MT vs. CO Dilemma


Senior Member
Apr 15, 2017
Save the money and go to COlorado for a few extra days to scout. One elk is enough for a years worth of meat, plan on getting the montana tag next year and spend extra time there scouting. You start running around all over the West on a budget and youll wind up with tag soup two years in a row instead of two full freezers.


Aug 9, 2015
Kingsford, MI
So how was your hunt???

MT recap:

Initially I hadn’t drawn the tags I had desired, however earlier this month I had been notified I could purchase a MT general tag through the alternate list process. I had posted a couple weeks ago as I debated switching from OTC CO to MT.

Long story short- I switched to MT and was very pleased with the hunt. This was my first hunt in MT so a completely new area to me. I had talked to a few people who had been in the general area, however no specific intel. My plan was to base camp and do day hunts to cover as much ground as possible and find elk. A big plus of this hunt was my dad, who is retired, was able to come along and be camp cook, fish, and soak up the mountain scenery. He is limited by bad ankles so hunting wasn’t possible, but it was nice to have this time with him.

I ended up hunting a total of 7 days, having encounters with 4 bulls ( 3 of which were nice 5/6pts, and one legit 330” stud). On day 5 I ended up having a bugle fest with 3 different bulls right off the bat in the morning, however no close encounters or shot opportunities. Later that day, on my way hiking back to the
original drainage, I heard a lazy bed bugle across the very steep canyon. I believed this was one of the same bulls from the morning who had went quiet. Anyways, I gave a quick bugle and he answered, with the same intensity as his first bed bugle. To get on the same contour as him, I descended 700’ and then had to climb up approx. 300’ on the other side of the canyon. Once on the same contour- I was approx 300 yards from his location, I started bugling/raking. He replied and with each bugle, his attitude change was palpable. I continued to work within about 100 yards of where I believed he was bedded and at this point , the bull was full on screaming. I hammered back with the meanest bugle I could muster and heavily raked a spruce. Within 15 seconds I could hear him crashing towards me, he closed to 20 yards frontal behind a large spruce where he proceeded to lip bawl right in my face. He then angled uphill right to left and I had one small lane at 18 yards. At this point I fully see how big he is- given his frame/ length, he appeared like a legit 330” class bull. He stopped hard quartered to and I settled the pin , trying to sneak it in front of the shoulder. ( bad idea).

The shot broke cleanly and I watched the lighted nock find its mark, however I didn’t like the penetration I saw. He ran off downhill but I never heard any crash. Fast forward one hour and I found my arrow a few yards from the shot, missing 4” and the broadhead- a sign of a shoulder impact. I followed his tracks which showed no blood at all. Additionally within 10 minutes of my shot, I was able to glass the bull with his cows up on the opposite ridge( he appeared unphased as he rounded up his cows and even gave a bugle).

Hindsight is always 20/20, and I should have probably passed on the shot angle, however I had confidence my setup could have gotten through. I was shooting 80lb/31.5” draw with 570 grain arrows and a premium fixed blade. I would have imagined that I could breach that bone, but was mistaken. At the impact I had to of hit knuckle, especially at that angle. I do believe the bull will be ok, and it was obviously a non fatal wound.

Overall a fantastic trip and I was very pleased to switch. I had great encounters, spent valuable time with my dad, and made some great memories including a cinnamon phase black bear wandering through camp at 6 yards from us while we were eating lunch . Sometimes a punched tag isn’t the definition of success.

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