Another great week of Montana elk hunting passed quickly, as all good things do. Our hunting clients enjoyed some hard-core fair-chase elk hunting. Each elk hunting client had outstanding opportunities nearly every day. When it comes to elk hunting, location is everything. Timing often plays a big role, but most of all, successful elk hunters have “heart”. This wasn’t a problem for the Dome Mountain team.
Opening day is always an interesting event. We had a good plan the night before-”wait, watch and react”. We decided that “Perfect minutes lead to perfect hours, perfect hours to perfect days, and perfect days to perfect seasons.” So far, we’re right on track. While it’s easy to be successful, it’s much harder to never fail. Elk hunting requires a certain amount of grit that a hunter either has or they don’t. Often, this sort of passion is just what I’m talking about when I say “keep the faith”.
Our low-impact style of hunting was obvious throughout the week as we allowed elk to remain safe in bedding areas and had plenty of early morning breakfasts to get in tight to our proven stands under the cover of darkness. This became a little spookier after a large grizzly showed up right smack in the middle of our hunting area. While no aggressiveness was noted, it sure made the darkness seem all the more darker.
“Perfect minutes…perfect hours…perfect days…perfect seasons…-JB Klyap
After day three everyone agreed why we call our elk, “the wildest elk in North America”. As a Rocky Mountain ungulate, dealing with two-legged predators is one thing, but imagine how savvy these elk become when they’re constantly hunted by wolves, bears and coyotes. The elk of the Northern Yellowstone herd have had a few generations to adapt. They’re strong, healthy and extremely challenging. I’ll wage a bet with anyone who hunts elk anywhere else, just having the close opportunity with these incredible creatures offers far more memories than easier elk hunting in places where predators aren’t so high in numbers.
By the close of day two, someone mentioned how awesome it would be “if we had some snow”. Later that evening the big Montana sky darkened and painted the mountain in a chilling fog and granted these wishes. It didn’t take long for everyone to accept that the long summer had just transformed into elk hunting season overnight. Even though we were dealing with a bright full moon for those long rides back to camp it seemed to get dark a lot sooner.
There’s always something to be learned when it comes to elk hunting. Our elk country just happens to have the main highway to Yellowstone National Park running right through the middle of it. Elk have a way of stopping traffic. Some of our opportunities contained painful waits while we used great discretion to remain out of site during these “elk jams”. Elk rarely get used to anything, but they do appreciate consistency, even if it means human activity. They get used to cars passing on this busy highway.
However, any change in this consistency signals to them that something isn’t right. 15 years ago when our elk herds were near 20,000 there were plenty of opportunities for the less ambitious who chose the comforts of a modern four wheel drive over the saddle and a sure-footed mountain pony. Now that elk have acclimated to new predators, they definitely react even more so to brakelights and diesel engines. As with most seasons, many elk were pushed into our hunting areas for this reason.
As the coming weeks approach we’re all excited to get back up on the mountain. Cooler weather has been sticking and elk are moving each day. If you’re planning on joining us next season, it’s never “too early” to book a hunt. Remember, we take a limited amount of hunting clients each season and have a very high return client rate.
If your looking for a tradition fair chase Montana elk hunt with high opportunity, great guides, outstanding food and the home of many “hunts of a lifetime”, we’ll look forward to sharing the mountain. Please be sure to visit our Montana Elk Hunting Photo Gallery. Here you’ll find hundreds of photos of happy clients.
A special thanks to all our clients, and personally a big thank-you to all the guides and staff that worked so hard to make the opening week of Montana’s 2010 season perfect. Keep the faith!
See You on the Mountain!
Jim “JB” Klyap, Outfitter #7843Tags: elk hunting, elk hunting outfitter, guided elk hunts, montana elk hunting, western elk hunt, western elk hunting | Categories: elk hunting outfitter, Hunter Ethics, Montana Elk Hunting | Comments (1) | Permalink