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Anonymous asked in SportsOutdoor RecreationHunting · 2 months ago

Hunting guide question?

I’m 27(M) from the Midwest and am considering taking a seasonal job at a ranch in Montana during elk season.  The position is for a hunting guide but I assume I would be more of a wrangler there until I learn more from the actual guides there on the ranch.  I have military experience and hunting experience but none with elk or other big game animals besides Whitetails.  Any guides/wranglers/ranch owners out there that could offer any advice on how to prepare for this opportunity? 

2 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    There is nothing worse than a bad shot.   You should be able to do two inch groups at 200 yards and willing to pass up shots beyond that.    In other words,   do not be cocky. 

  • 2 months ago

    I grew up in North Idaho and most conditions in Montana for elk would be similar. First thing is to realize the base elevations are higher than what you are used to, let alone the places where you'll be at 6,000 feet or more in the mountains. That means you need to be in good shape, then acclimate a bit, be prepared for bitter cold up high during hunting seasons, and expect snow in late September in some places. So, that means good boots, good weatherproof gear (Goretex and poly), and ways to keep your skin safe too, don't forget that. Most locals out here shoot 30-06 and 7mm Rem Mags, while there are plenty of other cartridges, you'll want to compare efficacy with those. Some people will bring in 300 Win Mags, 300 Ultras, 338 Lapua but they won't drop an elk any better than a 30-06 with controlled expansion or bonded core bullets. More important than the cartridge is how well they can use the rifle(s). My friends took an African trip and their guides were thankful all of them could shoot at a pretty good level and brought the right loads. And, elk are HUGE compared to a whitetail, so a 243 isn't a real good choice for elk, but a 45-70 could be. Elk are herd animals obviously, and once you see an area they use you'll be able to see their trails are pretty easy to spot. Elk also travel miles during a day or two, so they don't behave like whitetail either. 

    If you did a tour in Afghanistan, Montana isn't so bad though. Knowing how to read topo maps and read wind directions is going to come in real handy. Another thing to consider is that in Montana you aren't close to anything but more empty, so don't expect to be seeing the big city lights every other night. Missoula, Bozeman, and other places are great, always worth going to, but the distances are stretched out. 

    You'll be the new guy, maybe the only new guy, so be willing to learn, and be willing to teach what you know too, you might have a skill set others don't. 

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