The English hunters report.

devon deer

Active member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,668
Location
Great Britain
We arrived 2 days prior to rifle opener in Montana, I brought 3 of my friends over this time, Adam, Stephen and Aleks, as Adam and I are the wrong side of 50 I thought it wise I pair up Stephen (whom I had shown the ropes in 2016) and Aleks as they were both in their 30's.

The first day didn't go according to plan, near Lima, no Elk seen, but in the next valley over there were plenty of shots, both myself and other locals suspected something had gone on prior to our arrival, but no good doing armed walks so we moved location.

We went to the Pioneers, many thanks to a member on here for arranging some great accommodation (better than tents!) and whilst we didn't see many Elk we saw signs, and many other critters, a great place to stay.

So Adam and I headed down to a spot I know near Dillon, our first outing and Adam located a nice 6x6 bull, as advised on this forum many times before and in Randy's video's, after the rut and rifle opener the Elk go into the nasty places, and that's where we found it, whilst a lot of hunters were complaining no Elk, Adam found one, 3 1/2 miles in up a mountain at 7500', sadly over 800 yards away, he put a stalk on to close the gap but some crunchy snow gave the game away, and it crashed off through the woods never to be seen again, the little bugger!

The next day we returned, I went in one direction and Adam in the other to try a pincer movement, well after a long tiring walk I spotted a rag horn bedded high up in the wooded valley, it was in a tiny opening, I tried to get closer, but with the thermals and thick woodland it was impossible, then he got up and started to feed, I dropped down, did a range and sent the 180 Nosler Partition on it's way.
When I looked again he wasn't there, a sense of foreboding came over me, as I rushed up to where I saw it last (well rushed is a slight exaggeration for a flat lander)I heard a gasping sound, sure enough there it was rolled up against a sapling, it tried to get to it's feet but I swiftly a put a couple more into it, job done!
Sadly it must have been beaten up badly in the rut, it's hind quarters were in a terrible state, full of infection, and the muscle wasted away, he wouldn't have made it through the winter for sure.

IMG_20181025_103649350.jpg

We boned out the meat and headed back down the valley on our first trip, we lost a lot of the rear quarters to infection, otherwise it would have been 3 trips, but with our packs stuffed to the top we made it back in 2.

IMG_20181025_131102590.jpg

Front quarters cooling ready for the last return trip

IMG_20181025_131009516_HDR.jpg

What we didn't know was that Aleks had brought a Llama to aid with the extraction

IMG-20181106-WA0000.jpg
 
Last edited:

devon deer

Active member
Joined
Aug 25, 2011
Messages
1,668
Location
Great Britain
Then we headed out East, whilst Adam and I struggled to find deer Stephen and Aleks were seeing them on a daily basis, and Aleks got himself a stunning Mule deer, Stephen managed a little forky, just like he got in 2016.

I had a very close encounter, I dropped off Adam and drove off looking for a nice spot when I noticed a deer crossing about a mile away, I got out my spotting scope and I nearly fell over, he was a beast, huge, with a great looking drop tine, I had to make a decision, go after him myself or find Adam to give him his first chance at a deer in Montana, it was an easy decision, I drove back the road, I couldn't find him! I shouted to no avail, so I quickly returned, I made a mistake, I should have just run at him and closed the gap, instead I did a slow stalk into the wind, by the time I got to where he was he had disappeared into a coulee, the rancher came across for a chat, he said I would never see it again, and he was right!
The day after I found a small forky mule deer within 200 yards, I had my cross hairs on him briefly but changed my mind, he will live to fight another day.

Aleks hauling out his muley

IMG-20181028-WA0001.jpg

With only a vague idea of where Stephen and Aleks were seeing deer Adam and I moved location whilst the other 2 headed back to the Pioneers to chase Elk.
We booked into a BMA, but then bumped into 2 Canadian hunters filling their freezer with does, really helpful guys who gave us some great information on where we might find some deer, and maybe a buck on BLM land.
So off we set, wind at our backs to got to the far end of a valley and stalk back with the wind in our face.
Adam saw them first, 3 mule deer on the lee side of a mound, as we were discussing whether one was a small buck I noticed they all looked in a different direction, out of a deep coulee a doe trotted, with a nice buck in hot pursuit.
Now, I can't remember how many times I warned Adam, watch out for prickly pears (based on my own previous experience!) he completely forgot and placed his elbow directly on top of one!
Ignoring the pain he ranged the deer at over 300 yards broadside, I watched as the bullet struck home, damn, the wind was stronger than we thought, he hit far back, a quick re adjustment and it was a little better placement and the deer fell down into a water filled ditch where Adam finished it with a final shot, a great result, as he boned it out I headed back to the car to pick up our packs (around 1 1/2 miles away) using my GPS I worked out a nice track avoiding all but one deep water filled ditch, the GPS was invaluable as we packed out in the dark.

IMG_20181030_164352339.jpg

Adam dropped off the buck at Purcells taxidermy in Red Lodge and we headed back towards Bozeman, on the way we stopped off in another location (thanks to another member on here for a great tip!) 3 miles back in we located 2 whitetail bucks fighting, it was my turn, initially I ranged them at 380 yards, I tried to close the gap, and did to 280 yards, I was not at all happy with my shooting position, and started to rush things as the deer were heading off into the timber, with no more cover available to conceal myself I tried a shot through a gap in between 2 bushes, a clean miss, never mind, no injured deer, just my pride!

The other guys failed to find and Elk but did connect with a couple of Coyotes

It was a great couple of weeks, we met some great people and made new friends, I'm not sure I will ever make it back again, my wife would never stop me from going, but I sensed this time she would prefer I didn't.....however somebody named Randy Newberg suggested Wyoming antelope, what ever they are?

Cheers

Richard
 

Attachments

Last edited:

JCS

Active member
Joined
Jul 17, 2010
Messages
1,550
Location
MT
Nice. If I have known you were in the area, I would have looked you up. I live nearby.
 

antlerradar

Active member
Joined
Oct 23, 2012
Messages
959
Location
SE Montana
Nice. If I have known you were in the area, I would have looked you up. I live nearby.
Don't worry, I am sure that there will be plenty of other hunt talkers around looking for a Droptine mule deer.

Devon. Congratulations on your hunt. Just remember that pictures can draw a 1000 hunters, but words can bring in even more.
 

kansasdad

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 30, 2011
Messages
3,720
Location
Wichita
Well done chaps. Impressive that you were able to come to Montana and find success in the midst of the adventure.

Hope someone brought a good kettle and some fine tea to recount the days events over.
 

Sawtooth

Active member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
1,042
Location
Boise, Idaho
Richard,
So glad that each of you were able to connect on an animal. You guys got a couple of nice deer, and nice job on the elk. Were you able to get the heads back to England or are you having them shipped over later? If you are interested in a Wyoming antelope hunt let me know. I have been planning on taking my son on a Wyoming antelope hunt in the next couple of years and would love to have you join us.
 
Top