Montana archery elk weather and bugs?


Senior Member
Jun 6, 2016
Fort Worth, TX
I am tossing around a Montana archery elk hunt. We would be in SW Montana or up near Missoula and I imagine we will be in the mountains somewhere.. what can we expect for weather: temps, precip, etc? How about the bugs? I hate mosquitos with a passion and in AZ we don't have many bugs to speak of, so even a few is a lot to me and will drive me to have some kind of a shelter with a nest. Anything else? Blow flies, wolves, Grizz, etc that I should be aware of?


Senior Member
Feb 13, 2014
Everything....Its Montana. I have hunted all through Archery season in Montana and experienced heavy snow falls and temps in the 90s in the same week. Be prepared for the worst, hope for the best. On avg you should expect 60-70s during the day 30-40s at night. Granted all that can change in about two seconds. I have hunkered down in a thunderstorm where it was close to 90 degrees one day, the next it snowed a foot..Pretty much anywhere in the Rockies could be like that.

As for bugs, typically if your off the creeks or lakes they shouldnt be to bad if at all. But it really depends on cold snaps and your exact physical locations. I havent been bothered to much by bugs in Elk country. As for the predators go, they are there. Just be smart and aware. Keep a clean camp if you camp. Id carry spray and gun as backup. But just be smart and it shouldnt be an issue.

Ridge Ghost

Senior Member
Mar 21, 2012
Missoula, MT
Be prepared for anything between 30 and 80 degrees. It really can vary that much in September.

I sleep in a floorless shelter and have never had an issue with bugs. I have heard horror stories of mosquitoes in the Breaks, but I have never had an issue in western Montana come September. You'll see a few blowflies during the day, and they can swarm quickly if you get an elk down in warm weather. Try to keep all of the animal covered with the hide except for the part you are currently working on to keep them from landing and laying eggs.

Bears- keep a clean camp. Hang your food high and a good distance from your tent. Hang it in an opening that you can see from a ways away as you approach. If you kill an elk, hang your meat bags a good distance away from the gut pile. If a bear shows up, there's a good chance it will go for the gut pile first and you can still get your meat out. Keep spray or gun handy- on your waist belt, not packed away in your pack.

Wolves- Nothing really to worry about other than making sure to have a tag in your pocket. If you see or hear wolves, it doesn't necessarily mean that the elk will be gone. Sometimes the elk will just go quiet. If you are still seeing fresh elk sign, stick around and keep hunting it.

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