Montana General Elk/Deer Tag - What would you do?

Netherman

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May 24, 2016
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A buddy and myself drew the General Elk/Deer combo tag in Montana. Initially our plan was to archery hunt (elk focused) in September and then return in November for the rifle season (deer focused).His dad and two brothers were also planning on hunting the rifle season but did not draw.

I'm trying to decide if we should stick with our original plan minus the others. Or try and combine our two weeks into one trip. Only making one trip would get us a few extra days of hunting. If we combine the trip I need to decide if I want a chance to call in an elk and have a good chance of coming home empty handed or having a better chance at deer and probably elk too during the rifle season.

I guess my question is would you choose to hunt:

1. 1 week off in September(6 hunting days) and 1 week off in November (6 hunting days)

2. 2 weeks off in September elk focused (14 hunting days with lower success odds)

3. 2 weeks off in November deer focused (14 hunting days with higher success odds)

Nick
 

Gumbo

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Depends what you want to kill I guess. 14 days of elk hunting should give you time to at least find some elk and have one person get an opportunity. Six days of deer hunting should easily be enough for both of you to shoot mediocre bucks with a rifle. But 6 days for archery elk might not be enough unless you already know some spots because it can take that long to even find elk if you aren't familiar with the country. Unfortunately the good elk country and good deer country aren't often in the same spots, so a combo hunt with either weapon isn't usually the best idea with a general tag.

It wasn't listed as an option, but I think that Snyder nailed it, 10 days archery elk and 3 rifle deer. Two guys hunting hard and smart should be able to kill two mediocre bucks in 3 days without any problem most anywhere in the eastern 2/3rds of the state. And 10 days of solid elk hunting is more than most could take physically and mentally anyway.
 

missjordan

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Missoula, MT
I would make one trip out of it and hunt for whatever species you want whether it be deer or elk. Why drive across the country twice when you can combine it all into one trip


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Nomad

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May 19, 2016
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West Texas
Because 2 hunting trips are better than 1. The weather may suck on one trip and be perfect on another. What if you get sick on one trip? etc, etc....
 
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Netherman

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Michigan
Sounds like two trips is the consensus. I think taking a whole week off is the best bang for my buck since I can attach both weekends rather than just one. But, I agree that we would benefit from more time on the archery elk hunt. I'll try and sweet talk my boss into giving me 2-3 "sick" days to extend the elk trip and still go the full week for deer.

Thanks guys.

Nick
 

les welch

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Dude, only you can decide that. It's your money, vacation, family time, and hunt.

Personally I'll never give up any time for a deer tag during elk season.
 

Tony Trietch

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You might want to wait for the draw to get over before you count the chickens. Montana is not done and had a snafu this week so everything is up in the air. Some people have had their draw results change a few times this week on their account....your friends may end up drawing.

Yeah. They applied for the General Deer Combination tag as a party and did not draw. We applied for the Elk/Deer Combination tag as a separate party and drew.

Nick
 
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