In Montana, archery season starts the first Saturday in September. We have a six week season. The early part of the season is best for whitetail hunting and works well for ambush hunting on elk wallows. Elk calling is occasionally good for the first week of September but generally tends to be slow. Elk calling starts to get good about the second week of September and stays good until early October. The peak of the elk rut is approximately September 15-22. For the best calling we recommend the three weeks that encompass pre-rut, peak-rut and post-rut.
On our archery elk hunts, we use calling and ambush tactics. The elk usually stop bugling in the late morning or early afternoon. We call as long as they will respond. When they won’t call, we use an ambush method that usually involves sitting on an elk wallow.
Bow and Arrow Selection
Select a bow that is quiet and one that you shoot comfortably and accurately. In elk hunting, penetration is right behind arrow placement in importance. Go for kinetic energy over speed. Simplicity and durability can be helpful in our rugged hunting situations. The less you have go wrong, the less will go wrong. Archery hunters must show certification of an archery safety course or proof of holding an archery license in another state or province in order to obtain a Montana archery stamp.
Elk are large animals and they present more penetration problems than most game animals. You should shoot as many pounds as you can pull on a cold morning. (65 lbs is very adequate). Arrows should be at least 425 grains including the broadhead. Most of our shots are close range, so kinetic energy is more important than velocity. Use a broadhead with a history of tested penetration and toughness.
For those who are going to use much calling or spot and stalk during our hunt, we recommend good physical conditioning. We can effectively hunt elk, black bear, and whitetail with clients who are not in great shape if we stick to tree stands, ground blinds and some limited calling.
Most of our shots are fairly close. We strive for shots under 30 yards. We promote fair chase and strong ethics in hunting. We do not promote taking frontal or heavily quartering shots. We are not advocates of shooting long distance. Occasionally we wound an animal that is not recovered. We do not have a set policy of one and done. We handle each case individually. If you stayed within good ethics, we will look until there is no hope and then move on.
The area we hunt in Lincoln and Sanders counties is known for putting big bulls into the top of the Pope & Young record books. We are experienced archery hunters and specialize in archery elk. You can hunt elk, deer and black bear on the same hunt. The deer tag is only good for one deer, but clients have the choice of whitetail or mule deer.
Archery Elk Hunting: $4,000
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