We offer premium guided hunts in the Big Belt Mountains of Central Montana.
Our goal is to provide enjoyable, top quality hunting trips for Elk, Mule Deer, Whitetail Deer and Antelope.
All hunts are fair chase only.
We are located in the Big Belt Mountain Range northwest of White Sulphur Springs, area number 446. We hunt 4 private ranches totaling 46,000 acres for elk hunting. These ranches include 7 main drainages, the largest being Beaver Creek and Elk Creek. The ridges and south slopes are covered with scattered timber and numerous basins. Elevations vary from 4,650 ft. to 6,900 ft. The tops of these ridges offer miles of open parks and benches where much of our hunting takes place. The north slopes are steep with heavy red fir, lodge pole pine and quaking aspen for cover.
During the 2014, 2015 and 2016 bow seasons, 33 archery hunters harvested 21 bull elk, 1 whitetail buck and 1 mule deer buck. Shots were also taken at 22 more bulls at ranges of 35 yards and under. Shots were passed up on 49 five and six point bulls at ranges from 5 to 30 yards. 4 seven points, 14 six points and 3 five point bull elk were harvested, along with 1 five point whitetail deer and 1 two point mule deer.
During the 2017 season, 8 archery hunters did not harvest an elk. Shots were taken at 5 six point bulls, 1 five point bull and 1 cow without success. Shots were passed up on 39 five and six point bulls 35 yards and under. An average day consisted of glassing 35 to 50 head of elk, including 5 to 12 bulls. During a full week of hunting, each hunter glassed in upwards of 200 elk, including 25 five, six and seven point bulls. 12 of the bulls seen will score between 310 and 390 P&Y points.
All archery hunts are six full days actual hunting. Most of the hunts are 1 guide for each hunter with 2 hunters per hunt maximum. We offer 1 guide for 2 hunter hunts also. You will enjoy the privacy and vast amounts of hunting country the ranches offer throughout the week. The ranches do not allow public hunting or provide road access. Our crew and the ranch crew are the only exceptions.
We run approximately 350 head of resident elk. These elk calve, summer, go through the rut, and winter on the ranches. The cow-calf ratio has averaged 32% with a 7 cows to 1 bull ratio. These ranches have produced big bulls consistently throughout the last 35 archery seasons. In the Big Belt Mountains (area 446), a bull must have brow tines to be legal. We also ask you not to shoot any buck deer 3 points or under (western count) on these leases.
We have had good results with this type of management and with your cooperation will continue to do so. Our success is not greatly affected by 70 degree weather, nor do we depend on heavy storms and migration to move elk into this area. Cold, crisp fall weather does improve hunting, triggering the rut and concentrates the elk more.
During the rut these elk gather in the lower ends of large drainages where feed and water are abundant. These ranches offer 72 sections of this type of country, giving the option of letting some hunting country rest from week to week and still have plenty of good bulls to work on. On normal years we cover less than 50% of the hunting area during the entire archery season. This helps to insure good hunting regardless of adverse conditions.
The terrain is fairly rugged with a lot of high parks and open ridges. During the day we do a lot of glassing, getting an idea of changing feeding patterns and new areas that good bulls are working. During early morning and late evening, we concentrate on these areas, starting with downwind positions and locating the bulls we want to work on.
We have the best luck on big bulls during early and mid-rut. They are still on the prowl and bugling can be effective. As the elk bunch up during rut we also do well on bulls that are whipped out of the herd. These bulls stay close by in hopes of gathering some cows and are very competitive when bugled at.
During extreme hot weather tree stands placed over wallows and waterholes are very effective. They are used in the evening after a hot day and produce some very nice bulls. Portable and permanent ground blinds are also used on trails coming down to river bottoms and hayfields. Using tree stands during your hunt is strictly optional.
This is fair chase elk hunting in mountainous terrain. Weather and wind conditions, changing game patterns and hunter ability are beyond our control. You need to be well-prepared and in good physical shape for this hunt. We cannot guarantee an elk but give our 100% best efforts. Our goal is for you to have an enjoyable, successful hunt.
The guides I have are kind, courteous, seasoned hunters, and understand close ranges and patience. We also have an excellent full-time camp cook.
4x4 vehicles are used for transportation to hunting areas. This amounts to 15 to 60 minutes of traveling before daylight to get into areas we want to hunt. They are also used some during the day, moving to other areas before the evening hunt. Lunches are packed with us daily.
We can drive into the camp, which is located 23 miles northwest of White Sulphur Springs on Beaver Creek. At the camp one large cabin is used for storage and cooking. Four 12x16 cabins are used for living quarters, 2 hunters per cabin. They are furnished with beds, mattresses, 15,000 BTU propane heaters, tables, chairs, boot and clothes drying racks, and propane lights. These cabins are well constructed, very warm and comfortable. A barn is used for storing tack, equipment and hanging meat.
All food, guides, equipment and accommodations are furnished. You will need to furnish motel rooms the night before and after your hunt, hunting license, bow, sleeping bag, personal gear, meat processing and taxidermy costs. There is a butcher and taxidermist in White Sulphur Springs that can take care of all your processing, shipping and taxidermy needs. They are reasonably priced. We prepare all heads, hides and capes for mounting.
I will help you as much as possible on traveling arrangements. Transportation will be provided whether you fly or drive. Helena is the closest commercial airport with White Sulphur Springs being the closest town. Reservations are made on request.
To book your hunt contact:
Doug & Zita Caltrider
Avalanche Basin Outfitters
PO Box 17
White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645
Please call if you would like a copy of our annual newsletter.
2018 Elk/Deer Combination Archery Hunts
- $9200.00 per person
- $4600.00 deposit to hold reservation
- $4600.00 final payment due August 15, 2018
1 Guide for 1 Hunter
- $8000.00 per person
- $4000.00 deposit to hold reservation
- $4000.00 final payment due August 15, 2018
1 Guide for 2 Hunters
- 1st Hunt - September 9 thru September 14
- 2nd Hunt - September 16 thru September 21
- 3rd Hunt - September 23 thru September 28
- 4th Hunt - September 30 thru October 5
(6 full days of actual hunting)
Reservations are held after receiving a full deposit. Deposits for all hunts are non-refundable, but can be applied to other available dates or a replacement within the same season. Final payment is due on August 15th of the year you are scheduled to hunt.
This is the 2018 licensing proposals as stated to us by the MT Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. 17,000 licenses will be sold to non-resident hunters through a drawing process. You can apply for your license directly on line. We will also send applications by mail to booked and deposited hunters around January 20th if you prefer. Applications need to be filled out and with license fee enclosed, mailed back to the Fish, Wildlife and Parks State Office in Helena before the March 15 deadline.
The 2018 Big Game Combination License fee is $1035.00 (tentative), and entitles you to fish, game birds, 1 deer, 1 elk, and a conservation number.
*If you are unsuccessful in the license drawing, your deposit will be refunded in full immediately.
Our camp offers enjoyment, relaxation, modern facilities, good cooking, professional services, references, magnificent scenery and great hunting. We are currently booking the 2018/2019 seasons. Please call us to book the dates that interest you.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Book Your Hunt Today!
Our camp offers enjoyment, relaxation, modern facilities, good cooking, professional services, references, magnificent scenery and great hunting.
We are booking the 2018 & 2019 seasons at this time.
Please give us a call to ask about the dates that interest you.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Doug and Zita Caltrider
Avalanche Basin Outfitters
P.O. Box 17 • White Sulphur Springs, MT 59645 • (406) 547-3962