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  1. Default Educate me on Montana Elk

    Hey all,

    I am from Arizona and have been hunting here my whole life. I am very interested in hunting Montana next year so I need to figure out the best way to go about it. It looks like there is a draw as well as OTC permits. What would be the best combination (time, unit, tag type) for getting to hunt a bull in Montana?

  2. #2

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    Welcome.


    There are no otc bull tags for NR that Iím aware of.

    If i could pick 1 week to hunt elk it would be late Sept (archery).
    ďTo me, if you donít eat it, then itís not a point of prideĒ. -Matt Rinella

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Posts
    1,566

    Default

    Welcome to the Forum, there is a lot of info available on here thru the search function. Also, Randy has tag application videos that explains how to apply in each state if you use the YouTube link above. As far as the best time and places to go, MTGomer is right. You can also reach out to ask Greenhorn. He is really good at knowing areas that hold great bulls.
    Last edited by Addicting; 10-09-2018 at 03:43 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    South East Colorado
    Posts
    9,011

    Default

    Welcome
    I'm an addict...archery, rifles, shotguns, handguns, muzzleloaders, hunting, fishing, fly fishing..and I don't want rehab

    CWEH...Colorado's Worst Elk Hunter 2007-2017 (but I'm still damned sexy) 10 years of consistency!! Taking 2018 off

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Bitterroot Valley, MT
    Posts
    1,741
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default

    Welcome.

    If all you want is to kill something, find a guide and pay the money.

    If you want the experience, give us some details of what you like, we could help you more.
    "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

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 406LIFE View Post
    Welcome.

    If all you want is to kill something, find a guide and pay the money.

    If you want the experience, give us some details of what you like, we could help you more.
    I really enjoy glassing elk and stalking. I prefer rifle hunting and have taken two bulls in Arizona. Last year I had a late rifle bull tag in the Cinder Hills outside of Flagstaff and I located bulls everyday and put in over 50 miles of hiking in the cinders to try to get a good shot. Ultimately, wind was not my friend so I couldn't get close enough to take a shot that I was comfortable with, but it was one of my favorite hunts because of the time I got to spend with boots on the ground. I do not want to pay a guide, I want to go find a bull on public land and do my best to earn a good clean shot. My bulls in Arizona have not been easy but they were a ton of fun. I have helped friends with hunts all over this state as well as New Mexico and have never had the luck of drawing an early rifle bull tag. Since I am out of college and bought a house I want to start putting in for different states and try to get a tag where bulls are bugling. Ideally, either my best friend or myself will draw a tag, we will load up our gear and the Montana Wall tent and spend a week or more scouting and hunting.

  7. #7

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    Montana rifle bull elk hunting is like finding a needle in a haystack. Success rates about 10%. Beautiful country.
    Kalispell Montana home to 75% genuinely good individuals, controlled by 25% of the most arrogant people you will ever meet.

  8. #8

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    non resident have a very good chance of drawing a statewide general tag on first try, i drew from 14,15,16 and in 17 drew a limited draw unit i had been applying for my first 3 yrs. you can apply for 3 separate units/hunts if you dont draw your first 2 choices it defaults to a general tag. example: 5000 tags reserved for non-residents. 5100 apply. all but 100 draw tags. the last 2 yrs they have had more applicants than tags. it may not be a perfect explanation but it is very close.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pagosa View Post
    Montana rifle bull elk hunting is like finding a needle in a haystack. Success rates about 10%. Beautiful country.
    My dad always said 10% of the hunters will always get 90% of the elk!

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pagosa View Post
    Montana rifle bull elk hunting is like finding a needle in a haystack. Success rates about 10%. Beautiful country.
    Is that 10% the odds of drawing a tag or the odds of shooting a bull?

  11. #11

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    Odds of shooting a legal bull.
    Kalispell Montana home to 75% genuinely good individuals, controlled by 25% of the most arrogant people you will ever meet.

  12. Default

    Maybe Montana is not where I want to be putting in then. But still, 10% across the board probably takes into account people that dont go more than 10 yards off of the road when looking for animals.

  13. #13

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    It’s the success rate of all license holders. YOUR odds are what you make them.
    Killing a legal bull isn’t really that hard.
    Don’t over think it.
    ďTo me, if you donít eat it, then itís not a point of prideĒ. -Matt Rinella

  14. Default

    What is the best unit in Montana for quantity of bulls? Not necessarily size.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aglinks View Post
    What is the best unit in Montana for quantity of bulls? Not necessarily size.
    Go hunt insider
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo and Ned
    Thin out their numbers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Addicting View Post
    You can also reach out to ask Greenhorn. He is really good at knowing areas that hold great bulls.
    Yeah he’ll tell you right where to go. Probably even give you GPS coordinates if he’s in a good mood.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo and Ned
    Thin out their numbers

  17. Default

    I just sent a message to Greenhorn. Thanks guys!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by aglinks View Post
    I just sent a message to Greenhorn. Thanks guys!
    Ohhhhh no
    "I'll be halfway to heaven with paradise waitin'
    Five miles away from wherever I am."

  19. #19

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    I don't know where to tell you where the best spot to rifle hunt elk in MT is. If I knew that, you'd see me there.

    Here's my tip and it's not a bad one.

    https://www.ebay.com/p/Elk-Hunting-M...1117192&chn=ps

  20. #20

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    Hey Greenhorn! that would be $115 well spent...even for a used paperback book.....if it wasn't 11+yrs out of date. I want a hotspot for this yr

  21. #21

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    Me too.

  22. #22

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    For most of my current spots this is a must read

    "How To Elk Hunt Active Grizzly Mauling Areas"

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    I'm not asking for a great "spot" from you guys, I just want to know general regions. For example, nearly every elk hunter in Arizona knows that the best hunts are Units 9 and 10 early rifle bull. So when time comes to put in, most people choose one of those as first choice.
    Last edited by aglinks; 10-12-2018 at 11:34 AM.

  24. Default

    I thought this was a simple question with a straight forward answer but apparently it is not and I am sorry if I offended any of you guys.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Somewhere in the basalt rocks
    Posts
    5,105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aglinks View Post
    I thought this was a simple question with a straight forward answer but apparently it is not and I am sorry if I offended any of you guys.
    It's really not a simple question, because across the state you are going to run into the same consistent variables:

    1) Access
    2) Hunting pressure
    3) Animal distribution due to drought, snow, etc

    You have to remember of the western half of Montana is not regulated by permit. Therefore, it's nigh impossible to predict what the new hot spot is per Eastman's or Hunting Fool and what amount of pressure will accompany it.

    Herd composition is available online, and will include bull to cow ratios. You can look at total elk numbers for a unit and extrapolate total bull quantity from there.

    Keep in mind the total amount of elk in a unit will not be the total amount of available elk. Pretty important distinction. I'd recommend you spend a little time on the FWP website looking at elk objectives, harvest data, etc and then you will likely be able to ask some more specific questions.
    Fear the beard....

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