Montana Mule Deer Raffle

Having had my ass handed to me on mule deer in both the Gunnison Basin in CO (in November) AND the AZ Strip (also November), one thing I clearly remember is phoning home after maybe 10 days in daylight to dark hunting on AZ strip and getting beat down, not able to find the one real nice buck i'd seen day before season opened, and seeing hardly any deer at all. I phoned home and talked to my friend to ask him how the MT deer hunt was going (2005) in area 270. He was hunting with a tag holder and just killed a 200" buck, after following and losing track of another 200" buck and he proceeded to tell me how many absolute giants they were seeing just driving around and taking short hikes.

I know 2 hunters with 270 permits this fall, and I can tell you they are very unlikely to see anything like that there this fall - maybe I'm wrong.

MT can mess up any good thing when it comes to quality hunting.

If you google MT unit 270 mule deer, my friend's deer is still one of the first photos that comes up:
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I spent 20-25 days in there last fall helping my wife try and find a 180” buck. We saw tons of deer and more 150” bucks than a guy would ever imagine. We seen 2 bucks that I firmly believe were 180+ and one of them walked from public onto private and disappeared. If I had that tag tomorrow I’d still hold out for 180, but I damn sure wouldn’t expect it.

The gov tag buck was big and got killed there. That’s the only “big” buck I know of from there last year.
 
Yes, it compared to anywhere for those that knew where to hunt.

yeah but i like to imagine that back in colorado's hey day i'm pretty sure you'd whack a B&C in your truck in a crap unit while driving to the primo unit. then you'd miss the giant buck in the group on your hunt and settle for the little one and still net a B&C.

then driving home you'd smoke another B&C on the highway accidentally.

TLDR: you didn't have to know where to hunt ;) (at least that's what the numbers imply to me)
 
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The mint in Martinsdale, MT.

These are all draft-dodger bucks from WW2. Crazy Mtns.

1713383192398.png


The 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, etc all produced great age class and the human population was at a much lower footprint than today, along with far fewer large carnivores.

Weather was dramatically different. Far less noxious weeds, way fewer elk, and in some instances, we've gone from zero elk to thousands. Whitetail ingress into mule deer habitats, changing land uses (timber loss, conversion of native prairie to crop, etc). The population of Montana in 1950 was half of what it is today.

Season structure is one of many things that need to happen for mule deer. It's the most immediate thing that can be helpful. Habitat work, better understanding carrying capacity in high elk density districts, competition for forage and security cover, etc all play a role here.

There is no one answer. It will take all options to find a better path for mule deer.
 
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The mint in Martinsdale, MT.

These are all draft-dodger bucks from WW2. Crazy Mtns.

View attachment 323232


The 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, etc all produced great age class and the human population was at a much lower footprint than today, along with far fewer large carnivores.

Weather was dramatically different. Far less noxious weeds, way fewer elk, and in some instances, we've gone from zero elk to thousands. Whitetail ingress into mule deer habitats, changing land uses (timber loss, conversion of native prairie to crop, etc). The population of Montana in 1950 was half of what it is today.

Season structure is one of many things that need to happen for mule deer. It's the most immediate thing that can be helpful. Habitat work, better understanding carrying capacity in high elk density districts, competition for forage and security cover, etc all play a role here.

There is no one answer. It will take all options to find a better path for mule deer.
Great bar. Had a Thanksgiving dinner there one year. Always enjoy looking at the old mounts. Still gives me hope lol
 
I have some pictures of some good general season bucks. Guess you don’t need tickets for that though, just private land.
 
Can anyone from BHA or Montana FWP validate that we need to buy tickets to this raffle? We need some pictures of some big Montana bucks, make us believe that the dream is true. Otherwise I’m gonna go look at 2 and 3 points with my general tag.
 
Can anyone from BHA or Montana FWP validate that we need to buy tickets to this raffle? We need some pictures of some big Montana bucks, make us believe that the dream is true. Otherwise I’m gonna go look at 2 and 3 points with my general tag.
No need to worry about it, I already bought the winning ticket. ;) I don't need no stinking pictures.
 
No need to worry about it, I already bought the winning ticket. ;) I don't need no stinking pictures.
Unless I see some some big bucks posted up from limited units I will not be your competition. Last thing I need is an “awesome” tag that sucks.
 
Can anyone from BHA or Montana FWP validate that we need to buy tickets to this raffle? We need some pictures of some big Montana bucks, make us believe that the dream is true. Otherwise I’m gonna go look at 2 and 3 points with my general tag.
Somebody has got to have pictures of a big mule deer
 
Unless I see some some big bucks posted up from limited units I will not be your competition. Last thing I need is an “awesome” tag that sucks.
It has to be good; the odds absolutely suck. Especially if like me you have zero points.
 
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I will be purchasing tickets because I want to support mule deer herds in Montana. It's about the wildlife and not the killing.

I suppose I could be considered the Jimmy John for MT mule deer.
 
I will be purchasing tickets because I want to support mule deer herds in Montana. It's about the wildlife and not the killing.

I suppose I could be considered the Jimmy John for MT mule deer.
Can’t wait to see the pictures you and 20 of your closest paid for friends with the buck
 
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