Montana’s deer license is good for one deer and may be used on either a whitetail or a mule deer. It is a five week season that always closes the Sunday after Thanksgiving so it usually opens about the fourth Sunday in Oct. With a wide variety of habitat at each camp we will usually employ several different hunting methods each week. The hunting method for each day will vary depending on the time of year (pre-rut, rut, post rut), weather conditions, physical condition of the hunter as well as species being hunted. A typical day of hunting would be spent glassing agricultural areas from elevated points hoping to catch animals moving to and from feeding and bedding areas in the morning and evening. The remainder of the day is spent still hunting, spot and stalking, making organized drives, and rattling and calling. The length of the average shot will be from 150 to 250 yards with every attempt to find a solid rest. You should practice shooting prone, sitting, and kneeling while bracing your rifle on a solid object such as a rock, fence post, or tree. Recommended rifle size is .25 caliber up to whatever you feel comfortable shooting and should be sighted in 2"- 3" high at a 100 yards depending on the caliber of your rifle and bullet selection. If you have questions regarding your choice of hunting equipment, don't hesitate to contact us.
Montana's elk season runs the same dates that the deer season does. This is a limited draw area for elk rifle tags, so most of our hunts will consist of "one guide per hunter". This type of hunt offers the best opportunity for the hunter to tag the trophy of a lifetime. Our elk hunts will employ many of the same methods as our deer hunts do, however, because our elk herds are located in pockets and tend to travel greater distances than deer do, our elk hunters may need to be a little more mobile than our deer hunters. Hunters who are fortunate enough to draw a rifle elk tag in our hunting area could be in for a real treat as we have some "Monster" bull elk roaming the hills out here. Shooting distances can vary from very close to 250+ yards. Hunters will need to bring a rifle that is "powerful enough" to effectively take down a large bodied elk yet can still be shot accurately and confidently. Rifle sight-in strategy should be similar to what we have listed above for deer.
Montana has a four week antelope season that opens two weeks prior to deer season and closes two weeks after deer season opens. Hunting for antelope is almost purely spot and stalk with an excellent chance of taking one of the most beautiful and exotic animals in North America. This hunt is perfect for a man/wife, father/son or daughter as it is not unusual to see over 100 antelope per day insuring nonstop action and hunting excitement.
Nonresident License Information:
Current (2017) "elk & deer combination" license (17,000) cost was $1005 and on a draw system. The "deer only" license (4,600) cost $602 and also on a draw. The "elk only" license costs $868, also on a draw. Montana now has a preference point system that will enhance your chance to receive a license when booking a year or two in advance. Application deadline for elk and or deer licenses is March 15th. Antelope licenses cost for 2017 was $205 and are on a limited draw basis with an application deadline of June 1st.
Rifle Permits Required
Hunters at both camps apply for General Rifle Deer Permit
Ekalaka hunters apply for 799-20 Rifle Elk Permit.
Musselshell hunters apply for a General Elk License. (No special permit required)
Ekalaka hunters apply for 700-20 Rifle Antelope Permit
Musselshell hunters apply for 500-20 Rifle Antelope Permit
Animal size expectations:
Mule Deer: 22 to 27 inch spread, 4 or 5 points per side scoring 135 to 170 Boone & Crockett points* (Does not apply to management hunts)
Whitetail: 17 to 20 inch spread, 4 or 5 points per side scoring 125 to 150 Boone & Crockett points* (Does not apply to management hunt)
Elk: A mature bull with 6 points per side scoring 250 to 300 Boone & Crockett points*
Antelope: horns 13 1/2 to 15 inches long scoring 72 to 78 points*
*Although our hunters see and take animals each year larger than the sizes listed above, these are what we feel confident you will have the opportunity to take.
Booking and General Information:
- We require a 1/3 deposit when reservations are made. Deposits are nonrefundable unless license is not drawn, then the deposit will be refunded or applied to the following year at your discretion. Balance of the price of hunt is to be paid 30 days prior to arrival.
- The price of the hunt includes everything except license, transportation to and from camp, any gratuities you feel appropriate, and approximately a $75 cost to process your animal if you do not take it with you so the meat may be distributed to needy families.
- Hunters should arrive the afternoon prior to the day their hunt begins and depart the morning after the last day.
- J&J Guide Service provides all necessary services and equipment to insure your success including guide service, meals, lodging and trophy care of animals.
- The only thing you are required to bring is your personal gear, shooting equipment, license and clothing.
- Clothing will vary depending on the time of year and species hunted. For rifle hunts Montana law requires all hunters wear 400 square inches of blaze orange to be worn above the waist and visible from all angles. A soft mesh or orange camo vest is sufficient. All outer clothing needs to be of a soft quiet material.