Nestled between the Dakotas (North and South) and Idaho on the East and West and bordered by Wyoming on the South and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan on the North, Montana is a jewel in the crown of Western America. It is the fourth-largest of the Continental United States by area, boasting more than 33 million acres of public land, including the famous Yellowstone National Park which it shares with its Southern neighbour Wyoming. Its incredible wealth of mineral deposits (including gold, silver and other valuable metals) gave it the nickname of The Treasure State, but precious metals are not the only thing that makes Montana a treasure– this mountainous state is rich in wildlife and beautiful national parks, making it a wonderful destination for hunting and fishing.
Whether you hunt for food, fish, or are a trophy hunter looking to land a big one, there is something for you in Montana. It is home to many national parks ideal for hunting game of all sizes, from turkeys to deer and antelope, from bighorn sheep to mountain lions and bison. These parks include the 1.8 million acres of the Gallatin National Forest and the Kootenai National Forest on the river of the same name. The Lewis and Clark National Forest is also a prominent destination for big game hunters, with an abundance of game such as elk and deer.
Since the 1930s, Montana has been a world-class fishing destination of choice, known for its outstanding trout fisheries. The state of Montana boasts a dazzling array of freshwater fish including pike, lake trout, walleye, and small- and largemouth bass. Big game hunting also holds a deeply-rooted traditional history in Montana. With a history that stretches back thousands of years, connection to the land and a lifestyle involving hunting has been something that both brought families together and brought people from near and far to Montana to hunt, fish and trap. The lifestyle of hunting and especially fishing led to Montana being the backdrop of the famous book (and later film) “A River Runs Through It”, which boosted the popularity of fly fishing even further after its release.
Because it is such a prominent destination for hunting and fishing, Montana is also home to a number of conservation authorities, outdoors groups and foundations. These include the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Federation of Fly Fishers, and state chapters of groups such as Ducks Unlimited and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Those interested in the environmental aspects of outdoor life and preserving the land they hunt on will be happy to know that there are many groups in Montana doing this work. Many of these groups also host events that might be of interest to the visiting hunter or angler! The Montana government website is also an excellent resource, providing the concerned hunter with all the information that they will need before their hunting trip.
With even more parks, forests, rivers and mountains boasting a greater variety of fish, birds and game than there is time and space to list, Montana is a spot not to be missed by outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.