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Thread: Mt 417-20

  1. #1

    Default Mt 417-20

    Blessed with a 417-20 bull permit.
    I have hunted the breaks for the last 15 years but never in 417.
    Anyone that lives out there or has held this tag willing to help out with a few questions?
    1) Water - I'm assuming it is very scarce and I will need to pack all I need. ??
    2) Gas - Where is the nearest 24 hour cc fuel pump if I planned on hunting the northern portion? Any small hotels that will sell a shower?
    3) Quality - hunting fool lists the upper end at 320-340. Will hunt a week archery, first week rifle and last 10 days of rifle. What are your thoughts?
    4) Nearest burger and beer?

    Thank you for any help!

    PM's are great if you prefer.
    Last edited by SteveE; 04-21-2017 at 04:14 PM.
    RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME

  2. #2
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    I was also fortunate enough this year to have the same blessing of a 417-20 permit.

    In the process of accruing as much on-the-ground know-how from guys who have hunted in the past.

    Whatever you feel comfortable sharing. Since this is a LE tag I don't feel quite as bad asking

    PM's are great.
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  3. #3
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    This'll prob help. I've never hunted it, but been through many times. Lewistown will probably be your hub, but there are a few gas stations around. Winifred will be your best bet if your in the northern section, but IDK about 24hr services.

    http://fwp.mt.gov/export/sites/FwpPu...erElkHd417.pdf
    "There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charm." ~TR

    "He was a mighty hunter before the Lord." ~Genesis 10:9

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the link! I did not know FWP had these available! Planning on setting up a camp a few miles off the road with my seek tipi and stove to ensure comfort in all conditions.

    I know this is when everyone joins the forum and starts asking questions--but I've been around awhile and only ask when I draw a good LE permit since I am always happy to share info on those types of hunts.
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  5. #5
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    Just curious what other units in the breaks you have been hunting? 417 is a lot of the same type of country. Some of the block management fills up quick, also a lot of private ground that just cannot be touched. The limited time I've spent in 417 the elk numbers and bull sizes were less than many of the other units. That said the genetics are there, just gotta get a little lucky. There is a reason it's an easier tag to draw. I believe bohemian corner is open again, but I'm not sure they have 24/7 pumps yet. Grass range isn't much futher down the highway, and can get food/gas there. Winifred is the best option in the other direction, and fairly certain they have 24/7 pumps now. Not to mention lots of beer and good burgers. Best of luck to ya, don't forget about the gumbo!!

  6. #6

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    Winifred has 24 hour gas, at least one bar/restaurant, and a small grocery store, should have pretty much everything you will need.

  7. #7

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    Correct on Winifred having 24 hour gas and good food and supplies. This is not a cake walk unit and be sure to scout and drive the roads. It’s interesting coming off the highway from the east. You are going to want to get private land permission or block management lined up ASAP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CForest View Post
    Just curious what other units in the breaks you have been hunting? 417 is a lot of the same type of country.
    I have spent many days over the years in 620, 621, and 622. Mostly deer hunting. I drew a LE permit ten years ago and shot a smallish 6-point. Have done a little cow elk hunting also--but always on the north side of the river. All that to say, I am familiar with the tactics and terrain type--but not the specific locations within 417.

    Quote Originally Posted by CForest View Post
    The limited time I've spent in 417 the elk numbers and bull sizes were less than many of the other units. That said the genetics are there, just gotta get a little lucky.
    Curious what time of year you were in 417? My impression of 417 is the same--less overall high-end quality but a good opportunity for those who get away from roads.

    This was my first season applying in 417, I made that decision after some self evaluation. It didn't make sense to keep waiting on some of the other more selective districts when my 2 real goals were 1) draw a breaks rifle permit, and 2) harvest a mature bull.

    A mature and handsome 6 point would be an ideal outcome from a harvest standpoint--something I felt 417 could provide.

    Can anyone comment on migration of bulls out of 410 into 417? I have often heard mature bulls that rut in 410 will make their way west into the cover of Armells Creek to wait out the rifle season. However, I have never confirmed that this actually happens, it has always been more of a rumor or a guess that gets circulated. Can anyone confirm or at least comment on this migration idea?
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

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    Quote Originally Posted by 406LIFE View Post
    Winifred will be your best bet if your in the northern section, but IDK about 24hr services.
    Quote Originally Posted by fowl punishment View Post
    Winifred has 24 hour gas, at least one bar/restaurant, and a small grocery store, should have pretty much everything you will need.
    Quote Originally Posted by kmf View Post
    Correct on Winifred having 24 hour gas and good food and supplies.
    Quote Originally Posted by fowl punishment View Post
    Winifred has 24 hour gas, at least one bar/restaurant, and a small grocery store, should have pretty much everything you will need.
    Thank you all for the information on Winifred. This was something I was needing to confirm. My brother and I are planning to setup a camp a couple miles in, off the road. But it is good to know we have options as far as refueling or last minute supplies.
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmf View Post
    This is not a cake walk unit and be sure to scout and drive the roads. It’s interesting coming off the highway from the east. You are going to want to get private land permission or block management lined up ASAP.
    In talking with others, they have indicated that plenty of nice bulls can be found on BLM, Monument, and State land. I am planning to make a BMA reservation as soon as the reservatin system opens. Can you expound on why you feel private land permission will be vital for success?
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  11. #11

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    If you want to hunt any private land you need permission and it’s easier to get sooner rather than later. That’s all.
    There is phenomenal country in 417 with no elk.
    There is not that many areas with no roads so getting away from roads is tough.
    I spent a day hiking there last year and had 4 vehicles in different locations parked on 4 hills all afternoon watching and I picked an area with what I thought was remote.

  12. #12

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    My limited experience is that being able to trespass through private gets you into difficult to access public ground that doesn't have roads everywhere. I know a few people who have gotten bulls up there and that is what they did, summer scouted and locked in permission. I strictly hunted public and I had a lot of folks around and saw few animals. I think hunting the public private fringes will be your friend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fowl punishment View Post
    My limited experience is that being able to trespass through private gets you into difficult to access public ground that doesn't have roads everywhere. I know a few people who have gotten bulls up there and that is what they did, summer scouted and locked in permission. I strictly hunted public and I had a lot of folks around and saw few animals. I think hunting the public private fringes will be your friend.
    Where did you camp at?
    Last edited by Watt21; 04-29-2018 at 04:29 PM. Reason: poor spelling
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

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    Quote Originally Posted by kmf View Post
    I spent a day hiking there last year and had 4 vehicles in different locations parked on 4 hills all afternoon watching and I picked an area with what I thought was remote.
    Which area was that? good to keep in mind
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

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    Thanks to those who have PM'd me or responded to my PM. I feel like I am quickly getting a handle on things. I very much appreciate the continued generosity of this band of hunting brothers!

    Glad I made the decision a few years ago to quit lurking, and start engaging, contributing, learning, and teaching. To any lurkers reading this, why not?
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  16. Default

    "Glad I made the decision a few years ago to quit lurking, and start engaging, contributing, learning, and teaching. To any lurkers reading this, why not?"

    Because now anyone with 1 minute of reading this post knows as much as you do about the area you plan to hunt. If you like company, and a ton of people easily finding out info that would be otherwise hard earned; contribute, and teach all you like. Lurkers just get to learn without the work. And to the folks willing to put this all on the internet, well we appreciate your making it much easier on us. Once again, hope you enjoy company.

  17. #17

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    Spend as much time as you can during the week.. Can get awful lonely in there during archery season. Talk to every one you run into, especially sheep hunters, they are a great resource and are open to sharing info. I have had both elk and sheep tags in there so feel free to pm me any questions you might have>

  18. #18
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    Thanks for the advice thus far.
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  19. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pddubs View Post
    "Glad I made the decision a few years ago to quit lurking, and start engaging, contributing, learning, and teaching. To any lurkers reading this, why not?"

    Because now anyone with 1 minute of reading this post knows as much as you do about the area you plan to hunt. If you like company, and a ton of people easily finding out info that would be otherwise hard earned; contribute, and teach all you like. Lurkers just get to learn without the work. And to the folks willing to put this all on the internet, well we appreciate your making it much easier on us. Once again, hope you enjoy company.
    I don't see any info in this thread that will put more people on the ground. Knowing if there's 24 hr gas in Winifred is an important detail, not exactly gps coordinates to your favorite hunting spot. Congrats on the tag! Beautiful country up there.

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    Bumping this up now that we are getting closer to the hunt in case anyone has any other thoughts.
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  21. #21
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    Can't add much more that hasnt been said already, but have hunted it a bit. Wife had a permit back when we started dating, she has way more experience there than I do. We hunted in a camp out of Winnifred, at that time there wasn't any 24hr gas there which became a problem. From what I saw and she has told me, later in the season it gets way better around there. That country can be tricky because if the elk haven't gotten there, you are hosed. No turning over rocks to find a small herd, if they aren't there then there just aren't any elk in the area. We went early and busted but hunting a BMA and public ground opening weekend and never saw a hair. She wound up going back with her sister and taking a raghorn the last week of the season. Trophy bulls are there but if I had the tag I certainly wouldn't hold out on one like I had say, a 621 permit. Once the elk get there life gets much easier. There is a heck of a nice hotel to stay at in Winnifred now as well and you can get a good burger at the bar across the street and talk to the sheep hunters that come in. I don't feel bad telling you anything I can to help because we'll likely never hunt there again. Not a bad tagto have! Mostly I'd suggest later in the season if you're around Winnifred!
    Northern Montana cowboy doing what I can to go elk hunting. Making a living working in natural resources and fighting fire on wide open spaces all over the West.

  22. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 429421Cowboy View Post
    I don't feel bad telling you anything I can to help because we'll likely never hunt there again.
    Guess too bad to those that will.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pddubs View Post
    Guess too bad to those that will.
    You realize with draw odds the way they are its about a once every decade type of a hunt?
    "Equality in access to Montana elk is not basic to the maintenance or wellbeing of the Union." -US SUPCO

  24. #24
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    I think pdubs better go hang out in Winifred and police the sheep hunters...make sure they don't pass on any knowledge to any elk hunters. All kidding aside I wish the OP good luck on the hunt!
    Made in Montana.

  25. #25
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    First off, I have hunted there a grand total of less than a week, so I doubt I know any classified information. I can offer some insight on where to stay and what resources are there since my wife has family there and I work up there occasionally. Second, we should all try to be a little courteous to each other as hunters, this secret squirrel stuff is fine if that's your thing, but don't bust my chops if I want to actually help a fellow hunter. Nothing I know couldn't be figured out by any other guy that does his homework, everyone's secret spot is likely known by 5 others guys already anyways.
    Northern Montana cowboy doing what I can to go elk hunting. Making a living working in natural resources and fighting fire on wide open spaces all over the West.

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