Antelope have taken a huge hit in eastern Montana. In some areas over 50 percent loss. They are just starting to come back. I would look to Wyoming. If you do want to come to Montana look to the southwest part of the state. Good luck wherever you go!!!
Haven't hunted them in years, but we were anal about meat quality. The less running they've done, and the quicker you can cool them out, the better the meat. Downright delicious when treated right, as a matter of fact. Worst I ever had was run good, then left in the hide for about 4 hours.
We never took running shots. Everyone is different, but that was our step one for quality.
Step two was to skin them out immediately, then cool them fast. Looked funny as could be, but in warm weather we'd strap the skinned carcass to the top rack of an SUV or even the cab of the truck, then put it up to highway speed and drive for an hour so the wind and evap would speed cooling. We'd also carry old army surplus sleeping bags to put them in after cooling. Haul them out to cool more overnight, then shove them back into the sleeping bags for insulation through the heat of the day.
If you're not camping, pay special attention to how you're going to hold the carcass and keep it cool.
As 10Pt stated, Eastern Wyoming has great population and available tags. Can be combined with mule deer also. I'd start looking in that area. Good hunting on public land, and many ranchers offer access for reasonable trespass fee. PM if you'd like any info I have.
Agree with everyone as Wyoming is a great spot as we lived before moving up to Alaska. Eastern Wyoming if you are slim on preference points If you can get preference points there is some top notch areas in Wyoming for trophy quality but will take quite a few years in points!! Alot of the areas in the east will have left over tags for bucks but just beware and do you homework as the ones that do are mainly private land. There is public land mixed in every area just have be able to access it. I know too that alot of the public areas get hit pretty hard in those areas. I would either look at the far eastern areas along Nebraska border, or up in Gillette area. PM me you want some more information as I can get some contacts in most of the areas. Good Luck!!!
Very doable and inexpensive hunt on your own in Wyoming. Since you don't have preference points, you will be looking for a unit that you can draw without points. There are a number of those, particularly in the eastern part of the state. You can look up the draw odds from last year on the Wyoming fish and game website to narrow down a unit. Next you are looking for a unit with at least some public land - most of the units with good draw odds have a lot of private. Wyoming also has an excellent walk-in hunter access program where they lease private land for public access. If you pick a unit with some good-size walk in areas for antelope, you should be good. Once you have a few ideas, call the local wildlife biologist - they can tell you whether you are on the right track. WDFG also compiles lists of landowners willing to allow hunting for a trespass fee although that can be hit or miss. I wouldn't show up at hunting season counting on getting private access when you get there - a lot of farmers and ranchers get pretty tired of hunters during the season. You will put in for an antelope draw early next year sometime - check on the dates. You can also buy leftover tags after the draw comes out. A lot of the units you will be looking at also allow doe tags. Some also allow a second buck tag. Get a gps chip that shows public/private blocks - worth it's weight in gold to access mixed blocks and avoid problems. Good luck - antelope hunting is just about the funnest thing you can do with your clothes on.