Owen Sowerwine Visitor Information

Visitor Requirements

  1. Visitors to Owen Sowerwine, which is School Trust State Land (Montana Department of Resources and Conservation), are required to have a current Montana Conservation License (as per State law), which is available wherever hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Approved Group Use visitors are not required to hold these licenses.
  2. ALL Group Use in the Owen Sowerwine area requires prior written approval from Flathead Audubon (see all details under Group Use). As the Third-Party Cooperator of the Conservation Easement, Flathead Audubon has the EXCLUSIVE responsibility or reviewing/approving all Group Use in the Owen Sowerwine area. Please note there is a three-month rolling calendar for scheduling Group Use, which means you may only schedule three months into the future, so that high demand time frames can be allocated fairly to numerous organizations to ensure the benefits of conservation education in Owen Sowerwine reach the broadest scope of users (as per the Conservation Easement). 
  3. All visitors for the purpose of hunting or fishing must obtain all applicable licenses and adhere to all laws and regulations related to their activity. 
  4. Use caution: All visitors are hereby informed that there are inherent dangers while visiting Owen Sowerwine. These may include, but are not limited to: low hanging branches, sticks and debris on the trail, deep holes, downed logs/trees, uneven walking surfaces including tree roots, muddy or icy ground surfaces, uneven and slippery surfaces on bridges, flood or standing waters, fast moving rivers, stinging/biting insects, wild animals, etc. All guests are encouraged to be cautious and pay close attention to their footing, watch for overhead obstructions, not wade into standing or flowing water, use hiking poles if conditions or your balance dictate, carry bear spray, and use good judgment. Avoid using the area during high winds because limbs or trees may be blown down.


The area is under the protection of a Conservation Easement and all human activity must uphold the Conservation Values delineated in the Conservation Easement. Briefly, these include things such as: preservation of native species of vegetation and wildlife, supporting natural riparian/wetland areas and river health, maintaining public access for low-impact and dispersed use for conservation education and recreation, and providing undeveloped open space as a wildlife travel corridor with foraging opportunities and security, both of which are particularly important for migrating birds.  All human behavior needs to be respectful of the Conservation Easement. 

PROHIBITIONS: The following activities are PROHIBITED in ALL areas within the Owen Sowerwine Property:

  • Commercial/for-profit activities
  • Camping, constructing shelters, erecting tarps or lean-to’s
  • Campfires, fireworks, and/or incendiary devises
  • Domestic pets/dogs (Waterfowl retriever dogs may be used during waterfowl hunting season, and must be leashed or under voice control)
  • Recreational/Target shooting (Hunting is permitted in accordance with FWP Regulations for this district; DNRC regulations prohibit the discharge of a weapon within ¼ mile of a residence)
  • Illegal tree stands or monitoring devices
  • Horses, mechanical or motorized use (DNRC exceptions for maintenance, fire management, emergency response)
  • Destruction, collection, or harvesting of vegetation or wood, including cutting trees
  • Littering or dumping of trash
  • Behavior that is disruptive or harassing to wildlife, waterfowl, and/or birds
  • Producing noise that is disruptive or harassing to wildlife, waterfowl, and/or birds
  • Any behavior that is illegal according to the laws of any law enforcement agency (County, State, Federal)
  • Group Use without written permission issued by Flathead Audubon in response to an application for Group Use, and a certificate of Liability Insurance (See below: Applying for Group Use)