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Eastern Montana Rut Hunts

Tales From The Hunt

Eastern Montana Rut Hunts

This is the tale of Mark’s hunt. Mark booked a 2 on 1 hunt with his 74-year-old father in mind. The plan was to get his father Gene a buck first then Mark would hunt. We had some close call and a few missed opportunities that led up to the last day or so of this hunt. After Gene collected a real nice deer it was Marks turn. We were looking for a great buck we spotted a few days back. As we glassed the general area, no luck finding the big one. As we entered a another drainage, we spotted 15 does hanging out around a hay stack. After closer inspection, I noticed a deer I had passed up last year. This buck was now of age and was a big bodied o-l boy.

I was excited to see this buck again! I had pictures of him and I also watched him shred a tree near the house we stay in. The buck didn’t have a big frame but he had a-lot of character. He also had some nice mass. As we watched the duck lay down in an open bowl with his many does, Mark was not totally sold on this buck. I let Mark look him over in my spotting scope and at the angle it was hard to make out the trash on bucks right side. It was the last day of the hunt so I urged Mark to hunt this deer. I felt he would like the buck up close! After watching the deer for an hour or so Mark decided to go after this deer.

The temp was around 4 degrees but the wind was starting to quick up. The wind direction was not perfect for the stalk but I felt we could still get him. We had to walk way around to stay out of sight. The wind was cold and walking was difficult on the frozen terrain. As we neared the spot I peeked over the edge. Deer where everywhere and nervous from our sent. We needed to hurry as the deer were leaving. A bunch of does came over the top that we where on at about 80 yards. I got Mark ready on his shooting sticks. We where out in the wide open! I hissed at mark, get ready!  I watched the buck come up out of the crack. He was the last deer to come. As the buck stepped out on top he looked magnificent! Mark took careful aim and planted the old buck right there.

It was brutally cold sitting on the frozen ground waiting for the buck to follow his does. Mark looked over to me with a big smile and said this was a good birthday. I said congratulations and happy birthday! As we approached the buck Mark could finally see why I liked this deer.

Montana Mule Deer Hunts

Big Buck

 

Some of you may have read the story of Mike’s incredible buck in the latest issue of Eastman’s Hunting Journal. Congratulations to the hunter Mike LaVoy on great Buck! 

Just a few thoughts on this truly giant mule deer buck. The Hunter and guide have been humbled by our good fortune. Even though Mike’s buck made the cover story of Eastman’s and we possibly harvested the biggest buck taken in Montana in 2016, we are still just a couple of average guys who love the outdoors! 

Sometime dreams do come true! We will never forget the morning that all the planets aligned and we were able to harvest this tremendous Mule Deer! Good shooting Mike!

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 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!