Montana on the Upswing?

Blacktailbc

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Seeing some nice bucks come out of Montana this year....after the doom and gloom from the past couple years. Those who hunted Montana this year, do you think it is on a slight upward trend?
 

Carnage2011

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Whitehall, MT
As crazy as this sounds, I'd say yes. I've seen more quality deer in MT this year than anytime in the past 10 years. I don't know if I'm just finally finding some quality areas, or if the age class is improving somehow. I basically hunt with my wife and 3 friends and between the 5 of us we shot 3 bucks over 170, one buck in the mid 160's, and an ancient 3 point that was the most mature deer of them all.
 

huntin24/7

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Eastern Montana
I think it was slightly better this year, but I noticed better feed in most of the eastern part of the state this summer than I’ve seen in the last 10 years. I’m sure all that nutrition helped with horn growth. I wouldn’t expect this to become a theme though.
 

timmy

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Not what I personally witnessed but maybe the season ending earlier last year saved some bucks. Luckily we are running the season to December 1st this year so we should be able to knock them back again.
 

Fsmith

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Not what I personally witnessed but maybe the season ending earlier last year saved some bucks. Luckily we are running the season to December 1st this year so we should be able to knock them back again.
2-4 feet coming this Friday- Saturday. That should send a lot of people packing in the southeast corner.
 

daltrix99

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I get that you guys are talking Mulies. I’m more of a whitetail fella, and they are doing great! I’ll see myself out...
 

Blacktailbc

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I get that you guys are talking Mulies. I’m more of a whitetail fella, and they are doing great! I’ll see myself out...

I don’t mind western whitetails either. I would rather shoot a decent Montana whitetail than your standard 22” Mule Deer.
 

Fsmith

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You should thank every one of them , 70% of the Fwp budget comes from nonresident license sales
I disagree with a lot of Fwp management policies. I’d like to see a far more limited draw for non residents also a “general” tag should be non existent as what might be good in the southeast might not be good in the Southwest or whichever way you want to slice it. Take Broadus for example. Thanks to the internet and multiple media platforms. “The deer are in southeast MT” Broadus cough cough! I cannot fathom what it once was prior to these innovative inventions. Just what I’ve seen in the last 5 years is terrible. Go to that part of the state when the “general” season is open. I have a hard time believing I’m not in either Minnesota or Washington state. Sure there are still some public lands honey holes here and there but nothing like the past. Couple weeks ago in region 7 I’d put money on it driving in and out I counted Washington state plates to Montana at least 12:1. This is one of the many reasons why the more mature bucks don’t come from Montana as regularly as some other western states. I get it as a non resident spending near $700 on a tag most non residents aren’t going home empty handed and I really can’t fault them personally for that. I’m sure each and every non resident comes with the intention of harvesting the best game of their ability but when that week long hunt goes sideways for whatever reason that tag is getting filled. Who is at fault? MTFWP
 

superDUECE22

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Mar 4, 2018
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I disagree with a lot of Fwp management policies. I’d like to see a far more limited draw for non residents also a “general” tag should be non existent as what might be good in the southeast might not be good in the Southwest or whichever way you want to slice it. Take Broadus for example. Thanks to the internet and multiple media platforms. “The deer are in southeast MT” Broadus cough cough! I cannot fathom what it once was prior to these innovative inventions. Just what I’ve seen in the last 5 years is terrible. Go to that part of the state when the “general” season is open. I have a hard time believing I’m not in either Minnesota or Washington state. Sure there are still some public lands honey holes here and there but nothing like the past. Couple weeks ago in region 7 I’d put money on it driving in and out I counted Washington state plates to Montana at least 12:1. This is one of the many reasons why the more mature bucks don’t come from Montana as regularly as some other western states. I get it as a non resident spending near $700 on a tag most non residents aren’t going home empty handed and I really can’t fault them personally for that. I’m sure each and every non resident comes with the intention of harvesting the best game of their ability but when that week long hunt goes sideways for whatever reason that tag is getting filled. Who is at fault? MTFWP
Completely agree... there should not be a rifle hunt during the peak off the rut unless it is limited draw, but Montana doesn’t give 2 shits about the age class of the deer all they care about is dollar signs
 

timmy

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Jan 29, 2016
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Hmm. Did the legislature increase the statutory cap on NR licenses? Or, has the "MT Native" and "Come Home To Hunt" licenses increased by large amounts?
11,000 muley does have been added since 2012 or 2013 I’m not sure on the year but not that long ago the quota was 0 now in a short period of time it’s 11000. Southeast Montana was put in the spotlight when the only management was lack of knowledge. That no longer exists and the 11000 doe tags sold out last Friday. It boils down to bad management but to put a spotlight on a specific area instead of getting the message to come hunt in Montana leaves a bad taste in a lot of locals mouth. And as we watch the pickup loads of does getting shot by residents and non-residents it is tough to stomach. Again it is bad management but I will argue there has been an increase of tags.
 

ShootsManyBullets

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OR Trail
Seeing some nice bucks come out of Montana this year....after the doom and gloom from the past couple years. Those who hunted Montana this year, do you think it is on a slight upward trend?
Nope. What we did see were much healthier deer this year, not more mature deer. Saw a few deer in places we hadn't seen them in awhile, but not enough to get excited. Private property looked like it was holding good numbers of deer
 
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