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1st world problem. To hunt deer or elk.

bennirio

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Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
106
Location
Utah
Ok I've got a "problem". My wife told me since I'm a terrible hunter and haven't filled any part of my NR combo tag in Montana, that we should make one more trip over the Thanksgiving week. Best wife ever. So I guess my "problem" is which animal do I focus on? The time of year would say possibly late rutting deer. But I really would like some elk meat. I know this is quite the pickle to be in. Thought I'd ask the good folks HT what would you do? Elk? Deer? Or just be opportunistic? We'll be staying in Butte for 5 days. Going to get lots of miles in and hopefully rustle up an animal. Thanks for the help with my "problem".
 

Salmonchaser

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Nov 12, 2019
Messages
1,002
Well I just got home from Mt., Rut hadn’t started yet, I’m betting by Thanksgiving it will be in full swing. Might turn into a great combo weekend.
 

4ohSick

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Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Messages
187
Location
Helena, MT
I'm with JLS, I'd focus on elk and odds aren't bad you'll have a chance at a deer along the way. Several of the HD's in that area are general deer units. Alot better chance of stumbling along a buck when you're elk hunting than the other way around.
 

stk

Active member
Joined
Dec 23, 2020
Messages
131
Ok I've got a "problem". My wife told me since I'm a terrible hunter and haven't filled any part of my NR combo tag in Montana, that we should make one more trip over the Thanksgiving week. Best wife ever. So I guess my "problem" is which animal do I focus on? The time of year would say possibly late rutting deer. But I really would like some elk meat. I know this is quite the pickle to be in. Thought I'd ask the good folks HT what would you do? Elk? Deer? Or just be opportunistic? We'll be staying in Butte for 5 days. Going to get lots of miles in and hopefully rustle up an animal. Thanks for the help with my "problem".

That time of the year there's a lot of elk and mule deer overlap. The deer will be rutting, but less people will be chasing elk. Either way it'll be fun!
 

bennirio

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
106
Location
Utah
Thanks for all the feed back. I'll report back after. Hopefully with an animal. Either way it's time hunting I wasn't planning on, so it's just more icing on the cake. Thanks for putting more fuel on the fire.
 

bennirio

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
106
Location
Utah
Around here you are likely to be able to hunt both with a higher probability of seeing deer as they share some of the same range. Without some serious weather elk are going to be tough right now.
Thanks. A week or so ago I was near Dillon and the only bulls we saw were in the thick thick stuff or on private. So here's wishing for some serious weather.
 

Hamm59701

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
22
I live in butte. Try above the prison ranch by Deerlodge. Mule deer is a draw permit but may have some whitetail in the bottom. Elk consistently there, just whether they are on the right side of the fence is the question.
 

buck137

Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
65
Location
Western Montana
I live in butte. Try above the prison ranch by Deerlodge. Mule deer is a draw permit but may have some whitetail in the bottom. Elk consistently there, just whether they are on the right side of the fence is the question.
The game warden for this area, told me that the elk are at a five year low for this valley, and according to my game cameras I run, I concur with him. Yeah, there is elk on the prison ranch, but they're staying in the spots you can't rifle hunt, and the spots you can, well, there is a lot of hunters this year, which leads me to another thing the warden said, he stated that the elk are low in numbers, but the amount of out of the area hunters, are at 2x to 3x more than normal.
 

Hamm59701

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2021
Messages
22
The game warden for this area, told me that the elk are at a five year low for this valley, and according to my game cameras I run, I concur with him. Yeah, there is elk on the prison ranch, but they're staying in the spots you can't rifle hunt, and the spots you can, well, there is a lot of hunters this year, which leads me to another thing the warden said, he stated that the elk are low in numbers, but the amount of out of the area hunters, are at 2x to 3x more than normal.
Good to know. Haven't been there this year, was planning this weekend but emergency appendix and gallbladder removal just ended my season.
 

SilverDollars

Active member
Joined
Sep 4, 2013
Messages
152
Location
Central Texas
Ok I've got a "problem". My wife told me since I'm a terrible hunter and haven't filled any part of my NR combo tag in Montana, that we should make one more trip over the Thanksgiving week. Best wife ever. So I guess my "problem" is which animal do I focus on? The time of year would say possibly late rutting deer. But I really would like some elk meat. I know this is quite the pickle to be in. Thought I'd ask the good folks HT what would you do? Elk? Deer? Or just be opportunistic? We'll be staying in Butte for 5 days. Going to get lots of miles in and hopefully rustle up an animal. Thanks for the help with my "problem".
Howdy. Well this is one of those times where I say "BOTH"! Be opportunistic! This option leaves the door open to more possibilities.
:)

I don't know about you guys. But when I elk hunt I see all kinds of Mulies. When I hunt the Mule deer, I see all kinds of elk. GO FIGURE!
___________
.
 

Silver15tacoma

Active member
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
37
Ok I've got a "problem". My wife told me since I'm a terrible hunter and haven't filled any part of my NR combo tag in Montana, that we should make one more trip over the Thanksgiving week. Best wife ever. So I guess my "problem" is which animal do I focus on? The time of year would say possibly late rutting deer. But I really would like some elk meat. I know this is quite the pickle to be in. Thought I'd ask the good folks HT what would you do? Elk? Deer? Or just be opportunistic? We'll be staying in Butte for 5 days. Going to get lots of miles in and hopefully rustle up an animal. Thanks for the help with my "problem".
Definitely elk!
 

Pagosa

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2011
Messages
1,267
Location
Montana
It will likely be a very difficult hunt with the current mild weather and hunting pressure for the last 10 weeks. It will be great hiking weather, and be sure to take your wife to the Fairmont hot springs. Please report back on how your trip was and how many deer/elk you seen.
 

bennirio

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2018
Messages
106
Location
Utah
It will likely be a very difficult hunt with the current mild weather and hunting pressure for the last 10 weeks. It will be great hiking weather, and be sure to take your wife to the Fairmont hot springs. Please report back on how your trip was and how many deer/elk you seen.
I agree. I'm kinda hoping to get lucky. This will be my 3rd trip to Montana this year. 3rd times the charm right? We'll check the hot springs out as well, thanks. I appreciate all the advice/tips and words of encouragement. I will report back hopefully with a kill but a report nonetheless.
 

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