Advice for first time elk hunting in MT

Wv2Mt

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Joined
Jan 15, 2015
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1
I moved to Montana a year ago with just enough time to earn residency to hunt before rifle season ended in November. This year, due to an occupational change, I now have two (unexpected) weeks to devote to archery hunting elk and am looking for any advice. I'm really just looking for a fun hunt where I can learn about the animal and maybe have an opportunity at a bull. No monster necessary, any legal bull would be great. The two areas I'm thinking of going to are on the west side of the Crazies or somewhere within 560, but I'm open to other locations as well. Preferably within 2.5 hrs of Billings.
 

Straight Arrow

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Jun 10, 2009
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4,995
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT
Follow Rancho's advice. Do map recon and/or GPS chip recon, then get out there on the ground to see what it really looks like.
Welcome to Montana and Hunt Talk.
 

VAspeedgoat

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Sep 4, 2014
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Timberville, VA
Have you checked with any biologist or wardens in those areas. I have found them to be very helpful in pointing me in the right direction.
 

Bambistew

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Dec 10, 2002
Messages
6,860
Location
Chugiak, AK
A piece of advice. Spend time figuring out the habits of the animals you're after, and the type of habitat they live in in that particular part of the world. Put boots on the ground and go for a walk, keep notes, and scour maps. Once you get that mastered finding a place to hunt becomes really easy once you sort out property details. I hunt different areas for various animals all the time. My problem is finding the time to check them all out.

Spend the time and effort to figure it out on your own, and don't rely on game wardens or biologist as a crutch. Neither are really not that great of a resource, and will tell you the same thing they tell everyone else. Well I guess that's worth something... as in where not to go.
 

Rancho Loco

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Sep 2, 2010
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1,100
Location
Bozeman, MT
OK, a few things that I thought of while out yesterday..

Hunt uphill from your truck.

Wear boots for the hike out, not in. When you're sidehilling or stepping over endless blowdowns with 80 lbs. of meat on your back, you'll know why.

Use your nose. I was smelling them before I saw them yesterday.

Have fun. I was in a herd at first light, couldn't call anything in, had another bull later playing cat and mouse for an hour and a half in heavy timber, full draw twice at 40 yards, but didn't have a good shot.
Then another bull later at 50 and got winded. Went home with an empty cooler but it was one of the best hunts of my life.
 

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