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.
|Species:||Elk, Mule Deer and Whitetail Deer|
|Season:||Bow: September Rifle: Late October to the end of Thanksgiving|
|Method:||Rifle or Bow spot and stalk|
|Lodging:||Very nice lodge mixed wiht nigts at a very primitive spike camp|
|Food:||Camp Cook - very hearty meals|
|Trip Length:||5 nights/6 hunting days|
|Transport:||Guides vehicles and walking|
|Guided:||2x1 (1x1 guided available at additional expense)|
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.
Call for more details. Tags will run over $900 a piece.
How do I get to the lodge?
Runway access for 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.
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. The Best Western Grantree Inn (800-624-5865) has an airport shuttle and nice restaurant. The lodge shuttle will pick you up at your hotel the following morning around 10 a.m. The drive to the ranch is about an hour and a half. Once you arrive, you will eat lunch, target in your rifle and begin your hunt.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Links to the companies we recommend:
While we do everything in our power to protect our clients from travel problems, we cannot prevent illness, natural disasters, wars, deaths, lodge closings and more; we live in uncertain times! The only way to protect yourself and your investment is through travel insurance. Travel insurance can provide medical coverage, cancellation due to natural disaster, illness, death in the family, lodge closings and other unknowns; in this day and time, anything is possible. Lodges count on you to protect your investment as they cannot refund your payments due to the nature of the product they offer.
Finally, travel insurance is time-sensitive and must be purchased within a certain number of days of your deposit to cover preexisting conditions, lodge closings and other various issues. It is still available later but the benefits may be more limited.
Both companies offer evacuation insurance in addition to their travel insurance but Ripcord has more thorough coverage in this area.
The Ripcord membership and travel Insurance provides the highest levels of medical, security, evacuation and rescue services in the industry combined with travel insurance:
- Remote rescue services from point of injury or illness
- Medical evacuations to the member’s home hospital of choice
- The best evacuation and rescue triggers that include rescues for medical conditions that will result in permanent injury in addition to just requiring hospitalization
- Security extraction services for geopolitical events and natural disasters
- Involuntary detention resolution services for members who are held against their will
- Consulting services from special operations veterans, paramedics, nurses, and physicians
- Travel insurance