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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama View Post
    There are 13000 elk/deer combo or elk only combo licenses and 4600 deer combo licenses for non residents. You have to apply (and you will get it if the last 2 years trends continue and they will because of EHD, wolves etc) then you apply for a limited area with the bonus point option and $20 extra. If you don't draw the limited area and you want the bonus point you will forfeit the $20 and 20% of the combo license cost. They only refund 80% of the cost of the combo license if you want a bonus point. Pretty good for Montana, not so good for your wallet!

    So if you do this just plan to hunt that year in the general areas instead of requesting the refund. I've never been to Montana but there has to be good hunting in the general areas for both deer and elk.

    They have it set up that way intentionally I think to keep the limited draw areas from becoming impossible to draw and encouraging hunters to apply at least every few years so that their bonus points don't expire. (And to make money of course).
    This makes a lot more sense now. Thanks for all the help. I really does seem like a money grab where they jacked up prices a few years ago and refund quite a bit less than most other states. I'm sure I'll try some hunting there some day in the general area and trying for a limited. Depending on how that goes decide if I want to keep hunting there regularly in the general and trying for the limited draws.

    It seems like a lot of $$ to give up and not hunt to try and build bonus points for the LEs. But, if a guy can get into an area and work a place where the general hunting is decent and can go most years it wouldn't be a bad way to go. If the general hunting is tough then I don't see it being worth the money to keep either not going or having crummy general hunting as you say, while waiting on a LE tag.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alabama View Post
    So if you do this just plan to hunt that year in the general areas instead of requesting the refund. I've never been to Montana but there has to be good hunting in the general areas for both deer and elk.

    They have it set up that way intentionally I think to keep the limited draw areas from becoming impossible to draw and encouraging hunters to apply at least every few years so that their bonus points don't expire. (And to make money of course).
    I respectfully disagree. Have you looked at the draw odds LE deer and elk hunts? Very few are over 10% and most are under 5%. There are places with better trophy species drawing odds!

    There are good areas you can hunt in MT with a general tag but its like most general hunts, it really helps to know the area and be able to scout. I know some areas fairly well for deer, elk, and antelope but all have been hit by wolves, ehd, winter kill, ect the last few years as alot of the state has, combine that with very expensive tags and its not worth it to me. I can hunt in Idaho for 1/2 the price and I actually have some chance to draw a LE tag there.

    MT used to have outfitter tags that cost alot more then NR combo tags, but everyone that wanted to hunt with an outfitter got a tag. I think the NR deer/elk combo was $550-600 and the outfitter tags were more then double, maybe $12-1500?. Draw odds on the deer/elk combo were about 2-1 and the deer only combo was about 5-1. then about 4 years ago they decided to do away with the outfitter tags and raise the price on all the tags to what they are now. The deer/elk combo has had tags leftover after the draw ever since and the deer only has had tags left after the draw the last 2 years and both have more tags left and the leftover tags sell out slower every year.

  3. #13
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    There are a lot of areas for deer that are 100% draw odds but you have to apply for that area and cannot hunt it with just the combo license. If you have points they will be used up even if you apply for a guaranteed limited entry area. I'm not sure if you can hunt general areas still if you draw it though. There are only a couple of these areas for elk though 302 and 310 I think but not sure.

    Yeah MM the odds aren't great for most of the deer areas and some of the elk areas but at least you have a chance. There will always be high demand trophy units in each state that are almost impossible to draw. (some that come to mind: Colorado elk units 2, 201, and 61. Arizona elk units 9 and 10. Utah any elk unit lol) How much worse would the odds be if you could just purchase bonus points? The mandatory purchase of the deer/elk combo licenses keeps most people out. I'm not sure if it's the reason they do it that way but it does help the odds. As for it being not worth it: it's not for me, but if I lived in North Dakota or South Dakota sure it would be. A place to hunt elk and/or deer every year and build points or draw a great LE tag one day.

    As for the odds being better for trophy species: I must be looking at the wrong odds! If you know of somewhere I can have better odds of drawing sheep, moose or mountain goat in the lower 48 than drawing a LE deer/elk tag in MT send me a PM NOW! There will be a reward check for that find! Cow moose, ewe sheep, and nanny mountain goats don't count. And don't say Idaho the odds are truly deceiving. You aren't just competing with people who are applying in the same unit. You are competing against the residents in the unit you pick and all non-residents no matter what unit they applied for. You must have your application picked before the 10% cap takes effect and while there are still tags available in your unit.
    Last edited by Alabama; 03-16-2014 at 11:11 PM.

  4. #14
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    Unless you plan on hunting with the general tag in Montana every single year, I'd say it is definitely not worth spending the money to build LE points there.

  5. #15
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    I have not seen all the LE units that are 100% draw. When I was hunting MT I never thought the LE units were worth it and I was better off hunting the general areas. Idaho Does have the best trophy species odds. True their system is somewhat unfair to NR's but you still have a better chance of your number coming up then other places and I better chance then alot of MT LE units IMO.

 

 

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