Montana 700's tag

robie

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Mar 7, 2013
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Houston, TX
I was lucky enough to draw a SD antelope tag and a MT antelope tag this year.

Unfortunately the only weekend they overlap is the opening weekend in Montana.

Is the opener of Montana just a mess with orange everywhere? Or is is spread out enough that I could enjoy the hunt and get away from people?

Thanks for the help!
 
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Fitzwho

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Apr 18, 2017
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Midland, TX
I've been thinking about trying for these exact same hunts. I haven't done it yet, was going to shoot for it next year.

Hopefully someone else chimes in with a little info.

I would guess there are more people opening weekend, but there is a lot of land in the 700s to chase them around on, you should be able to get away from a lot of the crowd. Antelope still get killed opening weekend.

Since you're going up from Houston, I don't know how much time you are planning on spending, but I would try to start hunting in South Dakota around Wednesday before the season closes. If you finish early, you can go over to Montana and scout a couple days and have a couple bucks in different places. If you can carve out the time, plan on hunting in Montana until Tuesday or Wednesday after the opener. If you get them both killed, go home early, or drop them both at a processor and go fishing or upland hunting.
 
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robie

robie

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I've been thinking about trying for these exact same hunts. I haven't done it yet, was going to shoot for it next year.

Hopefully someone else chimes in with a little info.

I would guess there are more people opening weekend, but there is a lot of land in the 700s to chase them around on, you should be able to get away from a lot of the crowd. Antelope still get killed opening weekend.

Since you're going up from Houston, I don't know how much time you are planning on spending, but I would try to start hunting in South Dakota around Wednesday before the season closes. If you finish early, you can go over to Montana and scout a couple days and have a couple bucks in different places. If you can carve out the time, plan on hunting in Montana until Tuesday or Wednesday after the opener. If you get them both killed, go home early, or drop them both at a processor and go fishing or upland hunting.
Thanks Fitz. Good luck drawing SD. The number of people applying went through the roof so the tags are becoming very hard to draw. The MT tag I'm not as worried about, if I get one great if not I can get it again in the next few years. I'm just curious about the crowds. I'm assuming its the same as every antelope hunt, people just drive the roads and shoot something as close to the truck as possible.

I've got a goal of harvesting an antelope in every state that has a tag I can get my hands on. Trophy quality is not of interest to me on these hunts. Hoping I can get some more of that delicious meat and a few more memories to bring home.
 

Gumbo

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You will have a great MT hunt and should be able to connect provided you have 2-3 days and reasonable hunting/shooting skills. R7 is huge and swallows up pressure pretty well in most areas. That said, if you can avoid opening weekend you will almost certainly see fewer people and have a more quality hunt. Most hunters drive around, or go on one small walk at the beginning of opening day. Walk a mile or so into an area that is not visible to roads and you will leave almost everyone else behind, even on the opener.
 
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robie

robie

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You will have a great MT hunt and should be able to connect provided you have 2-3 days and reasonable hunting/shooting skills. R7 is huge and swallows up pressure pretty well in most areas. That said, if you can avoid opening weekend you will almost certainly see fewer people and have a more quality hunt. Most hunters drive around, or go on one small walk at the beginning of opening day. Walk a mile or so into an area that is not visible to roads and you will leave almost everyone else behind, even on the opener.

Great. Thank you. I was assuming that would be the case. We've highlighted some road-less areas that we want to try and glad to hear that most won't go for a hike. I love antelope hunting and can't wait to try it in a new state.
 

Fritz

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Robie, I grew up in Southeatern Montana. Opening weekend isn't that bad for crowds. It is correct in saying that people do more driving roads than hunting. If you need a little help on where to go, let me know. I can help you out.
 
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robie

robie

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Robie, I grew up in Southeatern Montana. Opening weekend isn't that bad for crowds. It is correct in saying that people do more driving roads than hunting. If you need a little help on where to go, let me know. I can help you out.
Thank you Fritz. I will PM you.

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MTNMAN5C

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Oct 31, 2013
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Helena, MT
Opening weekend is busy but, definitely still worth hunting. Last year we scouted the day before opener and found several groups of antelope. Went back the next day and shot 2, then went home. Keep moving until you find good numbers and hike away from roads if possible. You will have a blast, it's one of my favorite hunts every year. Good luck!
 
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robie

robie

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Opening weekend is busy but, definitely still worth hunting. Last year we scouted the day before opener and found several groups of antelope. Went back the next day and shot 2, then went home. Keep moving until you find good numbers and hike away from roads if possible. You will have a blast, it's one of my favorite hunts every year. Good luck!
Thank you! I'm hoping we can get our antelope in SD quickly to spend some time locating two bucks for opening day. Seems like a lot of public to drive around on.

A lot of the roads cut through private to access the public. Is there any issue using those roads/two tracks?
 
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robie

robie

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I was able to put this guy on the ground. It was a bit of a mess opening weekend work all the cars racing down there road.

If anyone else out there for this hunt I would try to go there sending weekends. Game Warden said it's a two day season for most residents. After opening Saturday and Sunday most don't return.


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askibness

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Jul 5, 2019
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I’ve hunted 705 exclusively for antelope and mule deer since my dad started taking me out west 15+ years ago. Lots of opportunities with BMA and BLM. antelope abound this year opening week. Was able to get. 2 of 3 tags filled. Saw some really good animals and some more average.
 

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tugrivercopper

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How many points does it generally take to draw an antelope tag there, i bought one this year, we seen a few lope on our mule deer hunt there last year
 

askibness

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We hedge our bets. We antelope hunt every other year and we mule deer hunt every other year. On off years we buy a point for the other species. Haven’t missed a year yet. Knock on wood. 3 years ago I applied with a group of 3 and we got our tag first try. Also now I always apply as a party. Don’t know if it helps or hurts odds.
 

Dos Perros

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We hedge our bets. We antelope hunt every other year and we mule deer hunt every other year. On off years we buy a point for the other species. Haven’t missed a year yet. Knock on wood. 3 years ago I applied with a group of 3 and we got our tag first try. Also now I always apply as a party. Don’t know if it helps or hurts odds.
It helps because Montana rounds up your averaged points.
 

mike464

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Nov 8, 2019
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Montana
How are the numbers in the 700 area this year? It was hit with Blue Tongue a few years ago, I was wondering if its recovered.
 
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