Montana Mule Deer Unit 270

Gatewayarcher

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Sep 4, 2011
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What are peoples opinion of Unit 270 these days ? We just came back from a hunt there and was dissappointed in both deer numbers and quality. Any good bucks taken there since 2009 ? That year was the last one I could find any photos of any big bucks taken. The tag is so hard to draw we were bummed at what we found.
 

Big Fin

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I've seen pics of good bucks taken there in the past years. Season is still open, so if time allows, keep at it and find one of those good ones.
 

tjones

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MD buck numbers have been on the slide in HD270 for the past 5-6 years. Lion numbers are up, poaching is up the tribe from the north take their share and then some. And of course there are wolves. Lots of ways for MD bucks to die before they get old.
 

Randy11

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What's your definition of a good buck? I still see some awesome bucks coming out of there every year (including this year), and see a few beauties that make it through the season every fall.

I think people's expectations of the unit are unfair due to the unsustainable level it cranked out 200"+ bucks in the early and mid 2000's.

Don't get hung up on inches, and have fun looking at a dozen different bucks a day.
 

Gatewayarcher

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I think people are giving the unit more credit than it deserves these days. We covered alot of ground and glassed alot of country. We found tons of elk but only one good buck on public land (heavy 170's typical) and we let him go after stalking up to 214 yards in his bed. Other doe groups had no bucks or little bucks. Saw three mature bucks down low on private including a real toad. The public land prospects were so slim we bagged it and came home. Don't think I would put in for this unit again. Covered lots of country and found only one set of lion tracks and no wolf tracks what so ever. Human poachers I cannot vouch for but could not find any hunters that had seen a mature deer on public land. Only 25 mule deer total through the check station as of Sunday and no big bucks according to volunteers working the station. If there are any pictures out there of big bucks taken recently on public land I'd love to see what we missed out on.
 

Carnage2011

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I know of at least 2 deer over 200" that were killed last year, but haven't seen anything from there this year.
 

Gatewayarcher

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It was really, really skinny. Saw 4 big bucks total - 3 down low in Rye Creek. I think the numbers are way down for whatever reason. It was hard to just find any deer in some areas.
 

Missoulaz28

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Only 25 mule deer total through the check station as of Sunday and no big bucks according to volunteers working the station.

With only 45 tags given out and the check station not open everyday, that doesn't sound bad to me.

Waiting to hunt after ~10 weeks of people have been chasing/tagging deer and elk (plus the portion deer that get poached out) isn't going to give you a very good picture of what is in the unit. By this time of the year the bucks that are old enough to be big are smart enough to get away from the easy access areas that have people crawling all over the place.

Hopefully you can get back at it for the last weekend and connect on a nice buck. I wouldn't turn down a 170" buck at this point though.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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I hunted another area hard for a week, didn't see anything big, talked to some other guys that didn't see anything big, 25 bucks checked w/o a big one, and decided that the area sucked.

That about sums it up.
 

Gerald Martin

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Walking away from a 170's heavy typical and complaining about it? My heart bleeds... :) I was really disgusted that it took Randy11 19 days to find a worthy buck in a similarly hard to draw unit. It just ain't like the good ole days...
 

belly-deep

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This can't be the best mule deer unit in Montana

Sounds like your expectations were too high.

People expect they will just walk up to a 200" buck and drill him as he humps a doe.

Its not that easy, even when they are rutting, even in a draw unit.

Did you scout?

How many days did you actually hunt?
 

Gatewayarcher

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We discussed and decided that if she couldn't kill a bigger deer than her biggest to date in this unit we would eat the tag. She has a very pretty typical 170s buck from the Spanish Peaks that is reasonably heavy and very symmetrical. The buck in question almost died up on the mountain but just wasn't that much bigger so we let him go on day 1 You can't kill a really big deer if you shoot a smaller one so I think the plan was a good one. We also talked to previous tag holders we knew and all all said to wait for the rut. We did see one really cool very big deer down low on private land that would have been taken in an instant if we encountered him on public ground. All in all a tough unit I think, especially if you have to travel a long way to get there. Maybe a perfect tag for a local guy who can really put in the time but not for somebody from 300+ miles away.
 

AH_14

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Belgrade, MT
Gatewayarcher---you asked to everyone in the forum are there still big deer in unit 270 correct???
-5 people answered more or less in a round about way that there still are and good potential in the 200" class could still be there correct?

-You just said, NO you're wrong, I don't think it's a very good unit....Fine there's your answer- Why even ask the question?
*If you were seriously doing a quick double check I think you found a quality answer and you should go and continue to hunt hard. Maybe ask nicely and someone will PM you in the right direction....Happens all the time on here.
 

tjones

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IIRC the spring flights for that unit are down 800-900 deer. All antler less harvest has been shut down and has been for a few years with numbers not rebounding. FWP is concerned enough about it that right after season they start a mule deer study in the south Bitterroot.

The tribe has been on to the unit for awhile now, they are killing bucks 1st part of Sept while moose hunting. It's tough to get harvest numbers from them.

Is there still good bucks? Sure, I would love to draw the tag.

With the real low draw odds come real high expectations.
I have seen lots of pics from that unit over the last few years including ones taken by FWP at the check station ,,,but 200" - not so much.
 
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mtmuley

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Jan 11, 2009
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montana
Anybody that draws a limited tag needs to put in time. 300 miles away or not. 6 days left. I'd be behind the glass everyday. mtmuley
 

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