What is the Montana Hunter Advancement Program?

Who We Are


The Montana Hunter Advancement Program is a 50-hour course which includes classroom instruction, online instruction, and field work. This program offers applicants skills mastery combined with conservation and stewardship education, and specialized ballistics and marksmanship training.

In 2010, One Montana began facilitating a working group called Common Ground which is a partnership of Montana landowners, outfitters and sportsmen who have been working together to solve difficult issues concerning access and land stewardship in Montana.

We have an outstanding cadre of instructors including ranchers, farmers, landowners, university faculty, professional shooting instructors, private land wildlife managers, wildlife biologists, first aid personnel, as well as back country survival and equipment experts.



View or Download the
MHAP Brochure

A Montana hunter access program developed for Montana hunters


The Montana Hunter Advancement Program will develop a network of highly skilled, ethical, safe hunters that will serve as an example to others and help establish positive relationships with private landowners. RMEF is proud to support this innovative program.
— Blake Henning, Chief Conservation Officer Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation


Hunting Access and Benefits

For Hunters

The Master Hunter Program is a unique and rigorous program. You are required to attend more than 50 hours in a classroom and excel in a variety of areas – culture and ethics of hunting, history of conservation, landowner relations, wildlife management and shooting proficiency just to name a few. Successful completion of this course allows you the following:

  • Introduction or and inclusion in a new private land hunting access program in Montana.

  • Individualized shooting and marksmanship instruction.

  • Advanced knowledge of conservation and wildlife management specifically related to big game in Montana.

  • Opportunity to improve hunting skills and overall knowledge of hunting techniques, hunt planning and use of specialized gear, GPS, onX maps, etc.

  • Opportunity to improve hunter/landowner relations, skills and knowledge of farming and ranching in Montana.

  • Opportunity to improve understanding of state and federal public land access and the importance of public lands to Montana’s hunters.

  • Opportunity to communicate with participating landowners and obtain access to private farms and ranches in Montana where very limited or no public hunting access is currently allowed.

  • Access to Huntable, an online hunting access/ reservation system, for reserving access days on participating private Montana ranches.

  • Opportunity to meet and collaborate with like-minded hunter/conservationists who share your land and hunting ethics and values.

For Landowners

Our program was designed by Montana farmers, ranchers and sportsmen. As such intends to address some of the primary challenges faced by landowners in managing wildlife and opening their properties to hunters. Below are a few of the benefits a landowner can expect:

  • A well-trained, qualified, pool of hunters to draw from when considering who to allow on their property. Currently, many landowners may not wish to allow general public hunters onto their property as they have no way of knowing the competence or ethics of those individuals.

  • The opportunity to communicate with selected hunters prior to hunting so hunters will be informed of all landowner expectations, ranch rules, property boundaries, safety zones, etc.

  • The ability to use the Master Hunter Program reservation system to minimize the “hassle factor” of dealing with hunters asking for permission via phone or in person on a daily basis.

  • The ability to select the species and sex of the animals to be hunted.

  • The ability to select the time periods when hunting is allowed on the ranch.

  • The ability to select the number of hunters.

  • The ability to determine where hunting is allowed and what, if any, roads may be used.

  • The ability to determine requirements for road use such as washing vehicles prior to hunting for weed control, retrieval, etc.

  • The ability to ask hunters to help with projects such as conifer lopping, fence building, or branding throughout the year.

  • Landowners may also grant hunting to friends and family not enrolled in the Montana Hunter Advancement Program.


Watch the video below to learn more


This landowner led program provides another tool for farmers and ranchers to use when interacting with hunters. It is an innovative approach to build cooperation between landowners and sportsmen while also providing better wildlife management opportunities.
— Jay Bodner, Executive Vice President, Montana Stockgrowers Association