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  1. Default First Timer over here. Any imput is good imput

    Good evening! Iíve watched waaaayyyyyy too much YouTubeÖ consisting of Randy and Land of the Free. I now have the itch to go west and shoot an elk with the bow. Last year I bought a point in Wyoming and Montana and I have access to gohunt. It is probably user error, but Iím simply looking to get an elk tag in an area to see one. Any input or direction on where a guy could get A tag to start and begin scouting areas for future knowledge and work his way up to a bull? Just looking to see an elk and then act like I know what Iím doing, and try to shoot one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South East Colorado


    My suggestion would be to start with a cow tag. Pick a unit and hunt it while spending less to learn the unit to see if it has possibility. Find the elk and pattern the elk and arrow a cow for a lot less money. If you go home empty handed you're not out as much money, but if you connect you get some of the best free range organic protein on the planet.

    And welcome to the forum!
    Last edited by JohnCushman; 01-12-2018 at 05:07 PM.
    I'm an addict...archery, rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, hunting, fishing, fly fishing..and I don't want rehab

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by drewdrosal View Post
    I’ve watched waaaayyyyyy too much YouTube… consisting of Randy and Land of the Free.
    I wouldn't call that way too much youtube. I'd call that the perfect amount. Welcome to the forum and ditto what Cushman said.

  4. #4
    MN Public Hunter Guest



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    "Land of Giant Rams"


    Might consider buying a Montana OTC bear tag. You will see lots of elk being elk in the spring season, and can come in the fall if you do not fill your tag in the spring.
    Wood is Good

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Bozeman, Billings, MT ----> Omaha, NE...and back soon, hopefully


    One point in MT won't get you very far, especially if you are a non-resident. Honestly, it may be better for you to get the OTC general tag that you can use in a good portion of the state for both archery and rifle. If you get out here during archery season, you will likely have a much better chance of running into gets tougher during rifle with all of the pressure and bulls splitting off from the herd. I would recommend getting the general tag and then doing as much homework as you can about the area that you want to hunt. Be prepared to put some miles on and get away from the other hunters! Oh...and get yourself a wolf tag too.
    "I'll be halfway to heaven with paradise waitin'
    Five miles away from wherever I am."

  7. #7


    Idaho or Colorado you can get a tag every year. No one can guarantee seeing an elk every year it is hunting. Just pick a spot and go. The experience alone is worth every penny.

  8. #8


    Goes against the grain as most of us usually hunt without an outfitter though I grew up hunting whitetails in the Midwest so figured I could be just as successful hunting anything with four legs.

    Then I moved out West and decided hunting elk would be similar to whitetail hunting on farmland. Nope. Was a challenging learning curve. Elk are not deer. Bigger when on the ground, for example. Require about 3 more pack out trips to get the elk to the trailhead compared to a deer. The weather and terrain can be tougher even without the impact of being at altitude. I suggest a first-time elk hunter go with someone that has killed elk a few times. Not saying you can't go solo as a first-timer, stay safe and have a great adventure. Just my take on things. If you decide to go with a guide then check references for recent successful and unsuccessful hunters. Can be a crap shoot but checking references is a start to finding a good guide.

  9. Default

    Every area of Montana that holds elk can satisfy the requirements you are looking for. You have the right approach to this in that you are willing to begin a process that will eventually ensure success with a bull. You need to identify and narrow a few more parameters to help you find the area that is right for you.

    Are you okay with being around grizzly bears? (Areas in close proximity of Yellowstone and the Bob Marshall Wilderness will tend to have higher densities of grizzlies) If you are not okay with hunting in grizzly country you will want to concentrate on areas in central and eastern MT.

    Larger areas of public land tend to be found in from central MT to the western edge. Most of these areas are general units. You will have freedom to roam and search multiple locations till you find elk.

    With Montana you will apply for a general tag as you are applying for special permit areas. If you don't draw a permit you can still hunt general units. I would advise planning multiple hunts in general areas over one hunt in a special permit area as being a better strategy for killing a nice bull. Archery season in Montana in general units can and does produce quality bulls each year. Gaining knowledge of a hunting area as you gain experience learning to elk hunt is a recipe for repeatable success.

    Here are some helpful links that you can explore to help you identify units that produce quantity of elk and quality of elk. Usually, both are not included in the same unit and those hunters who have found what they think is the optimal balance of each are not going to be calling attention to their choice of units by telling anyone about it on the internet.

    If you study the data include in the harvest reports you'll probably start seeing some trends in regions and individual units that match the criteria for what YOU define as a good area. After that, you'll have to put boots on the ground to prove whether or not you've chosen well.

    Once you choose a unit, it is helpful to have several likely locales in that unit picked out as potential good hunting areas. Very few people hit the X on the first spot and you will probably have to use a process of elimination to determine where the best place is to hunt. That is one reason why it is a great idea to give yourself as much time as possible to hunt. Good luck with your search. It is possible to figure it out and be successful and you'll find the process from concept to notching a tag challenging, addictive, and rewarding.

  10. Default

    Thank you guys for all the responses. It really does help out a lot. Me and my hunting partner are going to see how the Wyoming draw goes and then look at Montana, Colorado and maybe even Idaho if need be. Please keep the advice/help coming. You guys are really the best ever

  11. Default

    I am in the same boat! Land of the Free did wonders to my archery equipment and desires to go west and shoot an elk! I will be reviewing every thread I can find on this site as well as spending hours on gohunt, but I look forward to the expertise and guidance coming from this site to point me in the right direction. Like you, I started buying points last year but after LOTF, I just want to get out there and start learning Ideally I'd like to have a tag of some sort to try and fill at the same time but I am willing to maybe just get out and hike around... but then again, I don't want to be THAT guy, walking around during someone else's hunting season... screwing it up for others. So who knows... hopefully know more by end of February if tags are drawn right?!

  12. #12


    Get a cow tag in wy this year (type6)in a general area, and buy point. Next year get a general tag and shot a bull in same area...planned, your welcome and welcome the board.


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