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    Hunters Helping with Wildlife Management on Private Lands

    Photo courtesy of One Montana.

    WLA is proud to be a member of One Montana’s Common Ground Partnership.

    The partnership consists of Montana landowners, sportsmen, agencies and nonprofits working together to address the issues that keep landowners up at night from wildlife management and land stewardship to access.

    In 2018 the partnership launched the Master Hunter Program to increase hunter competence, skills, knowledge, and ethics. The Master Hunter Program also helps provide landowners with opportunities to build relationships with hunters to manage wildlife on their property.

    In its third year, the Montana Hunter Advancement Program educates and certifies Master Hunters, and provides landowners with a pool of competent, ethical and responsible hunters to draw from when weighing options to manage wildlife populations on their land, and considering who to allow on their property to hunt.

    Program graduates complete a rigorous 50 hours of classroom study, lectures, and skills training. Participants are required to excel in a variety of areas—history and ethics of conservation, landowner relations, noxious weed identification, wildlife management, and shooting proficiency, to name a few. The Master Hunter Program goes beyond any other hunting certification program, and Montana Master Hunters truly earn their title.

    Deploy a master hunter on your land

    One Montana is looking for more thoughtful landowners seeking help managing their wildlife populations. Each participating ranch can fully customize the hunting experience on their property to meet their specific objectives and preferences. Landowners and managers choose the species and sex of the animals to be hunted, the locations and timeframes in which hunting can occur, and the ways in which they care to interact with hunters. Landowners may also ask for services days to help with tasks on the ranch in exchange for offering hunting.

    In 2019, 17 ranches participated in the program, each with a unique package facilitated by One Montana. The Master Hunter Program benefits ranchers, farmers, and absentee owners as well as Montana hunters and helps build community and connect folks from both urban and rural areas across the state.

    Want help managing wildlife from a network of thoughtful hunters who are committed to partnerships with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, and to establishing good working relationships with landowners?

    Interested landowners can learn more and can enroll on the Montana Master Hunter www.mtmasterhunter.com.

    For questions and further information, email the author, Kelly Beevers.