is it okay to contact the landowners between Dec and August to try and figure out what there land looks like? (Lots of timber vs broken timber/open country vs very open...…….broken elevations vs flat.....ect) Or do most folks use digital/online scouting from afar

Thank you
You can get all that and more from your computer or phone by looking at imagery and topo in OnX, Google Earth, or other similar programs.
 

BestDeerHunterEver

New member
Joined
Feb 25, 2018
Messages
21
I’ve hunted some type 2 BMA’s the last two years and have had nothing but a great experience and seen very few other hunters. Scheduling has been a breeze, though admittedly a small sample size. My buddy shot a 170 class buck last year and the one I took this year will be in the 160 range. As far as picking BMA’s. E-scouting is what I’ve done mostly and assessed other one’s using OnX as I’m driving in the area during the season. The key I’ve found is your willingness to get away from roads and spend time in the field assuming the BMA has some quality habitat. Though I will admit this year I saw my biggest mulie to date just on a piece of public. He was a beast! I was tagged out so I could only gaze.
 

802flyfish

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
54
Location
SW Montana
I look for type 2 bma’s . Less hunters
Second!

I've seen several Elk on BMA type 2 this year in region 3. I called a FWP Biologist the other week in regards to hunting a new area and he was more then happy to share what BMA was currently being the most productive. I was surprised that several he suggested were only type 1 so don't overlook them.
 

406LIFE

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2016
Messages
2,452
Location
Bitterroot Valley, MT
There are defiantly land owners out there that are taking advantage of the BMA system.
Cite your source, please. What BMA and which landowner?

BMAs are YOUR program. They're paid for with your dollars. If they aren't productive, access is always booked, or something seems shady, contact your regional BMA coordinator and talk it out with them. I've done this multiple times, myself. Contracts don't have to be renewed, or can be altered. If FWP doesn't know there's an issue, they can't act on it. They get less than 10% of those using BMAs to give feedback.
 

802flyfish

Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
54
Location
SW Montana
Cite your source, please. What BMA and which landowner?

BMAs are YOUR program. They're paid for with your dollars. If they aren't productive, access is always booked, or something seems shady, contact your regional BMA coordinator and talk it out with them. I've done this multiple times, myself. Contracts don't have to be renewed, or can be altered. If FWP doesn't know there's an issue, they can't act on it. They get less than 10% of those using BMAs to give feedback.
I haven’t experienced It first hand or else I would report it. I know people who have called within 15 minutes of opening day of registration and they are already full. They did report it.
 

Ronin75

Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2013
Messages
91
Location
California
I experience the same thing in Region 3, landowners are allowing hunters to book spots on Type 2 properties way before the info is released in Aug.
 

BuckRut

New member
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
27
Location
Montana
Some of the properties in the BMA program are a joke with no real use for sportsmen. On the other end however there are some that are phenominal. It is not uncommon for really good areas to fill up within hours or a day when the period to reserve them opens up. We used to get on one for antelope that 4 or 5 of us would have to start calling the hour reservations opened up non stop if we wanted a chance of getting the spot we wanted. PS the beginning of the time period open to reserve most of these BMAs is before opening day of the season. If you call opening day you are weeks late.
 
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