Why do we care so much about public land access ? Put simply: Because if the current trend to lease private to outfitters continues there won't be anywhere else for us poor folk to hunt (or fish, or recreate). The brown areas on the above map of Montana show about 19 million acres private lands currently being to outfitters for commercial hunting. In other words the average hunter is now locked out of about 1/3 of Montana's 59 million acres...And considering in 2012 there was just 7 million acres leased there appears to be no end in sight.
Consider also of the private land that’s not leased much that remains is urban/suburban, industrial, governed by Indian tribes, or not suitable for wildlife or hunting.
The map doesn’t detail the variety of hunting but in my experience the majority is for big-game, with lesser acreage for upland bird hunting, waterfowl, turkey and even predator hunting. Hard to believe but recently I saw an outfitter ad for shooting ground squirrels (yes, pay handsomely to shoot gophers for cripes sake...like around here ranchers beg for shooters)