Montana General Archery vs Rifle Pressure

TN VOL

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Hey guys I'm looking at going back to hunt Elk in the Dillon, MT area on a general tag (I hunted the rifle season 3 years ago). Does anyone have a comparison of the September hunting pressure during archery season vs rifle?? Thought about going in archery this time around instead of rifle...or maybe both if I can swing it!
 

Mthuntr

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I don't mean to sound like it's the apocalypse but it's getting pretty bad. I see guys dragging their camps (giant 5th wheels, side-by-sides, wall tents, and stock trailers) about 2 weeks before the season to claim spots. Many don't leave until the 2nd or 3rd week of the season. Opening day of rifle is ridiculous. Archery isn't as bad but you definitely won't be alone and areas that I thought weren't busy 2 or 3 years ago now have guys in them all archery season and some of these pockets were pretty small so likely only held elk for a small percentage of the time before being blown out onto private or into Idaho. With something like 15,000 additional resident hunters since 2019, it seems many end up here.
 

bigsky2

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I've moose hunted in some of that country in recent years and was actually kind of surprised that there wasn't more archery elk hunting pressure. This was the last few weeks of the season in October. I'm sure September is probably a different story.
 

2ski

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I've moose hunted in some of that country in recent years and was actually kind of surprised that there wasn't more archery elk hunting pressure. This was the last few weeks of the season in October. I'm sure September is probably a different story.
Did you get way up high in that country in the gravely mtns? I took a drive up there fall 2 years ago and was supposed at the lack of people up there. I ask because it looked like great moose country.
 

bigsky2

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Did you get way up high in that country in the gravely mtns? I took a drive up there fall 2 years ago and was supposed at the lack of people up there. I ask because it looked like great moose country.
Yes, we were in the Gravellies about 4 or 5 years ago.
 

sethkuhl

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Hey guys I'm looking at going back to hunt Elk in the Dillon, MT area on a general tag (I hunted the rifle season 3 years ago). Does anyone have a comparison of the September hunting pressure during archery season vs rifle?? Thought about going in archery this time around instead of rifle...or maybe both if I can swing it!
Judging by the number of broken off broadheads in the elk friends of mine have killed in rifle season around dillon I would say there are a lot of archery hunters down there. (maybe not the best shot archery hunters at that)
 

mtnkid85

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I quit hunting alot of my reasonably accessible spots during most of September. Areas that you had to yourself during the week in years past had camps at every single pullout all week long this year. This past season was as hectic as Ive seen it.
I only hunted one week of rifle, partway through the season, and It felt like the pressure was just a bit above normal, more guys where going in deeper than I expected.
 

TN VOL

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What about Dillon area archery pressure compared to a Breaks archery tag? 900-2 pressure? I have points to draw I believe if the Regs don’t change..
 

Mthuntr

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I would say equal pressure for Breaks vs Dillon area...significantly different hunts.

There are significant changes being proposed for the Breaks and the 900 tags that you need to research via FWP website and will very likely change for the 2022/2023 season.
 

TN VOL

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I would say equal pressure for Breaks vs Dillon area...significantly different hunts.

There are significant changes being proposed for the Breaks and the 900 tags that you need to research via FWP website and will very likely change for the 2022/2023 season.
I know the terrain elevation is different..do you see or encounter more elk on the breaks hunt??
 

Mthuntr

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I know the terrain elevation is different..do you see or encounter more elk on the breaks hunt??
Honestly it's all about your ability as a hunter and the effort you put forth. I know guys that can find elk in the least elky spots that exist and I also know guys that can walk into a unit and never see an elk.
 

TN VOL

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I live in a rural area In TN and it used to be quiet here with not many people..now I have 2 Amazon facilities being built on both sides of my wife’s family’s old farm..would love to hunt elk without seeing a ton of people since I see to many each day of my life lol..
 

Spedray

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I hunt in the general area around dillon. It used to be we would see 3 or 4 other hunters a year during archery. This year I went to 5 different spots looking for a place to park much less hunt. This was the scenario for all of archery season. We had lots of places prescouted during the summer that where full of elk and never saw a single person. Well apparently everyone knew the elk where there too! Have lots of options lined up, you might need it. But there is a lot of elk in the area.
 

Luke_with_a_lab

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Montucky
The opener of both archery and rifle in that area are absolutely insane. We backpacked into a spot in that area during archery 2 years ago. Spent 3 days seeing no elk. Day 4 we finally found a small bull with some cows. Started to stalk in on them only to have hear cow calls coming from the other side of the elk. Elk blow out. Then we see two hunters who had been trying to stalk in on the elk with their wind blowing right at the elk.... I have no idea where the people came from or what they were thinking. POINT BEING, there is no escaping people anywhere in that area during most of the archery and rifle. Best bet is to hunt later in the seasons and during the week.
 

Wind Gypsy

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There's a lot of country in SW MT where Dillon is the nearest town of that size so its awful hard to speak for it all.

Certain parts of it I've seen WAY more pressure during archery and others way less.
 

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