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Nonresident Bear or Wolf tag add on? Montana

npaden

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I'm posting this in the elk forum because my primary goal is going to be getting my brother a bull elk. So we are going to be elk hunting for sure.

What I'm trying to decide is whether to add on a black bear tag or a wolf tag. We are planning on hunting Southwest Montana and one of the areas that we plan on hunting is pretty thick with bears. At least in the summer it is thick with bears. I have seen bears pretty much every time I've been there, although some have been Grizzlies.

I've never seen a wolf, but have been told there are wolves in the area by several different people.

So I'm trying to decide if I should spring the $350 for a bear tag or the $50 for a wolf tag. I more than likely am going to be in close proximity to my brother most of the time so I guess one alternative would be for him to buy the wolf tag and I could buy the bear tag. Hopefully we would see them together and not end up with him seeing a bear and me seeing a wolf!

We will be hunting the opening week of the rifle season so I would think the bears should still be out and about.

Any thoughts?

Thanks, Nathan
 

elkantlers

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That $400 will seem pretty cheap when you see a bear or wolf. I would have both tags in my pocket if they were available and the animals were in the area.
 

npaden

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Where I'm planning on starting out I would put my chances of seeing "a bear" probably up in the 50/50 range. Odds of seeing a mature black bear are probably about half of that.

I've never even seen a wolf track in the area though and I've logged 100+ miles of hiking there in the last 10 years during the summer.

Of course the bear tag is 7 times more expensive than the wolf tag!
 

genesis273

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I'm glad you brought this question up. I've thought about the same thing about getting a bear tag when elk hunting in Montana. Especially after killing my elk last year on day 2 of fourteen. Fresh carcass would have been ideal to watch for the other twelve days.
 

Randy11

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If you want to shoot a wolf, I'd get the tag due to the low price. Just realize there's a 95% chance you won't see one.

Bear tag for that late in the season is tough. I can count the amount of bears I've seen during general rifle season on one hand. They're still awake then, but not real active or visible. I do hear of guys killing bears off gut piles every year though, so it is possible. That's an expensive tag for a long shot though...
 

npaden

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Hmm... I guess most of my fall bear sightings have been in late September or early October now that I think about it.

I guess since I'm planning for temperatures to be anywhere from 0 to 60 degrees it would make sense that the bears might not be active if the temperatures are closer to that first number.
 
H

hnt4life

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Would you consider one to be a more meritable trophy than the other? If given the option, which I have every year, I personally choose the wolf tag. So, go ahead and get five of them!
 

npaden

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I've killed a bear a long time ago and have a bear tag for Alaska next spring so unless it was a really nice bear I would say a wolf would be a better trophy for me, personally killing a wolf would be better than getting an elk. But my priority is getting a bull elk for my brother.
 
H

hnt4life

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Put a relatively inexpensive wolf tag in your pocket and focus on getting your bro an elk!
 

noharleyyet

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Put a relatively inexpensive wolf tag in your pocket and focus on getting your bro an elk!

..absolutely this. I've had this same conversation with my elk bud for 13 years about a bear tag and always tell him the same thing..."we're elk hunting, if you shoot one, I'm still elk hunting and vice versa,"
 

JLS

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I've killed a bear a long time ago and have a bear tag for Alaska next spring so unless it was a really nice bear I would say a wolf would be a better trophy for me, personally killing a wolf would be better than getting an elk. But my priority is getting a bull elk for my brother.

Man, that late in the year I think I'd save my money on the bear tag. If you hunt the areas we talked about it wouldn't be a bad idea to buy a wolf tag.

I'm on the fence on buying one.
 

LCH

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When you put that $50 wolf tag relative to the overall cost of the hunt (fuel, elk tag, etc.) it's a drop in the bucket. I'd definitely buy it.

I've eaten 2 consecutive bear tags though, they're a little harder to swallow.
 

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