Our archery season is under threat again! SB 111 just introduced by Senator Brad Molnar SD-28 out of Laurel is attempting to allow the use of crossbows during the archery-only season. Let the Senators that sit on the Fish and Game committee know that MBA is devoted to providing those with a disability, a legal means to pursue hunting with a modified bow and arrow during Montana’s treasured Archery-Only season. Go to mtba.org/take-action to sign the petition and message the committee on this important issue.

Carp Safari

The Montana Bowhunters Association will host the 17th Annual Canyon Ferry Carp Safari on June 13, 2020 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! MT Fishing Regulations | Carp Shoot FAQ’s

The pre-registration entry fees are as follows: $40 per 2-person team, $20 per adult individual, and $10 per under-15 individual. Fees increase on the day of the shoot to: $50 per 2-person team and $25 per adult individual. The meal is included in shooters’ registration fees, and meal tickets for spectators can be purchased for $6.00.

Detailed information for those new to bowfishing is available on http://muzzy.shptron.com/c/muzzy-bow-fishing or www.amsbowfishing.com. Additional questions can be directed to Joelle Selk at: jselkmt@gmail.com or phone: (406) 422-6798.

Download the registration form: 2019 Carpshoot Registration Form

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.

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 Group Use Area and General Camping Info

The MBA has Hellgate Group Use A reserved for the event from Thursday June 8th– Sunday June 11th at 11:00 am. There are 15 established campsites in Group Use A, and each is $12/night. The Bureau of Reclamation allows a tent to be associated with each of the established camper/tent sites for “kid overflow.” Early attendees can set up camp in this area beginning Thursday at 12:00 pm. Carp Safari organizer Joelle Selk is taking reservations for these campsites. To reserve a campsite, please email Joelle at jselkmt@gmail.com.

If you prefer to arrange your own camping reservations, you can reserve online at www.recreation.gov by searching for Hellgate Campground and Group Use Area or by clicking on this link:


Please provide payment directly to the below address or at the shoot.
Joelle Selk
6963 York Rd.
Helena, MT 59602

For general campground inquiries, call the Canyon Ferry Bureau of Reclamation Office: (406) 475-3921

Getting There:

From Helena, MT: Head east along County Rd 430/Canyon Ferry Rd from Helena, MT, continue for 38 miles to the Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area sign and turn right. Continue straight until you reach the campground. From Townsend, MT: Head north on Hwy 284 for 21 miles and turn left at the Hellgate Campground and Group Use Shelter Area sign. Continue straight until you reach the campground.

For general campground inquiries, call the Canyon Ferry Bureau of Reclamation Office: (406) 475-3921

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.

Aquatic Invasive Species and Boat Inspection Info

CLICK HERE for more information regarding AIS information and prevention.


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:http://www.amsbowfishing.com/safety-warning