It's a good area for hunting from what I've heard. Some of the areas in Mt are have regular rifle elk seasons that can really slaughter the herds. But that depends on where you are and wolfs have made a big impact on some parts of the state. They have had to reduce tags in many areas but I don't know if that's the case with your area. I hope you can reach someone who knows the area better.
I have hunted the Bozeman area the last 4 years, there are elk and muleys there, But for some reason ?, the success rates are down 30% to 40% in most units, over the last 4 years. in 2 weeks of scouting and hunting i never saw a elk this year. I think that the Wolves have most of the elk pushed off the NF on to private property, where they are safer ?. That is just my guess, 3 and 4 years ago i always saw elk, and Moose too, i didn't see any Moose this year either. Most of the locals are very friendly. Kevin
I moved to Bozeman (actually 6-7 miles outside Bozeman) in 1978. The population of Bozeman and the Gallatin valley has probably doubled since then. Newbies way outnumber the natives.
There are still mule deer and elk around and I haven't seen a moose in or near Yellowstone NP in years. The upper Gallatin and Madison elk harvest the past few years has only been a small fraction of what it used to be. The wolves have definately taken their toll. Thank you US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Judge Molloy!
The Gallatin valley weapons restriction area around Bozeman (archery, shotgun, traditional handgun, muzzleloader) still has a 4 1/2 month general elk season, but I think that's more people management than elk management.
The Bridger mountains NE of Bozeman is only open to mule deer hunting by special drawing, but neither I nor my taxidermist heard of any big bucks coming out of there this year.
There is still some good hunting around Bozeman, but, like lot of other areas, it's not as good as it used to be.
When I first moved to Bozeman, two of the "natives" that I worked with would barely talk to me for about 10 years after they found out that I was a "trophy" hunter with a bunch of heads on my wall, even though I ate everything that I shot (except the mountain goat). Overall, however, I think most of the people here are pretty friendly.
I've spent countless hours either on my hands and knees or bent over, messing up my back, looking for blood. One such instance I remember most was a hog hunt a few years ago in Mississippi. I had never shot a hog so when I poked a hole in this guy; I was determined to find him. Wearing snake leggings, I crawled on my hands and knees through the briars and the brambles and bushes where a rabbit wouldn't go. I found a spot of blood here and there but never the pig. And lucky for me, I didn't find...