Lewis and Clark National Forest Hunters: Check Area Early

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The severe weather from this past winter and spring in Montana has destroyed some roads in the national forest especially in the Little Belt Mountains area. Hunters who use this area to access their hunting grounds are urged to check their area early to make sure they can even get there. The spring run-off washed out some roads.

Roads that full sized vehicles could drive on now may only be passable with ATVs, motorcycles or horses. Some roads may not be opened in time for the general hunting season in October. Specifically, the South Fork of the Judith River will remain closed until some time next year and the Forest Service is struggling to repair Ruby Henn Road, Harley Creek Road, the Dry Wolf Creek Road, Sage Creek Road and Jefferson Creek Road.

The Great Falls Trailbike Riders Association has been helping the forest department with the clean up effort. They will let the forest know as they come along roads that need work and have been charting. The GFTRA is also doing work on some roads that had major wash out, clearing trails or making them safe for ATVs, dirt bikes. From Greatfallstribune.com.


hunter25's picture

I do most of my hunting close

I do most of my hunting close to home so if I did run into something like this I can come up with a plan b pretty quickly. But I can see the problems that could be caused if you had put a lot of time driving or pulling equipment that was not easily moved to unfamiliar areas. I only got into trouble one time during a year with a heavy run off and got several miles down a road that used the bottom of a draw. I could barely recognize it from the year before and ended up getting stuck in a wash out with both bunpers on either side and all 4 tires hanging in the air. Took about 3 hours of hauling rocks and digging to get things moveing again.

If you have had a strange weather year you better do some pre planning.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

Glad to see they are warning

Glad to see they are warning the hunters early.  Would really suck to get all the way up there and not even be able to get to your area to hunt.  We almost ran into the same thing here a few years ago in Colorado.  We headed up early and we were 3 miles from were base camo would be and the foresrty service decided to tear up a road and replace the culvert.  They told us ot would be three hbours before we could get across. Now we could have turned aroun but that would have meant 4-5 hours of driving and another tank of gas atleast.  We decoded to sit it out....1 hpour later they came and said they think they got it good enogh for us to cross.  Know I had my 10 foot cargo trailer behind me...a little nervre racking for the minutes it took me to get across, but it was worth it.....just glad we did not turn around.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

One of the other benefits of

One of the other benefits of early scouting, you can deal with the unexpected ahead of time.  It would stink to be hunting the Lewis and Clark National Forest, only to arrive there a day early and finding that your access roads are all washed out.  That wouldn't leave you too much time for plan "B".

That is one of my biggest fears when travelling very far for hunting.  If you are local, you can take a nice drive up there one day, and scout around. However, if it's a day+ drive, like it will be where I am going next fall in colorado, it's not like I can just run up there on a Saturday and scout around.

I guess that's where forums like this come in handy.... Wink