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Thread: Montana Elk

  1. #1

    Montana Elk

    Hi All,
    Anyone ever hunted a bull elk in Montana? (with the exception of Muir!)
    Looking for some advice or recommendations of outfitters please.
    It won't be for a couple of years but its definately on the agenda.
    Having been to MT a couple of times for the fly fishing i really fancy the idea of doing a hunt in the snow in the back of beyond, its a stunning state is Montana.
    The difference between the fishing and hunting is the system in Montana and other states, i.e. the tag system, so i don't need a guide for fishing but would for the hunting.
    I am aware this can get the backs up of some MT locals when an ousider just pays for an outfitter (tag guaranteed) and goes hunting, but if there is another way other than going down the outfitter route i would be up for it.
    Is it easy to take a rifle to the states? 30-06?
    And i would take my fly rod if there is any way to catch a fish as well!

    Many thanks

    Richard

  2. #2
    Rick Whiteley has contacts in Wyoming who may know of people in MT if that's any good to you mate. Gunnrunner.cc is where you'll find him and he'll be able to advise you.

  3. #3
    this fella is waiting in Wyoming


    you could do worse than contact the local wildlife and fisheries people they have a register of outfitters

  4. #4
    Be very careful booking an elk hunt in Montana. Elk numbers have collapsed since wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone. I was out there hunting in 2009 for mule deer and pronghorn, and that was all the local hunters were talking about. Many of the elk outfitters have closed down, but in many areas they still hunt but the elk aren't just there, or if they are are now a lot more tuned into predation than they used to be. They have reopened a wolf season again this year but it will take years for the elk numbers to recover. Funnily enough you now see loads of elk near habitation during the winter because the wolves keep away from people.

    Trout fishing is brilliant. Join the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. I've been a member for 20 years. They have an excellent quarterly journal, 'Bugle', which will tell you all you need to know about elk, and lists loads of elk guides.

    rmef.org

  5. #5
    See http://www.rmef.org/NewsandMedia/New...11Forecast.htm for Montana.

    Annual recruitment of calves in one area is 9%!

    Dama

  6. #6
    The wolf/elk problem is very area specific. Montana is a large state and there are plenty of Elk that aren't in wolf areas. We have 150,000 elk and about 500 wolves. In the area I live in (east/central Montana) everyone I know who hunts elk, generally, gets one if they put in the time and effort. We also rarely see wolves. As to the Yellowstone wolf problem, well, hunters will be shooting the hell out of the wolves soon enough. The big pressure is coming from the outfitters and cattlemen. I have seen wolves here even before the "reintroduction" of the wolf by the government. The only people who didn't know that the native wolf wasn't extinct was the wildlife biologists.

    A guide is not required to hunt elk on public lands, but you get what you pay for. Most guides will guarantee a shot at a bull.~Muir

  7. #7
    I have hunted Elk and deer in Idaho (next state) in the Frank Church River of No return Wilderness area. Very aptly named. What we call wilderness is very tame compared to their wilderness. Be prepared, it is very hard work, and you have to hunt really hard. Up at 4am, saddle up, pack, ride, walk, climb, siesta, walk, climb, ride, un pack and saddle, eat and drop into bed at 10-11pm. It is not just the mountains that are hard work, but the altitude. I live at see level and hunted at about 6-8000 feet which takes some getting used to. If you have time to acclimatise, do so.
    An outfitter is worth it if you do not have any contacts.
    It is harder to get rifles out of the UK than into the USA (or was when I did it), all the customs guys wanted to know was where and what was I hunting because they wanted to come along.
    Like I say it is very hard work day after day after day. But worth all the effort, pain and expense, unforgettable.
    Regards
    Fairacre

  8. #8
    I hunted Elk and Bear in 2006 at this place across the border in British Columbia. http://www.sawtoothbc.com/aboutsawtooth.cfm
    Fantastic, once in a life time trip. I worked for them during my summer holiday from University. The deal was, I worked for free if they looked after my board and lodging. Two weeks before I was due to fly back to the UK, my boss gave me tags for an Elk and a Bear. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that would ever happen! I took the Elk on the 10th day. Spotted him at Dawn just as it was getting light and didn't take the shot until 1830hrs. That’s what you call a good stalk! He had a heard of 28 Cow elk with him. That’s an awful lot of eyes and ears. Oh yeah and he was on the other side of the mountain with a huge river between us. It took all day to get down the mountain, cross the river and back up the opposite side. Nice 6x6 bull, nothing spectacular for out there but one of the best days of my life so far!
    The bear was exciting, last day before I flew back, found this big black bear right up the top of a mountain turning over huge boulders foraging. The wind was perfect for us. We tied up the horses and carried on dismounted. Scrambled up a burn for some 500 yards and popped up where we thought we would be parallel to the bear for a 200yard shot. Had a bit of a shock when she was in fact 40 yards away. She was so engrossed foraging remarkably she had not heard us scrabbling up the rocky burn. No time to fumble with safety catches and take a bad shot. I wanted to take the shot before the adrenaline hit me and gave me the shakes. I mounted the 300 H&H as if mounting a shotgun on a walked up woodcock. One shot right in the engine room bowled her over. I don't recall the kick from the rifle. I immediately re loaded and put a second shot in for good measure. During the summer I had heard a lot of horror stories about shots on bears going wrong and did not want to be apart of one. It was a nice clean kill and an old female, not in the best of condition considering she should be fat as butter with the winter round the corner. So I was pleased it was more of a cull beast than a glorious male in his prime.
    An amazing experience and cost me only my flights. Not forgetting the enormous taxidermy bill that came about a year later!!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 2428 miles View Post
    I hunted Elk and Bear in 2006 at this place across the border in British Columbia. http://www.sawtoothbc.com/aboutsawtooth.cfm
    Fantastic, once in a life time trip. I worked for them during my summer holiday from University. The deal was, I worked for free if they looked after my board and lodging. Two weeks before I was due to fly back to the UK, my boss gave me tags for an Elk and a Bear. Not in my wildest dreams did I think that would ever happen! I took the Elk on the 10th day. Spotted him at Dawn just as it was getting light and didn't take the shot until 1830hrs. That’s what you call a good stalk! He had a heard of 28 Cow elk with him. That’s an awful lot of eyes and ears. Oh yeah and he was on the other side of the mountain with a huge river between us. It took all day to get down the mountain, cross the river and back up the opposite side. Nice 6x6 bull, nothing spectacular for out there but one of the best days of my life so far!
    The bear was exciting, last day before I flew back, found this big black bear right up the top of a mountain turning over huge boulders foraging. The wind was perfect for us. We tied up the horses and carried on dismounted. Scrambled up a burn for some 500 yards and popped up where we thought we would be parallel to the bear for a 200yard shot. Had a bit of a shock when she was in fact 40 yards away. She was so engrossed foraging remarkably she had not heard us scrabbling up the rocky burn. No time to fumble with safety catches and take a bad shot. I wanted to take the shot before the adrenaline hit me and gave me the shakes. I mounted the 300 H&H as if mounting a shotgun on a walked up woodcock. One shot right in the engine room bowled her over. I don't recall the kick from the rifle. I immediately re loaded and put a second shot in for good measure. During the summer I had heard a lot of horror stories about shots on bears going wrong and did not want to be apart of one. It was a nice clean kill and an old female, not in the best of condition considering she should be fat as butter with the winter round the corner. So I was pleased it was more of a cull beast than a glorious male in his prime.
    An amazing experience and cost me only my flights. Not forgetting the enormous taxidermy bill that came about a year later!!
    Any pictures from any of you guys that have hunted there?

  10. #10
    Hi I have just got back from Montana, sightseeing not hunting. It is my 5th trip there and I love it. I hope to buy a cabin there in the next couple of years. I wouldbe up for a joint hunt if you are willing??? Also fancy spring black bear in BC.
    Matt

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