I’ve said it before, I love fly fishing in the spring! What’s not to like? Less crowds, dumb fish, and the hope of a giant on a streamer. Get out and get you one!
It’s all about the Mule Deer. The king of deer! This is a quick account of a great deer taken by one of our hunters last year. The hunter was a good guy named Scot. He had killed a giant of a Montana muley a few years back. Scot has the right mentality to get a big deer, he excepts all or nothing.
Scot came out to Montana with a truck full of guns and all the high-tech gear. His young son would tag along to witness the hunt. This would be the last hunt of the season, all my hunters had filled their tags before Scot. Sometimes the big ones don’t show up until late in the season!
I had seen this buck once three weeks earlier. I should have got him then but he slipped away. I told all my hunters that about the mythical deer, but was unable to turn him up. I hunted around the area of the original siting but could not locate the beast. After three weeks, I was starting to wonder if he was really big or if I was just chasing a ghost.
Scot’s hunt started out good. We spotted a really cool tall horned 5×5 but he gave us the slip. On day two we headed to the area where I had seen biggie. I was loosing hope of seeing the big again. I was having thoughts of how big he might be next season! As we were hunting down a little trail, we spotted a lone deer traveling with his head down, searching for doe tracks. We both put our binos on the deer at the same time. It took us only a couple of seconds to agree this was a shooter.
Scot’s hunting skills took over as the deer now knew of or presence. The deer started to bolt as Scot drew down. Scot hit the big boy Three times as the beast tried to leave! The monarch died in grand fashion. It happened quick, Scot was ready to throw down. As we approached the deer, I could tell he was the big one I had seen earlier in the season. He died only 1200 yards from the original sighting.
I’ve been trying to learn how to oil paint. For some reason I always paint America Indians, specifically Nez Perce. I like to portray the people who lived in the mid to early 1700s. I find the people who lived during this time are most interesting. You can say this is my happy place. Well before the push to tame the west, when people and landscapes were still free. Life was hard back then, but it must of been something to behold. Before guns, when your very life depended on hunting skills. The women of the time also had mad survival skills!
The painting is titled “Nimi’ipuu”, the translation is “We The People”. Ironic isn’t it? Progress and wild things can’t get along! It must have been something to see, before the colonization began. Maybe it looked like this? You can learn everything about the proud Nez Perce in the Alvin Josephy Jr. book titled “The Nez Perce Indians And The Opening Of The Northwest”.
This is a very brief hunting story due to the nature of the hunt. The guy with the gorgeous mulie is Kevin. Kevin contacted us late in the summer and was able to connect with some of the leftover tags. The only spot I had open for Kevin was to be paired with another hunter on a 2 on 1 scenario. I generally do not like to get involved with pairing strangers, but Kevin was game!
Kevin’s schedule would put him a day after the hunt started, his partner would have a 2 day jump. The first morning of Kevin’s hunt, they spotted this beauty of a 4×4 rutting his does. Kev’s hunting partner passed the deer leaving Kevin open to the stalk.
They waited for the deer to walk over a hill in order to make the move. The big buck was not in a hurry. The boys had a lot of time to look at the deer, he was a shooter for sure! Once the deer moved out of sight, the hunters made their move. Kevin made a good first and only shot. The buck was down for good.
Kevin took off that afternoon, he made it home in time to catch his kids football game. That’s how you do it! Kevin spent only one night in Montana and hunted hard for about 1 hour.
Hunting has changed a lot over the last few years. Nowadays if you want to have a quality hunt you must plan ahead. Just to draw a tag in the western states requires some planning. The first thing you need is a tag, the second thing you need is time. Money could be the answer to both the tag and the time restraints. Most of us hunters have to plan well in advance and save for that special hunt.
I have been building some points in a few western states. I’ve been dreaming and scheming on what, when, and where to apply for. Usually for me it’s always next year, next year I’ll have the time, next year I’ll draw the tag. I’m not sure where I’m going with post, I guess I’ve been dreaming about a great out-of-state hunt. After all, many application deadlines are already upon us.
In Montana we have many available deer and elk tags! A few years back some of Montana’s
dumbest finest decided to get rid of our Outfitter Sponsored Tags. The intent was to crush the outfitting industry and curb leasing. What happened was the opposite. The new law flooded the market with tags to make up for the deficit it created. I’m not complaining, business is booming! Leasing is out of control! To many deer and elk are getting killed on public land! Unintended consequences of a poorly written law. Liberals aren’t the only ones who think with their hearts.
Back to the topic! where are you going to hunt in 2015? Have you made plans? Maybe you’ll draw the big tag this year? I did in 2013. It might be your turn this year!
The return of the wildly popular hunt stories, here we go. This one is about a great white hunter named Easy E. aka Eric. Eric killed the giant of all giants the year before, this year we just wanted to get a good deer and have fun. I booked Eric in at a new ranch we got in Northeast Montana. I had to see for myself if this place was worth the cost. I guided four hunts there.
As usual, when Eric drives over from Oregon the weather gods try to kill his spirit. Upon arrival a artic blizzard appears, yeah for Eric. The first day of the hunt dawned with 7 inches of snow and -25 temps. It was to cold to walk much as the wind chill was, well chilly! The next few days the wind mellowed out making conditions a little better for some walking and stalking.
We seen some nice deer, a lot of young up and comers. I was impressed with the place! Eric had killed a 190 inch deer the year before, making it easy to pass on young 4x4s. On about his 3 day we were riding around complaining about the fog and sucky weather. visibility was about a quarter-mile, not helping confidence!
All of the sudden to the right Eric see’s some deer through the fog. We both put glasses on them as they were climbing up a big hill. Eric says “lets kill that buck”! OK let’s go take a look. We waited for the buck and his 6 does to go over out of sight. We collected our stuff and scaled the large hill. Once over the top we witnessed a white out with tons of fog. I caught a glimpse of deer in a low spot. At -17 the binos were fogging over in a hurry, still he was a nice buck. My rangefinder would not work in the fog.
We let the deer go over the next hill, then made our move. We had them in a canyon and they were on our side almost to close. I was worried they would hear us in the snow. As deer were feeding along we were keeping pace, also trying to decide if the buck was a shooter. I had Eric set up on a fence post but the deer kept moving in and out of sight.
It was tense as the deer were really close and kind of under us. We needed to keep moving to get a visual, I thought we were going to bump them. Finally they grazed out and were only 80 yards. We had a discussion about how good the deer was, we had passed many nice ones but this one had some mass. Eric put the big 300 ultra on my shooting sticks and sent the 220 grain bullet on the way. The big deer took it like a man, Eric hit him again, but didn’t need to.
As we walked up to our prize, I was worried that the deer might be too small. They all look big at 80 yards. As Eric pulled the frozen horns up out of the snow, I realizes we made a good choice. He was a beauty!