Caribou Gear Tarp

Coming to Eastern Montana to hunt deer? Bring snowshoes!

theat

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Aug 28, 2010
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703
Location
NW Montana
Well this should be another great and informing Eastern Montana Mule Deer thread........ might as well include, bring the sleds or trax should be easy to get a buck this year.

First one to bulldog a 180 buck and tie him Ill buy him or her a 30 rack of Old Mill Lite. Not kidding.

Pics or it didn't happen.
Not a 180, but I did bulldog him and tie him up...got to be worth at least a 12 pack.
85D5EE66-2603-4CB7-A8B5-BB7A25E07B26.jpeg
 

Gr8bawana

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Jul 14, 2013
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4,117
Location
Nevada
Nice buck congrats. Although I would have taken the fighter pilot helmet off before the pic.;)
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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808
A dandy for sure. I almost bagged his twin tonight coming home from pheasant hunting. What a whopper. Barely missed him with ballistic tip Jimmy fender. Range was too close. Fender would have blown up on impact and wrecked too much meat. Maybe not too bad. Muzzle velocity was only 25 mph due to sheet ice on the road. Very glad to not have to waste my tag on it. "Yeah, grandson. I bagged that big boy back in 2020 with my truck. After a helluva stalk. All of two seconds I figure."
 

Refugeguy

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Nov 8, 2020
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Just got off the phone with the game warden (yesterday I reported some Block Management violators). She says the weather will be in fifties next week. That will make a fine mess of things. Roads will be impassible again due to gumbo but everyone will be out tearing them up anyway. Hope the snowshoes arrive before then.
She a game warden and a weather girl? Is she hot?
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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808
She a game warden and a weather girl? Is she hot?
Not bad looking as I recall but way too young for me. She pays more attention to long range forecast than I do. Warm and muddy here now. Looking for a new place to hunt today and I am still amazed at the deep drifting in the rough country.
 

Schaaf

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Aug 14, 2014
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2,562
Location
Fort Peck, MT
Freezing rain earlier today. Main roads are passable. Two tracks/small roads are very drifted still. Looks like it’s supposed to warm up this week so it might be a mess.
Still bring your snow shoes. Haven't been able to push my front door open with all the snow.
 
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antlerradar

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Oct 23, 2012
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1,695
Location
SE Montana
The South East is warm, dry and getting dusty. Throw in some wind and conditions are anything but ideal for hunting.
 
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OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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808
How are the roads looking out there now? I'll be rolling in Saturday night.
Hwy 2 now good east of Havre to Malta. Still a bit of ice at Dodson. Watch for frost and icy bridges in the morning. City streets through that area are HORRIBLE icy and many back roads are variable: one second icy, next muddy, next dry, next drifted. I imagine the Breaks near Ft Benton must be very bad drifted.
 
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OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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Last week of big game season is here ... and so are the snow drifts just as I forecast. To make matters worse it warmed up a couple of days then temps went in the toilet again. So now everything is badly crusted. About the worst conditions possible. Snow is VERY noisy and grabs at every step. If you don't have legs of iron, you will after a day hunting in this crap! Even east of here where the drifts aren't nearly as bad it is brutal going. I've been getting my birds east of Malta but almost impossible to get a shot as the spooky buggers can hear us seventy yards away and take off. I have to keep the dogs right next to me or it's hopeless. Better not miss a shot because it's probably the only one I'll get all day (e.g. yesterday's lone rooster). The dogs' feet are taking a beating. I think they're about done. Even if I could find boots for them I don't see how it would help. Crystalized snow would get inside and make things worse. Their shins are getting chewed up too and boots won't help that. Muck boots have been the ticket for me! They keep the snow out and help protect my shins and calves from hard crust. Gaters wouldn't last a day in this stuff. My feet have never been cold in the Mucks ... but I never stop moving.

I was hiking some BM property two days ago checking for deer and saw where some stupid asshole on a quad tried to drive over a drift (and in a posted no vehicle area!). Quad got stuck (duh!) and the two guys got off ... and instantly went up past their waists in the soft drift. They had a helluva time crawling out ... on their bellies. Then they tried to drive their pickup in to pull out the quad and got it stuck in the first drift. Looks like the rancher came up and pulled them out with a tractor. I hope he kicked their arse off permanently. They sure tore things up. Most guys who own those toys think they are capable of defying the laws of physics. I know of two local ranchers who learned otherwise the hard way ... both are in wheelchairs for the rest of their years.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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808
I am headed to eastern Montana right now and I didn’t bring my snowshoes... I didn’t realize pheasant hunting was so life threatening. At least I have a lightweight O/U to
If you're coming to the Hi Line you better hope for warm weather. That will help with the crusted snow but then the frozen roads will be a muddy gumbo mess. It is not fun right now and unless your dogs have been toughened up don't expect them to last long. I guess it could be life threatening if you're not in shape for it.

Cover for pheasants is hard to find. The blizzard blew over most of it that wasn't grazed down due to drought and low beef prices (cattle were moved off the high country range early and ranchers hung onto more of their calves last year). Snowberries and wild roses have been stripped naked by driving snow. Cattails is about it if you can find a ditch that hasn't been stomped or blown flat. It is however an astounding year for sharptails. They are everywhere by the hundreds. Lots of fun to shoot especially on windy days. Hunt into the wind and let the dogs flush them. Wind will blow them right to you. Sharpies aren't the greatest flyers. Wish they were more fun to eat. Also sharpies prefer windblown knobs and ridges which makes easier hunting in these conditions. I have only seen two coveys of Huns this year. I won't shoot them.
 
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