Elk hunt near Darby, Montana

JakeP2015

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I am starting to plan an elk hunt near the Darby, Montana area for the the 2022 rifle season. I am looking for gmu recommendations in that general area. I am also open to traveling across the border into Idaho and would love some recommendations there as well. Thanks in advance for the help!
 

Indian Summer

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Just curious… what made you zero in in Darby? I lived there for awhile.
 

sneaky

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Did you buy a preference point for this year before Sep 30th? If not, then you may be out of luck on getting a MT tag for next year anyways. Humans are #3 on the predator list in that area behind wolves and grizz.

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CAElkhunter

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My experience with Darby's zone is be prepared to see a lot of Orange. We ran into other hunters everywhere.
 

brian wagar

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Well if your willing to work at it there is elk in that district (270) also one of the more popular areas for rifle and lately archery too. strap on the boots hunt hard and you can get it done I would put in for the cow tag in that zone too. Montana elk hunting is very popular these days tough to hunt anywhere and not have other folks around our game department seems to be managing for the almighty dollar rather than quality of the hunt! Wolves have changed every thing they are nothing but killers and decimated elk populations in most areas look at the Yellowstone herd at one time over 30,000 animal's now down to 3,000 if that. Not a happy camper with what is going on in this state with our game management.
 

CAElkhunter

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I agree there are Elk there but they also seem to know exactly where Craig Barretts private ranch is and another big private ranch that isn't hunted. I saw 1000 head bedded down mid day out in the open on the private.
 

Indian Summer

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I agree there are Elk there but they also seem to know exactly where Craig Barretts private ranch is and another big private ranch that isn't hunted. I saw 1000 head bedded down mid day out in the open on the private.
While that is definitely true there’s a solution. Don’t hunt that northern part of the unit. I killed 13 elk straight in 270. One just across Rye Creek Rd from the CB Ranch. The rest nowhere near private. I prefer late season in 270. Elk are on the move and way less people. Oh and by the way… grizzlies are the top predators of elk around Darby? That’s truly hilarious! Maybe in 1792. Where do guys get this shit? FWP maps is the only thing I can figure. Watch out for those tyrannosauruses too! Lmao
 

171farm

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I hunted north west of you about 3 hours this Nov and that part of the state seems to have been wiped out by wolves or so the locals say. We didnt see an elk in 6 days, I saw a couple handful of mule deer and 3 whitetail. Obviously where we were wasnt very good but that doesnt mean much, a mile down the road one way or another could have been a completely different story
 

Indian Summer

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I hunted north west of you about 3 hours this Nov and that part of the state seems to have been wiped out by wolves or so the locals say. We didnt see an elk in 6 days, I saw a couple handful of mule deer and 3 whitetail. Obviously where we were wasnt very good but that doesnt mean much, a mile down the road one way or another could have been a completely different story
Noxon/Thompson Falls area? Things got bad up there a long time ago. It was always too thick up there anyway. You either killed an elk or didn’t see any.
 
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BuckeyeRifleman

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Very familiar with the area, camped and fished it a bunch. There are elk, but few and are between compared to other areas of the state. Bottom line it wouldn’t be my first choice. I want to say 250 is special permit as well. Unless you have some inside knowledge on the area I’d leave the family visit to another time and concentrate on units where elk are at or over objective.
 

MOcluck

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I went to guide school around Darby. Beautiful country. We were a few miles up the road from what seemed to be a service camp for kids at that time. I've pondered going back but the Wolves always come into play. Let us know how it works out for you. Best of luck!
 

sneaky

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While that is definitely true there’s a solution. Don’t hunt that northern part of the unit. I killed 13 elk straight in 270. One just across Rye Creek Rd from the CB Ranch. The rest nowhere near private. I prefer late season in 270. Elk are on the move and way less people. Oh and by the way… grizzlies are the top predators of elk around Darby? That’s truly hilarious! Maybe in 1792. Where do guys get this shit? FWP maps is the only thing I can figure. Watch out for those tyrannosauruses too! Lmao
I believe your reading comprehension needs some work. I think you were referencing the comment I made about humans being the 3rd predator in that country. Nowhere in that comment did it say the 3rd predator of elk...or deer... it said the 3rd ranked predator is human. Everyone knows the Tyrannosauruses are over in MOR in Bozeman.

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Longranger2

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I went to guide school around Darby. Beautiful country. We were a few miles up the road from what seemed to be a service camp for kids at that time. I've pondered going back but the Wolves always come into play. Let us know how it works out for you. Best of luck!
My cousin did guide school there as well. And was wondering what that area is like now as well.
 

MOcluck

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My cousin did guide school there as well. And was wondering what that area is like now as well.
What year? I know the trailhead they hold the school out of also doubles as the "section" they outfit on during the season. So your chances of encountering a guided party would increase. I can't quite remember where it is. If anyone knows the area around Darby very good maybe I can bounce what I recall off of them and figure it out with help from Google maps or on X.
 

Indian Summer

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What year? I know the trailhead they hold the school out of also doubles as the "section" they outfit on during the season. So your chances of encountering a guided party would increase. I can't quite remember where it is. If anyone knows the area around Darby very good maybe I can bounce what I recall off of them and figure it out with help from Google maps or on X.
If we’re talking about Scott Boulangers school it was at the Piquett Creek trailhead which is back the West Fork of the Bitterroot River. I did some guiding for him around 1999. That’s in unit 250. I used to hunt the hell out of that area but it went to a draw. Lastly time I looked only 25 tags so you won’t be running into any guided or unguided hunters anymore.
 

Indian Summer

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You could always bag the elk hunt and take selfies in front of the Yellowstone tv show’s ego gate like every other tourist coming to/through Darby🤣
Yep rt 93 is like a parking lot these days. I killed a whitetail buck, the one in the middle, off that ranch about 15 years ago. It’s legal to hunt waterways and I’d follow the Bitterroot river onto the Chief Joseph ranch to hunt. Might have gotten a little bit up above the flood plain. Lol
 

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Longranger2

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What year? I know the trailhead they hold the school out of also doubles as the "section" they outfit on during the season. So your chances of encountering a guided party would increase. I can't quite remember where it is. If anyone knows the area around Darby very good maybe I can bounce what I recall off of them and figure it out with help from Google maps or on X.
I believe it was 1989
 

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