By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: October 20, 2022

KALISPELL — The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission has approved hunting regulations for the new Bad Rock Canyon Wildlife Management Area near Columbia Falls.

In December 2021, the department acquired the 772-acre property along the Flathead River. During the acquisition process, the department committed to develop a proposal for how it would administer hunting opportunity on the WMA using the public review process. The commission unanimously approved the new regulations at its Oct. 20 meeting.


Youth 2-Day Deer Hunt and General Rifle Season

  • From the start of the youth hunt through the general hunting season, public access is limited at the WMA to hunting only.
  • All species may be hunted on this WMA with valid licenses during this season. This WMA is in Deer/Elk Hunting District 170.
  • Only youth hunters ages 10-15 and hunters with a permit to hunt from a vehicle are eligible to hunt on the WMA, Thursdays-Sundays and Monday holidays.
  • Advanced written permission is required for all hunters, and access is granted through a lottery drawing. To enter the lottery, complete an application found online at or contact the FWP Region 1 office at 406-752-5501.
  • Hunters are required to access the WMA from designated parking areas by Highway 2 at River Road or at the BPA powerline corridor.

Archery Season

  • Archery hunting is open to archery equipment for all legal species.
  • Access is limited to two individuals/week awarded by lottery.
  • There is not an age restriction for hunting during archery season.

Spring Turkey and Bear Season

  • Spring turkey season is open through a drawing to youth hunters ages 10-15 and hunters with a permit to hunt from a vehicle. Access will be granted for a period of two consecutive days.
  • The WMA is closed to spring black bear hunting.

Winter Closure

  • After the general hunting season ends in late November, Bad Rock Canyon WMA will be closed to all public access through May 15 at noon to protect big game winter range. FWP’s Wildlife Management Areas are managed with wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation as the priority.

Recreational Access

  • Bad Rock Canyon WMA is open to recreational access from May 15 at noon to the start of the youth hunt in late October. This year’s youth hunt starts Oct. 20.
  • Motorized vehicle use is restricted to designated access routes, public roads, and parking areas. All other motorized vehicle use is prohibited.
  • Non-motorized use is open only to foot, horseback, and non-motorized bicycle from designated parking areas.
  • Camping, fires, and wood cutting is prohibited.
  • Commercial outfitting is prohibited.

Please report any violations to 1-800-TIP-MONT. Callers may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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