Caribou Gear

How bad is it?

dcopas78

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Dec 4, 2013
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Location
Decatur, OH
I have been doing my research on Montana general elk/deer areas and I have some definite areas of interest. I have looked at the Little Belts and this is probably where my dad and I are most likely to go, but that ain't carved in stone. I also like the Castles. Dad and I are coming out for the rifle season BTW.

My goal is to get dad either a bull elk (raghorn fine) or a nice mulie. I could really careless if I tag out, although some elk steaks would be nice. My dad is my inspiration for hunting and since he has been there for me for all these years, I'd like to return the favor. He ain't getting any younger and it's time to get him an elk or at least a decent shot at one.

My main concern with the Little Belts is the fact that with the research I am doing, all I read or hear is that the elk book it like a scolded dog to the private once the shots start flying. The game wardens I have talked to weren't quite as negative on it, but maybe they just want to sell elk tags :rolleyes: We are perfectly capable of getting away from the roads, and intend too. I have a SO tipi and stove so we can spend a while out in the middle of no where if we need too. Does it really get that bad or can we still find a few elk on the forest if we miss out on an opportunity the first few days of the season? I wish I had a better feel for the area, but I just started researching it seriously after the Wyoming draw didn't come through for me and dad. I think I am just going to load up and drive out for a couple weeks later on in the spring. I have some vacation to burn! Thanks for the help fellas
Derek
 

HighWildFree

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Aug 18, 2013
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258
Location
Missoula, MT
So I guide over in White Sulphur Springs, on private, but I do my own hunting on public. I personally like hunting over there, It's something different from my hunting spots here on this side of the Hill.

The skinny on the Little Belts: A lot of elk, A lot of hunters, A lot of roads.
Pretty Much the same story for the Castles.

There are elk on Public land all season long. Yeah the big herds move onto private pretty quickly, but some small groups and lone bulls will be on public.

Not sure what you call a nice mule deer but it's a 5 week general rifle tag. If its more than a forkie gets blasted pretty quick. That being said you stand a pretty good chance of killing a small buck in the late season (rut).

It's pretty difficult to get away from the road system or other hunters. Not sure there are many places in there that call for an overnight bivouac.

If you want some solitude this is not the place for you, If you want a good chance at any elk (read: spike/cow) might be worth your time.
 
Last edited:

phutch30

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Dec 3, 2008
Messages
591
Location
SW MT
There arent many areas on public land that you wont see other hunters during rifle season. Generally the further you get from a rd the better the hunting. Cant say the little belts or castles are really any different than any of the other general areas. I laugh at how popular some areas are around here. 15-20 trucks parked at some trailheads every day all season long
 

.280 Remington

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Aug 21, 2012
Messages
285
Simple fact: if an area has a lot of elk, it will have a lot of hunters unless the terrain keeps most of them out.

That rule works pretty much everywhere.
 

dcopas78

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Dec 4, 2013
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1,759
Location
Decatur, OH
I appreciate the input. I feel better about the area knowing that the elk can still be there if we are willing to drop off the backside of a mountain somewhere and hunt were most don't go.
 
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