Bridgers worth hunting?

Poke 'Em

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Belgrade/Bozeman
I ended up hinting them a lot when I lived there. Steep, full of people, but beautiful country. I'm glad to be out of bozo and away from the crowds now though.
Huh? You posted asking if they were worth hunting on December 4, after big game season ended, then you say you hunted them a lot when you lived in BZN? When exactly did you hunt them a lot? :unsure:
 

RidgeRoamingRichard

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Helena, MT
Huh? You posted asking if they were worth hunting on December 4, after big game season ended, then you say you hunted them a lot when you lived in BZN? When exactly did you hunt them a lot? :unsure:
I was hunting them before I asked, just wanted to see what others thought. That's what these forums are for, asking advice from folks who know more. Saw lots of grouse and elk sign in there. Moved to Helena in January and haven't been back since. Did you want to know my sign and favorite color too?
 

EYJONAS!

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I was hunting them before I asked, just wanted to see what others thought. That's what these forums are for, asking advice from folks who know more. Saw lots of grouse and elk sign in there. Moved to Helena in January and haven't been back since. Did you want to know my sign and favorite color too?
In all fairness I see where poke is coming from.... congrats on the move
 

RidgeRoamingRichard

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In all fairness I see where poke is coming from.... congrats on the move
Thanks. Grouse opens in MT September 1st. I hunted there for birds a lot, never thought of it as a place to look for elk. I put it to vote, as I didn't expect the move and thought I could hunt them again next year. Hopefully that satiates the detective.
 

2ski

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Dude the way your first post made it sound like you hadn't been hunting there before so when you posy about hunting there, you can see the confusion. Chillax

Look at all the elk that come down in the valley in the winter. That should speak to all the elk in the Bridgers.

I haven't seen a lot of 2 legged deer around the M but I have seen plenty of double-breasted and lulu-legged mattress thrashers....
 

buffybr

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BozAngeles, MT
Most of the land on both sides at the base of the Bridgers is private. I used to see a lot of elk either on those private lands, or on FS land just above the private. The private land was the reason the elk were there. There is very limited public access through those private lands.

When I had horses I had a way to pack my elk out around those private lands. I also used to have a co-worker whose family had several sections of land in the North Bridgers. I was able to take a couple of elk off his land, and help a couple of my other co-workers pack out their elk there. Unfortunately, I no longer have that connection.

I also used to hunt deer in the Bridgers before they made it a draw unit. I had heard of great bucks there, but I never saw them. The deer that I did kill there were just end of season meat for the freezer.

I only had 3 horses, and their time ran out about 20 years ago. I haven't hunted in the Bridgers since then.
 

JLS

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Where the Wild Things Are
Most of the land on both sides at the base of the Bridgers is private. I used to see a lot of elk either on those private lands, or on FS land just above the private. The private land was the reason the elk were there. There is very limited public access through those private lands.

When I had horses I had a way to pack my elk out around those private lands. I also used to have a co-worker whose family had several sections of land in the North Bridgers. I was able to take a couple of elk off his land, and help a couple of my other co-workers pack out their elk there. Unfortunately, I no longer have that connection.

I also used to hunt deer in the Bridgers before they made it a draw unit. I had heard of great bucks there, but I never saw them. The deer that I did kill there were just end of season meat for the freezer.

I only had 3 horses, and their time ran out about 20 years ago. I haven't hunted in the Bridgers since then.
This would have been about 1998, I was hunting Hatfield Mountain on foot from the trail easement. I ran into a couple of guys on horses that were packing out a bull. Chatted with them for a bit, and they described a situation very similar to what you just portrayed. Wonder if this was you?
 

buffybr

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This would have been about 1998, I was hunting Hatfield Mountain on foot from the trail easement. I ran into a couple of guys on horses that were packing out a bull. Chatted with them for a bit, and they described a situation very similar to what you just portrayed. Wonder if this was you?
Was that the trail from the 16-mile road? My co-worker's family land was on the east side of Hatfield and his sister had an adjacent section north of 16-mile road. I killed my last bull there in '98, but it was north of the road and I dragged him out (1/2 at a time) over the snow. I didn't use my horses on his land.
 

buffybr

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I just remember a funny story about that '98 elk hunt. Another co-worker and I went up there together. I had my slide-in camper on the back of my truck, so we took his Suburban and left my truck in the Albertson's parking lot in Belgrade. We both shot 5 point bulls that we cut in half and dragged down and put into the back to his Suburban.

We got back to my pickup at midnight, and with the antlers still attached to the front half of my bull, it wouldn't fit through the door of my camper. So here I am at midnight, in the Albertson's parking lot, chopping the antlers off my elk with a double bit axe. I felt like an axe murderer.:LOL:
 

JLS

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Was that the trail from the 16-mile road? My co-worker's family land was on the east side of Hatfield and his sister had an adjacent section north of 16-mile road. I killed my last bull there in '98, but it was north of the road and I dragged him out (1/2 at a time) over the snow. I didn't use my horses on his land.
No. This was the trail off the Flathead Pass Road on the Wilsall side. This bull was loaded up on a pack horse.
 

MTRaine

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Belgrade, MT
Is it worth it? Loaded question. The bridgers are not a trophy Mecca and access is tough, it is a land of odds. However if you don’t mind shooting a cow for the freezer, it’s worth it but it doesn’t come easy Ill hit the same spot 3-7 days in a row before being successful. I’ve killed a elk the past three seasons, 2 of the 3 came from the bridgers. If you ever decide you want to participate in the chaos as well as 🤬 close but no cigar you know where to get ahold of me.
 

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KB_WalkingInTheWoods

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Bozemen, Montana
Is it worth it? Loaded question. The bridgers are not a trophy Mecca and access is tough, it is a land of odds. However if you don’t mind shooting a cow for the freezer, it’s worth it but it doesn’t come easy Ill hit the same spot 3-7 days in a row before being successful. I’ve killed a elk the past three seasons, 2 of the 3 came from the bridgers. If you ever decide you want to participate in the chaos as well as 🤬 close but no cigar you know where to get ahold of me.

good job, I know that is some tough hunting up there and the elk make your work for it. Got my bull north of livingston, Access is tough where the elk live. But would they be there if it was easy? Thats why I like hunting in 393, most people wont go where the elk live cause it sucks to get there and get out.
 

buffybr

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No. This was the trail off the Flathead Pass Road on the Wilsall side. This bull was loaded up on a pack horse.
I know that trail. I worked on the access road and that trailhead, when the Forest Service re-routed part of that road around some private land. Back then there was an outfitter who had 40 acres there, and he considered everything behind his 40 acres as his private hunting area.
 

Straight Arrow

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Gallatin Gateway, MT
Back then there was an outfitter who had 40 acres there, and he considered everything behind his 40 acres as his private hunting area.
Red Rock and Hatfield Mountains all the way to Sixteen Mile. Only ones he didn't hassle were Morgans and Brainards, who owned much of the area.
It was a good area back in the day when there was some public access ... prior to the slob hunters introducing knapweed and cluster-shooting a herd of elk, which shut down the public access privilege from Sixteen Mile.
 

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