Archery Essentials

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With Caleb & Bill of Western Ranch Brokers.

With the Montana elk archery season just starting, preparation is key when planning your hunt. Seasoned hunters Bill Boyce and Caleb Campbell offer some of their recommendations for those planning to get out this fall.

Having the right hunting clothes and boots is essential—it will keep you comfortable longer and increase your chances for a successful hunt. Footwear is among the most important considerations and Bill recommends Kenetrek hunting boots to keep your feet warm and your traction solid during the hunt. He also suggests that you wear clothing that can withstand a variety of temperatures, often ranging from cold to warm within the same day. Here is a quick list of clothing essentials:

  • Thermal underwear

  • Extra socks

  • Extra gloves

  • Warm stocking hat

  • Brimmed hat

  • Fleece

  • Camouflage

  • Rain gear

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Caleb, a 4th-generation Montanan, recommends using the onX hunt app to locate game and find new access. This is a great tool for research and planning beforehand, and for identifying land ownership during the hunt. You'll also want to bring along a trustworthy set of eyes—binoculars and/or a spotting scope. Caleb recommends and uses Swarovski, one of the best brands in the business.

When it comes to big-game hunting, Caleb also recommends packing some snacks and waterproof matches, in the event that you get wet or have to spend more time in the field than anticipated. It’s also important to have a sharp knife, preferably one with an orange handle to make it easier to spot if dropped in the grass. Here's Caleb's full checklist of gear and supplies to pack along while archery hunting:

  • Bow & extra arrows

  • License & tags

  • Knife

  • Binoculars

  • Map & compass

  • Water bottle or bladder

  • Backpack

  • Game bags

  • Toilet paper

  • Snacks (jerky, dried fruit, granola)

  • Bright tape to mark trails

  • Lighter

  • Waterproof matches

  • Tinder material

  • Folding saw

  • Rope to hang game

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Montana's archery season runs from early September to mid-October. It is every hunter’s responsibility to know the general regulations, the land ownership of the area he or she intends to hunt (onX app or Montana Cadastral), and any land-use restrictions that may apply there.

If you’re in doubt about the licensing basics, regulations, seasons, etc., it is always better to be safe than sorry. The best resource for accurate information can be found at the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website ( This hunting section includes a mobile-friendly Hunt Planner, where you can open a map or view the details for specific districts, including regulations, harvest statistics, and maps.

With all this information, we hope that you’re on your way to a prosperous archery-hunting season. As Fred Bear once said, “Nothing clears a troubled mind like shooting a bow.”

To learn more about Bill & Caleb or Western Ranch Brokers, visit their website.