One Montana’s Master Hunter Program is accepting applications October 1, 2020 – November 30, 2020 for the 2021 classes.
The program includes classroom and online instruction, and field work. The course covers wildlife management, history of conservation, hunting culture and ethics, private land stewardship, shooting accuracy and precision, lead-free ammunition, and hunting skills to name a few. Master Hunter instructors have a wide diversity of knowledge and perspectives and in include ranchers, farmers, university faculty, professional shooting instructors, wildlife managers, and wildlife biologists, and MT Fish Wildlife and Parks personnel, among others.
This year, Ranchers Stewardship Alliance board vice president Conni French and her husband, Craig, hosted three Master Hunter students on their C Lazy J Ranch. Learn about their experience with the hunters and the program here.
“Our biggest take-away from the day was how important it is to keep communication open between hunters and landowners as they share the same resource. As we visited throughout the day we came to understand that these hunters were curious, ethical, hard-working, and enthusiastic. We were lucky to have them come out and work with us for a day and we look forward to another work day with the Master Hunter program down the road.” — Conni French
One of the primary goals of the program is to build trust and working relationships between landowners and sportsmen and women. The program provides hunters the opportunity to learn from landowners about the challenges they face on a daily bases and specifically how wildlife impacts them. Secondly, the program seeks to help landowners and the state with their wildlife management goals. By working with landowners Master Hunters also help to change false perceptions about both hunting and agriculture, and ultimately work to increase access opportunities for future generations.
Locations for classes in 2021 will be offered in Bozeman (February), Great Falls (March), Kalispell (April), and Miles City (May). Each class will consist of three 2-day weekends, except Miles City will have a two 3-Day weekend format. A weekend rendezvous in June is also required for qualifications, field exercises, and the final exam.
The program cost is $375. A limited number of scholarships are available through a separate application process. The program is led by One Montana (1MT), a nonprofit located in Bozeman, MT that works to sustain a vibrant Montana by connecting our urban and rural communities. 1MT implements creative programs that maintain agriculture and working lands, support private land stewardship, and preserve our cultural heritage.
Landowners interested in partnering with the program to manage wildlife, build relationships with ethical, educated, and effective hunters, and tell their stewardship story to an audience of sportsmen can fully customize their hunting program with Master Hunter to meet their specific needs.
To learn more about taking the class, email Everett Headley, Lead Instructor, at [email protected]. To inquiry about becoming a land partner of the program, contact Kelly Beevers, at [email protected].