Updated: Feb 6, 2019
Contributed by Andy Benrud
This year I was fortunate enough to be able to hunt with Banthem Outfitting in Montana, for the second time in two years, from the 16th-22nd of September. In 2017, I had hunted with Banthem Outfitting on a rifle elk hunt during the first part of November. That hunt started out great on the first day. A large herd of elk were located on their ranch near White Sulpher Springs. With marginal shot opportunities, no shot was taken on the first evening but lots of video and photos were taken. After that first night, elk were hard to locate due to 50 mph winds and blizzard like conditions. No shots were fired in 2017; but the outfitter, ranch, and terrain intrigued me enough to want to try again in 2018.
Jesse Banthem called me after finishing his outfitting season and said that he did not want my rifle hunt in 2017 to be a representation of his hunting operation. I assured him that it is hunting and I knew that my 2017 hunt was mostly due to bad weather. So, I decided to book with him for an archery hunt during prime time of September 2018.
After a several hour drive from Wisconsin, I met the guides after arriving at camp in the early afternoon of September 16th. Camp is not a 5-star hotel, but it is very clean, comfortable, and has all the amenities of home. Each cabin can sleep a total of four people and have wood heat and propane lights. The cook shack has a large table that all the hunters and guides gather at to eat meals together. The three full meals are cooked for everyone and the food is fantastic. Snacks and drinks are provided for the hunters to take freely while hunting or sitting in camp. The best addition this year was a newly constructed shower building with hot water. After a long day of hunting or packing out an elk a shower becomes a necessity, this is like winning the jackpot!
After hunting a couple of mostly uneventful days with my guide Cole, the third day is something I will not soon forget. We located a large group of elk and a bunch of bulls during the evening of the second day. After a long night of sleep, we navigated to a hidden valley and located the elk from the previous evening. Without the videos and pictures most people would think it was a made-up story. But, we literally could see hundreds of elk and probably around 100 bulls of all different sizes and age classes. I had made my mind up that I would attempt to take any 6 x 6 bull that presented itself with a good shot opportunity.
Shortly after 7 am, a bull was called in by Cole with some soft cow calls. He walked right around the rock boulder that I was standing behind and I was able to connect on a great shot. After locating the downed 6 x 6 bull, the work began. The elk was cut up and carried off the mountain in one trip. Everyone involved in the process was happy for the success and more than happy to pack the elk out to the truck.
Everyone at Banthem Outfitting is hard working and they want you to kill an elk just as bad as the hunters do. They will do everything in their power to put the hunters on elk. The hunting terrain is easy to moderate and the area tailors to a large spectrum of physical capabilities. I have hunted much more rugged parts of the country. This area also has fantastic trout fishing right on the ranch.
I would highly recommend Banthem Outfitting! They are stand-up guys that do exactly what they say they will do. Three out of the four hunters, while I was in camp, shot 6 point bulls on this hunt and the fourth hunter had opportunities. The properties that they maintain are high quality and the accommodations are more than adequate. If you are looking for a fully outfitted hunt you should check out Banthem Outfitting.
Banthem Outfitting Contact and License Information:
Jesse Banthem - firstname.lastname@example.org
39 Rosey Lane
Livingston, MT 59047
Go to the forum and tell us about your guided or outfitted experiences. There are other hunters that are looking for advice on who to hunt with for a great experience and a chance at quality animals.
Note: Outfitter Advisors has no affiliation with Banthem Outfitting