Montana is renowned for its sprawling wilderness and thriving wildlife, making it a coveted destination for hunters. The state boasts a varied range of habitats and species, presenting hunters with an abundance of options. Let’s take a look at the top 5 things to hunt in Montana, including their current population estimates:
- Elk (Estimated population: 150,000) Elk hunting is among the most sought-after activities in Montana. The state houses one of the largest populations of elk in the United States, with an estimated 150,000 animals inhabiting the hills and valleys. The prime time to hunt elk in Montana is during the rut in September and October, when the bulls are more vocal and visible, and actively seeking mates.
- Mule Deer (Estimated population: 230,000) Mule deer hunting is a popular activity in Montana, with an estimated population of 230,000 animals primarily residing in the eastern part of the state. The optimal time to hunt mule deer in Montana is during the rut in November, when the bucks are more visible and actively seeking mates.
- Antelope (Estimated population: 120,000) Antelope hunting is a unique experience in Montana, with an estimated population of 120,000 animals primarily found in the eastern part of the state. The best time to hunt antelope in Montana is during the early season in August and September, when the bucks are still in bachelor groups and are more visible.
- Black Bear (Estimated population: 5,000-6,000) Black bear hunting is a prevalent activity in Montana, with an estimated population of 5,000-6,000 animals primarily found in the western part of the state. The ideal time to hunt black bears in Montana is during the spring when they emerge from hibernation and are more active and vulnerable.
- Mountain Lion (Estimated population: 4,000-5,000) Mountain lion hunting is a challenging and exhilarating experience in Montana, with an estimated population of 4,000-5,000 animals primarily found in the western part of the state. The best time to hunt mountain lions in Montana is during the winter when the snow makes tracking easier and the lions are more visible.
Montana offers an array of hunting opportunities, from elk and mule deer to antelope, black bear, and mountain lion. Whether you’re an experienced hunter or a beginner, Montana has something to offer for everyone. With its awe-inspiring scenery and diverse wildlife, hunting in Montana is an adventure that you’ll cherish forever.