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Hunting and American Prairie

Hunting is and always will be a part of American Prairie. It is an important form of public access and a wildlife management tool.

Hunting has been a part of the grasslands ecosystem for thousands of years, and American Prairie has long seen hunting as important to the organization’s mission to create a refuge for both people and wildlife. When managed properly, hunting helps us to balance wildlife populations for the ecological health of the prairie while creating valuable public access opportunities for the public to experience this remarkable ecosystem and provide healthy food for themselves and their families.

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Pronghorn antelope bucks.

We manage hunting to prioritize high-quality, fair-chase hunts, and healthy wildlife populations. Please visit our hunting page for detailed information about American Prairie's hunting opportunities.

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The following criteria and philosophies guide the annual drafting of management objectives and hunting policies. We welcome questions and comments.

  • American Prairie is working to assemble and restore a prairie ecosystem, in which humans have been hunters since prehistoric times. Hunting played an important role in shaping the story of Montana’s grasslands.
     
  • Hunting is part of our science-based approach to wildlife and land management. Our hunting policies are shaped using more than a century of examples in North American wildlife management and restoration. We manage hunting on our deeded land to prioritize healthy wildlife populations and quality hunts.
     
  • Just as state wildlife agencies adjust seasons and species regulations each year, our biologists revise our management objectives on an annual basis. Our science-driven adaptive management is based on population and habitat conditions. The management tools we use may include a limit to hunter numbers to prevent overcrowding, restrictions on species that can be hunted, limiting access to some areas and setting limits on sex and age class opportunities.
     
  • We work collaboratively with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks – the public agency that manages wildlife and regulates hunting in the state – to grow and maintain healthy populations of all wildlife. Additionally, we consider public input in the annual drafting of our policies and recognize that many of our staff and supporters are hunters themselves.
     
  • American Prairie’s mission of assembling and restoring a prairie ecosystem includes a commitment to public access. As part of that commitment, our goal for the region – including our deeded lands and the vast acreages of surrounding public lands – is more wildlife for people to see, enjoy, and harvest. Our objective is to create richer and more satisfying experiences for all visitors – bird watchers, hikers, mountain bikers, young families, and hunters alike – as wildlife populations in the region continue to increase.

 

All wildlife depend on the resources of habitat and public support; we invite you to join our work to share Montana's prairie with future generations.