Upland Bird Hunting

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The upland bird hunting opportunities in central Montana are abundant, yet varied.  Our region has excellent habitat for 2 species of mountain grouse (ruffed and blue), 2 species of prairie grouse (sharptails and sage), Hungarian partridge and pheasants.  

We have a variety of hunting opportunities including guided hunts, access fee opportunities, block management areas, BLM and State Land areas, FWP habitat improvement areas and many hospitable land owners who, with courteous advance inquiries, allow access for bird hunting.

Block Management Areas
You’ll probably want to get the FWP Block Management map index books for both Regions  4 and 5.  They are available from the Regional FWP Offices (Region 4: 4600 Giant Springs Road, Great Falls, 59406. (406) 454-5840; Region 5: 2300 Lake Elmo Drive, Billings, 59105. (406) 247-2940) after August 15 each year.  Once you receive the map index books you can write, or call, or pick up in person, the detailed maps for 5 Block Management Areas at a time.  This requires some careful advance planning but is an excellent program and offers a broad range of opportunities.

BLM and State Lands
Another opportunity area, particularly for the two prairie grouse, are the numerous BLM and State Lands.  These can be identified from the Montana topographic atlases (Landmark is best), but I prefer to also have the BLM Montana Recreation Access Guide maps, which give much better detail.  The easiest place to get these maps is the Regional BLM Office in Lewistown (406) 538-1900 or from any of the three local sporting goods stores identified below.

Montana FWP
I’ve often found that the land maps at SVC.mt.gov/msl/mtcadastral are helpful in identifying owners and property boundaries.  An excellent new hard copy land ownership atlas for Fergus County is available from the Fergus County Weed Department (406) 535-3970.

Updates on Current Conditions
An excellent of information on current conditions is always available from our local sporting goods store, The Sport Center.