Hunting and gathering continues to be a robust and defining part of Montana's culture. When the leaves turn toward autumn and the temperatures begin to fall, we put away our rafts and rods as the eagerly anticipated hunting season is upon us. Hunting is not only a Montana way-of-life, it's also a vital part of Montana's wildlife management plan to ensure the protection of wild animals and their natural habitats. For those who love the thrill of the hunt, the hills and prairies throughout Montana's Yellowstone Country are home to elk, deer, bear, antelope, mountain lions, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pheasants and a wide variety of ducks and geese.
If you're unfamiliar with the area, enlist a local outfitter to assist with guiding, licenses, regulations and seasons—and prepare for changing or inclement weather. Or, consult Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for seasons , regulations and information on obtaining a hunting license.
Pronghorn antelope are one of the fastest animals in the world and will test any hunter's ability. Pursue them through open country, stalk them at a waterhole or lure them in with a decoy.
“Sheep fanatics" know Montana offers some the best—and only—bighorn sheep hunting in the county.
One of the West's most iconic species—bison—can be hunted in the Gardiner and West Yellowstone areas and on private game ranches.
A spring black bear hunt in Yellowstone Country when the days are lengthening and the weather is relatively warm is an adventure that can't be missed!
Nothing beats spending fall hunting season scouting for white-tailed or mule deer and bringing home a trophy mount, a freezer's worth of venison, and a good story.
For an epic Yellowstone Country adventure, go elk hunting in the backcountry during the rut and experience the sound of a bugling bull elk. Montana offers some of the longest elk hunting seasons in the West.
Packing out a 1,000-pound bull moose from the wilderness is a challenge only a few hunters a season have the chance to attempt. Hire an experienced outfitter not only to serve as a guide, but to supply a pack train and help with butchering.
Yellowstone Country's Crazy Mountains host the largest population of mountain goats of any hunting district in the state.
Feel the rush of following well-trained game hounds as they track a mountain lion through the snow-packed wilderness. Hunts don't get any more action-packed than this!
Although turkeys are not native to Montana, they have flourished since being introduced in the 1950s. Calling in a strutting full-bearded Merriam gobbler is a hunter's delight.
Bring your own dogs or go with a guide and their well-trained canines to flush upland game birds from a sea of grassland. Species include mountain grouse, sage grouse, sharp-tailed grouse, partridge and pheasant.
If you have landowner permission and/or comply with public land usage, you're free to hunt nongame species such as raccoon, red fox, badgers, hares, marmots, tree squirrels, ground squirrels and prairie dogs without regulation.
Thanks to Montana's stream access law, virtually all of the Yellowstone, Missouri and other large rivers are open to waterfowl hunting along the banks up to the high-water mark. Waterfowl species include ducks, coots, geese and swans.
Montana is one of only four states that allows wolf hunting. If this trophy animal is on your bucket list, book a trip with a Yellowstone Country outfitter.