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MT upland opener reports

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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Before we left Alaska to winter in western MT,
my dog got a shot for Leptospirosis.

We don't have heartworm or tick problems up in AK,
I assume that would not be a problem in western MT from Nov-March?
Thanks.
They say deer ticks can be active into November but I'm thinking probably not this far north. However, I do recall finding a tick on my leg in the 80s after a November elk hunt in western Montana. It would be very rare to find mosquitos out that late.

Alaska has a mosquito species that can overwinter. Like the bumblebee, they convert bodily fluids to alcohol antifreeze. Called the snow mosquito as I recall. They burrow into ground debris and can survive -40s. They're the first ones out in spring and quite large. Big enough to screw a turkey flat-footed.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sooooo, you’ll believe a biologist about that, but not about pheasant habitat, Russian Olives, shrub encroachment in grasslands, predator use of trees….🤦🏻‍♀️

You are unbelievable.
What I'm saying is that under present conditions the thinking needs reappraisal. Yesterday was again unseasonably warm. Almost hot. I'm taking a break in the SHADE of a Russian olive that still has it's leaves ... and it's the second week of November. How much shade is that big leafless cottonwood looming overhead providing? Zip. The grass is lush and green under and around the Russian olive, no doubt due to shading and nitrogen nutrients, and unlike the grass that grows in the shade of native bull pine, it's edible. The grass nearby out in the open is sparce, stunted, and burnt to a crisp. Look at the structure of Russian olive. In order for a raptor to get at the branches of a live tree big enough to hold its weight it must get past the spindly outside ones full of thorns. And how's the view up there? One way. On a fence post or half dead cottonwood (those things are constantly shedding dead limbs) a raptor has a 360 degree panorama.

In this drought it's easy to see the significance of shade on prairie grasses. The scientists tell us more of the same is on the way. Maybe we should be planning ahead ... rather than backwards? I'm not saying Russian olive should not be controlled but eradicating it on a bird refuge is nonsense. Not to mention hopeless.
 
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406dn

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If the drought persists long enough, the Russian Olives will be gone long before the various prairie grasses. The shade of a Russian Olive is hardly a reason to keep them around.
 

MTLabrador

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Apr 16, 2020
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Montana
Will a copper bullet give too much penetration on a three year old moose calf? Will it penetrate enough to get both mule deer twins if you line them up right? What if you have to shoot through a Russian olive to get to the mule deer?
 

OntarioHunter

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Alright, read for yourself what "threat" Russian olive poses. Let's see ... it can make life hard on native grass species that are shade intolerant. What species would that be? Native bull pine, willows, and cottonwood don't do the same? The report implies that because Russian olive are not beaver food, it has an unfair advantage over native willow and cottonwood which are. So a drainage system is better off with all trees eliminated by beavers than it would be if something remains to help hold the soil together and keep the wind from blowing it away? Thorny Russian olive will also help keep cattle from stompling an otherwise beaver denuded watershed into a useless quagmire of mud. How is it that native shade intolerant grass species are any worse off trying to survive in a willow/cottonwood environment than one with beaver resistant Russian olive? Shade is shade, right? This is all about nature fanatics who assume everything exotic is dangerously "invasive". The same nature nuts insist on building palaces out in the country and covering up all that native grass with their homes and roads. The power poles to keep their TVs running provide countless raptor perches and nest sites. Having a home with a view is so important. The funny thing is these nature nut hypocrites convince themselves they have no impact on the natural environment. But oh those evil Russian olives are wrecking things ... because they just don't belong here. Just because they're newcomers ... like you and me.
 

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theat

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NW Montana
I have been having a surprisingly good fall bird hunting. I spent opening week of pheasant and antelope out in far eastern Montana. As long as there was cover and water near by, we had no problem finding birds. The key was to find areas that hadn't been overgrazed by cattle. I spent the last 10 days in the breaks and areas south of there and found the same thing. Lots of birds where they still had cover and few or none everywhere else.
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My lab getting a rooster double in the river. I shot so many over water that she is starting to think pheasants are aquatic.
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Avoid places that look like this and you should be able to find birds.
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OntarioHunter

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Last year I heard hunting was great down around Winnifred. Pheasants everywhere. Were you in that area? I'm doing okay up here on the Hi Line but it's a lot of work and requires a very good dog. Looking at the map I'd say I put in nearly ten miles walking for a limit yesterday. Several guys out hunting this weekend with pointing dogs are pretty much wasting their time. Pheasants are jumpy and sticking to heavy cover. Rangey pointing dogs don't do it. Even if they can see their dogs on point, the birds are gone before they can catch up and get in range. I point those guys to the sharptail hangouts. Stragglers will usually hold and they're in more open country. Bust up the flocks first. Publicly accessible land with any cover at all (thanks to Russian olive!) is getting hit pretty hard. Federal refuge much less than usual though. I think that may be due to total unavailability of steel ammo. In the past I have spoken to hunters who did very well on the Ft Peck Reservation. A tribal license is required but back then it was not necessary to have a tribal member with them like other reservations. Maybe I'll check into it.
 
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JLS

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Almost Arkansas…..
As long as there was cover and water near by, we had no problem finding birds.
I hunted outside of Great Falls last week. Similar to your findings, birds are very concentrated around water because of limited feed away from it.

We never saw a single Hun, and sharp tails were somewhat scarce as well. This is an prolonged after affect of the huge snows a couple of years ago, and then drought on top. Very few of the snow berry bushes had any fruit.
 

Hunting Wife

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Nov 18, 2014
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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Alright, read for yourself what "threat" Russian olive poses. Let's see ... it can make life hard on native grass species that are shade intolerant. What species would that be? Native bull pine, willows, and cottonwood don't do the same? The report implies that because Russian olive are not beaver food, it has an unfair advantage over native willow and cottonwood which are. So a drainage system is better off with all trees eliminated by beavers than it would be if something remains to help hold the soil together and keep the wind from blowing it away? Thorny Russian olive will also help keep cattle from stompling an otherwise beaver denuded watershed into a useless quagmire of mud. How is it that native shade intolerant grass species are any worse off trying to survive in a willow/cottonwood environment than one with beaver resistant Russian olive? Shade is shade, right? This is all about nature fanatics who assume everything exotic is dangerously "invasive". The same nature nuts insist on building palaces out in the country and covering up all that native grass with their homes and roads. The power poles to keep their TVs running provide countless raptor perches and nest sites. Having a home with a view is so important. The funny thing is these nature nut hypocrites convince themselves they have no impact on the natural environment. But oh those evil Russian olives are wrecking things ... because they just don't belong here. Just because they're newcomers ... like you and me.
Are you F’ing kidding me? You literally just posted a link to a paper illustrating the negative impacts of Russian olives and why they should be removed from eastern Montana.

I really can’t comprehend you’re thinking. You’ll listen to biologists/scientists on climate change and a select few other topics, but not on basic ecology and habitat? Unless you misinterpret the paper, apparently. Makes no sense. But I guess I’m just a biologist. What do I know 🤷🏻‍♀️

I’m done. Butchering calls.

@theat beautiful pics! Looks like some great hunts.
 

OntarioHunter

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I'm finding abundant sharptails up here but nothing like last year ... which was crazy. Still seeing hardly any Huns. Interesting that others on here are reporting lots of them. Where?
 

JEL

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May 20, 2013
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Location
Helena, MT
I hunted outside of Great Falls last week. Similar to your findings, birds are very concentrated around water because of limited feed away from it.

We never saw a single Hun, and sharp tails were somewhat scarce as well. This is an prolonged after affect of the huge snows a couple of years ago, and then drought on top. Very few of the snow berry bushes had any fruit.
We have lots of Huns up by us. Sharpies are way off.
 
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OntarioHunter

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Are you F’ing kidding me? You literally just posted a link to a paper illustrating the negative impacts of Russian olives and why they should be removed from eastern Montana.

I really can’t comprehend you’re thinking. You’ll listen to biologists/scientists on climate change and a select few other topics, but not on basic ecology and habitat? Unless you misinterpret the paper, apparently. Makes no sense. But I guess I’m just a biologist. What do I know 🤷🏻‍♀️

I’m done. Butchering calls.

@theat beautiful pics! Looks like some great hunts.
Right. And the "negative impacts" are just negative because someone declares it so. "Shade intolerant native grass species" don't do so well under Russian olive. Do those grasses do any better under the willows and cottonwood that the Russian olive supposedly displaces? How could they? Shade is shade, right? But wait ... the evil shade hog Russian olive also provides soil nutrients and wildlife food. Willows and cottonwood do nothing for the soil ... but they do feed beavers ... until the damn things eat them all.

It baffles me how anyone with a college education can take so much pride in acting like she's still in the eighth grade. I had my fill of educated biologists in the Park Service who didn't have the sense to think outside the box ... or accept with any degree of maturity that others do. By the way, my first post grad work was in biology. I essentially have a second BA.
 
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