Looking out over rolling farmland and ponderosa pines from a rimrock high above the Judith River, it is hard to believe this 6,600 acre wildlife refuge started as a secret vision for a quiet bachelor.
In his will, Leroy Beckman left instructions for a board of trustees to purchase a piece of land in Central Montana that would be put into public ownership for the enhancement and hunting of mule deer. Over time various purchases of ranches have allowed for the wildlife management area to grow to what it is today. The breaks-like terrain in North Central Montana with lots of timber is ideal mule deer habitat, just as Beckman envisioned.
But mule deer aren’t the only wildlife that flourish in the pristine stretch of rolling hills, prairie and Judith River breaks that make up the Beckman WMA. Wild turkeys, pheasants, and white tail deer; pronghorn antelope, songbirds and occasionally Rocky Mountain elk all make their home here.
By definition a wildlife management area is a protected area set aside for the conservation of wildlife and for recreational activities involving wildlife.
Miles of multipurpose trails allow for hunting, photography, sightseeing, birding, hiking, horseback riding and primitive camping. The Beckman WMA can be accessed with a short drive North of Denton, MT. On the south end from Bally Dome Road or in the Northwest corner from Bear Springs Road. For more detailed information as well as an interactive map of the Beckman WMA and others in the state visit the following links:
Written by Abby Majerus.