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Yeti

Montana Elk Helicopter access

billyb

New member
Joined
Jul 23, 2010
Messages
11
My question would be, how did they come up with this place to hunt. You cannot look at a map and know it has elk. Did someone suggest this area to them? Did the fish and game dept tell them about it? I am not asking for a secret spot just wondering how could they decide where to go?
 

Big Fin

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Dec 27, 2000
Messages
14,637
Location
Bozeman, MT
My question would be, how did they come up with this place to hunt. You cannot look at a map and know it has elk. Did someone suggest this area to them? Did the fish and game dept tell them about it? I am not asking for a secret spot just wondering how could they decide where to go?

Like many in Montana, or other states, I drive lots of miles every year, looking for critters to chase and land to chase them on. When you see a herd of 200 elk standing in an alfalfa field, seemingly undisturbed, it gets your attention.

The next step is to go home, get your maps, and find out if/where any nearby public land exists. If you find some public land, you figure out a legal way to access it. Then, you apply for the tag and hope, hope, hope that you draw. In some instances, it is a general unit and the draw is not the issue.

I would disagree that you cannot look at a map and know it has elk. I can look at the core elk range maps of the Montana elk management plan, or any other state management plan, and within about a half hour, locate some spots on Google Earth where I could be willing to risk my tag fee that I could find elk there. I suspect many others do the same with their research.

I have found most of my hunting spots by driving/hiking around and glassing, or by researching state management plans, then going to Google Earth and finding likely looking spots. If you saw the mountains of surface ownership maps I have at the house, you would conclude the same thing as my wife - either I have a map fettish, or I am completely nuts. Could be both.

I had driven by this spot and seen elk about ten years ago. Lawnboy had hunted the unit a time or two, so his information confirmed it as a quality place. Given its growing popularity, it seems time to go find another spot where I can do the same thing, with less effort and greater likelihood of drawing the tag.

Like some said, I know of places in WY, NM, and Colorado where I would love to do the same thing. Just need to get the tag and/or figure out the logistics.

Hope that helps.
 

Lawnboy

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Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
3,590
Location
Bozeman, Montana
If you saw the mountains of surface ownership maps I have at the house, you would conclude the same thing as my wife - either I have a map fettish, or I am completely nuts. Could be both.


.

I have seen his man room :eek: Not sure he even has carpet up there. You can't see anything but maps and hunting magazines scattered across the room floor. I think the computer up there has google earth on the screen constantly. I know where to go if I have any questions for just about any state out west.
 

kansasdad

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Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
4,643
Location
Wichita
look-alike?

Round trip, bringing us in in two loads, hauling us out in three loads, was just over $700 per guy.

The show aired again today. Watching the episode, I started to get an weird feeling watching Big Fin's hunting partner "Bart May" and then it hit me......Phil Mickleson loves to elk hunt when he's not golfing!!!!
 

Lawnboy

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Joined
Nov 2, 2008
Messages
3,590
Location
Bozeman, Montana
The show aired again today. Watching the episode, I started to get an weird feeling watching Big Fin's hunting partner "Bart May" and then it hit me......Phil Mickleson loves to elk hunt when he's not golfing!!!!

Not sure how to take that:confused: Sorry for the weird feeling. I told Fin that the ratings would dramatically increase if I wasn't involved.
 

mixedbag

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Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
2,178
I'll have another $1000 in just fuel to head back to Montana for a short deer hunt in another week and a half.I never look at that as a waste of money.Seeing the country and hunting in Montana is well worth every penny I put in the tank.This will be my 2nd trip out this year so I guess I'm running close to $3000 when you add the tag fees,but thats for almost 3 weeks in paradise to me
I'd do a helicopter trip without hesitation if I knew of a place worth the expense.So anyone looking for a partner of such a trip;let me know.I'm glad a show like that aired as I would have never thought of it myself
 

montanadogs

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Joined
Aug 5, 2009
Messages
429
Location
Hippyville, Idaho
I bet I'm at $300 spent this year so far on fuel. I still have to go grouse hunting as well;) I think we would all be amazed if we actually (honestly) kept track of all our costs that go into a hunting season. Tags,fuel,gear.bullets, etc.. We don't do it because it's the economical thing to do. We all have our reasons I suspect.
.

I can tell you that as it stands right now I'm in the dog house for quite a while from the expenses I've racked up this year. My wife looked at my debit card (I save $50 a paycheck and put into a checking account just for hunting), she added up my gas bill for just the 3 weeks she and the kids went home to visit while I went hunting. It totaled up to about $800. I spent most of that running around Montana helping friends but it still came out of my 1500 I saved up. I still have yet to fill my elk or deer tags.

Fin, if you still have the pic. of the goat I sent you a few weeks back I need help on getting it onto the sight. I've was forced to take a break from hunting and seem to have some time to type up the story. I dropped my phone in the mighty mo along with my camera and gps.:( (needless to say that I have now surpassed my hunting budget and that is why I'm in the doghouse for a while). The goat was wide and tall. I'll add measurements with the story.
 

DogEatDog

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Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Messages
2
Location
Glendive Mt
Round trip, bringing us in in two loads, hauling us out in three loads, was just over $700 per guy. Less than a non-resident pays for an elk tag in Montana.

I think I should have mentioned that cost in the show, being I have been asked that question more than any question in the three years the show has aired.
BigFin Hello. My name is Andrew and I live in montana. I am trying to find info on helicopter flights into public land with no luck. Can you help? Looking for contact info to get the ball rolling.
 

dgc1963

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Joined
Feb 17, 2019
Messages
495
The cost of the flight is well worth it IMO this coming from a guy that lives in Pa drives or fly 2500 miles way just to chase elk every few yrs
I know its an older post and show but as soon as I saw I thought great Idea
 

RobG

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Joined
Dec 10, 2010
Messages
4,839
Location
Bozeman, MT
As a lover of math and finance, I have to say that spending $700 on gas doesn't justify spending another $700 on a helicopter ride. However, durable goods like guns and flyrods and piper cubs are a different story. :D
 
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