This is the first year we have ever hunted Montana. Don got drawn for a mule deer tag. We were invited by our friend Gary to come hunt with him while he was out there, something their family has done for years and years. The drive to Montana took us 21 hours of drive and 3 hours of sleeping in Utah. There was a storm that was going through as we went through Idaho and the back side of Yellowstone leaving us with amazing winter wonderland scenery.
We made it to Montana by the evening of the next day just in time to have an amazing dinner with Gary and his family. We talked about our plan for the next few days and headed to our hotel for a good nights rest. The next morning we were up early excited about our new adventure. Neither one of us has ever been to Montana and both of us love seeing new places. We headed out of town about an hour and ended up in the plains of private ranches and BLM property. We quickly learned that you can only hunt this area if you know where the property lines end and begin. We relied heavily on onX maps something that became our best friend. We drove miles and miles searching for that perfect buck. We saw many deer but we were looking for that monster. The ones we did see that we liked knew where safety was, on private property. The first few days we spent so much wasted time looking at these beauties hoping they would leave the safety of the ranches to end up on public space but they knew.
We changed our game plan on the third day to try a more forested area and hike public forest but all we saw were tracks and scat. Nothing wanted to play with us. We were in the last week of the season, maybe were were too late. Each night we headed back to the hotel we would see antlers peeking out of the back of trucks from a successful hunt. There were deer out there, we just weren’t seeing them. Finally on the 2nd to the last day, late in the afternoon, we spotted a group of deer bedded down in a wash on a private ranch. But they were just inches away from public. In that group there was a beautiful 4×4. We decided to leave them be since there is nothing you can do when they bed down on private land. We made a plan to come back to them right before last light to see if they decided to give us a chance. We headed to another area where they had been seeing bucks and we searched that area until the last hour of the afternoon, but nothing again for us. With last light upon us we head back to the spot where we saw the group of deer and THEY MOVED!!! They were now on public property! The light was perfect, the wind was in our favor and we there was nothing in the way of the shot. Don was able to get on the deer and took the shot. It was a clean shot, down he went. That night we got him hung up so we could get quarter him out the next day.
The next day we had two more tags to fill. Mine and Kody’s. Mine was for a white tail doe and Kody’s was for a buck. We got out there first light and they were moving. Don put Kody on a bachelor group but he missed. We moved on down the road to the next section of public land and there was a small buck. Kody was able to get on him and take the shot. The buck took off and the chase was on. We chased him to a cliff and Kody was able to get on him again and take the final shot that dropped him.
The last tag was mine for a white tail doe and we only have a few hours left to hunt. I have two chances but missed both. Our hunt was over, but what a great memory to have.
Our trip wasn’t over after our hunt, we spent Thanksgiving with Gary and his family who became our new favorite people. They took us in and made us feel like family. The next day we dropped off the head to the taxidermy and then headed home. But true to our style we took a quick detour to Toquerville Falls in Utah. This is located Northeast of St George. We got their early enough Saturday morning to have the falls to ourselves for some quick videos and pictures. We had such great trip, from the scenic drive, to the beautiful prairies, with the amazing people and the quality of deer. We can’t wait to spend another year in Montana.