Montana general elk

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Bdubwright23

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Personally if I were you I would start with Colorado. You are going to get more opportunities at elk and you can go back to same spot year after year to learn.


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I would think I'd have a better shot Gettin away from people in Montana
 

dreamingbig

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More opportunities? Scratching my head......
Currently an OTC tag that he could potential return to each year for the next 5 years earning him more opportunities. Colorado elk herd is also larger so in theory more cows and young bulls to cut his teeth on if he picks the right unit/region.

It was just a thought. I don’t know how many MT tags he will draw in 5 yrs. 3? 2?


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dreamingbig

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I would think I'd have a better shot Gettin away from people in Montana
I think that is a true statement. You will also have wolves and grizzly bears to navigate. Pros and cons to both.

I think MT is better but given you are at year 1 of elk hunting you might want to consider an area that you can learn year over year for the next few years.

You will have fun whatever you do!


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Indian Summer

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I get the license thing. But Montana isn’t that hard to draw. I laugh when people talk about grizzlies there. They’re in very limited areas just like Wyoming. I sure hope people aren’t looking at those maps that show where they “could possibly be”. Those things are a joke.

I totally agree that there’s a benefit to hunting as often as possible to learn. But if there are so many people that the elk are pressured and nocturnal to the point where they are tough to find what can you learn from them?

As far as the saying “Colorado has more elk than any other state” that may be true of overall numbers. But Colorado has more square miles of elk country than states like Montana and Wyoming where the majority of elk country is on the west side and much of the central and east is antelope habitat. It’s not about numbers is about density.... elk per square mile. So IMHO you can learn more where there are less hunters and more elk that are comfortable going about their normal routines even if you skip a year here or there.
 
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Bdubwright23

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Currently an OTC tag that he could potential return to each year for the next 5 years earning him more opportunities. Colorado elk herd is also larger so in theory more cows and young bulls to cut his teeth on if he picks the right unit/region.

It was just a thought. I don’t know how many MT tags he will draw in 5 yrs. 3? 2?


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If I don't draw my tag I'll go to Colorado for sure
 

dreamingbig

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I get the license thing. But Montana isn’t that hard to draw. I laugh when people talk about grizzlies there. They’re in very limited areas just like Wyoming. I sure hope people aren’t looking at those maps that show where they “could possibly be”. Those things are a joke.

I totally agree that there’s a benefit to hunting as often as possible to learn. But if there are so many people that the elk are pressured and nocturnal to the point where they are tough to find what can you learn from them?

As far as the saying “Colorado has more elk than any other state” that may be true of overall numbers. But Colorado has more square miles of elk country than states like Montana and Wyoming where the majority of elk country is on the west side and much of the central and east is antelope habitat. It’s not about numbers is about density.... elk per square mile. So IMHO you can learn more where there are less hunters and more elk that are comfortable going about their normal routines even if you skip a year here or there.
Density of elk is a good point.

As a NR drawing elk is getting harder. It was not 100% last year even if you had 1 pref point.

We have hunted and scouted elk the past two years in grizzly habitat that is considered “you might run into one passing through” habitat yet we saw two. Sow and cub at 60 yards and another circling camp. Both incidents ended without any harm but I would prefer not to see another. They give zero Fs.

And I have never hunted Colorado. MT, ID, NM and WA only.


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Indian Summer

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Well then yes you were in grizzly country. I’ve hunted Montana for 35 years, punched 13 elk tags in a row there and guided guys to a lot more than that and never saw a grizzlie. Only saw griz up in Glacier Park.
 

Indian Summer

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Also I’ve hunted lots of years in Wyoming and never saw one there either and the area I hunt is on the map as potential griz country. I guess maybe Lewis and Clark saw one there so they included it.
 
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Bdubwright23

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I think he’s meaning more opportunities because one can buy an otc tag every year and not worry about the draw. Plus the wolves and g bears have eaten all the elk in Montana. Nothing to see there


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I ain't skeered of no bears I'll have something for there ass es tho just in case tho lol
 

Matt Cashell

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Lots of good advice here!

Keep in mind that elk Hunter success averages around 10-15%. So you are doing good to be successful 1 out of 6 years.

Not all drop camps are equal.

As far as bears go, don’t let it ruin your hunt, but if you are in any of the “possible” or “known” GB areas, keep a clean camp, hang your food, and follow all of the other agency recommendations and regulations:



Prevention goes a long way.

Every year hunters get attacked in MT:


Still, there are elk out there to chase in MT, so stay safe and have fun!
 

MSBowHunter

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I hunted Montana for the first time last September. Got into a ton of elk and came to full draw several times, but I was never offered an ethical shot opportunity. Also, be aware of areas that have grizzlies. My hunting partner was charged by a grizzly as we made our way back to camp one night. Luckily he was able to use his bear spray, and the bear retreated!
 

sneaky

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I ain't skeered of no bears I'll have something for there ass es tho just in case tho lol
You realize that one of the guys that was attacked last year stepped over a log right onto a sleeping grizz? Talked to a guide in Wyoming this past year and they killed a grizz that charged many years ago... it was in a dug out bed that when it was laying in it its back was level with the ground. It was inside of 20 yards before they saw it. You can have that attitude but you better have situational awareness. For the limited time you have to hunt, the 7th-12th, I would say Colorado, just because it's cheaper for you.

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jonboatjockey

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I would think I'd have a better shot Gettin away from people in Montana
Depends on where you go, and in some cases having a few people around isn't a bad thing if you cam familiarize yourself with the area and what the elk tend to do when they get bumped.
 

rambo2345

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Montana has some good general units. Solo hunting is not a great idea, in my opinion. Some preseason scouting would be best. A couple of the ideas already expressed are good ones. Look for an outfitter who can help you out and go for a cow first.
 

Brendan

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I think whether you can pull off a solo hunt 100% depends on the individual. It's mostly mental, behind that I'd say knowing how to prepare yourself. Not sure I'd try it if you haven't spent a bunch of time hiking / hunting / camping the mountains of the east by yourself though.

I've been to Montana 3X, solo and with someone else, and have had one great year, one decent year, and one crappy year. Even the crappy year was fun in its' own ways, the hunting just sucked - saw one spike in 12 days during the middle of September. Maybe heard 3 far off bugles. By the end of the trip, went whitetail hunting in the river bottoms and came home with a nice alfalfa fed whitetail though.

Getting away from people hasn't been an issue for me, but I've hunted all archery.
 
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