We run approximately 350 head of resident elk. These elk calve, summer, go through the rut, and winter on the ranches. The cow-calf ratio has averaged 32% with a 7 cows to 1 bull ratio. These ranches have produced big bulls consistently throughout the last 30 archery seasons.
In the Big Belt Mountains (area 446), a bull must have brow tines to be legal. We also ask you not to shoot any buck deer 3 points or under (western count) on these leases. We have had good results with this type of management, and with your cooperation will continue to do so.
Our success is not greatly affected by 70 degree weather, nor do we depend on heavy storms and migration to move elk into this area. Cold, crisp fall weather does improve hunting, triggering the rut and concentrates the elk more.
During the rut, these elk pull into the heads of large drainages where feed, water, and cover are abundant. These ranches offer 118 sections of this type of country, giving the option of letting some hunting country rest from week to week, and still have plenty of good bulls to work on. On normal years we cover less than 50% of the hunting area during the entire archery season. This helps to insure good hunting regardless of adverse conditions.
The terrain is fairly rugged with a lot of high parks and open ridges. During the day we do a lot of glassing, getting an idea of changing feeding patterns and new areas that good bulls are working. During early morning and late evening we concentrate on these areas, starting with downwind positions, and locating the bulls we want to work on.
We have the best luck on big bulls during early and mid-rut. They are still on the prowl and bugling can be effective. As the elk bunch up during rut, we also do well on bulls that are whipped out of the herd. These bulls stay close by in hopes of gathering some cows, and are very competitive when bugled at.
During extreme hot weather, tree stands placed over wallows and waterholes are very effective. They are used in the evening after a hot day, and produce some very nice bulls. Using a tree stand during your hunt is strictly optional.
This is fair chase elk hunting in mountainous terrain. Weather and wind conditions, changing game patterns and hunter ability are beyond our control. You need to be well-prepared and in good physical shape for this hunt. We cannot guarantee an elk, but give our 100% best efforts. Our goal is for you to have an enjoyable, successful hunt.
The guides I have are kind, courteous, seasoned hunters, and understand close ranges and patience. We also have an excellent full time camp cook.
4x4 vehicles are used for transportation to hunting areas. This amounts to 15 to 60 minutes of traveling before daylight to get into areas we want to hunt. They are also used some during the day, moving to other areas before the evening hunt. Lunches are packed with us daily.
We drive to both camps; located 23 and 43 miles northwest of White Sulphur Springs on Beaver Creek and Rock Creek. At each camp, one large cabin is used for storage and cooking. Four 12x16 cabins are used for living quarters, 2 hunters per cabin. They are furnished with beds, mattresses, 15,000 BTU propane heaters, tables, chairs, boot and clothes drying racks, and propane lights. These cabins are well constructed, very warm and comfortable. A barn is used for storing tack, equipment and hanging meat.
All food, guides, equipment and accommodations are furnished. You will need to furnish motel rooms the night before and after your hunt, hunting license, bow, sleeping bag, personal gear, meat processing and taxidermy costs. There is a butcher and taxidermist in White Sulphur Springs that can take care of all your processing, shipping, and taxidermy needs. They are reasonably priced. We prepare all heads, hides and capes for mounting.
There is a fine fishing stream at the Rock Creek camp. If you are a fisherman, you will need a light spinning rig or fly rod, and a small assortment of spoons, spinners or flies. These trout will be mostly rainbows, with a few browns and brookies mixed in.
I will help you as much as possible on traveling arrangements. Transportation will be provided whether you fly or drive. Helena is the closest commercial airport, with White Sulphur Springs being the closest town. Reservations are made on request.