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Marna Daley's picture

Hunting-season tips & reminders. 

With general rifle season underway, the Forest Service would like to wish you happy hunting and offer some tips and reminders in order to protect your natural resources and make your visit more enjoyable.

Montana Rifle Season, Custer Gallatin National Park
'Tis the season—time to make the most of it.

Pick up a Motor Vehicle Use Map
Motorized Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) outline designated road and trail systems and are free at any of the Custer Gallatin Forest Ranger District Offices or online at Remember, if there is no numbered route marker than the road or trail is closed. In addition, there are a few roads and trail closures that go into effect during the spring and fall seasons so please check the MVUM or with your local ranger district office before heading out.

Remember that Montana state law requires drivers and vehicles to be licensed and “street legal” when on numbered Forest Service roads. Off-highway vehicles on Forest Service trails must have a state “OHV sticker” and anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet if riding a motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or utility terrain vehicle (UTV). Seat belts must be worn while riding in a UTV. 

Drones and game cameras
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones for hunting is prohibited on National Forest System lands. Game cameras are not allowed per Montana law.

Food Storage
Food storage requirements are in place for the Beartooth, Yellowstone, Gardiner, Bozeman, and Hebgen Lake ranger districts. Remember to store all attractants in 1) a closed, solid-sided vehicle or horse trailer, 2) in bear-resistant containers certified by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), or 3) hung ten feet off the ground and four feet out from any tree or support pole. Between 100 yards and one-half mile from your camp, you must hang or store your animal carcass just like other items that can attract bears. You can leave a carcass on the ground if it’s at least one-half mile from camping areas and at least 200 yards from a trail. Storing carcasses in a hard-sided horse trailer 100 yards away is okay, too.

Bear Hang, Montana Hunting
Do it right, or pay the price.

Remember to remove tree stands and any equipment or cache when you leave. 

Noxious weeds
Ensure you’re bringing only certified weed-free feed onto public lands. To qualify, your hay bales must be tagged. Wash your vehicles thoroughly before you head off on your hunting trip. 

Finally, in Montana, report any violations you may see to 1-800-TIP-MONT.

Marna Daley is a public affairs specialist with the Custer Gallatin National Forest. For more information, contact any Custer Gallatin National Forest office or visit them online

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