Montana Early-Season Hunting
Hunters are anxious to get out this time of year, whether they are archers or rifle hunters looking to scout out a new hunting spot. But the Montana outdoors is a busy place this time of year. Hunters are likely to encounter other recreationists, and may meet some challenges that demand that they be alert, considerate and ethical.

Here are some examples:

• Wildfire danger may be at its height in many areas, whether fire restrictions are in place or not. Hunters can help to prevent wildfires by not parking hot vehicles on dry grass; not smoking outdoors, foregoing campfires, using safe practices where fire restrictions are not in effect and obeying all fire restrictions that are in effect. Even horseback riding in some especially dry areas has been known to spark a fire. There is no substitute for good judgment. And, at a minimum, a pick, shovel, and canvas water bucket should be standard in every hunter's vehicle.

• Fall is prime time to be outdoors for hikers, horseback riders, dog walkers, wildlife viewers, bicyclists, ATV riders, anglers, and the list goes on. Patience and good outdoor manners will help make everyone's experience more pleasant.

• Landowners are scrambling to get pressing chores completed before winter. They may be difficult to reach to request hunting permission, but hunters must by law have landowner permission to hunt on private land.

• This time of year grass and noxious weed seeds alike are ripe and easily transported on a pant leg or the tires of an ATV. A hunter's awareness of weeds, and a willingness to avoid spreading them, sends a very positive signal to landowners and other recreationists.

• Hunters need to be cautious to avoid encountering bears that are searching for chokecherries and other food sources before hibernation.

• Hunters may also encounter work crews from the U.S. Forest Service, Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the Environmental Protection Agency or others finishing up summer projects.

While each of these situations may seem like an unwelcome delay or interruption, by handling them constructively a hunter smoothes the way for a more positive hunting experience.
| WH Home | Contact Western | WH Archive |

Copyright © 2005 J & D Outdoor Communications. All rights reserved.