J and J Guide Service

SPOT-AND-STALK MONTANA ELK HUNTING

WELCOME TO THE LAND OF OPPORTUNITY!

Unbeatable Western Elk Hunts

Join us for epic spot-and-stalk rifle hunts or close-contact spot-and-call archery hunts!

Join us for some of Montana’s finest elk hunting! Diverse and gorgeous terrain, three unique camp locations, healthy elk herds, and abundant opportunities make hunting elk with J&J Guide Service a “can’t miss” Western hunting experience. During archery season, angry, bugling bulls are drawn in so close that the hair will stand on the back of your neck. We offer comfortable lodge-based elk hunts from all three of our Montana locations and horseback backcountry elk hunts from our Two Bear (Hamilton) camp. Get in shape and bring your boots…

J&J Guide Service also leads deer hunts, antelope hunts, turkey hunts, and more!

Diverse and gorgeous terrain, three unique camp locations, healthy elk herds, and abundant opportunities make hunting elk with J&J Guide Service a “can’t miss” Western hunting experience.

We offer lodge-based elk hunts from all three of our Montana locations and backcountry elk hunts from our Two Bear (Hamilton) camp. Get in shape and bring your boots…

bull elk hunts montana hunting guides
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Enjoy a short highlight video from one of our Bowhunter TV episodes to give you a sense of our places and hunt style – click to play.

What should you know about our elk hunts?

Explore some photos from the field and the tabs below to learn more about our fantastic elk hunting opportunities!

J&J Guide Service has always been known for hardworking guides, great game populations & hunting properties, and unforgettable spot-and-stalk hunts! Our team operates three comfortable hunting camps across Montana and offers fully-guided archery and rifle elk hunts that span most of a week: our Ekalaka elk camp is a great trophy elk hunt. Our Musselshell elk camp features large migrating herds and solid numbers of mature bulls. Our Two Bear elk camp is in the western Montana mountains and poses an authentic challenge for great bulls in tough terrain. Between our three locations, J&J Guide Service accesses significant private and public hunting land.

Regardless of hunting location, nearly all of our elk hunting days are spent in a spot-and-stalk style of hunting. We call elk when it’s strategically beneficial – primarily in archery season. The archery elk season occurs in September and early October (sorry, no crossbows in MT), and the vast majority of our archery hunters will get their chance to draw their bow. The rifle elk season stretches from late October through the end of November and our rifle hunters enjoy amazing shot opportunity rates.

Planning and executing a Western elk hunt isn’t always easy – let us take some of the work out of it for you! See 2024 elk hunt pricing and guided hunt details below. Almost all of our hunts book out every season; please don’t wait until it’s too late!

Our team operates three comfortable Montana hunting camps and offers fully-guided archery and rifle elk hunts that span most of a week: our Ekalaka elk camp is a great trophy elk hunt. Our Musselshell elk camp features large migrating herds and solid numbers of mature bulls. Our Two Bear elk camp is in the western Montana mountains and poses an authentic challenge for great bulls in tough terrain.

The archery elk season occurs in September and early October (sorry, no crossbows in MT), and the vast majority of our archery hunters will get their chance to draw their bow. The rifle elk season stretches from late October through the end of November and our rifle hunters enjoy amazing shot opportunity rates.

Planning and executing a Western elk hunt isn’t always easy – let us take some of the work out of it for you!  Almost all of our hunts book out every season; please don’t wait until it’s too late!

Our Ekalaka, MT Elk Hunts

Our Southeastern Montana hunters stay in our guest house or accompanying tiny cabin just outside of Ekalaka and close to many of our hunting properties. Our Ekalaka camp is in a “limited draw” elk hunt area so most of these hunts will be one guide per hunter. Rocky buttes, cottonwood draws, undulating low hills, and open prairie make Ekalaka our “easiest walking” camp. As our camp location is central to a good number of private leases and public land, we facilitate these elk hunts with the assistance of a 4×4 vehicle (think Broncos, Tahoes, etc) to access a property and then spend the hunt on foot, potentially using a 4×4 to reposition ourselves. We’ll spend a healthy amount of time together behind binoculars and spotting scopes to find the right bulls for you.

If we hunt hard here, our bowhunters will very likely get their opportunities. Hunters who are fortunate enough to draw a rifle elk tag here are likely in for a treat as we have some “monster” bull elk roaming the hills. In recent years, our rifle hunters have enjoyed a 90% success rate on bull elk – for those hunters willing to pass up smaller bulls, harvesting in the 330″ – 370″ range is not uncommon.

Ekalaka Bow Hunt Prices

No matter which of our three locations you hunt from – if you can’t walk well your hunts will always be a bit limited in some way. We can use a 4×4 vehicle to facilitate getting around many of our properties but you’d still need to be able to get from the truck to hunting and shooting locations.

We warn our hunters that in most cases, if you draw blood on an animal your hunt is considered complete. Our goal is to have our hunters take responsible shots on beautiful game animals every time. We’ll patiently work to ensure the shot you take feels like a shot you can make. We try to manage our game herds carefully to provide opportunities well into the future.

Hunts include: comfortable accommodations, all food & drink, hunting transport, guiding, trophy preparation, and meat de-boning.

1/3rd of a hunt’s price is required as a deposit** upon booking and final payment is due at least 60 days in advance. Browse our hunt rates for more complete pricing details.

Hunts don’t include: Transfers from/to the airport (this is entirely impossible due to our remote locations and camp responsibilities), vehicle rentals, hunting licenses or permits, alcoholic drinks, firearm rental fees, personal insurance, applicable taxes, tips, taxidermy work, or complete meat processing.

*Our listed prices are subject to change without notice.

**All deposits are non-refundable except in the instances of failure to obtain a Montana hunting license or the death of the hunting client or an immediate family member.

Our Musselshell, MT Elk Hunts

Sandwiched between nearby mountain ranges, our central Montana camp is in a beautiful “general draw” elk area. In recent years, the elk population in this area has been above the state’s objective and it is not unusual to see extremely large herds of elk here. Although trophy bull elk can be found – this should be considered a non-trophy hunt that will give you an above-average chance to take a solid bull or a cow elk. The herds here can travel long distances between food sources which makes patterning them frequently challenging. Our camp location here is central to several large private properties so we’ll use a 4×4 vehicle to access our preferred hunting locations, often high ground to glass for elk from, and then we’ll either proceed on foot or utilize the vehicle to reposition ourselves.

Due to popularity, the elk tags here are becoming slightly harder to obtain. Only applicants with multiple preference points will successfully draw an elk tag. Please plan ahead (we’re happy to help you through the application process) and book now for future hunts! Combine your elk hunt with a deer or antelope hunt to increase your odds of taking home one or more Montana trophies! 

*Adding to Musselshell Elk Hunts*
An antelope hunt is +$1250 (per hunter) when added to any Deer, Elk, or Deer/Elk Combo Hunt – only available during archery season and weeks 1 & 2 of the General Rifle season.

A cow elk hunt is +$1500 (per hunter) when added to any Deer, Elk or Deer/Elk Combo Hunt.

Please call us for details.

If you can’t walk well – your hunts will always be a bit limited. We can use a vehicle to facilitate getting around many of our properties but you’d still need to be able to get from the truck to hunting and shooting locations.

In most cases, if you draw blood on an animal your hunt is considered complete. Our goal is to have our hunters take responsible shots on beautiful game animals every time. We’ll patiently work to ensure the shot you take feels like a shot you can make. We try to manage our game herds carefully to provide opportunity well into the future.

Hunts include: comfortable accommodations, all food & drink, hunting transport, guiding, trophy preparation and meat de-boning.

1/3rd of a hunt’s price is required as a deposit** upon booking and final payment is due at least 60 days in advance. Browse our hunt species pages for more complete pricing details.

Hunts don’t include: Transfers from/to airport (this is entirely impossible due to our remote locations and camp responsibilities), vehicle rentals, hunting licenses or permits, alcoholic drinks, firearm rental fees, personal insurance, applicable taxes, tips, taxidermy work, or complete meat processing.

*Our listed prices are subject to change without notice.

**All deposits are non-refundable except in the instances of failure to obtain a Montana hunting license or the death of the hunting client or an immediate family member.

Our Two Bear, MT Elk Hunts

The ultimate in Montana hunting adventures – our far-western and mountainous Two Bear hunts are a blast! The Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness is rugged and the big game hunting is fantastic. Our Two Bear hunting camp offers lodge-based or canvas wall tent backcountry hunts in challenging terrain!

Great bulls patrol these ridges and valleys but this is a far more physical challenge than our other two elk camps. Our lodge-based hunts utilize 4×4 vehicles to reach our glassing locations and hunting territory. Our backcountry hunts utilize pack animals and our remote (but very comfortable) canvas tent camp to access our hunting areas. On these hunts, our team makes our hunting camp feel like home but you’ll never forget ‘roughing it’ a bit in our gorgeous, high-quality hunting grounds! Which style of hunt is right for you? The backcountry hunts are done the way mountain elk hunting has been done for hundreds of years. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget! Staying in the backcountry and living camp life are tough to beat. On the other hand, our lovely lodge is a bit more comfortable and since we utilize a vehicle to access our hunting locations on these hunts, our hunters are probably able to cover more ground which can increase your odds of finding the right bull. No matter which you choose – please be completely prepared to hike a good deal with your pack and weapon in very rugged terrain. Honestly, if you can’t walk a lot – you’re going to have a very rough time and probably dislike us by the end of the hunt! You’re going to want to physically condition for this one…

*Adding Fall Black Bear to Your Two Bear Elk Hunt*
To add a black bear (depending upon availability) to your lodge-based or backcountry elk hunt – we add $1000 to the price of your elk hunt.

Two Bear Rifle Hunt Prices

At Two Bear, if you can’t walk well with your pack and weapon – your hunt is going to feel…unpleasant. Yep, we’re trying to scare you away a little. If you’re serious about hanging with your hunting guide all week you’re going to need to show up to camp prepared. Ruck, do cardio, lift weights, anything – but do it all year leading up to your hunt. Our lodge hunts utilize a vehicle to access different hunting locations but from there, you’re on foot. If you can’t walk – you can’t tag out.

In most cases, if you draw blood on an animal your hunt is considered complete. Our goal is to have our hunters take responsible shots on beautiful game animals every time. We’ll patiently work to ensure the shot you take feels like a shot you can make. We try to manage our game herds carefully to provide opportunity well into the future.

Hunts include: comfortable accommodations, all food & drink, hunting transport, guiding, trophy preparation and meat de-boning.

1/3rd of a hunt’s price is required as a deposit** upon booking and final payment is due at least 60 days in advance. Browse our hunt species pages for more complete pricing details.

Hunts don’t include: Transfers from/to airport (this is entirely impossible due to our remote locations and camp responsibilities), vehicle rentals, hunting licenses or permits, alcoholic drinks, firearm rental fees, personal insurance, applicable taxes, tips, taxidermy work, or complete meat processing.

*Our listed prices are subject to change without notice.

**All deposits are non-refundable except in the instances of failure to obtain a Montana hunting license or the death of the hunting client or an immediate family member.

Montana Elk Hunt Booking Process

Step 1: Explore Our Hunts, Rates, and FAQs

Step 2: Contact Us for Availability & Book a Hunt
We require a 1/3 deposit when reservations are made. Deposits are nonrefundable unless a license is not drawn, then the deposit will be refunded or applied to the following year at your discretion. The balance of the price of the hunt is to be paid 60 days prior to arrival.

Step 3: Obtain Your Montana Hunting License
Obtaining your Montana hunting license from the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks is meant to be simple. There are a few sticking points and we do hunt in multiple areas of the state. Prior to applying we would like to discuss the license options to insure you are applying for the right type of license. If you’ve successfully drawn a license for one of the units we hunt and you’re looking for an outfitter – give us a call!

J&J Guide Service is happy to provide our hunters any assistance they may need when applying for hunting licenses, special permits, and bonus or preference points. In most instances, chatting on the phone for a bit is the easiest way to walk you through the application process.

The Montana FWP has implemented a preference point system to aid non-residents in attaining licenses. Non-resident hunters can collect two preference points; clients of outfitters have the ability to purchase a third “Outfitter Preference Point” to increase their odds of being drawn. Hunters can purchase one preference point each consecutive year prior to their hunt year and the Outfitter Preference Point their application year. Elk hunters should plan ahead a minimum of two years.

Applying for Our Different Locations:
Ekalaka Elk Licenses
Rifle Elk Hunts:
Non-resident (don’t live in Montana) rifle hunters need to apply for the 799-20 Rifle Elk Permit to hunt with us in Ekalaka.
Archery Elk Hunts: Ekalaka elk hunters need to apply for the 799-21 Archery Elk Permit and a bow & arrow permit.
Musselshell Elk Licenses
Non-resident rifle hunters need to apply for the General Elk License (no special permit required) to hunt elk with us in Musselshell.
Archery Elk Hunts: Musselshell hunters apply for General Elk Permit.
Two Bear (Hamilton) Elk Licenses
Rifle Elk Hunts: A general elk license and Unlimited 270-45 permit are required.
Archery Elk Hunts: A general elk license, Unlimited 270-45 permit, and a bow & arrow permit are required.

Step 4: Prepare for an Unforgettable Hunting Adventure!
Practice, pack, and travel! Scroll to the bottom of this webpage (coming soon – this is a new site) to learn more about frequently-asked elk hunting questions and preparing to hunt with J&J Guide Service.

Our Recent Montana Hunting Videos

Get to know our team, our landscapes, and our hunting opportunities a little better by watching a few of our hunt videos and TV show snippets!

A note about TV shows: J&J Guide Service isn’t a fancy made-for-television outfitter – we’re just a really small team that by necessity (and passion) primarily focuses on the hunting. We host a popular hunting show or magazine every few years as a sort of effortless and fun way to achieve a little bit of marketing for our business. We don’t have a marketing staff…just our guides and camp team. TV shows might feel a bit glamorous to some but for us, it’s just another enjoyable hunt. Additionally, over the years we’ve become really close friends with the professional hunters, editors, camera crew, etc that come with these teams. We feel you can learn a lot about our process by watching a few of these. Thanks!

Contact Our Team to Hunt in Montana

Contact J&J Guide Service

Are you interested in joining our hardworking guide team on some of Montana’s best hunting adventures?

Please use our form, email, text, or call us to let our team know what questions you have about hunting with J&J Guide Service.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Frequently Asked Elk Hunt Questions

Learn more about elk hunt inclusions, packing & preparing, our weather, and more!

What is included in my hunt?
Aside from our mountain tent camp on our Two Bear hunts, J&J Guide service provides comfortable lodge/house/cabin accommodations that offer most of the amenities of home.

We like to provide all necessary food, services, and equipment to ensure your success. Our hunts include fully-guided hunting days, transportation during your hunt, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and NA beverages, lodging, and trophy care, which includes skinning, caping, and meat quartering of animals.

Airport transfers are not included or possible. Complete meat processing and meat shipping/transport are not included and are the responsibility of the hunter.

Will you provide food and drinks?
Yes. We supply food and water but if you have any favorite food/snacks or drinks feel free to bring them to camp. Prior to arriving, please let us know if you have any serious food allergies.

Should I practice?
Absolutely. Practice shooting your weapon routinely with the rifle, big-game ammunition, or archery gear you will use on your hunt.

Our guides consider it their job to get the hunter within 150-300 yards with a rifle and within 40 yards with a bow. Know your capabilities and equipment; make sure your guide knows your comfort levels, too!

How should I practice?
Shoot wearing your backpack, binoculars, rangefinder, gloves and clothing you’ll wear while hunting. Practice kneeling, sitting, standing, tight under a tree (etc) – contemplate possible scenarios and try to practice them.

Shot opportunities can materialize unexpectedly and you need to be ready to act quickly – the more prepared & practiced you are the better. Train to attain the best physical condition that you can as it will likely increase your hunt enjoyment and success. Hard hunting days are a grind if your legs wear out or your lungs scream “stop!”.

Should I exercise before my hunting trip?
Montana is often best hunted on foot and the better shape you are when you walk into camp – the more enjoyable your experience will be. Elk hunting is really physically demanding!

We recommend lifting weights and some cardiovascular training. Walking with a loaded backpack (rucking – 30 to 40 pounds is great), jogging, running, or biking. Add in some incline to simulate conditions and really burn calories. Focus on consuming healthy protein and fats and trim back your calories from carbohydrates (cereal, bread, crackers, chips, pasta, sugar, soda, etc).

Workouts should be done at least 3-4 times per week, and should last 30+ minutes. This might be the most important part of your hunt preparation. Also, you might live longer to have even more hunt adventures. Why not?

Elk are rugged animals with amazing survival instincts and hunting them can be challenging – even on the private ranches that we hunt. To maximize your chances of success, we recommend that elk hunters be physically and mentally prepared to walk long distances through all types of terrain and willing to stay on stand for long periods of time in all types of weather conditions.

Modern bow equipment is amazing in its capabilities but we rarely recommend a shot over forty yards at an elk, deer or bear. It is important to be accurate with your archery equipment from 10 yards up to 40 yards. Practice like you will be hunting (sitting, kneeling, standing, up hill, down hill, etc.). Not every opportunity comes with textbook hunter positioning so train to be capable and accurate when drawing from difficult positions.

Should an archery hunter bring anything special?
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. Please bring an extra bow string, your target arrows, a spare release, and your archery hunting stamp from Montana. Quiet hunting clothing is critical for our archery hunters.

Should I bring scent blockers or elk urine?
Sense of smell is the primary defense for most North American game animals. We believe that once a hunter begins to walk and sweat his/her smell cannot be masked by gadgets or gizmos. We think that the only way to control scent is to be patient and play the wind.

To maximize your chances of success, we recommend that elk hunters be physically and mentally prepared to walk long distances through all types of terrain and willing to hunt for long periods of time in all types of weather conditions.

Often, elk herds are located in pockets and they tend to travel greater distances than deer. Elk hunters may need to be more mobile & active than our deer hunters. 

Should I practice?
Yep. Practice shooting your weapon routinely with the ammunition you will use on your hunt. We recommend sighting your rifle in at 100 yards and then practicing shots at 200, 300, and 400 yards. Know your rifle and cartridge well upon arriving at camp.

Shooting distances can vary from close range out 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 fired accurately and confidently. If you’re afraid of your firearm’s kick – don’t bring that one!

Should a rifle hunter bring anything specific?
The only thing you are required to bring is your personal gear, shooting equipment, binoculars, license, and clothing. Clothing will vary depending on the time of year and the species hunted. For rifle hunts, Montana law requires all hunters wear 400 square inches of blaze orange above the waist and visible from all angles. An orange camo vest and hat is sufficient.

Bring gun oil wipes, spare ammo for your game species (not full metal jacket, etc), and your firearm case.

Be sure to break-in and use any new equipment before your trip.

Personal Gear:
Wallet/cash, ID or passport, hunting license & elk tag, camera & SD cards, belt, sunglasses, phone & chargers, sneakers, hunting boots, underwear, socks, shirts, vest, camo jacket, parka, hunt & camp pants, gloves, warm hat/beanie, ball cap, face-mask. Bring your firearm, ammo, or archery gear, any maintenance or cleaning equipment for those, a case, and backup bits and pieces in case something happens during travel or in the field.

Day Pack:
Sharp knife, Leatherman, pen/marker, lighter, paper towel, moist wipes, trash bags, zip locks, water bottle or hydration bladder, snacks, batteries, compass, flashlight or headlamp, sunglasses, packable rain gear, spare socks in a zip-lock, binoculars, range finder, personal meds.

Medicine bag:
Tylenol, aspirin, or ibuprofen, mole skin or band-aids, toothbrush and toothpaste,  soap/shampoo/deodorant, sunscreen, lotion, eye drops, spare eyeglasses.

Each hunter might have a unique item or two they need – this is just a start and off the top of our heads.

Montana weather can change incredibly quickly and can impact the success on any hunt. Weather conditions are unpredictable and, despite our best efforts, is out of our control. The temperature can vary from 90 degrees, sunny, and dusty during early-season hunts to below freezing, windy, and snowing during late-season hunts. It’s important you prepare for the extremes! We hunt hard unless the weather is not safe and can’t issue refunds due to inclement weather.

In general, September hunts can be cool at night and early morning and warming to 60 to 90 degrees during the day.

October seasons can be cold (sometimes freezing at night and early morning) and warming to 40 to 90 degrees.

November is reliably cold – but otherwise unpredictable. Winds can rage, rain can arrive in sheets (or not at all), a foot of snow might fall overnight, fog might cover the entire landscape, or it might be sunny, clear, and warm-ish. Spring turkey and bear hunts are similarly unpredictable!

We certainly encourage our hunters to bring a loved one or friend along – even if they don’t hunt. Bringing a non-hunting guest always depends on how full camp is (assume it will be pretty full).

Bring a guest for the rifle hunting season for +$1500/week. Bring a non-hunting guest during all other seasons for +$150/night (duration of stay depends on season).

Hunters should arrive between 2:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. the day before their hunt begins and depart the morning after the last day.

J&J Guide Service requires a 1/3 deposit when reservations are made. Deposits are nonrefundable unless a license is not drawn, then the deposit will be refunded or applied to the following year at your discretion. The balance of the price of the hunt is to be paid 30 days prior to arrival.

We highly recommend purchasing trip insurance to cover your expenses and nonrefundable deposits in the case that you have to cancel, or an unforeseen event such as a fire closes an area, your flights get canceled, etc. you might explore Traveler’s Insurance from Montana Outfitters & Guides Association.

Do I need to dress or quarter my own harvest?
No, but help is certainly welcome! We will field dress your game and quarter it (generally back at camp).

Does J&J work with any local taxidermists?
Yes. We partner with several local taxidermists that can prepare your cape and skull for your taxidermist or offer shoulder/euro mounts for shipping.

How do I get my meat and taxidermy home?
If you are bringing meat home we can help locate a local meat processor that may be able to ship your meat. If you are driving home you’d do well to bring your own ice chest (or three!).

This content is coming very soon!

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