Guided Wilderness Hunts
All our hunting takes place in the Wilderness.
Because of this, the animals have the upper hand.
Our hunts are the most Fair Chase hunts available in the lower 48.
We run a very limited number of hunters to keep our success rate high, because of this our success rate runs a bit higher than the average Wilderness hunt. Snowy Springs runs a consistent success rate of 65% or higher. Hunts are guided 2 on 1, two hunters per one guide. 1 on 1 hunts are available.
If you are thinking of booking a Wilderness Hunt you need to be in it for the entire experience. Because of the Wilderness it is like going back in time, your camping, traveling by horse or foot and everything is done by hand. Nothing with a wheel or motor allowed here. We understand some hunters do not have the time available for a Wilderness Hunt or are more interested in just harvesting something. If you are in this category this hunt will not fit you.
Snowy Springs is a full service outfitter, we take care of you from the airport till we return you to it. In other words we don’t nickel & dime you to death. We do not charge extra fees for anything. We have cabins we put hunters in prior to and after their hunt. If you drive you are more than welcome to show up a few days early, leave a few days later, etc. We have a shooting area at our Base Camp if you want to double check your gun before heading into the Wilderness for your hunt. Glacier National Park is our backyard and a lot of clients like to do a little sightseeing if they have time. If you do not have a vehicle with you we are more than happy to be your tour guide. Our local Cafe’ and Bar are within walking distance of Base Camp.
Shawn is a licensed taxidermists and has trained all guides in skinning to make sure your hide is ready for mounting according to your desire. From a shoulder mount to a life-size or rug they can handle it. Meat is taken to camp and hung, according to weather it may be packed out before your hunt ends. We do not process the meat, we will get it to the processor with your cut & wrap order. If you drive a lot of hunters bring ice chests or even freezers to take meat home to process.
This is our one hunt that may not always be in the Wilderness. Hunts take place April – May, and are generally five days. This is very early spring for our area and packing camps into the Wilderness is usually not an option due to snowpack. We have a cabin at our Base Camp location where hunters stay. It has a full bathroom and kitchen, internet access and Dish TV. Meals are prepared and served in our shop, right next door. According to the spring thaw we will use a variety of transportation while hunting from vehicle to snowmobiles to 4-wheelers to horses. Hiking will be involved also.
There are numerous trailheads we use a short drive from Base Camp. The areas hunted are snow slides, gated roads and old burns that are just turning green. The Bears are hungry for green grass when they come out of hibernation, so the areas that green up first are the prime spots to hunt.
Our area produces a large amount of color phased Black Bears. Our Bears have colors of blonde, brown, red and most of the bears that are black have interesting white chest markings.
Before purchasing your Black Bear license you will be required to take a Bear Test through the Montana Fish & Game site. This is because we have Grizzly Bears and are not allowed to harvest them at this time. The test is to give you an idea on how to tell the Black Bears from the Grizzlies, you can’t fail it, you just keep taking it until you pass. You will want to write down your Certificate number or print the Certificate as you will need to use the number on your license application. There is a Tutorial you can take first if you like. Don’t worry you will always have a guide with you to make sure what type of bear you’re looking at.
Fall Big Game hunts are for Elk, Mule Deer, Black Bear, Wolf, Moose, Bighorn Sheep, and Mountain Goat.
Unless you drew a moose, sheep or goat tag, the main animal we focus on is elk, if you purchase additional licenses such as black bear, it would be the secondary animal. Of course we cannot control how everything goes down so you never know for sure. Main point we do not charge extra per animal. The hunt price is the price it does not change according to how many animals you harvest.
Our Standard hunt is conducted with one licensed guide per two hunters. 1 on 1 hunts are also available.
Hunts are five to ten days and are run out of a Wilderness base camp with a cook tent, sleeping tents with cots, pads, wood stoves, lanterns, and an outhouse. Snowy Springs has five Wilderness base camps, the season, weather and game movement determine which camp is used.
Early Hunts are September to mid-October
An average day of hunting may go like this- Plan of the day is usually made at breakfast, will take weather and other factors into account. Breakfast is early, generally 4:30AM, sandwiches and snacks will be out for you to put together your lunch. Usually you head out on your horse in the dark. Early hunts are during the rut, guides like to get up on top of the mountains early and work ridges, bugling or cow calling into different drainages. By being on top they can cover a much larger area, opposed to hunting down low, it could take a whole day to work one drainage. Once up on top they do a lot of glassing and more glassing. Because we start hunting in September mid day temperatures can be pretty warm. Hunters dress in layers so they can pull them off as needed. Mornings are quite cool can even be in the freeze range, with high temps up in the 70’s. It could also snow, mountains and the Continental Divide make for unpredictable weather. Most days will be spent out of your base camp from pre-dawn to late dusk, or dark. We have hunted this way for 30 years so all the guides are use to it as are the horses. Guides almost always take a pack animal with them, most times hunters rifles are on these animals, our guides can get off, tie up and have your gun out and ready before you are off your horse. Pack animals also make it easier to get game back to camp right away rather than having to go back later. After arriving back at your camp you’ll have a little time to put on comfy shoes, relax a bit and then have dinner.
The early hunts are long days. If at all possible we recommend a 9 or 10 day hunt so you can take a day off to relax if needed. The fishing is still great this time of year and combo licenses include a fishing license. If you are interested in fishing let us know and we will make sure there is fishing gear available in camp.
If you are from the South or somewhere it does not snow we highly recommend the early hunts for you. Late hunts during the General Season can have snow, usually it’s more a matter of how much snow.
Late Hunts are mid-October – November
Montana hunting season ends the first Sunday after Thanksgiving.
Our late hunts work the same as the early ones, with the exception the rut is over and there will probably be snow. Hunting still includes a lot of glassing and tracking is added. Our late hunting camp is in an area that is not open during early hunts and is on the migratory route the Elk take to their winter range. The Mule Deer are in the rut during this time and are moving around much more than during the early hunts. If you are hoping to get into a big Muley this is the time to hunt.
Resident licenses are sold over the counter or online all year with the exception of Moose, Mountain Goat and Big Horn Sheep, these are Special Drawing Licenses and will need an Area number listed. Areas available change each year, if you would like to apply for one, contact us to see what Area number you would need to enter.
Non-resident licenses are as follows:
Big Game Combo – Package that includes Elk and Deer (Mule Deer or Whitetail) , Fishing, Upland Game Birds. Mail in paper application or online. Deadline March 15 of year you hunt.
Elk Combo – Elk, Fishing, Upland Game Birds. Mail in paper application or online. Deadline March 15 of year you hunt.
Deer Combo- Deer (Mule Deer or Whitetail), Fishing, Upland Game Bird. Mail in application or online. Deadline March 15 of year you hunt.
Moose, Mountain Goat and Big Horn Sheep are by special drawing with a deadline of May 1. Paper application or online. Requires drawing area number.
Montana uses a system they call “ ALS “ for hunter information. It is your birth date with an number added to it. If you hunted in Montana from 2002 to later you have an ALS number already. It is best to always use the same one as it keeps a record of all your pertinent information and Bonus Points earned if you have any. If you need to find your ALS number go to link below. Make sure you use same information as the first time you were issued one, for example if your zip code has changed you need to use the one you had then. Once your are in you can update any information needed.
**New this year, to search for your ALS number you must “Set up a User Account” then Log In.ALS Look Up Black Bear License Information Black Bear Identification Test Create a User Account with Montana Fish & Game Purchase a License