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Guidelines for Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, and Recreating on State Trust Land in Montana


With the upcoming hunting season, many people will likely hunt state trust land at some point. These lands are managed by the Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for the benefit of public schools and other public entities. In Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 6 in northeast Montana, large areas of state trust land are found in central Valley and western Daniels counties.

Although state trust land is often considered simply as "public land," specific rules and regulations apply to these lands that hunters and other outdoor recreationists need to follow. In addition, nearly 100 percent of these lands are leased to operators for livestock grazing or other agricultural production, along with oil and gas leases. Recreationists need to respect these operations and abide by all rules and guidelines for safety and cooperation with the lease holders and other recreators on state trust land.

Below are some general guidelines for hunting, fishing, trapping, and recreating on state trust land.

On most maps, state trust land is colored blue. However, a few of the state tracts colored blue are not necessarily state trust land. Some are owned, leased, or operated by other state agencies.

These lands may have different rules and regulations that apply to their specific tract of land. Please check with the appropriate entity for any further information.

What is state trust land?

State trust land, often called “state land,” is land managed by the DNRC for the sole purpose of generating inco...