Big Game Hunts With Channel Outfitters

Farewell but not goodbye

Another season has come to an end. It was a good season all in all. I personally guided 2 of the biggest mule deer I have ever had the pleasure of seeing! Still the end of the season is bittersweet! As the outfitter, you hope all of your clients have the perfect hunt. This is usually not the case. Many factors determine success, most of which we can’t control. It still doesn’t feel good when good clients have a less than stellar hunt!

All we can do now is look forward to the next season. We will hope for a mild winter and a wet spring. We will start posting some hunt stories from this season, some amazing hunts took place!

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 Fall

In the fall I like to switch gears ever so often. I like the challenge of certain wild pursuits. I really like to fish and then put on the cammo and try for a mule deer with a bow hunter. The happy hunter in the photo who we call Stevie Ray just to protect the guilty. Steve Likes to fish for big browns with dry flies, so it would only be natural for him to want to capture a big Muley buck with his bow. Both require a person with self abusive qualities. I mean who wants to crawl through cactus and rattlesnakes only to get bust by the sharp senses of a Mule Deer time after time? Your looking at that guy right now! Once you try to fool one of these beasts on their turf with a bow you to will be hooked. Stevie Ray is hooked, he can’t stop! I can’t say that I blame him. After watching the arrow fly true and hitting the mark  at 47 yards it was dream come true for us both. Congrats Steve!

Eastern Montana Outfitters

Montana Mule Deer Hunts

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.

Montana Big-Game Hunts

Hunt Stories

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!