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Old February 13, 2021, 09:23 AM   #1
.284
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Looking to do a Montana Mullie/Prong hunt

Hi folks, I've been gone for a while. But, as I was researching going out west for my first time it suddenly occurred to me to reach out to the community. I'm a Michigan boy and have never hunted any place other than my home state. There will be at least 2 to 3 of us taking this adventure. Looking to do a semi guided or possible DIY on a budget. Every thing on line keeps pushing me to guide services. Wondering if anyone has knowledge about the availability of tags for non residents? Can you get multiple tags for antelope or mullies? Maybe affordable outfitters? The wife is not on board with an 8 to 10 thousand dollar trip. We are trying to be a couple to 2500 a piece. How about the best time of the year to be in the field for either game animal? Sorry that I am seeming to be all over the board here lol. I'm probably omitting a bunch of details that I should consider as well. Just starting so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Jeff
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Old February 13, 2021, 09:51 AM   #2
Kreyzhorse
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We do DIY trips to Wyoming for Pronghorn. Mule deer can be added as well.

Start at the Game and Fish site for Montana. Check your seasons for both. Check tag availabilty.

Check public land options. Check your ability to get drawn to hunt those areas.

Then call and speak to a Game Warden. They are can fill in a lot of blanks about where to go, when to go and what else you might need.
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Old February 13, 2021, 10:00 AM   #3
Nathan
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You probably won’t like this advice.

If you want an Elk, a guide might be easiest and might be cheapest long term.

That said, if you have some time and energy, there are tons of deer/antelope/elk on public land or block management. You have to scout this. You have to scout this in season. That is how you find success. It might be best to find a decent sized block management piece and plan to scout it for 2 weeks in year one. I would scout for 1 week ahead of opening day. Where are they?? You should be able to get a deer in year 1. Some scouting is done driving around and talking to ranchers. Some offer like $200-$500 per day deer/elk land access. They’ll have a sign at the road. Ask if someone else is doing that, if told no.... Ask to scout it. Talk to the bar maid, hotel clerk, gun store, breakfast server, etc. Locals know where the elk are and think the guides are expensive. This may take several years.

I hunt a place out there with family. Get a deer every year. I know I need to get farther off the road. If I see something more than elk poop? I’ll spend the money on the next tag.
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Old February 13, 2021, 12:00 PM   #4
shafter
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DIY can definitely work, but often the time and legwork that's needed for a good chance of success can add up to more money that what a guide who did all that for you will cost.

Unless you have friends or family there, I wouldn't count on anyone giving you more than the the barest outlines of where to go. Local hunters usually aren't thrilled about competing against out of staters in my experience. Public land is wierd. I'd be more apt to bring someone to hunt on my private property because if they turn out to be an idiot I can tell them to leave and never see them again. If I bring them to my secret spot on public land I have to deal with them forever.

I've had some success with making some friendships over the Internet that led to some good hunting opportunities. That could be your best bet. Check to see if the state you want to hunt in has some Facebook groups for the species you want to hunt. In my state there are sometimes some really good souls who offer to help new people get their first deer. Be humble and you might get lucky with this approach.

Just my rambling thoughts on the topic. At the end of the day if it were me and I really wanted to try a new species somewhere and I'm already looking at a couple grand worth of expenses, I might put it off for a few years and save up and do it right. Once I get my bearings I could do a DIY at a future time.
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Old February 13, 2021, 12:13 PM   #5
old roper
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I live Co and most guides are already booked 2021. We have 2 elk season you can buy OTC bull elk tags (resident/non-resident) and some put in draw deer tag same season.

What lot of outfitters do is offer Drop Camps.

This is from Wy

https://www.sportsmanslogistics.com/...rivate-public/
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Old February 13, 2021, 05:41 PM   #6
jmr40
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If you don't kill something will you consider it a waste of time? Or will you enjoy the experience and feel that killing something is a bonus? The odds are much greater of killing something if you hire a guide but sometimes the pressure to kill something makes it feel like work instead of a fun trip.

Either way the odds are less than 50/50 that you'll kill something on public land. Some private ranch hunts will have near 100% odds, but those can get into 5 figure expenses.

I've never hunted Montana, but have hunted Colorado a couple of times and have traveled to Mississippi and New Mexico to hunt in the past. I'm of the opinion that if I'm traveling that far I'm buying an elk tag, I can kill a deer here in GA.

Both Colorado hunts were DIY affairs and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience even though I came home empty both times. I looked at it as a learning experience. In 2018 on my last hunt I came very close to taking an elk and while I didn't connect I felt I learned a lot. My chances will be better next time, which is hopefully next fall.

You can make a good argument that I'd spend less and greatly improve my chances by spending big money on a single guided hunt than multiple DIY hunts. But for me, at least for now, I still enjoy the experience of the hunts. If I don't kill anything this coming fall I will be 0 for 3 and will strongly consider going on a guided hunt the next time.
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Old February 13, 2021, 09:45 PM   #7
FunGramps
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Don't let anyone fool you, as sage goats and mule deer are thick as flies in many areas of Montana, and there are multiple areas of public land open to hunting, and some are quite vast, with little hunting pressure or competition.
Find out about state land, school trust land, BLM, National Forest, and one I like is the block management program, where hunters pay a small fee (was $15.00) per hunter to hunt on private land. I lived in MT for many years, and other than Elk, the two you are seeking don't make for a very difficult pursuit. I always got my deer...or three. All on public or Block Management land.

That being said, Montanans in general are very particular about who hunts on their property, but usually very gracious to decent folks. Being cordial, respectful and honest goes a very long way there.

Here's a 2015 article about Black Management if you choose that route. I doubt it's changed much. Happy hunting!

https://www.ktvq.com/mtn-investigate...perty%20owners.
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Old February 14, 2021, 03:41 PM   #8
.284
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Thanks everyone for some real helpful information. Decided to at least do a semi guided. To answer Jmr40, I want some meat to take home but I do want it to be hunting not killing. Also, not trying to do an Elk hunt. Everyone that is going is in pretty good shape but we don't want to be in real mountainous terrain. I wouldn't mind more of an agriculture setting. I really love wild game and have heard both mullies and a pronghorn are delicious.
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Deer are amazing creatures....so please don't burn the sauteed onions and I'll pass on the steak sauce, thank you.
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Old February 14, 2021, 04:36 PM   #9
FITASC
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All depends on what they have been eating; if the mulies have been eating bitterbrush, they're not as tasty; as with any game animal what it eats and how the meat is treated afterwards.
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Old February 14, 2021, 05:04 PM   #10
.284
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Right! I saw that mullies diet makes a significant difference and antelope needs to be at least skinned, quartered, and put on ice almost immediately after it's harvested.
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Deer are amazing creatures....so please don't burn the sauteed onions and I'll pass on the steak sauce, thank you.
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Old February 14, 2021, 11:00 PM   #11
Shane Tuttle
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FunGramps' comment is spot on.

BTW, if you do make it up here in Western Montana, lunch is on me.
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Old February 19, 2021, 06:19 PM   #12
Jack O'Conner
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My suggestion is to call Powder River Outfitters and find out costs for hunts they offer.

Jack
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Old February 21, 2021, 12:50 PM   #13
Nathan
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I too have heard pronghorn are delicious. Never had a delicious one, but they make good jerky and chilli meat!
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Old February 23, 2021, 12:14 AM   #14
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Pronghorn that don't depend on sage brush can be very tasty. I hunt where the goats are eating newly sprouted winter wheat in the fall, and there is minimal sage in the area. I have orders from headquarters to put in for a goat tag every year. She loves the meat.
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