View Full Version : Looking for hunting access in MT
09-04-2007, 10:17 PM
This question is primarily for our members in Montana.
Do any of you guys know of any ranchers that might be willing to give me access to hunt on their place?
I'm looking for a place to elk hunt.
I know it sounds silly for a guy in Wyoming to want to go somewhere else to hunt elk, but I'm really sick and tired of trying to get access to decent hunting areas.
All the public places I've tried are either crawling with bears or are being roared accross by fat, rich, out of state yahoo's on four wheelers.(no offence intended to our fine members from other states.)
Getting permission from ranchers around here is like pulling teeth. I've heard many of them whining about deer and elk devouring their haystacks, but if you ask them for permission to hunt they just look at you like they caught you staring indecently at their daughter.
I'm not after trophy bulls. I just want to get into some elk.
I'd be willing to pay for the priveledge.
Please PM me if you know someone.
09-05-2007, 10:20 AM
I don't personally know of any private land that allows hunting. There are some ranches around White Sulphur Springs that have fee hunting, but I don't know the specifics. The guide services cater to the more affluent out of state hunters if that might be you, and there are plenty of those.
Hunting on private land is about the same here as what you described, and for that reason I hunt on forest service land. The good thing is that we have LOTS of it!
I received a questionaire from FW&Parks wanting to know my opinions on the "over population" of Elk in Montana and methods to control the growth. Hah!... as you described, the private land owners are all screaming about wildlife eating their hay and overgrazing the public land they lease in the summer.....but they won't let hunters in to cull them!
09-05-2007, 01:24 PM
Dan and 454PB,
I hear both of you on the issue of squealing but no access. I too get tired of the road and off road hunters. I think you will find the same issues in MT that you find in WY. Outfitting is a big mess and large tracts of land can be leased up and off limits.
And if you find a place keep it secret or all the other yahoo's will spoil it for you. I have been down that road with goods friends who were land owners and good friends who brought additional friends. I no longer have access and the rancher has leased to more responsible hunters.
It doesn't help you really for elk but for deer and antelope state land in WY is open for you as a citizen even if there is an outfitter with a permit to operate on that tract as long as you are not acting as a licensed outfitter. You can confrim that with State lands division. If you want to try it out send me a pm I will get you contact inof with state lands and when the outfitter tries to run you off, just dial up the lands division and let them tell the outfitter the rules. You can also request to have the outfitters license revoked. Gets there attention right quick.
09-07-2007, 11:56 AM
Contact the Fish, Wildlife & Parks Dept at the address below.
Ask them to send you a 2007 "Block Management" book.
Lots of info in it on private landowners that will let you hunt their place.
FWP Region 5 Office
2300 Lake Elmo Drive
Billings, MT 59105
Phone: (406) 247-2940
Fax: (406) 248-5026
09-07-2007, 07:43 PM
09-15-2007, 10:09 AM
I hunt in the northwest corner of Wyoming and do well if I can draw a tag. I gave up years ago hunting during the general season with all the dumbasses from everywhere including Wyoming. If you pick an area and hike it all summer while shooting cast bullets, you will be a long way ahead of all the rest. I did not get drawn for "my" elk area so I will not hunt elk this fall. Yes there are grizzlies about everywhere now, so far they have left me alone and I have left them alone as well. We run into each other ocasionally but no confrontations. Pack something bigger than the average, like start with the number 4 when picking a caliber. I think the 416 Taylor, easily made from a 7mm Mag is about perfect.
09-15-2007, 11:19 AM
Thanks for the advice Frank.
I hunted up by your place a few years ago. We were in the vicinity of Sunlight basin during the general firearms season. NO THANKS! Never saw an elk, but ran into 3 different grizzlies, and about a gazillion other hunters.
I wish I had the time to go scour those mountains for elk, but it just isn't in the cards for me. I'm lucky to be home 10 days a month.
I've hunted up in Sunlight Basin many times over the years, and up on Chief Joseph before crossing over the divide to get down into Sunlight. We started hunting there in 1990, but Iím not enthused to go back. The Grizzly are up there in number, the permit's have gotten out of hand price wise for out of state hunters, and our general mule deer hunting experience in Region F have deteriorated steadily. I know there are big dear up there but save the year we got drawn for 109 (3 of only 7 tags issued that year) we've been repeatedly disappointed. Lotsa hunters, bears and expense. Just staying in Cody for a week is getting darn pricey! We spend a couple grand and don't feel we get a couple grand enjoyment out of it. I'ld like to try an outfitter sometime in a more primitive camp enviroment, but I'm sure that will run even a few G's more... Poor man just can't do this stuff anymore.. Well, and stay married! :-D
09-16-2007, 05:07 PM
Gotta Chime in here on the lack of private land access in Montana and other areas. It is true that many of the big land owners cater to paid hunting. However, many of the "public" who ask for access to private lands won't hunt cow elk. Which is where your real "control" of the populations takes place. Also sometimes landowners do allow access to their land but the game gets spooked over to a neighbors place who doesn't allow hunting which serves as a refuge. Later when the hunt pressure is gone they move back on to the guys land and resume eating the range.
Although many of us (myself included) like to make this solely in to a $ issue, I am well aquainted with one owner of a very large (100 sections) ranch in Montana. Although he may be concerned about money, I have learned that his biggest concerns are respect for himself and his property AND LIABILITY. To explain he used to have hunting on his ranch for a token $5-$10 fee. But some dipwad managed to get himself lost and frozen in a snowstorm on the ranch. After the rancher pulled out out all the stops and even paid for a helicopter to take the idot to the hospital, the "hunter" promtly sued the rancher for not babysitting him out on the range.
The above mentioned ranch now allows some limited elk hunting on block management. Although he gets a token amount of $10 for each hunter he allows access to. One of the MAJOR reasons he allows hunting under block management is that through it the state provides a measure of liability protection to the landowner.
I keep seeing a disconnect between sportsmen and land owners that seems to get worse every year. It seems to come down to an us vs. them mentality that in the end will result in everybody loosing.
09-17-2007, 08:04 AM
I agree with your post. On all fronts. First is not taking female game animals. That is the only way we are going to manage the herds. This is a long time journey form respect for the wildlife and an actual use for the meat, to a purely entertainment type of hunting.
And on the personal responsibility issue, that seems to be gone also. Frankly I think more of these idiots should be left to freeze or as bear fodder.
anyway just my own rants, pay no attention to me.
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