Caribou Gear

Help me plan a montana cow elk hunt.

duckhunt

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Joined
Dec 17, 2012
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3,955
Location
Newhartford Iowa
Been to Wyoming a few times antelope hunting and decided its time for something different. Never been to Montana and know nothing about elk hunting. I will be putting in a group application for myself and my 2 boys and possibly my dad. The reason I picked a cow hunt is I think it would be a good idea to learn how to hunt elk before spending more money on bull tags. Just looking for someone to stear me in the right direction.

I'm in the process of learning my way around the game and fish website. One question I have is what is the difference between a b license and a b permit?

My next question is about where to hunt. We have zero mountain hunting experience. My first thought is stay away from grizzly areas. Never been around em so I'm not ready to add that into the equation yet. Next is terrain. Coming from Iowa I want the mountain hunting experience but dont want to tackle some badass backcountry adventures. Maybe an area a flatlander won't be to intimidated to hunt in.

My next thought is elk population. Being our first elk hunt I have 2 main goals. Have fun and at least see elk. If we fill a tag that's just a bonus.

I'm not asking for any specific unit, I love doing the research on figuring that out. I guess I'm just looking for a general part of the state to focus on, such as north east, south east, ect, etc.
I definitely want to hunt elk next year so if for some reason we don't draw Montana I guess we will look at other leftover draws or over the counter.

Any advice for this first time want to be Montana elk hunter?
 

Straight Arrow

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Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
4,226
Location
Gallatin Gateway, MT

From website:​

Antelope, Deer B & Elk B​

Antelope, antlerless Deer B licenses, and Elk B licenses are available through a secondary drawing and in some areas over-the-counter. A Conservation & base hunting license fee are required. Refer to the regulations for specific details. The application deadline is June 1.

Permits are for more specific hunting districts, seasons, and may be more difficult to draw.

Best advice is to read the regulations and study the maps. Then return here with some more detail to narrow choices.
 

buck137

Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
58
Location
Western Montana
Been to Wyoming a few times antelope hunting and decided its time for something different. Never been to Montana and know nothing about elk hunting. I will be putting in a group application for myself and my 2 boys and possibly my dad. The reason I picked a cow hunt is I think it would be a good idea to learn how to hunt elk before spending more money on bull tags. Just looking for someone to stear me in the right direction.

I'm in the process of learning my way around the game and fish website. One question I have is what is the difference between a b license and a b permit?

My next question is about where to hunt. We have zero mountain hunting experience. My first thought is stay away from grizzly areas. Never been around em so I'm not ready to add that into the equation yet. Next is terrain. Coming from Iowa I want the mountain hunting experience but dont want to tackle some badass backcountry adventures. Maybe an area a flatlander won't be to intimidated to hunt in.

My next thought is elk population. Being our first elk hunt I have 2 main goals. Have fun and at least see elk. If we fill a tag that's just a bonus.

I'm not asking for any specific unit, I love doing the research on figuring that out. I guess I'm just looking for a general part of the state to focus on, such as north east, south east, ect, etc.
I definitely want to hunt elk next year so if for some reason we don't draw Montana I guess we will look at other leftover draws or over the counter.

Any advice for this first time want to be Montana elk hunter?
When do you plan on hunting, cause if it is this fall, you're already screwed for the draw, as you had to have your application in by June 1. Now you may be able to draw a left over tag, but that isn't going to be a guaranteed thing. As for wanting to avoid grizzly areas, that automatically eliminates the western part of the state, but they have also been seen in some plains areas too. As for the terrain, you will find elk where the elk are, I've seen them high in the mountains, and I've also seen them in the flats no where around the mountains. So if I were you, pick a spot on the map that looks interesting to you, and start researching it, and if you can, take a road trip and go explore it and see if it's something you like. Boots on the ground is the best thing you can do. Good luck in your search. Also don't forget to start building preference points so you can draw a license.
 

duckhunt

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Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
3,955
Location
Newhartford Iowa
When do you plan on hunting, cause if it is this fall, you're already screwed for the draw, as you had to have your application in by June 1. Now you may be able to draw a left over tag, but that isn't going to be a guaranteed thing. As for wanting to avoid grizzly areas, that automatically eliminates the western part of the state, but they have also been seen in some plains areas too. As for the terrain, you will find elk where the elk are, I've seen them high in the mountains, and I've also seen them in the flats no where around the mountains. So if I were you, pick a spot on the map that looks interesting to you, and start researching it, and if you can, take a road trip and go explore it and see if it's something you like. Boots on the ground is the best thing you can do. Good luck in your search. Also don't forget to start building preference points so you can draw a license.


This hunt is for 2022. And I will do some scouting before the season.
 

BlueT

New member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
11
Location
MT
The difference between a B license and elk permit is that the B license allows you to take an elk with your general license and an elk with your B tag, while the elk permit has to be paired with your general elk license to use, so you can only take one animal. It just allows you to take an animal not allowed by your general license, essentially. For instance, the unit I usually hunt, a legal elk with the general license is a brow tined bull. An elk permit for that unit allows a person to take an antlerless elk.
 

RobertD

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 16, 2020
Messages
858
Location
Southwest Georgia (GA)
Cushman is right, keep Colorado in mind. You could potentially even pick up a returned cow tag for this year, and you can definitely get one next year. Also no grizzlies there.
 

BlueT

New member
Joined
Jun 6, 2021
Messages
11
Location
MT
I’m a resident so I haven’t had to deal with preference points, but I just read the regs and it sounds like those are for the nonres combination license. I know as a resident I would buy bonus points for a B tag if I wanted to increase my odds of drawing it.
 

MTGamecock

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 29, 2020
Messages
75
Location
SW Montana
Since your trip is a 2022 trip, my advice is to pick a unit that looks promising and do a trial run by taking the exact same hunting trip this year, but take cameras instead of your rifles or bows. For DIY, there is no substitute for having already walked the country you plan to hunt during the hunting season.
 

lsutigers_1

New member
Joined
Aug 22, 2021
Messages
20
Hello all. I am from Louisiana and have been an avid hunted my entire life. I have killed many whitetail deer in Louisiana, Texas, and Missouri. I once even went to Florida and killed one. I have developed a desire and passion to travel out west and kill an elk and a mule deer. Last year I made my first ever attempt at an over the counter bull tag in Colorado in the Gunnison are. I ate a tag sandwich! I would love this year to try Montana and I am looking at Region 3 and wanting to go for B-Licenses for a cow elk and whitetail does. I don't expect to kill an elk but I'd like to at least give it an honest effort. The deer license would be to hopefully bring home some meat.

I've narrowed my choices down based off license availability but that's still pretty broad. I currently am looking at Units:
300 (elk)
302 (elk)
311 (deer and elk)
312 (deer and elk)
320 (deer and elk)
322 (deer and elk)
323 (elk)
324 (deer and elk)
325 (deer and elk)
326 (deer and elk)
327 (elk)
328 (elk)
329 (elk)
330 (deer and elk)
331 (elk)
332 (elk)
333 (deer)
340 (deer)
360 (deer)

I'd never ask for a honey hole, but could someone give me some advise on where to narrow down my search too. We'd like to tent camp to cut down on travel time and to just enjoy the experience.
 

Savagenut

New member
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
2
Since your trip is a 2022 trip, my advice is to pick a unit that looks promising and do a trial run by taking the exact same hunting trip this year, but take cameras instead of your rifles or bows. For DIY, there is no substitute for having already walked the country you plan to hunt during the hunting season.

good advice !
 

8andcounting

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2013
Messages
2,269
Hello all. I am from Louisiana and have been an avid hunted my entire life. I have killed many whitetail deer in Louisiana, Texas, and Missouri. I once even went to Florida and killed one. I have developed a desire and passion to travel out west and kill an elk and a mule deer. Last year I made my first ever attempt at an over the counter bull tag in Colorado in the Gunnison are. I ate a tag sandwich! I would love this year to try Montana and I am looking at Region 3 and wanting to go for B-Licenses for a cow elk and whitetail does. I don't expect to kill an elk but I'd like to at least give it an honest effort. The deer license would be to hopefully bring home some meat.

I've narrowed my choices down based off license availability but that's still pretty broad. I currently am looking at Units:
300 (elk)
302 (elk)
311 (deer and elk)
312 (deer and elk)
320 (deer and elk)
322 (deer and elk)
323 (elk)
324 (deer and elk)
325 (deer and elk)
326 (deer and elk)
327 (elk)
328 (elk)
329 (elk)
330 (deer and elk)
331 (elk)
332 (elk)
333 (deer)
340 (deer)
360 (deer)

I'd never ask for a honey hole, but could someone give me some advise on where to narrow down my search too. We'd like to tent camp to cut down on travel time and to just enjoy the experience.
Do u have the pref points to draw the big game combo or whatever combo u plan on ?
 

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