Channel Outfitters

Mule Deer

Channel Outfitters

There is nothing quite like the Mule Deer. Out here the Mulie is still king! To peruse the Mule Deer in his habitat is as good as any hunt can be. In Montana we are lucky, we get to hunt the during the rut. The rut is when the big bucks come out to breed! The one time of year when that cagey old buck lets his guard down. If you have not hunted these big bucks during the rut you are missing out.

Montana Mule Deer Hunts

Mule Deer

Montana Mule Deer Hunts

Gene from Wisconsin shot this fine-looking mule deer. We had an encounter with the buck earlier that day but bumped him. The buck and several other deer moved to about 2 miles away and bedded down in some wide open terrain. The deer was in a spot that was unapproachable! I decided the only thing to do was wait for the deer to return to the food source we bumped them out of earlier in the hunt.

When we arrived at the destination the deer were already headed towards our location. It was a real cool experience to watch 30 head of deer come our way. It was the does and little bucks at first. Then came the bigger bucks. We watched the come from a mile out. At one spot the deer would be skyline on the horizon. Sure enough the biggest deer came last. We watched all the deer migrate towards us and the last one was our shooter buck!

After waiting for all of the deer to get in a low spot we made our move. We crawled up to where the deer were headed. As I peeked over I could see deer everywhere. Some were to close and then I caught a glimpse of the big one. By the time Gene got set up the deer was out of sight. We could only wait for the deer to feed up to a failed wheat crop that the deer were devouring. I felt like we looked pretty stupid laying down in a wide open field but it might work.

As we lay there on our butts in a foot of snow it was somehow fun. Even though it was -5 degrees this was going to happen. Some does fed to within in 60 yards of us but didn’t really notice or care. Now some bucks fed in to about 80 yards. I told the boys to be still even though we all were freezing. Her comes the big one! Gene and I discuss what one to shoot out of 6 bucks. I get him on the shoot sticks but we still stay low as many deer are close. Finally after forever, the big buck was clear of all other deer. Time to shoot Gene! Shoot him now! He’s the one right in the middle as I point! Gene makes it happen. Smiles and cold hands.

Montana Mule Deer Rut Hunt

This hunt takes place in mid November. You except good hunting during this time of year due to the rut. I was in between hunts and just hanging out at our ranch house, glassing some hay meadows. We had around 22 does coming in and out of the fields within view from the house. I had not seen a big buck with these deer yet this year.

As I was glassing from the sliding glass window, drinking coffee, I spotted a big heavy horned buck. I watched him leave the fields with a couple of does. He was heavy horned and older! The buck grazed up and into the shade and laid down. I could see he had a rather long kicker on one side and beer can bases. I wish I had a hunter here!

When my hunter got in the next day, I was hopeful to see the big bruiser again. We drank coffee and glassed from the house at first light. Of course the buck did not show! We loaded up and headed down valley. Two canyons down and we ran into about 12 deer. Their he was and he had not seen us yet.

We needed to walk way around to get in a low spot that would provide us cover up the deer. My hunter Pete was moving slow as he didn’t want his hunt to be over so quick. I pulled him a-side and had a little pep talk! You are going to shoot this big ass deer! To put it mildly! Once we where on the same page, we continued the stalk.

As walked up the cow trail fully out of sight of the deer, I was thinking this is going to be easy if the deer are still there. I peeked over when I thought we were close. They had moved but I could see them. 80 more yards and we would make our stand! We made a bit of ground and I set us up on the steep edge of our coulee. Not to comfortable for Pete to shoot but it was all we had. He was propped up on the pack and I ranged big boy at 275.

Let him have it when he turns I hissed! The buck was grazing but some does were looking our way. Shoot I hissed. Pete took the safety and let one fly. It was a hit, shoot again! Miss then a hit. The big buck laid down and died right then. As we approached the buck, I was surprised at the extra points and mass. I told Pete, You just shot a caribou! This was a magnificent buck, he scored 191 inches and had 44 inches of mass. A monster Montana muley!


Montana Best Outfitters

Montana Rut Hunts

Well, here goes hunt story number two. My wife says that everyone loves these hunt stories. I don’t really like to write the stories because it is hard to write sarcasm! This hunt took place about mid November. The deer were rutting hard but the Super Moon had showed up. The big moon plays a role in deer movement during the rut. The hunting had been stellar but I feared a big slow down due to the moon.

First day of the hunt for some great guys from San Antonio. Art was up to shoot first. We were looking for a big deer I had seen the hunt before. I thought he would go 180 or better. As we set up in our early morning perch, we glassed across a valley with hay fields on the bottom. We spotted a few young bucks and many does. Finally I seen a good one and put my spotting scope on him. He was a great young deer with potential for next year, we passed!

After glassing for quite some time it was time to move. As we got up I looked to our right and seen a good buck rutting does. He was under our nose the whole time. We needed to get a better look! The deer was only a half mile away but was now out of our sight. On the way we bumped a few doe with some small bucks in tow. As we approached the spot where we had last seen the big one. There he was laying in the wide open prairie with three does.

We had to get flat on the ground as not to be seen. We were able to look at the buck for a long time as he lay there chewing his cud. He looked like he was old and we could see he had some extras. I could not put eye guards on him but Kyle said he could. I propped up my pack and had Art get in position to shoot. We laid on the cold ground for quite a while waiting for our chance. I was starting to shiver but Art stayed calm.

The deer finally stood up, we all agreed that this would be a good first Mule Deer for Art! Just as Art was going to shoot the buck laid back down. The buck got up again and never gave a good angle, the tension was building! Finally he turned and Art put it on the money at 240 yards. I told him to shoot again but it was not needed.

As we approached Art’s first muley it looked good! I was surprised to see the buck had double eye guards on both sides! A big hook and nice mass, a real character buck! Nice shooting Art!

Eastern Montana

The First Hunt

The first hunt I guided this season was with long time client Easy E. This was E’s seventh trip with me. We have had some great hunts together! Our hunts have not always been smooth. Easy has some bad luck in regards to weather. He has hunted some terrible arctic cold front that have left him stranded. E’s hunts have been earlier every year, in hopes of better weather. This year wouldn’t you know, it rained one and a half inches on his second day. Some of you may know that rain is worst scenario in eastern Montana, do to the gumbo mud that we have in the soil.

It rained so hard we stayed in all day and glassed from the house. The next day it dawned nice and clear. The roads were too wet to drive on. We took off on a walk from the house. Once on top, we had a view of many deer leaving the barley fields. We immediately glassed up 2 bucks. One buck was a good up and comer that I wanted to let live another year! The other buck was a big mature dude! He had a good 4×4 frame with deep forks.

We had to watch from our open location as the deer fed down into some canyons. I watched the big guy go down and marked him with an old telephone pole. We made our stalk to perfection! As we rounded the last hill there he was laying facing us. I looked him over as he lay there in an alert position. He was a beauty but he had no eye guards. E got a good look at him with his Lieca binoculars, he looked real big at 60 yards with that kind of glass!

As I pulled us away from the buck, I told Easy that he didn’t have eye guards. Easy E. had the best ever response! He said eye guards are not a prerequisite for me! That is a big buck! I almost went back to shoot the old boy but cooler heads prevailed. I maintained we had 3 more days and if it didn’t work out we could find that buck again. From there we walked in the opposite direction. We skirted around many coulees, glassing and stalking as we went.

We finally made it to a big coulee that the rancher told me was a wicked coulee, yes he called it wicked! I’ve never been the guy to pass up a wicked coulee. We started to glass and after a while I laid eyes on some whitetail deer. They were on their feet and coming in and out of the shade. At a mile away I could make out horns on one deer, I thought maybe we should check it out.

We trekked across some open country to get to the side the deer were on. As we started to get close to where I had the deer marked, we came upon a coyote. The coyote was stretched out on the ground and looked dead. At 40 yards I looked through my binos to see if it was breathing. I determined it was dead! A few steps closer and up jumps the coyote! The old boy had been napping and was caught off guard. He ran out 40 yards and stopped. I told E to shoot him, he didn’t want to blow our stalk on the deer. Cooler heads prevailed for the second time that day!

When we reached the last little hill, I peeked over to find a rather large buck within bow range. Four does were even closer and I knew it had to happen quick. Easy pulled up with his 300urm and made quick work of the buck. E’s first whitetail was a good one!

Channel Outfitters Montana

Time To Hunt

All of the planning, paperwork, and overtime worked is over. Time to hunt! A few good men managed to scrape up enough dough to come out and enjoy what we have to offer. Our ranches have had some record moisture this year. We will harvest some massive bucks. Good luck to you and yours and have a safe hunt.

Eastern Montana Deer Hunts

Montana Mule Deer Hunting

Big Deer just look big! A big Deer rack will stick up over the truck bed. A big Deer might have 42 inches of mass. We all dream about the big deer! Craig w’s dream came true, it’s a big one!

Eastern Montana Deer Hunts With Channel Outfitters

The Badlands

The second installment of the 2015 hunt stories starts now. The hunter is Eric, aka “Easy E. We have been hunting together for several straight years. Eric comes with a great attitude and is always ready to shoot! We are always looking for an older deer, something to be proud of! This year it happened on day 2.

As we were on our way to check a spot, I noticed something out on the sky-line that looked out-of-place. I threw up the old binos and sure enough BIG BUCK! I’m telling Easy to SHOOT! Eric however is a shooter not a spotter. Now begins the long process  of explaining were on the horizon is the deer. After what seems like forever, I have narrowed it down to between the only 2 cedar trees out there.

The deer was just staring our way, not sure if we are a doe he should check out. Finally Eric is down on his gun and just about ready to shoot as the deer starts to cruz. We did a quick run to the edge of a large canyon. I see him again stopped and staring our way. Shoot, he is standing by that tree! Eric is on him and I hear his safety click. Plug the ears before the 300 ultra mag blows my ears out.

The shot was a 299 yard chip shot for Easy. The deer leaped out of sight at the report of the shot. We made our way to where we last seen the deer. Ready for a follow-up shot but none needed. A beautiful buck lay at our feet! A 4×4 with good mass and a double eye guard on one side. No ground shrinkage here! Eric’s smile says it all.

Hunting Eastern Montana

The First Hunt

My wife says I should do the hunt stories again. For those of you who don’t know, the hunt stories are an account of the hunts that I guided. After the first year I did the stories, I realized it was a lot of blogging. Due to pressure from wife, hunters, and thousands of fans, here we go.

The first Hunt was October 29th. The hunter was a friend and fishing client “Pete. This would be Pete’s first time ever big-game hunt. The location was a new ranch I had leased way out in the middle of the Big-Dry. Pete was game to try the ranch, we set up camp in the historic cow town of Jordan, MT.

The first day of the hunt was warm, backed up by a large moon, not the best combo. To make matters worse the ranchers were moving cattle that day. Two thousand head of cattle and a bunch of bellowing calves doesn’t do any favors for deer hunting.

We still were able to roll up on two whitetail deer that were bedded. The big one was sound asleep. As the deer woke up we could see his eyes slowly focus in on the mobile ground blind built by Ford. the buck was a really good whitetail maybe in the mid 140s. The only play on the deer was to shoot out the window, otherwise he would be gone. We both agreed this was no way to take your first deer! We were able to watch both bucks at bow range for 10 minutes before they sprang up and run. It was a good encounter.

Even though it was only day 2 we were both feeling a little pressure with the cattle drive and warm weather. After looking over many spots it seemed as though the deer were underground. We did an afternoon walk into a large creek surrounded by wheat and pea fields. About 10 minutes into the walk things really turned around quite quickly!

As we were slow sneaking along on an island within the creek, I noticed a really tall racked buck staring our way at under 100 yards. I motioned for Pete to get down! I was excited as I knew it was a shooter deer and he was about to bolt. I told Pete to slide a bullet in the chamber. We then needed to crawl forward to clear the hill we were on. I adjusted the shooting sticks as I watched the buck watching me, he wasn’t sure what we were.

Now we were at our position, gun on shooting sticks. The buck was about 80 yards and staring at us, His horns looked tall and I could tell he was a 5×5. I was excited! To keep us out of full sight of the deer we would just clear the hill with our shot. Pete was frantically trying to acquire the deer in his scope. We had many heated exchanges while he was in the process! Finally we figured out Pete he was looking to high. The target was right underneath or position, Pete was now on him. The deer still looking our way, I hiss at Pete, Shoooot Nowwww!

Pete’s shot rang true! The big deer stumbled and then flipped over a big sage bush. Pete’s first big game animal lay before us. Great moment for hunter and guide. Beautiful Buck!

Montana Mule Deer Hunts

In The Hunt

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.