2016 Carp Safari

The Montana Bowhunters Association will host the 14th Annual Canyon Ferry Carp Safari on June 11, 2016 on Canyon Ferry Lake, east of Helena.  Weigh-in and the awards ceremony will be staged at the Hellgate Campground Group Use Area.  The competition runs from first light until 5:00 pm, with prizes to be awarded for largest fish, smallest fish, and most fish (by count) in youth and adult categories.  Hamburgers, chips and beverages will be available after the shoot for registered participants and spectators. The prizes are great, the camping’s great and you can’t find a better way to spend a summer weekend! 2016 MT Fishing Regulations | Carp Shoot FAQ’s

The entry fees are as follows:  $40 per 2-person team, $20 per adult individual, and $10 per under-15 individual.  The meal is included in shooters’ registration fees, and meal tickets for spectators can be purchased for $6.00.  Camping sites are available at the Hellgate North group use area for both Friday and Saturday nights.  The fee per camping site is $12/night, paid on-site.

 Detailed information for those new to bowfishing is available on http://muzzy.shptron.com/c/muzzy-bow-fishing or www.amsbowfishing.com.  Additional information, including a map and directions will be posted on the Montana Bowhunters Association website www.mtba.org or can be mailed to you by contacting Joelle Selk by email: jselkmt@gmail.com  or phone: (406) 422-6798.

Download the registration form: 2016CarpShootRegForm

Or Register online:

What equipment do I need to participate?

  • MT fishing license.
  • Bow – For the beginner, any bow will do. You can use any bow that you are comfortable with. Most people prefer not to use their hunting bow as bowfishing requires a somewhat different setup. A short, light weight bow with a 50 lb or less draw weight is ideal for bowfishing, and 40 lbs. is more than adequate for Canyon Ferry carp! Traditional bows are very popular in bowfishing, and are easily rigged with several different types of reels. Junior bows are great, too, because of the size and weight.
  • Screw-on or tape-on fishing reel with nylon string.
  • Fiberglass fishing arrows work best.  Get arrows without vanes or fletch –  fletching can cause problems by spinning the arrow and causing the line to twist, which results in line control problems. Two or three  arrows are enough, but you may want more fish points, in case you break them on rocks.  Quick-release points are a good idea. Ensure your arrows are equipped with safety slides (see warning below). 
  • Boat (optional) – if you bring one, it must have current registration and be equipped with life jackets.
  • Bow with standard arrows in case bowfishing is slow – we will have big game    3-D targets set up onshore.

Where can I purchase equipment?
Local sports stores will often have equipment available.  There are a number of sites on-line which sell equipment.  Some of these include:


What time can I start bowfishing on Saturday?  When is weigh-in?
Since the Carp Safari is primarily designed as a fun shoot rather than a strict competition, preregistered shooters can begin bowfishing at first light. Weigh-in is set for 5:00 pm. This cut-off will be strictly observed so we can finish the weigh-in, tally scores, and prepare for the awards ceremony at 6:30 pm.

What camping is available near the shoot?

Hellgate Campground is located approximately 10 miles south of Canyon Ferry Village on the east side of the lake.  MBA has the Hellgate North Group Use Area reserved Friday afternoon through Sunday at 11:00 am.  The camping area consists of an open, mowed, grassy area adjacent to the lake with ample camping sites for either tents or trailers (campground capacity 75-150 persons). Shade is limited. Twelve picnic tables, a 30’ x 55’ shelter, grills, water, electricity and restroom facilities are available.  A boat ramp is within a quarter mile of the site.  Registration and weigh-in will be staged at the shelter.  Signs will be posted directing you to the campground from the main road.  Each campsite must pay $12 per night.

What other activities are planned for the Safari?
Evening activities will consist of the meal, awards ceremony, and fellowship with other bow hunters around any number of campfires.

 In the event of weather unfavorable for carp fishing, we will have 3-D carp targets set up in the bay.

Bow fishing is great fun, but like all hunting, safety is a must!
Arrow snap-back can cause serious injury or death.
Snap-back can occur when line is tied to tail of arrow.  Visit AMS’s website for an explanation of how it occurs and how it can be prevented: