ARCHERY ELK HUNTS
Our Montana archery elk hunting area encompasses over 300 square miles of big, wild country. This is some of the best, and certainly the most pristine, big game habitat in the lower 48 states. Our local population of elk are unique and secretive; they live in dark timber and move up and down between our river bottoms and timbered ridges. Hunting elk during the rut is all about bugling, cow calling, and getting in close… really close. Archery hunts are not for the faint of heart: being within bow range of a big bull will redline your adrenaline levels and test both your skills and your composure! There is very little in the outdoors as exciting as coming face-to-face with a rutting bull.
Mid-September through Mid-October
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This far northwest corner of Montana does not have huge herds of elk.
Instead it has many small bands averaging 10-15 animals. We actually like it that way since fewer eyes, ears and noses offer us a bit of an advantage. This area doesn’t have especially high elevations so the elk in our area don’t migrate in the traditional sense. We find them on top of the ridges and down in the valley along the river as well. The bulls in this area are also still very vocal and respond to bugling due to the lack of hunting pressure. There is nothing more exciting than bringing a trophy bull into archery range!
Typically, we start the day by combining bugles and cow calls in hopes of locating a hunt-able bull. Frequently, we’ll get several answers from a single ridge! This area has a good bull to cow ratio. If a bull has no cows, often times he’ll want to investigate in hopes of hooking up with a harem. If he’s already with cows, he may answer, but he may not want to leave his cows either. At this point your guide will make a decision regarding the best course of action.
Our archery elk hunting is done entirely by hiking and you will definitely increase your chances of success by being in the best physical shape possible. The ridges are high, the drainages steep, and the timber is thick. Success on elk never comes easy even under the best and luckiest of circumstances. They’re cagey, wary, extraordinarily beautiful and majestic and will test your nerve when bearing down on you—chest heaving, bugling, raking, on high alert even though they’re hot and all worked up in the rut. Our archery elk hunts are limited and we deliberately run a small camp with just a few guides on the ground each week.