It has been unseasonably hot and very dry almost statewide since the season opener on Sept. 2nd. Supposed to be a change in the weather pattern by mid week. Sure hope so. Elk hunting when its 80+ degrees is tough. There is also some major fires burning, and it is real hazy/smokey. Doesn't stop the elk from rutting, but does take away some of the beauty of the mountains. The bulls should be going really good by the time you get here. I had several bulls bugling good this weekend, just couldn't cash in. Only thing that got into bow range was some cows and 1 spike. What area are you planning to hunt? Guided or do it yourself? Good luck!!
We will be hunting a ranch in the 315 unit in the Crazies. This is a DIY hunt and I am so ready a cannot begin to tell you! I hope this weather change has a good effect on the bulls, I would love to get one. There arent any fires in my area according to what I have found out. The weather forcast is calling for temps to drop into the low 60's and 50's for the day with rain likely. Thats is according to MSN weather for the area we are hunting. Thanks for the info, where are you hunting at? Bambam
Report from White River NF, in CO. Lots of spring rain. Antler growth above average. Bulls are bugling like crazy. Just spoke today to a friend in Glenwood Springs. The BP season should be great this year. Unfortunately I only drew a preference point, and not a tag, Tom.
I second the weather comments. Hot and more hot. But sounds like a change is coming soon.
After our success opening weekend, we set out again, but just two of us this time. After a late start, and helping another hunter change a flat tire, we thought our second weekend was going to be the annual "second weekend hike". Got to the trailhead and there was another hunter already up the trail. He must have been bugling his way up the trail, cause we heard a really bad pitchy bugle up the basin. But it was enough to get this absolute TOAD to come out on the face of this pocket basin and start screaming. But the guy must have been too far past to hear, because his tracks just kept going. I spent about 10 minutes glassing this monster---huge. We took off after him, spent 5 hours trying to get above him, patiently moving, fighting the false huckleberry, sitting in silence for 45 minutes at a time. Every time we bugled, he would bugle right on top of us. At one point he came across the face toward us, as close as 50-60 yards, but couldn't see him in that brush. Finally got over his position, and he just clammed up and took off. Don't know what we did wrong, no clue, winds were perfect. I don't believe we could have been too aggressive with a bull like that, who or what could intimidate him!!!! Just laying eyes on a bull like that made it worth it though. Montana is sure getting some big bulls.
I just got back from 5 days in central Montana. Seems like they are a little delayed this year compared to last. Majority of the cows in the district were by themselves until Thursday. 2 small bulls started running with them then. Most the bulls we saw were still by themselves in the high country but they would bugle early in the morning. They didn't show much interest in coming in yet. I think this weather change that is predicted mid week should set them on track. I'm waiting until thursday to head back in. I did see some bulls that were more then impressive so I am excited to get on them. :wink:
Things are starting slower than normal......... last weekend 90 percent of the bulls were still in bachelor groups with very little bugling (haven't seen this in years), I even saw a decent 6 point still in velvet, this weekend there are more bulls with the cows and they are more vocal but still a much slower start than normal. Although it's hot I don't believe it affects the rut as much as some others, more to do with a "sixth sense" for optimal breeding time so calves are born when feed and nutrition are at highest levels(might sound crazy to some)..... and possibly moon phases. I've had quite a few very productive days and taken a few bulls when it's over 85 degrees for weeks at a time. To answer your question though, things should be shaping up nicely by the time you get here......... and the temps are looking a little more comfortable too.
Also in the higher elevations the elk seem to be starting a little quicker. Most of the Crazy Mtn's is public in the higher elevations so I'm guessing that on the ranch you are hunting the rut will be in full swing around the 23 of September, if your going higher, then probably a few days earlier.
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