Day 1 4:15 PM,clear and sunny, South wind with gusts to 10 MPH, 88 degrees.Tonight it's all about pigs. There has been a boar, that weighs about 200 lbs, that uses this feeder in the evenings. We hope that it cools off quickly tonight and he comes in.
While the deer was exciting, my girls main focus has been pigs. The only real reason is that my oldest didn't get one and they both want tusks to make a necklace. Sibling competition is making this hunt more interesting. After we finished with the deer, our host said he had shot a boar early in the year and that the head should be nearby. With that, the scavenger hunt was on. After 15 minutes or so she crawled out of the bushes with these. They are amazingly sharp.
We sat for most of the evening with out anything. One small buck came in for about 5 minutes. Then, just before dark, we heard a grunt off to our left. We could hear a pig walking around and grunting but it would never show itself. Just as it was turning to dark to see, we heard one final grunt of disgust and it was gone.
Tomorrow is a new setup. Back to turkeys and deer.
Day 2 6:25 AM, cloudy, occasional south breeze, spitting rain and 76 degrees. We are in a new blind this morning with the feeder at 40 yards and down hill. We are expecting plenty of deer and possibly some turkey. Today is our last day and we are hunting for a big buck or a hog.
The hardest part of this hunt is getting up early and getting in a blind well before daylight. The mosquito's have been killing us and my hunting partners eyelids weigh a ton.
The morning has been less active than we would have guessed. So far nothing has come in. It give us time to look over the damage the bugs are creating.
Montana is way better this time of year. Biting bugs are nearly non existent. After awhile, our first guests arrive. Of all things to come in. . .
The morning is looking pretty slim. The wind has been swirling most of the morning. Maybe that's why we haven't seen much. Just before we decided to pack it in for the morning, these turkeys showed up.
They were all hens and pullets, again. They sprinted in and sprinted out. They were still fun to watch and listen too. By this time lunch and sleep had worked themselves to the top of our list. Time for lunch and some final planning.
This is a beautiful place to hunt. I just wish a tom or pig would show up. We are down to having just one hunt left before we go home. The extra warm weather is hurting the pig hunting, hopefully tonight we will get lucky.
I love going to Texas. Lots of excellent places eat, warmer weather than home and the hunting is just so different. Lunch today was by this crystal clear stream. Clear water is something I didn't see a lot of in the Lone Star State.
Day 2 6:50 PM, scattered clouds, 84 degrees. Because of the heat and the effect on the evening hog movement, we are going to plan "B". We're going to glass a draw that has a small creek running through it. This is a private piece of ground known for hogs. Our hope is that they will start moving while it's still daylight and we can position ourselves for a shot with a rifle.
Our first customer was this tarantula. He came out right at our feet. Don't see these in Montana.
We could see several does feeding in the draw but not a single hog.
We glassed until dark. Unfortunately, there was not last minute saves and our Texas hunt came to an end. I can't imagine a better hunt to be on with my daughter. Good friends, good food and pleanty of time outdoors. Besides, we now have an excuse to come back. The next morning we headed home. One day to catch up at school and work emails, then off for the Montana youth deer hunt.
One day at home then we headed off for the Montana Youth Deer hunt. Every year in October, Montana schools have a Thursday & Friday off for the states teachers to have some sort of convention. MT FWP uses those two days for the Youth Deer hunt hunt.
This is a fun hunt for my kids. We go to their grandparents ranch to hunt and hang out with all the cousins.
Opening morning we headed out to find our spot and was met by an awesome sky.
Soon after light we spot some deer on the move. There are a couple of bucks in the bunch but we will need to get closer to see if one of them is Mr. Right.
The only requirement we have for this years buck is that it is bigger than last years. This shouldn't really be a difficult task since she shot a small forky last year.
Right behind the rock, across the draw,about 220 yards, is about 20 deer. 3 of them are bucks with 2 of them being Mr. Right.
We slipped into position and looked for a shot. One of the bucks had other things on his mind and walked off alone, so we are down to 1. She spent about 2 hours looks through her scope hoping things would work out. But as deer often do, they worked themselves out with presenting the good shot we needed.
We took a long hike and didn't find another buck the rest of the day. Well, except for two spike bucks that we hiding alone in a draw. She passed on them without a second thought. We went high and low without another deer.
In a deep wash we did find a cow elk skeleton. It was a sweet find since the skull still had the ivories.
That evening we found a real nice hide between two juniper bushes. We spotted this group of antelope when they were about a mile away. Some how, they ended up right behind us, at 15 yards. I doubled the speed of the video, so if you want to watch it at normal speed go to the youtube settings and change the speed to .5
This is the first year in over a decade I didn't have an archery antelope tag in my pocket. My bow hunting soul cried a little as they walked by. Well now it's time for the big kids to get ready for hunting. The next trip out we all hunt!!
Last weekend was guys weekend. It seemed that everything was against us. The biggest full moon for the foreseeable future and unseasonably warm temps. This trip took us to Dillon in Southwest Montana. I have hunted here for most of my life. Lots of fun hunting but nothing that would shake up the record books. This hunt was disappointing, even for this type of unit. Day 1 we saw five bucks, the biggest was a 3 point.Ugh! Walking the rifle again. Here is some of the country.
I rarely find elk pieces and parts in this area but here is an entire spike. Kind of a cool find. I think this guy died late last winter.
These little deer sheds seemed to be everywhere. We found more on this trip than we have in the last several years.
On the last day, in the last draw we found this cool little elk shed. It was sun bleached bright white and all the points were intact.
We still have a couple of weeks left. Tonight it is snowing at the house so there is hope that the weather will help us out. Next weekend, all of us will be out hunting. Hopefully we'll bring home something.
Montana's 2016 general deer & elk is officially over. Right now I'm thumbing through tag soup recipes. This year has been odd to say the least. We had giant moons, warm temps, and the missing 6 to 8 inches of snow we usually have by now. I could probably mow the lawn right now and see a difference. As most of you, I love to hunt muleys. Since I now have to kids hunting I thought I would try for a bigger buck than I usually bring home and risk taking nothing. I only saw one buck this year that I wanted shoot and he out maneuvered me.
Yesterday I took my girls out to fill the freezer, what a fun day. The three of hit the trail late and within 45 minutes had our first doe in the cross hairs. The shot was 135 yards down hill. My youngest placed a good hit on her and we waited a while before we started to track her down. Without the snow it was more difficult than it should have been. She ran about 250 yards before piling up. With the first one down we snapped a couple of pictures, pulled her to the truck and called Mama to come and get the deer and kid #2.
After the exchange and reloading our packs with more water, my oldest and I headed back out. We went right back to the same spot and another 50 yards up the trail we spotted a doe blow us on a little bench. We slowly crept down the hill only to be busted by another hidden in the trees. After they took off we decided this was the best spot to sit and watch. A 1/2 hour went by then some does started to drop down on us from the ridge line. My girl flipped out her bi-pod and got in a prone position for a shot. Finally, after what seem like forever one stepped into open lane. With a giant wack, the doe jumped and ran about 20 yards. So once again we did the same routine; pictures, drag, call mama, reload the pack.
After a quick lunch on the tailgate, I went back out by myself. Again I went to the same spot and sat.
I saw several more does but nothing with antlers. As the evening started to close I figured my season couldn't have gone any better. The freezer was full, I stuck to my plan for my deer season and my kids were successful.
Next up is the elk shoulder season, river bottom archery deer, ducks, geese and with some luck maybe ice fishing. Not to mention planning for other states and the possibilities they hold. Stealing from The Most Interesting Man in the World, "Stay hungry my friends".
My kids deer are in the freezer and the rifles have been cleaned and put away for awhile. We finally got some snow, followed by a lot of snow and cold. The whitetail bucks that I was looking for the last day of season are now hanging out close to the house and I see them daily. The snow and cold makes the duck hunting pretty good this time of year. The boys and I went out and nearly shot a limit. No blinds or decoys, just sat in a spot they really wanted to be.
Arizona has published its 2017 antelope and elk regs. I can't wait to go through them and see what the hunts look like this year. With 7 elk points, maybe this will be my year, for a descent archery hunt. Maybe!
Today we hit the road for our first ice fishing trip. Hopefully there will be many more to come this winter. We were on the lake and fishing before daylight. The temp was a balmy 1 degree with an occasional breeze. By the time we left the temp had jumped to 17.
We fished most of the morning with not a lot of action. We only caught 1 Kokanee. The Rainbows came by a few times but were satisfied stealing our bait.