My Montana WT quest round 2

Thats pretty funny about the knife. I lost a knife in the WY wilderness 10 years ago after cutting up a bull, it was a nice Knives of Alaska blade. I may have to go back to that spot and see if I can find it...
 
It’s legal to take a dead head that died of natural causes. Burden of proof is on the wardens to prove a critter died from unnatural causes, hence metal detectors. It’s been that way for many years.
 
It’s legal to take a dead head that died of natural causes. Burden of proof is on the wardens to prove a critter died from unnatural causes, hence metal detectors. It’s been that way for many years.
In South Dakota that is not the case. The game warden told me it is to prevent people from shooting bucks and leaving them lay and going back later to cut the horns off.
 
In South Dakota that is not the case. The game warden told me it is to prevent people from shooting bucks and leaving them lay and going back later to cut the horns off.
Yup, different states have different rules for deadheads. Game and fish had to come and inspect mine and tag it before I could take it.
 
Now my brother is back home , it’s back to hunting, had a few things to do Sunday and Monday, so I was able to get out for some evening hunts , the wife in on vacation and she’s in the woods now as well.

Sunday evening I went up to a backup spot I hiked back in May that i saw some whitetails in , so we hiked in for an evening sit
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Wasn’t long before I regretted my choice , back in May it was nice and quite , sunday was a chit show , across from the island we hiked into was a public river access point , and it was busy loud and noisy. Throw in 63 degree weather, felt like summer on the river with all the people running around. We didn’t wait till last light , I pulled the plug and hiked out a little early , but these are things you learn only by boots on the ground , I’ll never hike in there on a weekend again, week days only

Tonight’s hunt was a lot more enjoyable, went to a spot we got into some mule deer last fall on multiple trips out , tonight was no different, except on our first park and short hike and glass , I found a lost deer tag and youth hunter card , after a quick inspection, I felt it was lost over the weekend.
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Drove to our next spot , and went for another hike to end the evening. Walking across a flat i glasses up some deer in the distance. 2 does and a yearling at 619 yds
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After watching them for awhile waiting to see if a buck was around, we walked on , got to a big ravine to look for deer , I spotted another truck across from us where I wanted to hike to , couldn’t see the hunter , but I figured he was on the opposite ridge somewhere, I chose not to hike his direction and possibly mess up his evening set up , so I told the wife we will slowly hunt back the was we came

With the time that has passed, something could have fed out behind us on our return trip , and I was right, wasn’t long before I spotted a lone deer feeding head down , dropping to my knees pull up the binos , it’s a little buck , I range him at 233 yds feeding broadside our direction. I’m contemplate our options, and like none.

There’s no hills no draws just open grass between us and him. The wife says she would take him if I could get her in range, we have about 25-30 min of shooting light , he walks a little closer , I can see he’s a small fork on one side , thought he was a spike at first . The only option is go straight at him and hope we don’t spook him, but a 50 yd belly crawl with the wife in hopes we don’t get busted seems like a long shot , so I tell the wife let’s just walk and let him go , and she was fine with that . He was super close to a BLM 2 track I could have got my truck down , so he would’ve been a short drag to the truck and just throw in whole but as tempting as that was, he was too small for me to put that much energy into trying to put the sneak on such a small buck with little or no cover. By 2 people , had it been a buck of any size I would’ve been doing the exact opposite

Our evening young buck encounter , we eventually just stood up and walked away from him, then he saw us and just stood there the whole time and watched us. It was fun.
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Montana sunset, on to the next hunt
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After the evening hunt was over I contacted the family of the lost youth tag and hunter Ed card , they lived in Billings, dad was happy to get it back

Yeah, the evening joke around the house was now that I found a knife now that I found a deer tag I just need to go find me a deer , maybe tomorrow….. ha ha ha
 
Yesterday was a dud , over 5 miles on foot, did some glassing , did some sitting, a little rattling…. Only saw one deer during shooting light , a lone doe on some private. On days when you don’t see a deer and your in the woods from sunrise till sundown , those thoughts of letting young deer go in days past , wander through your mind… hmmm.. should I have done that …
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Taking today off, my parents moved here a month ago and bought a house, we liked the house and the area , there a lot just a few houses over , looks like we’re gonna buy that and have a new house built, meeting the builder who built my parents house and the realtor this evening to discuss plans.
 
Yesterday was a dud , over 5 miles on foot, did some glassing , did some sitting, a little rattling…. Only saw one deer during shooting light , a lone doe on some private. On days when you don’t see a deer and your in the woods from sunrise till sundown , those thoughts of letting young deer go in days past , wander through your mind… hmmm.. should I have done that …
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Taking today off, my parents moved here a month ago and bought a house, we liked the house and the area , there a lot just a few houses over , looks like we’re gonna buy that and have a new house built, meeting the builder who built my parents house and the realtor this evening to discuss plans.
There's still plenty of deer season remaining. Enjoy the beautiful country you are blessed to hike, hunt, and explore sharing it with your life partner.
Best of luck on the property and home development ... that's exciting and hopeful stuff! Keep HT updated ... with plenty of notice for the house warming party. :D
 
The wife is on the board , she got her buck this morning, after a day in the mountains looking for a whitetail, the wife said she wanted a mule deer so the last 2 days we went looking for her deer.

Yesterday morning it was snowing good , and deer were moving we saw 6 all does , after the early morning hike and hunt. We drove over to a piece that I had looked at last year, but never actually put boots on the ground and when we parked, I pulled up my binoculars and saw a mule deer cutting right through the middle of that section.

Got our packs on headed out and then I saw another mule deer right through the middle. So made kind of a half circle to stay out of the open and hit the tree line and slow hunt the ravines and work our way towards the direction I saw those deer moving.

We got to the first ravine and wood draw crossed it and got up on top of the next finger Ridge and we’re just sitting still listening looking and I see my wife signal to me and she points and I looked over and right across the ravine from us, a deer come out of the sagebrush and was standing and looking around it didn’t recognize us, and then he dropped down the draw , it was a young forked horn, so I started to move her back down the ridge line and I caught a glimpse of the buck down in the bottom, moving through the trees. He was under 100 yards and I knew he was going to come up on the same ridge we were at and so I slowly move my wife towards a dead tree. Set up the bipod and waited. Not seeing anything I slowly stood up and he had already come out and he was in just a little bit of a dip in the terrain so I couldn’t see him kneeling, and I said he’s right there honey get him, and she stood up and got super excited and took too much time and after about 60 seconds standing there, broadside, looking at us, the buck ran off and we watched he disappear in the distance

She was super bummed and we hiked out took a break, drove into the nearby town got a coffee and then went back out for the evening hunt and there was a rig parked where we were going to hunt so we ended up driving back down to where we had the buck encounter from the am hunt. I parked at a different area and took a different ravine to get up into the sage brush and just was working the general direction towards were that deer last was not thinking I was gonna see him again, but just looking at this piece a little different because we never hunted it before

So we stayed in the shade and glass and glass and didn’t see anything so I had us just slowly work the tree line in the shade and then my wife goes there’s a deer out there , I’m like what ? she’s like way out there and I look up and I see this what I think is an old piece of tree or old Fence posts stacked , I’m like that ain’t no deer and I shake my hand and shrug her off. let’s keep slow walking , after about 15 steps I look up again and the tree moved. It was the biggest mule deer I’d ever seen in my life. My mouth dropped.

Wish I could’ve got pictures of him but he was so far out there. Even my rangefinder couldn’t give me a range on him , one time he turned his head and I could catch the glimpse of his antlers way high and heavy as he stood there in last 10 minutes of shooting light , he was coming towards us, but there was so little light left. I decided to backed out and texted @JCS
About the giant mule deer, I saw knowing he gets all worked up over the big Muleys and invited him to come along and poke around for this deer in the morning but he had other plans with a friend. He told me to forget about the Whitetails ! Ha ha

He said go after him tomorrow, so that’s what we did, but knowing mathematically, the odds of seeing that deer, with the rut and everything were super slim , we got there early, hiked up in the dark, got to a spot, and never did see that deer again or any deer then Some other hunters came in at the far end, where I wanted to slowly work too, so I decided to make a half circle and slowly hunt back towards the truck staying in the morning shadows and sit a little glass a little move a little

So we got to another finger Ridge and you could see down below a nice grassy opening down in the bottom and I thought maybe will sit here for a while and maybe catch a deer filter back up the draw so we’re sitting there me and the wife not moving not saying anything all the sudden to the right I see movement look over and a little buck walks right up over the ridge and just stares at us at 30 yards I’m like honey you should probably shoot that buck . Bang !

She’s happy , first time that she’s ever really hiked that much with me, pack on her back getting away from the roads and creeping around was a new experience for her, he’s a small buck but a hard earned public land deer. She Probably did close to 10 miles on foot for this buck
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Some of the scenery from the last few days
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I found this rub this morning just after daylight when we were getting in there there’s no elk in this area. Thats the biggest deer rub I’ve ever seen from about my mid thigh to eyeball level, I’m assuming it’s that buck from last night because it was headed right towards the direction of the draw we were in.
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I’m gonna take the weekend off to relax get refreshed and then starting Monday. I’m gonna head back down to my Whitetail spot and hit it hard for the last week of season
 
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Sitka Gear Turkey Tool Belt

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