Montana non-resident big game combo help

Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
9
Hey all, I drew my big game combo, I've spent hours deciding which unit/HD I want to hunt. I've made some calls to Montana fish and game for questions on road access, ect... but I'm hoping that perhaps someone local might be able to at least give me a "yeah that's a good plan, you're on the right track" or tell me to rethink some and possibly give some guidance. I'm planning on hunting in the 454 district, so if you are familiar to the area and willing to help a guy out, I'd appreciate it. Who knows, if I am able to kill my first montana elk because of your help I might even have a custom fly rod with your name on it (I never expect anything for free, even help).

- Conti's Custom Rods
 

GHOSTofWENDELL

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2018
Messages
176
Location
Montana
Little Belts have a lot of pressure from out of state guys. Many hunt there because they are scared of Grizzly. Going to have to get off the trail a good ways. 3-4+ miles or you will run into day hunters. Especially with the amount of ATV trails in that area.
 
OP
C
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
9
454 is a super popular area and gets hunted hard. Expect to see loads of folks, lots of atv use and roads, and the main camp in the area usually has 20+ rigs and 12 campers/rv’s opening day of rifle season.
I won't be able to get on the ground until Nov. 7Th. I'm not afraid of getting off the beaten path for some miles, but what are the roads getting into the belts like that time of year, barring a major snow storm?
 

MTSasquatch

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
127
I won't be able to get on the ground until Nov. 7Th. I'm not afraid of getting off the beaten path for some miles, but what are the roads getting into the belts like that time of year, barring a major snow storm?
Access is pretty good in the area and all of the little belts, really. A pickup and a set of chains will get you most anywhere below 7k feet elevation in hunting season. Most folks anymore though pull camps at the foothills and use the atv/utv to get into and around the forest for the day. Hard saying for November weather. Hit or miss every year. It’ll be tough elk hunting for sure given when you come and all the pressure that area gets. You’ll definitely have to earn that elk, but sounds like you’re up to the challenge.
 
OP
C
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
9
Access is pretty good in the area and all of the little belts, really. A pickup and a set of chains will get you most anywhere below 7k feet elevation in hunting season. Most folks anymore though pull camps at the foothills and use the atv/utv to get into and around the forest for the day. Hard saying for November weather. Hit or miss every year. It’ll be tough elk hunting for sure given when you come and all the pressure that area gets. You’ll definitely have to earn that elk, but sounds like you’re up to the challenge.
I'm certainly up for it, I'll give it all the hell I got. How's the deer hunting around there? Just as tough? I was planning on setting camp around 6500' and adventuring out from there.
 

1shotgear

Senior Member
Rokslide Sponsor
Joined
Jun 8, 2015
Messages
1,071
Location
Denver, CO
Like everybody else said, the Little Belts and all of the areas around White Sulfur Springs gets hammered by out of state hunters. The lowlands have a lot of BMA's you can access but they will be packed with people and usually will not hold many elk. The elk in that unit will more than likely be in the thickest, most secluded timber patched that you can find. Your best bet will be to catch them coming out early in the morning or late in the evening to feed. You can expect to see a few mule deer and whitetails in the lower country in that unit, but usually the bucks are not super impressive. You can find animals in 454, but it will not be as easy as some of the units in the Southwest or Northwest parts of the state. If you want to shoot a big mule deer then head East. The Missouri Breaks units are tough to beat for mule deer. Feel free to shoot us a message if you have any questions about other units!
 
OP
C
Joined
Feb 3, 2020
Messages
9
Like everybody else said, the Little Belts and all of the areas around White Sulfur Springs gets hammered by out of state hunters. The lowlands have a lot of BMA's you can access but they will be packed with people and usually will not hold many elk. The elk in that unit will more than likely be in the thickest, most secluded timber patched that you can find. Your best bet will be to catch them coming out early in the morning or late in the evening to feed. You can expect to see a few mule deer and whitetails in the lower country in that unit, but usually the bucks are not super impressive. You can find animals in 454, but it will not be as easy as some of the units in the Southwest or Northwest parts of the state. If you want to shoot a big mule deer then head East. The Missouri Breaks units are tough to beat for mule deer. Feel free to shoot us a message if you have any questions about other units!
That's awesome info! I would not mind heading east, I have 10 days to do whatever works, but no real clue where to start past grinding out onxmaps and reading previous success rates in units and asking questions. Info seems to be hard to get and I get it, nobody wants to blow an area up. That's part of the reason I'm willing to trade a full custom build for some good Intel, I don't wanna just ask and seem like I'm only in it for other peoples hard work.
 
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