I had a hard time wrapping my head around elk hunting during the last week of January. For my entire hunting career, I have been accustomed to hanging up my gear at the end of November and going on with my life. This season the Montana FWP launched a pilot season to try and reduce numbers of elk in certain areas on Montana. I was happy to see that one of the hunting districts in the pilot season, just so happened to be the district that I am most fond of hunting. After dealing with the holidays and welcoming in a new year, I finally decided to get out and try one last time to punch my elk tag. Teaming up with my lifelong hunting partner, my older brother Steve, we set out into the frozen wild to look for the elusive wapati.
Our first morning hunt was off to a good start, as both of our snow machines fired right up and we were soon spotting elk. Our only problem was, the elk we did spot were bulls (cows only season.) We hoped that seeing the elk was a sign of more to come. That was not the case. We soon discovered that the herd we were hoping to see, were about 3 miles deep into private that we did not have access to. Much like the general season, we sat on our look out and stared at a massive herd of elk that we could not hunt. After a handful of failed attempts to gain access to the private, we finally decided that just being outside and having the opportunity to hunt elk far past our traditional season, was worth the time and money we spent to be there.