Re: Hunting the Bob Marshall Wilderness area in Montana
I hunted it in 2008 west of Conrad, before the wolves got there. We called our way within 90 yds of a 6X6 and two cows but could not get a shot...killed him the next day at 683 yds. We went in on foot, 7-9 miles, so he came out the same way. Hell of a hike. We saw another herd of 8-10 elk on the way out. I also killed an ok muley on the way in before getting that elk, and saw 2 real trophy mulies when we went in the second time for the meat.
2009 the snow came early, it was very rough getting back there but we managed. Way fewer tracks, saw no elk. The wolves had arrived and were hell on the front (just outside the Bob). We gave up and hunted the front for cows the last couple days, wolf tracks everywhere. We did see a single cow, along with a 6X6 and 5X5 I could have shot had my tag been good there.
2010 we saw two cows going in the evening before the season, then NOTHING. We talked to every hunter we saw over a 10 day hunt, nobody saw anything. Finally we met up with a guy who had hunted 2 weeks straight off horses in the Bob, on both sides of the divide. He saw no elk until the last day, when he found a 6X6 and two cows right above his camp and shot the bull (~250 incher). Figures he covered 200 miles to find those three elk!
Muleys mirrored the elk. Lots of them the first year, almost nothing as years went on.
We gave up and did an archery hunt in the Breaks last year. My local friend says there are still elk there on the front during bow season, but nobody really seems to have much luck by rifle season anymore.
Beautiful country, I don't regret a day spent back there. But given the price of NR tags, we've moved on.