We take a limited number of deer hunters to sustain a high quality wildlife harvest and provide the best possible experience for our hunters.

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks (MFWP) hunting regulations and dates are released in February of each year. Please check the MFWP website for confirmation of season dates.

Rifle Deer Hunting Montana

Rifle Deer Hunting

Montana offers two rifle seasons for deer hunting; the early rifle season and the general rifle season. Early rifle season is a wilderness hunt only and begins September 15th. General rifle season incorporates both wilderness and private land hunting and begins in late October. We take a limited number of deer hunters to sustain a high-quality wildlife harvest and provide the best possible experience for our hunters. Deer populations are very sensitive, and so we are careful not to over harvest.

Early Season Rifle

Our early season rifle wilderness deer hunts are run out of our backcountry camp on private land surrounded by wilderness. It is located 55 miles south of Big Timber at head of the Boulder River. The private land camp is accessed by 4×4 vehicles or horseback. Accommodations include a comfortable tent camp with a seasoned camp cook.

Wilderness rifle deer hunts are 7-day hunts (day in, 5 days hunting on horseback, day out) with deer as the priority. However, if you have a black bear or a wolf tag you are welcome to harvest them at no extra cost.

These hunts are in rugged, rigorous country, typical of the great hunting areas in North America. The area is rough and remote, which allows the deer the years necessary to develop quality antlers. The landscape varies from large open meadows to lightly timbered south slopes and long benches.

A typical day of hunting consists of breakfast, saddling up, and riding out of camp before daybreak. Some days we will hunt until late morning, return to camp, and then hunt again in the late afternoon until dark. Other days we will stay out all day. Walking and/or riding are mandatory. Being in good condition for hiking and riding will help you have a more successful hunt. We will hunt as hard as you choose to hunt. Our guides are experienced outdoorsmen who know the area extremely well.

DEER (priority), BLACK BEAR, *WOLF
Season begins September 15th, 2019
Hunt #1: September 22-28 (Private land surrounded by wilderness)
Hunt #2: September 29-October 5 (Private land surrounded by wilderness)
Location: Private land surrounded by wilderness
Accommodations: tent camp, meals provided
Trip length: 7 days: 1 day in, 5 days hunting, 1 day out
Price: $5,700 package deal 2×1
License needed for deer: General Big Game Combination License or General Deer Combo License
License deadline: March 15
Other license options: black bear & wolf -over the counter
License deadline: Fall Black bear – August 31 / Wolf – check MFWP

General Season Rifle Wilderness Deer Hunting

During the general season we offer several deer hunting options. General season wilderness rifle deer hunts are run out of our backcountry camp at Independence or out of a private lodge bordering the wilderness.

The Independence/Boulder drainage hunt is a 7-day hunt (day in, 5 days hunting, day out). We hunt 1 guide to 2 hunters and take 4-8 hunters on a hunt. Wilderness hunts from the backcountry camp typically take place during the first week of the general season, but can extend to the fourth, weather permitting. We have the use of a cabin and a lodge near the wilderness hunting area as additional accommodation options.

Accommodations at Independence include comfortable, carpeted wall tents with wood stoves, cots with foam pads, a roaring campfire, and first-class meals prepared by our camp cook. Lodge accommodations include comfortable rooms with all bedding provided, bathrooms and hot showers, and hearty meals.

DEER (priority) BLACK BEAR, WOLF
Season: October 26-December 1, 2019
Hunt #1: Oct 25-31
Location: Independence/Boulder Drainage area
Accommodations: Lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 7 days: 1 day in, 5 days hunting, 1 day out
Price: $5,700 package deal
License needed for elk and deer: General Big Game Combination License or General Deer Combo License
License deadline: March 15th
Other license options: black bear & wolf -over the counter
License deadline: Fall Black bear – August 31 / Wolf – check MFWP

ELK (priority), DEER, BLACK BEAR, WOLF
Season: October 26-December 1, 2019
Hunt #1: Oct 25-31
Location: Independence/Boulder Drainage area
Accommodations: Lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 7 days: 1 day in, 5 days hunting, 1 day out
Price: $5,700 package deal
License needed for elk and deer: General Big Game Combination License
License deadline: March 15th
Other license options: black bear & wolf -over the counter
License deadline: Fall Black bear – August 31 / Wolf – check MFWP

DEER: Mule deer or Whitetail (priority) BLACK BEAR WOLF
Season: October 26-December 1, 2019
Hunt #1: Oct 25-31, 2019
Hunt #2: Nov 15-21, 2019
Location: Independence/Boulder Drainage area
Accommodations: Lodge or wall tents, meals provided
Trip Length: 7 days: 1 day in, 5 days hunting, 1 day out
Price: $5,700 package deal
License needed for elk and deer: General Big Game Combination License (B-10) or Deer Combination License (B-11)
License deadline: March 15th
Other license options: Black bear & wolf – over the counter
License deadline: see MFWP

Learn more about what's included, dates and travel arrangements. Download our Wilderness Hunting Guide.
Download our Wilderness Hunting Packet

Private Land Deer Hunting

Big Timber Ranches

The Big Timber Ranch hunts are located just minutes outside of Big Timber, MT on thousands of acres of rolling hills with flowing creeks. Deer and elk roam the countryside in healthy populations. The Big Timber ranches are hunted with a General Deer License. We take a limited number of hunters to provide the best hunting experience.

MULE DEER
General Rifle Season:
October 26-December 1, 2019
Hunt #1: Oct 26-31
Hunt #2: Nov 2-7
Hunt #3: Nov 9-14
Hunt #4: Nov 16-21
Hunt #5: Nov 22-27
Location: Big Timber Ranches
Accommodations: lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 6 days: arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure day
Price: $4,000 per hunter – Spot & Stalk
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or General Deer Combo License
License deadline: March 15th

WHITETAIL DEER
General Rifle Season: October 26-December 1, 2019
Hunt #1: Oct 26-31
Hunt #2: Nov 2-7
Hunt #3: Nov 9-14
Hunt #4: Nov 16-21
Hunt #5: Nov 22-27 Location: Big Timber Ranches
Accommodations: lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 6 days: arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure day
Price: $3500 per hunter – Tree Stand Hunt
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or General Deer Combo License License deadline: March 15th

General Rifle Season: October 26-December 1, 2019
Hunt #1: Oct 25-31
Hunt #2: Nov 1-7
Hunt #3: Nov 8-14
Hunt #4: Nov 15-21
Hunt #5: Nov 21-27
Location: Big Timber Ranches
Accommodations: lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 7 days: arrival day, 5 days hunting, departure day
Price: $6,700 per hunter 2×1 hunt (if in season, antelope or black bear can be substituted for deer)
License needed: Most of the Big Timber Ranches are hunted with a General Big Game Combination License. A few of the ranches are special permit for elk. We encourage you to apply for the special permit unit along with your General Big Game Combo license application.
Special Permit Areas for Elk: 570-20 and 580-22
License deadline: March 15th

Lazy E-L Ranch

The Lazy E-L is a family owned ranch nestled at the foot of the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness just outside Roscoe, Montana. With 12,000 acres of land and 5 miles of river frontage, wildlife abounds in this spectacular, unspoiled setting. The ranch offers a high-quality hunt with opportunity for harvesting respectable size elk and deer. This combination elk/deer hunt is a 7-day hunt (arrival day, 5 days hunting, departure day). We hunt 1 guide to 2 hunters and take only 6 hunters per hunt.

Hunt #1: Oct 25-31
Hunt #2: Nov 1-7
Hunt #3: Nov 8-14
Location: The Lazy E-L Ranch
Accommodations: lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 7 days: arrival day, 5 days hunting, departure day
Price: $6,700 per hunter, 2×1 hunt, 6 hunters per week
License needed: General Big Game Combination License
License deadline: March 15th

The Divide Ranch

The Divide Ranch is a rarity. The ranch offers hunters a unique trophy hunting opportunity with a General License. This hunt focuses on trophy opportunity for elk, mule deer, and whitetail deer. The distinct topography provides a game friendly habitat that is sustained by thoughtful land management and wildlife conservation. We use a combination of 4-wheelers, hiking, and horses for this special hunt.

Hunt #1: Oct 26-31
Hunt #2: Nov 2-7
Hunt #3: Nov 9-14
Hunt #4: Nov 16-21
Hunt #5: Nov 22-27
Location: The Divide Ranch
Accommodations: lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 6 days: arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure day
Price: $4,000 per hunter
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or Deer Combination License
License deadline: March 15th

Hunt #1: Oct 25-31
Hunt #2: Nov 1-7
Hunt #3: Nov 8-14
Hunt #4: Nov 15-21
Hunt #5: Nov 22-28
Location: The Divide Ranch
Accommodations: lodge, meals provided
Trip Length: 7 days: arrival day, 5 days hunting, departure day
Price: $10,500 per hunter
License needed: The Divide Ranch is hunted with a General Big Game Combination License for elk and deer. However, a portion of the ranch is a special elk permit area. The ranch provides plenty of great hunting without the special elk permit area, but we encourage you to apply for the special elk permit unit along with your general license.
Special Permit Area for Elk: 580-21
License deadline: March 15th

Yellowstone Prairie Ranch

The Yellowstone Prairie Ranch is located northeast of Billings, Montana. The ranch provides a home for antelope, deer and elk. It’s landscape of rolling hills and tall grass prairie are abundant with antelope and quality hunting for mature deer. The area requires a special permit for antelope and elk. It is a general tag area for deer.

Hunt dates: TBD with Outfitter at time of booking
Location: ranch northeast of Billings, MT
Accommodations: local motel in Worden, MT, meals included at local restaurant
Trip Length: 5 days: arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure on the last day of hunting.
Price: $4,000 per hunter
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or Deer Combination License
License deadline: March 15th

Hunt dates: TBD with Outfitter at time of booking
Location: ranch northeast of Billings, MT
Accommodations: local motel in Worden, MT, meals included at local restaurant
Length: 5 days: arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure on the last day of hunting.
Price: $4,500 per hunter
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or Deer Combination License and Antelope License (area 540-20)
License deadline: March 15th for Elk & Deer applications. June 1st for Antelope applications.

Hunt dates: TBD with Outfitter at time of booking
Location: ranch northeast of Billings, MT
Accommodations: local motel in Worden, MT, meals included at local restaurant
Length: 6 days: arrival day, 5 days hunting, departure on the last day of hunting.
Price: $4,500 per hunter
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or Deer Combination License and Elk B License (cow elk) area 005-00
License deadline: March 15th for Elk & Deer applications. June 1st for Elk B applications

The Yellowstone Ranches

In five minutes from Big Timber, you can access five miles of Yellowstone riverfront with brush and cottonwood trees, lots of water and channels. This landscape provides the perfect home for deer, turkey, waterfowl, and fish. Create your own custom hunt/fish combination with this unique adventure package.

Dates: TBD with outfitter
Location: Yellowstone Ranches
Accommodations: not included in price
Trip Length: 3 days
Price: $2,300 per hunter 3 day hunt
License needed: General Deer Combo License
License deadline: March 15th

Hunt dates: TBD with Outfitter at time of booking
Location: ranch northeast of Billings, MT
Accommodations: housing and meals provided
Trip Length: 5 days: arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure day
Price: $4,000 per hunter
License needed: General Big Game Combination License or Deer Combination License
License deadline: March 15th

Season: varying, check MFWP for the most up-to-date season dates
Location: Big Timber Ranches, Yellowstone River
Accommodations: no housing or meals provided
Trip Length: day trips
Price: varies according to species choice and hunt combinations
Walk & Wade Fishing: $560 per person/per day
License needed: Deer – Apply in general draw online, MFWP, for license.
Turkey, Duck and Goose – Purchase licenses online through MFWP
Fishing – Purchase licenses online through MFWP

For specific information about our partner ranches, please download our Private Land Ranch information guide.
Private land hunting guide - Rifle

Fulfill Your Sense of Adventure.

For Private Land hunting, non-residents must apply for a general big game combination, general elk combination or general deer combination license through the Montana drawing system to hunt elk and deer in Montana. If you want to apply for a special elk or deer permitted area, you may apply for the special permitted area at the same time you apply for the general draw. Residents must hold a valid general elk license to apply for a special elk permit area and a general deer license to apply for a special deer permit area.

General licensing information

Important Information for Resident and Non-Resident Hunters before applying for hunting licenses

If you were born after January 1, 1985, you are required to show proof of completing a Montana hunter safety and education course or an approved hunter safety course from any other state or province prior to applying for or purchasing a hunting license whether the hunting license is for rifle or archery.

All first time bow and arrow license purchasers must enter their bowhunter education certificate number (NBEF) or a previous years archery license number from any state or province.

If you intend to purchase a black bear license for the first time, you need to have passed the FWP Bear Identification test. It can be found online at FWP’s website. Click on Education, then Hunter Education. Choose Bear Identification Program.

All licenses requiring a kill tag such as deer, elk, wolf, mountain lion, mountain goat, antelope, etc. will be mailed to you from MFWP. Make sure the address you used when you applied for or purchased your license is the address to which you want your license mailed. If your purchase included a combination license, then the conservation & fishing portion of that will also be mailed to you. Always print a copy of your application and receipt. This is your proof of application. Once the draws are posted you will want to be checking your mail to be sure you receive your license. If you do not receive your license within 3 weeks of the posted draw, call MFWP and let them know. Licenses purchased online not requiring a kill tag must be printed from your home printer. These licenses which are now in your physical possession are valid for immediate use.

If you need to purchase licenses for yourself and immediate family members, you must do so in separate transactions and provide the appropriate identification required for each individual.

Non-residents who do not have an ALS number established and are purchasing a conservation license for the first time must be prepared to provide the last 4 digits of their social security number per Montana Code Annotated to comply with the Federal Welfare Reform Law. A conservation license is required when purchasing a hunting or fishing license.

Read the full licensing information Collapse

Hunting Deposit & Payment Policy

A partial deposit of $1000 is required to book your hunt. The $1000 partial deposit will be refunded if you do not draw a license. The drawing takes place in mid-April. The remainder of the deposit (50% of the cost of the hunt) is due when the draw is posted and is non-refundable. The balance of the hunt is due 30 days prior to your hunt and is non-refundable. Hunts not fully paid by this date will be considered cancelled. We recommend Trip Cancellation Insurance. Montana Outfitters & Guides Association suggests Global Rescue Travel Insurance. All Hunt Prices include a $50 fee for the MOGA Hunter/Angler Defense Fund.

We accept Credit Cards (Visa/MasterCard only) and Checks. Make Checks Payable to: Absaroka-Beartooth Outfitters, Inc.