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.

Deer Hunting in Montana

Wilderness Deer Hunts

We offer trophy wilderness mule deer hunts in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. We hunt the migrating corridors these mule deer bucks have been using for centuries, traveling where few men have walked. These animals are true “ridge runners” of the American West. Intercepting one of these is a trophy of a lifetime, not only by the accomplishment of the hunt, but of the sheer size of the antlers and body of the animal. The target of this hunt is for harvesting a mature mountain deer and reconnecting with the wilderness in all its splendor. We encourage people to have a variety of tags in their pockets, because you never know what you are going to see back there. We have some mountain whitetail that are equally as elusive and just as grand. The rough country and oceans of black timber create a habitat for trophies of a lifetime to exist. These hunts are spot and stalk with horseback support. Our guides are second to none and always ready for this adventurous hunt. Come with us and experience the habitat of the North American ridge runners!

Early season wilderness deer hunts

We offer two early season wilderness hunts; one from our backcountry camp in Hellroaring, and one from our backcountry camp, Independence. Early season hunts are primary target elk. However, if you have a deer license or bear permit they are fair game with no extra charge. These hunts book very early. The early season begins September 15th.

During the early rifle season, we offer deer hunts from our backcountry camp at Independence. The early season begins September 15th. These early season rifle wilderness hunts are 7-day hunts (day in, 5 days hunting, day out). We hunt 1 guide to 2 hunters and take 4-8 hunters on these hunts.

General season wilderness deer hunts

During the general season we offer several deer hunting options. General season rifle deer wilderness 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 another week or two, 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.

Both camps have comfortable accommodations consisting of roomy, carpeted wall tents with wood stoves, cots with foam pads, a hot shower (Hellroaring only), a roaring campfire, and first class meals prepared by our cook.
Learn more about what's included, dates and travel arrangements. Download our Wilderness Hunting Guide.
Download our Wilderness Hunting Packet

Private Land General Season Deer Hunts

We provide many different deer hunting opportunities across comprising a diversity of landscapes. Our private land mule deer hunts are on professionally managed ranches allowing for quality deer hunting and trophy buck opportunities. The big bucks hold up in rough country in discrete hide outs providing an exciting hunt for the mule deer enthusiast. This hunt is a spot and stalk dream. For the young or new hunter, private land deer hunting is a great way to expose them to the passion of hunting and wildlife management. Our private land whitetail hunts are on river bottoms and irrigated ranch country. We have large numbers of whitetail deer, allowing us to only harvest mature animals. These hunts are conducted by spot and stalk as well as tree stands.

Hunting on the Divide Ranch

For the archery and rifle hunter focused on trophy mule deer and whitetail deer, we have a special trophy opportunity ranch that is hunted with a general license.

We have been guiding and outfitting for twenty years and the topography of the landscape of this ranch provides the most unique combination of land management, wildlife conservation and trophy hunting opportunity with a general tag that we have ever encountered. We use a combination of 4 wheelers, hiking and horses for this hunt.

Big Timber Ranch Hunts

The Big Timber Ranch hunts cover thousands of acres of rolling hills with flowing creeks just minutes outside of Big Timber, MT. Elk, deer and antelope primarily populate these ranches, All the ranches on which we deer hunt can be hunted with a general deer license. These hunts are 6 days (arrival day, 4 days hunting, departure day). We take 4-8 hunters, and hunt 1 guide to 2 hunters.

Non-residents must apply for a general big game combination or deer combination license through the Montana drawing system.

Yellowstone Ranches – Big Timber, MT

This unique hunting and fishing opportunity provides a venue for you to plan your own combination hunting and fishing adventure.Five miles of Yellowstone riverfront with brush and cottonwood trees, lots of water and channels provides great habitat for deer, turkey and waterfowl.
  • 5 minutes from Big Timber
  • Phenomenal Fishing
  • Combination Hunts Available: Deer, Turkey, Duck & Geese
  • Archery or Rifle
  • Seasonal Custom Hunts
Licenses Required: Deer – Apply in general draw online, www.fwp.mt.gov , for license.
For specific information about our partner ranches, please download our Private Land Ranch information guide.
Private land hunting guide - Archery
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.

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.

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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.

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