DIY Montana 2016, where to start?

teej89

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Hey guys, this is my first post here, I've been lurking in the background for a while now... My dad and I always wanted to do an archery elk hunt and after years of planning and saving we decided it'd be best to go with an outfit for our first hunt. We ended up going with an outfit in Wyoming and within 6 days both tagged out on bulls, it was EXCITING. Now both with a bull under our belts we are wanting to do a DIY. Him and I are doing one in CO next year but I have another 2 weeks of vacation to burn and I'm looking at a backcountry hunt with my buddy (who's back country hunted CO) next fall.

Now we're looking at doing rifle, not my first choice but that's what he wants to do. Since this is our first elk hunt in MO we're kinda lost on where to start. Such as where to look at what units are available for OTC tags (are they either sex or bull or cow only). When do we need to apply for the 2016 tags? Which part of the state seems to be the most productive? (i'm not looking for info on peoples spots)

Here's a picture of my bull from this year
 

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Gr8bawana

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Congratulations on a great bull. It's never too early to start looking at the Montana regs and doing your homework for next year.
 

JLS

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Darned near every hunt district west of Lewistown and Billings is a general unit, meaning you can archery hunt it with an elk tag, no special permit needed.

Regions 3 and 4 have lots of elk. Parts of Region 2 have lots of elk. Some of the permit only units in Regions 5, 6 and 7 have lots of elk.

Most districts that are a general elk area are cow or bull during archery season. Some units are brow-tined bull only, you'll have to check that as you're doing your research. Here are the important dates you need to know. Elk tags have not sold out yet this year. You should put in via the drawing if you want to make sure you get a tag, but I think it's reasonable to expect you'll be able to buy a surplus tag OTC next year.

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/licenses/buyApply/appDeadlines.html
 

teej89

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Darned near every hunt district west of Lewistown and Billings is a general unit, meaning you can archery hunt it with an elk tag, no special permit needed.

Regions 3 and 4 have lots of elk. Parts of Region 2 have lots of elk. Some of the permit only units in Regions 5, 6 and 7 have lots of elk.

Most districts that are a general elk area are cow or bull during archery season. Some units are brow-tined bull only, you'll have to check that as you're doing your research. Here are the important dates you need to know. Elk tags have not sold out yet this year. You should put in via the drawing if you want to make sure you get a tag, but I think it's reasonable to expect you'll be able to buy a surplus tag OTC next year.

http://fwp.mt.gov/hunting/licenses/buyApply/appDeadlines.html

thanks for the info!

Now what is the non-resi combination license? And the permit zones are just draw zones? We're looking at doing a rifle hunt also.

And you're saying buy a license for this year, 2015, and apply for an elk tag just to have a point for next year?

Thanks!
 

JLS

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No, apply for your license combo next year in 2016. You can't get a point for the limited entry draws at this point in the year.

The combo license is either the elk combo (upland bird, fishing, elk) or the deer/elk combo. The elk combo is around 800 and the deer elk is about a grand.
 

Straight Arrow

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Best advice is to go to the fwp.mt.gov website and look at the regulations. It is apparent you are unfamiliar with the way Montana is set up. Then ask questions after doing your basic homework.

'Not trying to be contentious ... 'just trying to save you some time and confusion.
 

mixedbag

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get the big game combo and hunt elk and muleys.Hunt the elk in western 1/2 of the state and then hit the eastern side for some muley's on your way home.Alot of block management land to hunt for mule deer on
 

Slick

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Teej I'll try and help best I can.. What others above have posted above is great help.

You'll need to apply for whichever (Elk Combo, or Deer/Elk Combo) as JLS stated. You need to purchase a General Elk License, and if you so choose will enter for a limited entry permit. The general elk license will allow you to hunt the majority of the state.

You'll have to look at the regulations to determine what is legal with a General Elk tag within a given district. MT is also very liberal in their seasons. With your general tag you can hunt the archery season, and if unsuccessful come back and hunt the rifle season. Again, just check your regulations to determine which sex and/or which type of bull is legal within you're given district during the current season

MT is one of the most, if not the most easily navigated website. You can find just about any question you're looking for regarding the OTC system, permit system, etc.

If you want to start building points for permits, then apply first choice to whichever permit you so desire, if you do not draw, you still have your general. So you'll be good to go. Any more questions just ask away. But it wouldn't hurt to start playing around on their website.
 

teej89

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great thanks guys I appreciate it! I'll start poking around on the website this weekend to gain some more knowledge and I'll most likely be back to ask some more questions.

Thanks again!
 

teej89

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Are the backcountry units too much if you're not going in via horseback? My buddy and I are both in good shape (lift and run 5-6 days/wk) however I can imagine it has to be pretty rough trying to get back in there on foot.

Should I disregard these HDs?
 

belly-deep

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Are the backcountry units too much if you're not going in via horseback? My buddy and I are both in good shape (lift and run 5-6 days/wk) however I can imagine it has to be pretty rough trying to get back in there on foot.

Should I disregard these HDs?

lots a better elk hunting in MT and prolly the best contains no W in the name
 

Festus

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I would say the issue wouldn't be so much getting in on foot, but more so getting meat out on foot in a timely manner. Unless you've made arrangements ahead of time for help if successful - or if you're middle name is 'beast mode', of course...
 

teej89

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I would say the issue wouldn't be so much getting in on foot, but more so getting meat out on foot in a timely manner. Unless you've made arrangements ahead of time for help if successful - or if you're middle name is 'beast mode', of course...

dang, it's Joseph... :mad:

anywho is it difficult/expensive to arrange help? Like via horseback?
 

phutch30

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There are outfitters working every wilderness area in MT. You could call them and ask about packing. I'd ask about getting packed in while I had them on the phone. Most will pack out elk if they have time. Its pricy, but depending on where and how far its worth every cent.
 
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