COLUMBIA FALLS - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) is seeking input on the scope of hunting opportunities at the Bad Rock Canyon Wildlife Management Area near Columbia Falls.
FWP along with the Flathead Land Trust acquired the 772-acre property along the Flathead River last December.
Options include maintaining exclusive youth-only hunting opportunities that were in place when the land was previously privately owned. Another option is opening the area to the general public without any age restrictions or limitations beyond the standard hunting season rules.
A third option would be a hybrid of the two with 50% of the hunting days reserved for apprentice and youth hunters.
Access would be granted through a random lottery drawing for a single day reservation for a single party of no more than three. Archery season would allow access to any age group of hunter by lottery for a one-week period. Other limitations would apply.
FWP spokesman Dillon Tabish says a final decision is expected in August ahead of the upcoming hunting season.
“If folks would like to keep that as a youth only area, then we need to hear about it, that’s really what this whole public process is about, we want to make sure that we make an informed decision with a lot of public engagement so that we really can feel like we’ve heard all of the different types of perspectives out there and then we can come to the best decision possible,” said Tabish.
The deadline to comment is June 27. Comments can be mailed to Stevie Burton, Montana FWP, 490 N. Meridian, Kalispell, MT 59901, or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.