i don't know much about Montana, but I would highly recommend Glacier for family vacations. We spent a week there a couple of years ago. We try to do a National Park for a week, hopefully more in the future. This will be the fifth year, and I think Glacier is right up in the top spot as far as favorites go. Kalispel and Helena are pretty cool towns, not sure what you are into, but we really liked the area. Just kindof drove through town. The fall is one of the better times to visit Yellowstone, IMO. The crowds don't seem as bad after school starts and the animals seem pretty active. Some of the facilities in both spots shut down early, but I am not sure when exactly. As far as antelope goes, I am not familiar with Montana, but it sounds like you have some good advise there already.
We visit Yellowstone a lot, mainly in the fall and it is spectacular. Less people, some facilities closed but that has not bothered us yet. We are going in August this year, so we can check out more but I hate that I want catch the elk in full bugle. Glacier is on my radar o visit soon, reason I am trying to plan for MT...I always like to tag a hunt on my Western vacations if I can because I usually drive out and my wife, and now baby, fly out. Glacier would be a heck of a drive though, so I may have to fly and rent something on that trip.
I have lived just about an hour east of glacier for the better part of a decade now and would 2nd the glacier greatness. Pre kiddos I spent about 20-30 days a year in the park fishing, camping, and backpacking. It has been discovered in recent years but it is still an amazing place that you will not be disappointed in. It still blows me away that there are people that live in my town that haven't even been in the park, just amazes me that people don't take advantage of such a treasure being so close.
Antelope hunting in MT is not what it used to be, but still can be very enjoyable if not expecting a trophy (because very very few exist anymore in the state). I would say that the Centennial valley is one of the better western MT lope hunts. Lots of permits but after the deer and elk rifle seasons open there literally will be nobody chasing antelope. If the glacier thing peaks your interest check into unit 401 (I think that's right as I archery hunt antelope and with the 900 permit can hunt entire state). It includes the sweet grass hills country and is pretty unique country, that has farmland, rolling hills and countless draws/canyons for lopes to hide in. It is quite a bit tougher draw odds, but there is a ton of BMAs and some public stuff as well.
i've hunted 330 once, and 300 twice. I think there are bigger bucks in 300, but the October season in MT always hurts me. Pretty much guaranteed, the continental divide between Idaho and MT will get smashed with a snow storm before the antelope season starts, and all the antelope will move. In 300, the Big Sheep Cr basin is gorgeous, but there is a lot of private land, and the antelope know where it is. I enjoyed my hunt in 330, but i'd stay away from the opening weekend in MT. No offense to anybody in MT, but it gets a little crazier than I can handle on the opener. Fun to be huntin though!!!
Well I applied for 215 this year, mainly due to the fact of the low odds of a NR drawing the tag ( I think there have been only a couple NR tags given over the last few years) and if I do draw I will consider myself lucky and figure it out. Plus it is not all that far from Missoula, so I can make a trip over to Big Sky Brewery!!!!
Given I do not draw I will likely put in for either 215 again next year or a unit closer to Glacier or 330 so I can plan another Yellowstone Trip.
If you are planning on applying this year, antelope permits have to be in by June 1.
NRA Life Member
Montana Wild Sheep Foundation
Boone & Crockett Club
Montana Bow Hunters Association
"One loves to possess arms though they hope never to."
I already applied, nothing like waiting till the last minute!
Good luck in the draw, you'll have to keep us posted!!
TALL, WIDE and HANDSOME