Lewistown and the Central Montana region is an archery hunter’s dream. The avid bow hunter can find something to pursue year round. The three main big game opportunities are elk, deer (both whitetail and mule deer) and antelope. But the avid bow hunter can also pursue bighorn sheep, mountain lions, predators and even wild turkeys. Archery hunting, of course, has its own set of very comprehensive regulations so bow hunters are encouraged to get the applicable information for the species they want to hunt from the Montana FWP.
The archery deer hunter has ample opportunity in the immediate area surrounding Lewistown. Although most of the hunting takes place on private land, particularly for Whitetail, and permission is required, there is a lot of public land to hunt in surrounding national forests and BLM lands nearby.
When archery elk hunters think about making their “dream hunt”, most often the Missouri River Breaks is included. Nationally renowned for its trophy bull elk, the Breaks hunting is just a little over an hour north of Lewistown. Recent regulation changes that apply to the hunting in the Breaks make it important that hunters get and read the appropriate materials. Access is available via large tracts of public land, including the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Getting a chance at a Breaks elk requires a lot of scouting and hiking, but that’s all part of hunting this rugged country. In addition to the Breaks elk hunting, the healthy Central Montana elk herd also offers archers opportunities in the Snowies, Belts, Judiths and Moccasin Mountains. Except for the Little Belt Mountains, which has easy and multiple access points to its national forest lands, access to hunting in these small mountain ranges is fairly limited, so the visiting hunter needs to do his homework to find a place to hunt before getting here.
Central Montana is an excellent place to attempt the challenge of taking a pronghorn with a bow. Most archers have success by setting up a blind at a waterhole after scouting an area. For the hunter looking for the ultimate challenge, you can spot-and-stock. Either way, the antelope population is rebounding in our area, access is readily available via public lands (mostly BLM), and the challenge awaits!
While most bow hunters come to Central Montana for deer, elk or antelope hunting, there are other opportunities as well. The area’s mountains and foothills harbor black bears and mountain lions. There is both a spring and fall turkey season. There is truly something for everyone when it comes to archery hunting in Central Montana