23 October 2009
The Montana Elk Season is definitely here. It’s going to be a painful, yet exciting wait for opening day this weekend. Both hunters and guides are rolling into camp and the weather couldn’t be more ideal with cold nights (20’s) and mild days (40’s). We’ve had some good moisture with rain down low and snow in the high country. There’s good elk numbers, however they are currently in big herds as opposed to smaller bunches. Considering the countless opportunities we provided in archery season, Sunday should be lots of fun, I’m sharpening an extra knife.
When we aren’t hunting elk here at Dome Mountain, we are always thinking about how to hunt them, patterning them, and basically leaving the mountain and all of the property alone and free of unnatural interruption. Each season this program works better and better with more elk being hunted lower and lower, plus allowing more room in the high country for continued pursuit. We’ve learned that there is a limit to how far elk can be pushed. Last season, this technique afforded us over 500 elk every day, a prime example of modern day elk hunting success and wildlife management.
Over the years we’ve tried just about everything, from chained up ATV’s to spike camps, big suburbans and even snowmobiles. Fact is, none of them produce as well as a strong set of legs and a willing heart. Our plans are to completely eliminate vehicle traffic through the ranch during the entire hunting season. While this might mean a little longer horse ride and earlier breakfasts, it will definitely promote “fair chase” elk hunting. I’ve said this before, “elk hunting will NEVER be a gentleman’s sport", at least not if I can help it. In the long run, it might seem like we’re doing things the hard way, but I bet there will be more smiling faces in the end.
There’s really no substitute for realistic preparation. I talk a lot about “getting in shape", shooting a lot and having the right gear. Another factor to an elk hunter’s overall success and enjoyment will be your mindset and will to believe, day after day. Every day out there is a little different, yet much the same, you’ll either be hiking endless miles of rugged country, or sitting still and motionless on a cold, lonely stand for hours on end. Either way, that’s elk hunting. Be patient, be the best natural hunter you can be.
Thanks again for reading and stay tuned, I’ll do my best to update as often as I can. Looking forward to sharing the mountain with all of you.
JB Klyap, Outfitter #7843