MT Region 7 BMA's

jjgaw

New Member
May 1, 2018
15
0
Hello all,

New to the forum here. Avid bowhunter from Indiana with a real passion for the outdoors. I've been reading a lot of great material and advice from all the threads. I hope to be able to contribute and keep learning in the future.

I am currently planning out my 2018 Montana deer hunt as I was lucky enough to get drawn for the upcoming season. Words cant explain how excited I am to experience a new type of hunting. As mentioned I have been doing a lot of research on the subject as well as speaking to region 7 biologists. I am physically fit, comfortable shooting out to 250 yards, own some good glass, and most importantly not afraid to work hard.

My goal is obviously to take down a nice buck, doesn't have to be a monster, I will be happy to kill a 140's buck.. But most importantly don't want to kill a immature buck.

I will be focusing my efforts on hunting type 2 BMA's around the Ekalaka, Baker area. From what I have read this offers the least pressure and best opportunities. SO, my question to all of you with experience on BMA's. How have you gone about finding a good BMA that offers solid habitat? I want to have an idea of a couple BMA's to jump on August 22nd, or at least have an idea of what to look for when the BMA info is released. When BMA info is released do they also offer coordinates or detailed maps to research them via satellite imaging? I am not looking for your honey hole's, but instead the tools you have used to become successful yourselves.

Thanks in advance
 

BrettKoenecke

Member
Jun 28, 2013
137
5
Congrats. Tools to be successful:

Pick an area or 3 to focus on. Glean info from internet forums. Obtain paper maps. Use google maps or other online aerial photos. Call biologists. Go out there yourself and put boots on the ground.
 

Tim McCoy

Veteran member
Dec 15, 2014
1,855
3
Oregon
They used to make a booklet available in Aug. If you know the BMA names/numbers, I've been known to find them with a little time on the computer, past years maps anyway. In that part of MT, any decent sized BMA should have good numbers of deer, or FWP would not have let them enroll is my guess. Been hunting just south of your preferred MT locale for a few years, been a fun hunt.
 

jjgaw

New Member
May 1, 2018
15
0
Yea I have been doing a lot of searching for past years BMA info. I was able to find the booklet containing the info on each BMA. But have not had much luck finding the individual maps. I gusss I’ll just narrow it down to a couple areas and hope to find a decent BMA there.

Have you been successful in taking some nice deer around there?
 

Tim McCoy

Veteran member
Dec 15, 2014
1,855
3
Oregon
Yea I have been doing a lot of searching for past years BMA info. I was able to find the booklet containing the info on each BMA. But have not had much luck finding the individual maps. I gusss I’ll just narrow it down to a couple areas and hope to find a decent BMA there.

Have you been successful in taking some nice deer around there?
Yes, especially WT. The Muley's are small where we are, trespassers poaching is my guess. See 150 class WT every trip, getting them is another matter.
 

Tim McCoy

Veteran member
Dec 15, 2014
1,855
3
Oregon
Yea I have been doing a lot of searching for past years BMA info. I was able to find the booklet containing the info on each BMA. But have not had much luck finding the individual maps. I gusss I’ll just narrow it down to a couple areas and hope to find a decent BMA there.

Have you been successful in taking some nice deer around there?
Check your PM's. You should be able to see some maps.
 

Shooter

Active Member
Feb 22, 2011
244
4
Washington
I wouldn't limit yourself to just BMA's. I would try to find an area with public land to hunt and with some type 1 BMA's close by. From my experience type 2 BMA's are hard to get on. Also from my experience I like the smaller BMA's. I think people overlook them because they are small. The big BMA's usually see a lot of traffic. Those small chunks of NF around Ekalaka usually are pretty good hunting. If that is the area you plan on going I would start researching that public land.
 

johnsd16

Active Member
Mar 16, 2014
353
3
N Idaho
I agree with shooter. I think lots of groups come to the same assumptions about big BMAs and blocks of public and they get hit fairly hard. We’ve seen most of our best Bucks on smaller BMAs or overlooked chunks of state or BLM. No substitute for experience. This will be our 4th year hunting in SE during the rut and we have places we know we want to hit and others we won’t be back to. Things change from year to year as well. Pick a few spots to check out and go. Odds are you’ll find a freezer filler no matter what and you can build your expectations from year to year.
 

jjgaw

New Member
May 1, 2018
15
0
What size BMA’s do you consider to be good? Seems like the range of acreage is all over the place. Since your post I have been looking into a lot more BLM and state trust land. There’s a lot more than i had originally thought. Thanks for the replies
 

johnsd16

Active Member
Mar 16, 2014
353
3
N Idaho
Any size. Some that are 20k acres hold few animals and some that are a section or two are packed with critters. Look at the cover, feed, surrounding territory and get boots on the ground.
 

DU4LIFE25

Member
Sep 24, 2015
70
27
Wisconsin
Anyone else that hunts in Region 7 have issues reserving BMA's? It seems like almost everyone we called on the last few days is booked. We're thinking it may be a sign of how the hunting pressure may be this fall.
 

PlainsHunter

Active Member
Feb 29, 2012
425
20
Central MN
Anyone else that hunts in Region 7 have issues reserving BMA's? It seems like almost everyone we called on the last few days is booked. We're thinking it may be a sign of how the hunting pressure may be this fall.
I called 2 BMA's on Saturday (first day allowed) and both already had many of their openings booked. I was able to get a reservation but had to be flexible and adjust to their open spots. For me it's been the same every year for the last several years.
 

DU4LIFE25

Member
Sep 24, 2015
70
27
Wisconsin
We didn’t realize that we could’ve called last week to get numbers for BMA’s so that really kind of screwed us. I thought a few years ago we could reserve some BMA’s through the office but others we had to call the owner. Looks like we’ll just have to hunt more BLM and state land.
 

mallardsx2

Veteran member
Jul 8, 2015
2,478
1,005
I secured my primary type 2's for the time I will be there. All of the landowners were very nice. For once, this early bird got his worms.
 

Jhemphunt

New Member
Aug 2, 2017
7
0
WI
This will be my first year hunting MT this fall. Actually going out there this weekend for a scouting trip. I have some dates set for a week off in nov. I guess i wasn't aware that the bma's filled up that quickly. Hopefully we find some decent looking areas this weekend when we are out there scouting. Coming from central WI. Anyone willing to chat or private message me would be great. I have heard and read alot of things but never hunted for a mule deer before.
 

LCH

Very Active Member
Jun 28, 2015
706
160
Southern Indiana
This will be my first year hunting MT this fall. Actually going out there this weekend for a scouting trip. I have some dates set for a week off in nov. I guess i wasn't aware that the bma's filled up that quickly. Hopefully we find some decent looking areas this weekend when we are out there scouting. Coming from central WI. Anyone willing to chat or private message me would be great. I have heard and read alot of things but never hunted for a mule deer before.
I'd mostly focus on finding access points to BLM/State/Block Management, identify the areas you can access easily in crappy weather (pavement or gravel), glassing points, etc.

Don't worry as much about the deer you see or don't see, they'll be a lot more visible in November.
 
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