When is the best time to hunt and what kind of weather can I expect?
If you like to hunt in shirt sleeves then the best time to hunt is in September. If you prefer the weather a little cooler then October is the time to hunt. If you like to hunt in the snow part of the time then come in November. We usually get the best dog work from mid-September to mid-November. Arid conditions are typical in our part of Montana. Occasionally we get some fall precipitation. Since 1987 the mean precipitation for Big Timber during the months of September and October has been 0.87 inches and 1.15 inches respectively. Since 1987 the mean precipitation for Lewistown during the months of October and November has been 0.91 inches and 0.61 inches respectively. Rain may turn to snow any time of the year in Montana.
How much is a non-resident upland bird license?
A nonresident bird-hunting license costs $133.88 (upland bird license_$110 + conservation license_$10 + hunter access fee_$10 + processing fee_$3.88). Nonresident bird hunting licenses are limited to 11,000 and are available on a first come - first serve basis. If you want to hunt migratory birds a $15 federal and a $50 state migratory bird license must be in your possession. Licenses are available on the web at www.fwp.state.mt.us.
Can I hunt more than three days?
Yes. Additional days are $820 per day per hunter (double).
Do you book single hunters?
Yes we do. The cost for a single hunter is $3,800.00 for a 3 day / 4 night hunt.
Am I allowed to bring my own dog?
You are welcome to bring your dog(s). If your party brings more than one dog then you will need to supply field transportation for your dogs. We do not have on-site kennels for your dogs. Dogs are required to stay in a portable kennel while in your room and there will be a $30 room charge during your stay. Your dog may encounter numerous hazards in the field. These include, but are not limited to, rattlesnakes, porcupines, badgers, wolverines, bobcats, lynx, mountain lions, black bears, coyotes, wolves, skunks, raccoons, golden eagles, cactus, dehydration, heat stroke, barbed wire, lightning and getting lost.
Do you have a minimum age for young hunters?
A hunter must be at least 16 years of age to hunt with us. Montana requires all hunters born after January 1, 1985 to complete a certified hunter safety course.
How many bird contacts can I expect in a day?
Given the variables (weather, spring hatch, scenting conditions, physical condition of the hunters, etc.,) involved when hunting wild birds it is nearly impossible to predict how many birds you will see during your hunt. Go to The Field page for more information on types of birds and number of contacts in an average bird year.
What gauge shotgun, chokes and shot do you recommend?
Bring a shotgun that you shoot best. However, prairie birds tend to flush at a distance and you will be handicapping yourself by using a 410 or a 28 gauge. You will also cripple more birds. For safety reasons we require that you use a break-action double barrel shotgun. For double barrel shotguns I recommend IC and Mod chokes (skeet and IC for AZ). Generally speaking a 1 oz to 11/8 oz field load of number 6 or 7 ½ hard lead shot will handle most situations. However, late season pheasants and sage grouse require high-brass heavy dram loads of number 5 hard lead shot.
What type of gear should I bring?
Some clothing you should bring: safety glasses, a foul weather jacket, rain pants and coat, briar proof pants or chaps for pheasant hunting, hat with a visor, light weight leather field boots (vibram soled), wool socks (you’ll get blisters from cotton), sweater or wool shirt, sunglasses, lip balm, sun screen, water bottle, fluorescent orange cap or vest, gloves and a game vest. Knee-high rubber boots or boots lined with a waterproof membrane are recommended when it rains or when hunting ruffed grouse, snipe and pheasant in wet areas. Be prepared for occasional inclement weather - it can snow during any month of the year in Montana. You must supply your own shells and gun. A good ice chest is needed to transport your birds.
What is the terrain like and how much walking is there?
The terrain consists of short and mixed grass prairie, ponderosa pine and juniper savanna, sagebrush steppe, mountain foothills, coulees, stubble fields, brushy creek bottoms and alfalfa fields. We hunt between 3,500 and 6,000 feet above sea level. Generally speaking the more walking you are able to do the more bird contacts you will have. There can be a lot of up and down hunting over hilly terrain. However, we want you to enjoy your trip. Therefore, we will adjust the hunt to your walking pace, the type of terrain you can handle and the distance you’re able to walk. We don’t road hunt nor do we hunt from horseback.
Do you offer waterfowl hunting?
Yes we do. You may add waterfowl hunting days to your upland bird hunt or I can put a waterfowl only hunt together for you. Call or e-mail me about specifics.
What are the total numbers of hunters and number of hunters per guide allowed?
We have a maximum of three hunters per guide and can accommodate up to nine hunters. We do not mix hunting parties. The guides do not carry a gun.
How much do you charge for a non-hunter?
If the non-hunter does not travel in the field the charge is $125.00 per day. If the non-hunter travels in the field then he or she is charged an additional $100.00 for each day in the field.
Can I do some fishing during my stay?
You bet! You may fish part of the day on the streams that flow through the ranch we are hunting at no extra charge. You may add extra days of guided fishing before or after your hunt for $400 per day (double) which includes meals and lodging.
Will you supply a list of references?
I certainly will. You need to call me by phone [406-223-5923] to receive names and phone numbers of hunters whom I have guided.
May I leave the birds I have shot with you?
Nope. We will clean, package and freeze your birds and deliver them to you at the end of your hunt. It is your responsibility to place them in a cooler and take them with you.
Is there taxidermy available?
Yes. We have two very good taxidermists available. However, if you have your own taxidermist we recommend that you use him or her.
What area attractions are worth seeing?
Go to the visit Montana web site for statewide and regional information. Contact the Big Timber and Lewistown chambers of commerce for local information. For information on Yellowstone National Park click here.
Do Hungarian partridge hold for a point or do they flush wild? Yes.