Montana deer camp 2019

HuntingJudge

Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
46
Longish story with some cool hunting pictures.
I have been hunting this area of Montana for going on 15 years, the wall tent we were in has been making the trip out there twice that long, I wish the tent could talk. I was hunting with my brother again and three new guys we have not had the pleasure of sharing a camp with. We had four buck tags and a couple doe tags, turkey tags and eleven days off.

I start planning the trip usually around March when I talk to the guys from out of state and ask them if they are putting in for Montana again? Our trip started out with three and by august grew to five. I love the planning part, almost as much as the hunting part. I really got into the On X maps this season and found some spots that I didn’t even know about out in this area I have spent so much time.
Day one: leaving from home at 4 am put us out East around noon, the truck coming in from the dirt roads looked rough and I was worried the mud was not going to let us into the area we picked out to camp. We had chains and a big dump trailer with all our equipment. Long story short after almost jack knifing the trailer and almost getting stuck several time we found a great camping spot even though it was camp site E, A, B, C, D were a mess we didn’t even try. Three of us set up camp two wall tents a sleeping tent and a cooking/eating/drinking/telling story’s tent. I usually see a buck out in this area during our time that makes me come back every year. This year was no different Actually I saw a whitetail that was bigger that 99% of the bucks I have seen in my life and a mule deer that would have been pushing the 180” mark. No, the number of big bucks has not been the same in years from when I first started going out there, but I am not complaining. There are good deer every year to hunt and with all the years I have been doing this its no so much about the deer as much as getting away, spending time with family and friends.

Day two: I missed a great buck right at first light he was a big 3 I have always wanted a big three, but it happens. We may have shot a doe or two that day but nothing crazy exciting. My friend was coming in that night… well 3 am hit and I received a phone call that he was lost. Did not download the maps I told him to, and service was not very good.

Day three: We ended up missing the morning hunt the next day going to town to get him at the hotel. It actually worked out well because the truck had the fender liner rip off with all the mud so we needed bigger zipties to hold it the rest of the week.
On the way back out we stopped by a new area where my brother glassed up a 4x4. The other guys on this trip were after big deer, me on the other hand wanted to just shoot a decent buck. I have shot several good (160-170”) deer in the past. I get so wrapped up in the number sometimes I lose part of the trip due to hunting for a number. I lose focus on why I love the country and look forward to this trip every year. I put a sneak on him and shot the deer at 70 yards in his bed. I could not have been happier to share the experience with my brother and good friend. Best part was I could just enjoy the rest of the trip maybe shoot a doe maybe not. My friend from Wyoming was coming up that afternoon and we met up just enjoyed the rest of the night.

Day four: was another great day that morning we split up in two groups. My group was going to go back to the old reliable place we seem to shoot a good buck out of every year. This year was no different. Sneaking the creek bottom that afternoon we bumped a great buck my guess 26” wide 4x4 my brother took a quick shot not hitting the deer. He ran after them and was able to make one more shot. He hit the deer not good, but enough that I knew we would get him. Over the next hill we looked for the deer and blood but never found him. Up on the hill about a half mile away was a guy with a spotting scope. We decided to go ask him if he had seen the buck and which cut he went into. Well we got up to where the guy was and he was gone… going down to shoot the buck, I don’t know if he didn’t know we were still after the deer or if he knew exactly what he was doing but that buck is going home to California. We had issues with this individual later but its all good public land hunting.

My brother was a little bummed out about it but there are plenty of deer around we just needed to find another one. Later that night we went to another spot a few years back we saw an awesome buck with lots of trash. We were watching a big open field when all of a sudden, a few guys walk through the center of it and jumped out another good buck. We saw another group of deer and they were fairly close to the residence of this BMA we were hunting. Legal to just go shoot but we wanted to be respectful and talk to the resident. He was more than happy about us going to shoot a buck but did ask not to shoot any of the does with him. He was a little low on deer numbers this season. We made the sneak and it was all over at 150 yards. The buck was down, to our surprise he had a little point that was like opening a Christmas present when we took his horn out of the grass. That night we found out our newest hunting camp member was tagged out as well on a great 4x4. Three bucks down.
Day five: was spent trying to find one of those bucks that makes a person come back year after year but no luck.

Day six: found me on top of a ridge over looking a valley I have spend countless hours over looking. When I heard a few gun shots, it had to be the last member shooting his buck too early in the day to shoot a doe. We went down to see if we could see them or help if they had a buck down and they did. It was a great heavy 4x4 solid buck. Later that day there were a couple turkeys shot. We watched an awesome buck with a herd of does that night.

What was cool about this trip was there was a lot of first for most of the people there, first time some ate deer heart (including myself, its great in case anyone was wondering), Moose stroganoff was delicious (my first-time eating moose). First turkeys for the two that shot them, first time in a wall tent for two. I don’t get too many first any more so when I do its awesome to experience something new so when I do I try and take it all in.
So, not focusing on horns this year I was able to enjoyed the sun coming up, the tent leaking in the wild snow storm, putting the tarp on the tent in the middle of the night. Telling stories with friends making new life long hunting partners. Every single year I look forward to this trip and every year it does not disappoint.

Hopefully you like the pictures. They were taken by a guy named Dan Vastyan out of Buffalo Wyoming. I have never experienced on a hunting trip with a photographer and it was amazing some of the pictures he took. Its almost disappointing that I have not been able to capture these camps in the past like he did.
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Last edited:

klwinter921

Member
Joined
May 28, 2013
Messages
34
Location
Missing the Root
Longish story with some cool hunting pictures.
I have been hunting this area of Montana for going on 15 years, the wall tent we were in has been making the trip out there twice that long, I wish the tent could talk. I was hunting with my brother again and three new guys we have not had the pleasure of sharing a camp with. We had four buck tags and a couple doe tags, turkey tags and eleven days off.

I start planning the trip usually around March when I talk to the guys from out of state and ask them if they are putting in for Montana again? Our trip started out with three and by august grew to five. I love the planning part, almost as much as the hunting part. I really got into the On X maps this season and found some spots that I didn’t even know about out in this area I have spent so much time.
Day one: leaving from home at 4 am put us out East around noon, the truck coming in from the dirt roads looked rough and I was worried the mud was not going to let us into the area we picked out to camp. We had chains and a big dump trailer with all our equipment. Long story short after almost jack knifing the trailer and almost getting stuck several time we found a great camping spot even though it was camp site E, A, B, C, D were a mess we didn’t even try. Three of us set up camp two wall tents a sleeping tent and a cooking/eating/drinking/telling story’s tent. I usually see a buck out in this area during our time that makes me come back every year. This year was no different Actually I saw a whitetail that was bigger that 99% of the bucks I have seen in my life and a mule deer that would have been pushing the 180” mark. No, the number of big bucks has not been the same in years from when I first started going out there, but I am not complaining. There are good deer every year to hunt and with all the years I have been doing this its no so much about the deer as much as getting away, spending time with family and friends.

Day two: I missed a great buck right at first light he was a big 3 I have always wanted a big three, but it happens. We may have shot a doe or two that day but nothing crazy exciting. My friend was coming in that night… well 3 am hit and I received a phone call that he was lost. Did not download the maps I told him to, and service was not very good.

Day three: We ended up missing the morning hunt the next day going to town to get him at the hotel. It actually worked out well because the truck had the fender liner rip off with all the mud so we needed bigger zipties to hold it the rest of the week.
On the way back out we stopped by a new area where my brother glassed up a 4x4. The other guys on this trip were after big deer, me on the other hand wanted to just shoot a decent buck. I have shot several good (160-170”) deer in the past. I get so wrapped up in the number sometimes I lose part of the trip due to hunting for a number. I lose focus on why I love the country and look forward to this trip every year. I put a sneak on him and shot the deer at 70 yards in his bed. I could not have been happier to share the experience with my brother and good friend. Best part was I could just enjoy the rest of the trip maybe shoot a doe maybe not. My friend from Wyoming was coming up that afternoon and we met up just enjoyed the rest of the night.

Day four: was another great day that morning we split up in two groups. My group was going to go back to the old reliable place we seem to shoot a good buck out of every year. This year was no different. Sneaking the creek bottom that afternoon we bumped a great buck my guess 26” wide 4x4 my brother took a quick shot not hitting the deer. He ran after them and was able to make one more shot. He hit the deer not good, but enough that I knew we would get him. Over the next hill we looked for the deer and blood but never found him. Up on the hill about a half mile away was a guy with a spotting scope. We decided to go ask him if he had seen the buck and which cut he went into. Well we got up to where the guy was and he was gone… going down to shoot the buck, I don’t know if he didn’t know we were still after the deer or if he knew exactly what he was doing but that buck is going home to California. We had issues with this individual later but its all good public land hunting.

My brother was a little bummed out about it but there are plenty of deer around we just needed to find another one. Later that night we went to another spot a few years back we saw an awesome buck with lots of trash. We were watching a big open field when all of a sudden, a few guys walk through the center of it and jumped out another good buck. We saw another group of deer and they were fairly close to the residence of this BMA we were hunting. Legal to just go shoot but we wanted to be respectful and talk to the resident. He was more than happy about us going to shoot a buck but did ask not to shoot any of the does with him. He was a little low on deer numbers this season. We made the sneak and it was all over at 150 yards. The buck was down, to our surprise he had a little point that was like opening a Christmas present when we took his horn out of the grass. That night we found out our newest hunting camp member was tagged out as well on a great 4x4. Three bucks down.
Day five: was spent trying to find one of those bucks that makes a person come back year after year but no luck.

Day six: found me on top of a ridge over looking a valley I have spend countless hours over looking. When I heard a few gun shots, it had to be the last member shooting his buck too early in the day to shoot a doe. We went down to see if we could see them or help if they had a buck down and they did. It was a great heavy 4x4 solid buck. Later that day there were a couple turkeys shot. We watched an awesome buck with a herd of does that night.

What was cool about this trip was there was a lot of first for most of the people there, first time some ate deer heart (including myself, its great in case anyone was wondering), Moose stroganoff was delicious (my first-time eating moose). First turkeys for the two that shot them, first time in a wall tent for two. I don’t get too many first any more so when I do its awesome to experience something new so when I do I try and take it all in.
So, not focusing on horns this year I was able to enjoyed the sun coming up, the tent leaking in the wild snow storm, putting the tarp on the tent in the middle of the night. Telling stories with friends making new life long hunting partners. Every single year I look forward to this trip and every year it does not disappoint.

Hopefully you like the pictures. They were taken by a guy named Dan Vastyan out of Cody Wyoming. I have never experienced on a hunting trip with a photographer and it was amazing some of the pictures he took. Its almost disappointing that I have not been able to capture these camps in the past like he did.
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Traditional pics of scenery and "grip n grins" are great but I just love the non-traditional pics like the close up notching the tag and the caping pic. Nice work! Looks like a great hunt and that buck taking a ride in the MR is a beast!
 
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