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Hunting Big Game in the Seeley Swan

Since the early 1920s, outfitters and guides in the Clearwater, Swan and Blackfoot valleys have led sportsmen and women into the backcountry in search of big game.

Seeley Lake and Swan Valley (Condon) are surrounded by forest lands and wilderness. The Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex, including the Scapegoat and Great Bear wilderness areas and the Sun River Game Preserve, is well-known for trophy elk, mule deer, mountain goat and black bear. Local outfitters report that wilderness hunting trips are often booked years in advance.

The national forests near Seeley Lake provide public access to hunting districts. (Contact the Lolo National Forest, Seeley Lake Ranger District, HC 31, Box 3200, Seeley Lake, MT 59868 for maps.)

Sportsmen equipped for rifle and archery hunting arrive here each fall in search of elk, deer, bear, mountain goats, moose and mountain lion. Game bird and migratory bird seasons also open in the fall. In the spring, hunters may pursue turkeys and black bear in designated districts.

The town of Seeley Lake serves as a base camp for hunters. Seeley Swan businesses offer meals, lodging and related services to visitors.

The backcountry hunting season for deer and elk other big game in the Bob Marshall Wilderness opens September 15 and continues through November.

Hunting season for black bear opens September 15 and continues through November.

The general hunting season for elk and deer in the Seeley Lake area opens in late October and runs through November.

The general season for mountain lion opens in December.

Hunters need to plan ahead in order to secure proper permits and licenses. Most special permit applications are due by June 1. Specific regulations for non resident hunters also include special application deadlines.

For specific information about regulations, license requirements, special permit applications (elk, moose, goat, lion, etc.) and non-residents applications, please contact Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, P. O. Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701 or call (406) 444-2950.

Non residents who want to hunt elk or antlered deer in Montana in 1997 should send in their request for information in December 1996.

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