MONTANA’S ARCHERY ELK SEASON 2022
September 3, 2022 marks the beginning of archery elk season in Montana’s 148 hunting districts. Known for its large harvests and impressive trophy bulls, Montana’s millions of acres of national forest are home to close to 150,000 elk, who typically begin rutting mid September. The earlier start of the archery season is an opportune time for hunters to try and call in a bull before general rifle season begins and hunting pressure increases. With an impressive population of elk, chances of a successful hunt in Montana are some of the highest in the US. Elk harvest rates vary year to year, but Montana always ranks as one of the top three Western states for elk success rates. Elk success rates in Montana average 20% for both bulls and cows. While only 4% of hunters will take a mature 6×6 or larger antlered bull, the chance at one of Montana’s legendary trophy elk is enough to keep hunters motivated as they trek for days through the remote and challenging terrain.
Hunters should be prepared to cover a lot of ground and spend many hours behind a set of binoculars or a spotting scope. Hunters should also expect a variety of weather conditions during an elk hunt (get tips on what to pack here). Elk can be found everywhere from high altitude rocky outcroppings to wide open valleys, and successful hunts often require hours of travel across rugged terrain, with full packs. Being in good physical shape for an archery elk hunt is a must. Safety is always a major component when hunting. Hunters should always carry bear spray when elk hunting in Montana and be “bear aware” and keep a clean bear-proof camp.
With tens of thousands of acres of elk populated lands in Montana, there is no shortage of prime places for elk hunting. Hunting on private land certainly offers some advantages, such as lowered hunting pressure, and is a major benefit for Montana ranch owners. Many hunters with access to private property set up an “elk camp” so they can enjoy a few creature comforts in the great outdoors and have a place to gather round the campfire after a long day of trekking around the backcountry.
Longtime elk hunters Bill, Caleb and Morgan share a few glimpses of their hunt last year as they gear up for the upcoming season:
Western Ranch Brokers wishes all the elk hunters good luck for the 2022 season.
Archery 9/3 – 10/16
General 10/22 – 11/27
Shoulder TBD, Learn more about Elk Shoulder Season
As a reminder, before any hunt, it’s important to have the proper permits and know the rules and regulations in Montana. There are many guided hunts available through local outfitters, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks offers detailed information to help plan your own hunting experience.
Elk hunting is permitted in Montana on both public and private lands, but hunters need permission to access private land unless it is part of Montana’s Block Management Program.
Looking for your own private land with excellent elk hunting opportunities? Explore the featured properties below or contact us to talk about your ideal Montana hunting property and find out how we can go to work for you.