Overview of Montana Elk Hunt - Bozeman
For a Montana elk hunt, this owner operated outfitter offers all the benefits of a horseback elk and mule deer hunt without the need to ride horses for long hours to get to your spike campsite! They have a large and growing population of elk in this area that average in the 300-340 B&C range. Their mule deer average around 150 – 160 gross B&C and accompanies any Montana elk hunting experience. This is primarily an elk hunt with some opportunity for mule deer. Mule deer success increases later in November during the rut. This is a very rustic trip but rifle hunters can stay in a nice lodge at no additional cost if they are willing to sacrifice some opportunity for the comforts.
Rifle hunts (5 days) are both 2×1 guided. For an additional fee you can have a 1×1 hunt. They are hunting a combination of private ground they own, private ground they lease, and public ground to which they have exclusive access. The total area they hunt on is over 20 square miles.
They use jeeps and trucks to get around the ranch and have two argos with snow tracks in case they have to get somewhere tough. While good physical condition always helps on a high elevation mountain hunt like this one, many hunters take elk without walking much at all. They can accommodate all levels of mobility.
Rifle hunts begin in mid-October hunting the resident elk herd. As the season progresses and winter snows begin in the Yellowstone National Park mountains, the “park” elk are forced down to this prime grazing area for food. Hunters are looking for mature herd bulls which average around 320 gross B&C and that’s the outfitters goal for his clients. In 2010 there was a bull taken that scored 389 gross B&C but that is unusual.
Morning hunts normally begin with you and your guide glassing a very large meadow at daybreak. You guide may choose to stay there awhile or to go for a “spot & stalk” type of hunt until lunch. You might drive to another area to hunt as well. Afternoon hunts are normally walking to one of the large meadows and setting up to glass for the afternoon waiting for the elk to move out of the heavy timber to graze.
Please note: This is a true free range hunt! If the weather does not cooperate, the game does not either. This is not a guaranteed hunt and you will work very hard for your opportunities! This is a fantastic experience hunt and hopefully you will go home with a success story. Either way, you will go home with a story of adventure!
For a free range elk hunt in the middle of the rut, you will have a high opportunity experience. The question is, will you make the shot? Your heart will be racing and the altitude will make it beat harder and faster.
As with almost all big game operations if you draw blood or wound an animal you will hunt that specific animal until harvested or your hunt ends. You can not hunt another animal.
Rifle season is from mid-October to late November. The last hunt of the year normally falls over Thanksgiving.
Licenses & Tags:
With the November 2010 election, Montana voted to eliminate the guaranteed outfitter tags for non-residents and go with a straight forward draw system. The deadline for tag applications for rifle and bow hunters is March 15th. The outfitter feels that hunters will have a high draw rate since 100% of the applicants did draw for the 2013 season. If for some reason, you do not draw, you will receive a 100% for the deposit that you will have made to hold your spot.
The draw is scheduled to take place the first week of May with the results available online the first week of June.
Each hunter uses the main off season fishing lodge as their home base, traveling to permanent spike camps for one or two nights. This allows all hunters to hunt every part of the ranch.
Spike camps offer double occupancy permanent cabins with outdoor plumbing, heat, generators for light and a cook. They are very basic but are a step up from a tent.
The lodge is located just down the mountain at 6,000 feet elevation. The lodge is set up for hunters in the winter and offers a nice atmosphere. While everyone stays at the lodge for a night or two, those that do not want to stay in a rough mountain camp can stay at the lodge for the entire trip. The only down side to staying in the lodge for the entire trip is that your harvest opportunity rate may decrease for your elk/mule deer. The hunters staying in the mountain camps tend to have better opportunity because they are positioned to have easier access to the game
There will be a camp cook to prepare your meals.
Length of Stay / Itinerary
Bow hunts are 6 Nights/7 Days
Rifle hunts are 5 Nights/6 Days
Travel Details & Location
Travel Arrangements: Flights, Hotels, Shuttle Service and Rental Vehicle
We recommend you fly into Bozeman, MT (BZN) the day before your hunt starts and spend the night there. You can rent a car or have the lodge pick you up at your hotel the following morning around 10 a.m for an additional fee. The drive to the ranch is about an hour and a half. Once you arrive, you will eat lunch, sight in your rifle and begin your hunt.
On departure day you can hunt that morning if needed, pack up, eat lunch and head back to Bozeman. We suggest that you plan to spend the night in Bozeman.
Private Planes: Livingston Airport (406)222-2440 is the closest private plane access. However, it is very windy! Most fly into Bozeman and travel from there.
Internet & Communications
Cell service is limited and there is no wifi.
Rates: Call for updated pricing
Call for more details. Tags will run over $900 a piece.
Trip Insurance & Cancellation Info
“Trip insurance is highly recommended to protect your investment on this trip. We will assist you with trip insurance upon booking. See links at the bottom of this page for the two providers we suggest for our clients.
Antlers & Anglers Worldwide, LLC confirmation and refund policy:
If your trip is more than 90 days out from date of departure, a 50% non-refundable deposit confirms your reservation and must be received within 10 days of booking to confirm your dates. All trips must be paid in full at least 90 days prior to the departure date. If your trip date is within 90 days, FULL payment for the trip is required. All payments to Antlers & Anglers Worldwide, LLC are non-refundable. Should you need to reschedule or cancel your trip, we will do everything in our power to assist you in finding a suitable substitute or transferring your dates per the lodge/providers/government requirements. Trip insurance protects your investment!”