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Fort peck elk!


Well-known member
Apr 3, 2004
In a box under a bridge
:confused: I need some help I've neaver hunted around fort peck, and we're planing to put in for rifle bull elk. I dont know where to put in for, I think we need to put in around the lake it self (we plan on using the boat to hunt ) Any one have any in put?????
First you must understand the odds are slim. You will also need to figure out which side of the lake you wish to hunt, North or South. On the north side 622, 630, 631 are all decent units and there are good bulls taken every year. I would tell not to expect 350 bulls in every draw but there are some there to be had. Another nice thing about those units is that for the last two weeks you will not have to contend with rifle deer hunters on the CMR. The CMR restricts mule deer buck hunting to the first three weeks only on the north side of the refuge, the exception being HD 652, the trophy deer district.
The roads all but impassable if it rains and you need to either be prepared to hunker down and stay or abandon the hunt at the first hint of precipe.
The lake is so low that I feel that hunting out of a boat is very much unproductive. You can see more elk by spending some time behind a spotting scope and covering some territory.

Depending on the unit you plan on hunting...I'd maybe leave the boat at home. I think you'd be limiting yourself too much.

My best friend drew a breaks tag in one of the units Nemont mentioned in 2001, we had a blast. Doug passed on a pile of good bulls holding out for a bull we saw several times but could never put it together on. Opening day, Doug passed on 7 six-points from 270-330 and an 8x6 in the 340 range. The bull we wanted we watched 2 days before the season, a bull well in excess of 350, and to this day, the largest bull I've seen alive during a hunting season. We got close on opening day, but couldnt seal the deal, it still haunts me. I hunted with Doug for 5 days and he could have killed six-points every day I was there. He hunted another 15 days throughout the season for that big bull we saw, or something equivelant, it didnt happen. I think he said he ended up passing up nearly 25 sixpoints or better. So, I can tell you there isnt a monster behind every juniper. Doug ended up not killing a bull at all, but he was smart for taking full advantage of that tag, and not surrendering and killing a 300 bull. It was something really big or nothing.

Nemont has it right, there are big bulls there but unless you lay off the trigger and look over a pile of them, you wont get one of the better bulls there. Of the 6-8 people who I know who have drawn the breaks only one has killed a really good bull...363 net. Most shoot 300ish six-points opening day.

If you dont have a lot of time to hunt, I wouldnt expect to kill a bull much over 300...
YAH.. them Little Montana 300" bulls ....Dime a Dozen, Why even waste a Draw if it's not goingto be 400" + ;)
Moosie, the point about the breaks is...the odds are terrible for drawing, then when someone does draw, they whack the first sixpoint they see.

Its no big deal to kill a 300 sixpoint there, not that theres anything wrong with a 300 bull. I just wonder why a person would fight the shitty draw odds to whack a bull you could find in a unit where you dont have to draw???

Dougs philosophy was the right approach, go all out and dont shoot one unless its something exceptional. You have a decent chance to find a 350-360 bull there if you can hold out. It would be the same as drawing the late Gardiner bull permit and whacking the first 300 bull you see...dumb move in my opinion.

But, to each their own...
Buzz is right. I don't know how many locals here draw a tag and then hunt opening day and whack the first bull they see. If I ever get a rifle bull tag I plan on pulling the camper out there and staying until I get the bull I want or the season ends. Last year a guy I know drew a tag for 631 and shot a little raghorn bull on opening day. Why he did that I don't know but I know you will eventually find a bigger bull out there.

I have no experience on the south side of the lake but know there are good bulls over there as well.
There are dedicated bowhunters here who tag decent bulls every year. The rifle permits are just so few and far between that you must make the most out of it when you draw.

If you would like to see a little bit of what the country side looks like here is a link to a webcam setup at Hell Creek. All the brown stuff is where the water used to be. The lake is down nearly 40 feet since 1999.

Hell Creek Web Cam


[ 04-13-2004, 09:38: Message edited by: Nemont ]
Thanks this may help our decision. I Know the odds,and am awair of the water conditions. I fish anound Slippry ann often,I dont plan an "hunting" off the boat,just use it for transportation in and out! It's a lot easer to drag down then up and out,Getting old! We've been hunting elk for years
I cant WAIT to draw that tag. I put in for 410, but its all dang good. If I get drawn I will take 3-5 days prior to the opener and try to find the bull I want so I can kill him opening moring. I know several people who've drawn that tag and passed up REALLY big bulls opening morning, NEVER to get another chance at a big bull.

The best story though, is my buddy that drew it in 98. He had no clue what a really big bull was and his buddies told him to wait till they got there and to NOT shoot a bull opening day (cause they couldnt come till the next day). Well, opening day he and his dad wandered around 1/2 mile from the truck. He passed up 2 or 3 six points, all bigger than he'd ever had a chance at in the past, then they look across the draw and Riley says,"there is no way they can get mad at me for passing that bull up, No way" and his dad agrees, so Riley blasts him, about 400 yards from the truck. He nets out at 408 5/8 nontyp! MONSTER!
Thats what I'm hoping to do I've got the 2'nd week of the season off and ear marked for the trip. There will be 5 of us we'll hunt deer if we dont get tags!
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