Get familiar with upland game bird program access guide

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Upland bird season kicks off Sept. 1, so it’s a good time to dig into this season’s hunting access guide.

To get started, hunters can refer to the Projects Access Guide, published annually by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Upland Game Bird Enhancement Program (UGBEP). The guide includes project maps that depict boundaries of private lands enrolled in the UGBEP. Once hunters have obtained the landowner’s permission to hunt, the maps with access boundaries can be an invaluable tool for hunters to locate UGBEP project areas.

The UGBEP Projects Access Guide also contains information on habitat enhancement work done on public lands, Open Fields, pheasant release sites, and the method used to obtain permission in order to hunt upland game birds.

Project maps have been created with “geo-referenced capabilities,” a fancy way of saying hunters can download the maps from the FWP website to most smart phones and tablets. Once loaded on a device, geo-referenced maps can allow hunters to dynamically view their position while in the field, relative to important features such as roads and access boundaries.

While no Internet connection or cell phone coverage is required to view the maps, a free third-party app of the user’s choice is needed for the maps to kick into geo-referenced mode. Go to any online App store and search for “geo-referenced PDF viewers”. There are several free options available.

Hunters can find the new guide and the maps at fwp.mt.gov. Click Upland Game Bird Access Guide.

Printed access guides are available at FWP headquarters and regional offices. Hunters can also request a copy of the book via fwp.mt.gov.

FWP urges Montana hunters to extend their thanks to all partners who collaborate on habitat conservation and access opportunities that benefit wildlife and hunters. These programs, through partnerships formed with private landowners, government agencies, and conservation organizations provide nearly 300,000 acres of enhanced upland game bird habitat while providing close to 600,000 acres of access to upland game bird hunters.

For more information contact Debbie Hohler at 406-444-5674 or dhohler@mt.gov.

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