A Brief Guide to Hunting Wolves in Montana

Wolf hunting in Montana has never been more popular or more satisfying. It’s only in recent years that Montana has opened its wolf hunting, and that’s being reflected by the healthy, balanced wolf population in the state. The key to a successful wolf hunting season is awareness of the prey. Wolves are intelligent and curious animals that travel huge spaces, but they aren’t the hunting challenge that experienced hunters are looking for. What it does mean is that wolf hunting is perfectly suited to people with only a limited level of experience with hunting. Here are some tips for wolf hunting in Montana that could change the way that you plan your expedition.

Watch the Elk

The most commonly seen piece of advice for anyone planning their first wolf hunting expedition is that the key to finding a wolf pack is to stick close to the herds of elk. As a general rule of thumb, where there are elk there are wolves. Ideally, you want to locate a herd that’s a good distance (at least over a mile) from any main roads. Then it’s simply a matter of patience as you wait for the wolves to inevitably show up.

Essential Scouting

All hunters, no matter the prey, should walk the trail that they plan to use. Wolves are known for taking simple routes through shrubland, so keeping an eye out for the right patterns can mean you know the best places to start your expedition. It’s worth noting that for many wolf hunters in Montana, the tactic of using a call or bait on open ice can be incredibly valuable. That open space makes it much easier to see the wolves, no matter how reclusive they might be.

Wind Chill

The weather is always going to be a cause for serious thought when you’re packing for an expedition, but a lot of beginner hunters make the mistake of assuming that Montana is rarely going to experience extremes of weather. It can get very cold during the fall and the winter, so always make sure that you have packed cold weather clothes. Consider the excellent Merino Wool hunting gear by SKRE Gear that will keep your body temperature more regulated no matter what the Monatan weather throws at you. It’s also better for your hunting if you wait for the colder days because when it’s cold, the wolves will tend to become a lot more reckless in the pursuit of their prey.

Females or Males?

There’s no disputing the fact that most hunters will want to shoot a large male wolf, but that shouldn’t be your priority. The reason that Montana opened its wolf hunting seasons is due to population control, and shooting female wolves is a much better way to manage growing populations. It also can’t be stated enough that you should never shoot a wolf that’s wearing a collar, as these are being used to track wolf movements.

If it’s your first time hunting in Montana, then try to join a more experienced group, even if you have plenty of hunting hours racked up already. Montana is some beautiful country, but if you’re heading out with those that know the area and what to expect, you’ll learn more for next time and have a much more successful first hunting expedition.