Hunting the Bob Marshall Wilderness area in Montana

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Hognuts, May 15, 2012.

  1. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    A buddy of mine and I are pondering doing a drop camp in the Bob Marshall Wilderness area for the early season rifle hunt during the rut. Have any of you guys had the pleasure of hunting this area, I have been studying maps, books, and reading some articles, sounds like steep country with thick timber shots averaging between 10-50 yards in thick timber, again this is all from stuff I have read, anyone with experience in the area that could chime in would be appreciated.

    We did a trip like this two years ago in the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness (about 12 miles north of Yellowstone) Beautiful country, steep also, but it had more open areas too where you could glass alot of country from a high vantage point. Ended up getting my bull on opening day....the only elk we saw on the whole trip. Awesome experience though...

    Here are some pics from that trip...

    Pics | Sin City Precision
     
  2. webs

    webs Well-Known Member

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    Well since no one seems to be replying to this I will take a jab at it. I have heard that the wolves have decimated that area. Last year I think the harvest percent was only 9% also. I would imagine it would be a beautiful area just doesn't have the herd density. Hopefully someone else will chime in here.
     

  3. 7mmchevy

    7mmchevy New Member

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    I live at the base of the beartooths and the bob marshall is a whole nother world. If you do plan to go, get a guide, people going in there with no experience with the country is how people get hurt. No offense, but you being from the city of lights i'd suspect you don't have much horse experience. To get back in them herds you need a couple pony's. It's every out of staters fantasy to come hunt the "great Bob marshall" and some do, some even with success. But I would get a guide and learn the country that way the first time, then go back d.i.y. style. By the way the deer rut late nov.-early december up here.
     
  4. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the concern :). I grew up in Montana. I currently do reside in Las Vegas, but I grew up in Boulder Montana and have spent my share of time in the sticks. We are using a guide to take us in and take us out. We did the same in the Absaroka two years ago and I went into the Bridger Tetons last year. I do hold the utmost respect to the ruggedness of the country up there and the possibility of getting hurt or killed, but in all honesty I feel safer up there than I do walking through some of the neighborhoods in North-town Las Vegas! I was looking more for sharing experiences of fellow hunters rather than on advice as to whether or not I should go.
     
  5. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    Amen on the wolves, we plan on getting tags and "trying" to do our part in that regard. There are talks of the possibility of each wolf tag being able to get a "bag limit" of three wolves each. The wolves had put a hurt'n on them in the Absaroka also. We managed to pull one bull out between two of us. I got mine opening day. Too bad for my buddy, he didn't get one in fact the only elk we saw was the one I got. We talked to alot of guys who came out of there empty handed. It is always nice to get a bull, but also just the experience of taking in some of the most beautiful rugged country in the world with the "possibility" of taking a bull is a big part of the experience for me. I just get tired of seeing a sea of orange at the old stand by hunting areas. Yea you may run into other hunters up there, but it is not like most easily accessible spots where every Tom dick and Harry with a quad and a rifle flock to every fall.
     
  6. szeitner

    szeitner Well-Known Member

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    Been in that country in the past, but have never personally hunted it. Broz might be a better one to chime in, but from what I ahve heard from guys that have, it is certainly a rugged area. As is the issue in alot of the state, wolves and lions are really taking a toll on populations, but so have two recent winters...not including this past one which was mild in comparison.

    I'm sure there are areas you can glass, much like that around Helena, but there are going to be some dense areas like hunting over in the Dillon country and Bloody Dick.

    Wish I could be more help, but I'm the flat lander in this one.

    Scott
     
  7. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have hunted the Dillon area before too, some of that is pretty thick stuff, I don't remember the specific areas we were in, but my buddy runs a drilling business up there and they maintain a yard there in Dillon and we sometimes stay at there place and hunt different areas around Dillon if we are not doing a back country trip. Some of it was thicker than dog hair and some of it had alot of rolling sagebrush hills. I shot a small mulie in an area that had some wide open spaces and my cousins got a few small bulls in there.

    He is planning on going in there with me this year, the only possible change to our plans we will know about in the next few weeks, he put in for a deer tag here in Nevada, if he draws, we may postpone the trip in the Bob for next year so he doesn't have so much time away from home, the wives start getting irritable for some reason :)! We find out the results here by May 31st, don't tell him, but I am kind of rooting against him on the deer tag!gun)
     
  8. pitbull320

    pitbull320 Well-Known Member

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    I do the early hunt every year and it gets hard every time there has always been low numbers of elk on the south end of the bob but there used to be some very big bulls but in the last 10 years they have went from 380 bulls to small rags and 300's. I will not be doing the trip this year. I hope you picked a good guide to take you in there are some sh&#y ones in that area I would look at ford creek outfitters travis is a good guy and if you look at there pics on the web site you will see the decline in bull size over the years
     
  9. elkthumper

    elkthumper Well-Known Member

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    For what its worth, I know a guy that has hunted early rifle for the last 14 years straight and last season wad the first year they didn't kill a bull.
     
  10. walkin

    walkin Member

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    We were there in 03 here are the only pics I can find. Not sure about the wolves. Beautiful country , some open parks , some steep stuff , good luck.
    Walkin
     

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  11. sp6x6

    sp6x6 Well-Known Member

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    20 years ago I hunted the Bob. I ran into a guide in T. Falls that had guided there and said it was shot out. I have spent a week plus in there and not even seen a elK.Considering no roads,it should be crawling w/elk.I think the decades long rifle during the rut has put the hurt on them.I used to see more elk in outskirts than in.It was always a hard double trip,one early for feed for horses and one to hunt,and hope you dont get snowed out, we hunted north end 27 miles in.I wouldnt even begin to shoot a rag horn in there.Did see the biggest typical muley ever
     
  12. ATH

    ATH Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  13. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    Thanks everyone for the responses. I appreciate the input. I will post up our results if we go in. Should know in the next few weeks. Waiting to see if my hunting partner got that deer tag in Nevada or not. If nothing else it sounds like beautiful country. We will both pick up a wolf tag and do our part in that regard if given the opportunity.

    Bill
     
  14. Hognuts

    Hognuts Well-Known Member

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    Nevada did their draw yesterday and will post results tomorrow...The fate of the Bob trip hangs in the balance! Looking forward to me drawing my tag and my buddy getting a "bonus point" :D!!! He can draw next year! Regardless of the success rates, and/or if we see any elk in there I am looking forward to making a trip in there and spending 8 days in some of the most beautiful country on the planet! If we get something great, if not, still time well spent...if we get a wolf or two, or six....even better!!!