2021 MT Semi Live w/son

elks96

Very Active Member
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2,674
Well it is finally here… Leaving this morning. Woke up to unexpected snow here in WY. Now to make the 6 hour trek to MT.

I will do this semi live… Snow falling time to start burning some fuel…

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elks96

Very Active Member
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2,674
So this morning was an adventure. I have been watching weather all week. We got a random snow band that surprised us. Roads were pretty nasty to say the least.

We ended up taking a wrong turn, then had to cut over to Buffalo because of an accident. Only 30 minute detour.

We also had to get my son a belt as he forgot to pack his.

The sun is out now and we will be hunting in about 2.5 hours or less…

PS my son was taking pictures on the way.

We stopped at sun way for lunch… the new and improved subway is using paper straws. You know to save the world… The lady asked if we were taking a refill on the road, and then proceeded to give us each and extra straw as they fall apart. Ugggghhh… You can not make up for stupid in this country…

We also snuck over and saw the Bozeman trail and checked out fort Reno…

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elks96

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2,674
So we made it into MT at about 1:30. We started on public right away and began glassing and working the country. From 1:30 to 3:30 we did not see anything. We did hit a couple chunks of public on the river bottom.

There were people everywhere. Way more than we saw last year. Also the range is in horrible shape. Even noticeable on the river bottom.

We did some rattling and glassing but not much luck. On the private we were seeing decent numbers of deer, but definitely less than last year.

The weather turned out colder than the forecast. Which was nice and we got a skiff of light fluffy snow. It will melt fast tomorrow. I don’t think it wil lol even allow tracks in the am.

We are staying in an Airbnb that the house of 90 years old and had 3 small additions. My son thinks the basement might be from silence of the lambs.

He also Learned that the heater in the floor is actually hot and might burn his feet… luckily he learned that before it got too bad!!

We have a huge hike in the am. Hopefully we can find some good stuff. We did see 5 bucks he would shoot, but none were any place close to public land.

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Wiszard

Long Time Member
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9,122
Either he missed a giant or he killed!! Can't wait for you to post the pics.....good to see emotions from kids.
 

elks96

Very Active Member
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2,674
So this morning we woke up at about 5:00. Microwaved a breakfast burrito and loaded up. He gets up pretty good for an 11 year old.

He got to select the buck killing music for the day. At about 6:15 we were opening the final gate to get onto so public land.

Last year we made it to this location, but we weee late into the morning and after 3.5 mile hike we turned up his first decent mule deer buck. Last year the entire day I felt like we needed to hunt it at first light.

So this year that was out plan. Onto the public and out of the. Truck right as the sun was rising. It was pretty cold and the wind started off perfect. We were cruising the tree edges glassing as we went. About 40 minutes in glassing light the wind shifted and came hard from the south right over our backs.

Unfortunately it was going to really mess with the first 1.5 hours of our planned hunt. But we had already committed.

We had made it just about 3/4 of a mile in, when we looked way out on the private and could see a couple deer. They were about 2 miles out in the flats at an old abandoned farm house. They had several options where they might go. And when we first saw them they were heading the wrong direction.

So we slow played a bit and worked the tree edges.

After 20 minutes we glass the deer again and they are heading back up our way. Still 700 yards out. But slowly coming this way. One doe and a buck.

Again there is about 6 different ways they could go.

This picture was when they were still a long ways out but still somehow heading our way.

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elks96

Very Active Member
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2,674
So we are still waiting for the deer to keep feeding up. After what seems like for ever they cross onto the public land which was about 300 yards from where we had set up. Things are getting really good, the wind still stiff from the south. They are coming in straight from the east. Luckily we had decided to make sure we were far enough to the north to get the wind right.

Now the doe has moved into 200 yards and is feeding into a little finger to our south. The buck is about 80 yards behind her and following her up. The finger just to our south. She feeds around just out of view and we wait for the buck to follow. We gets around the point and we make our move. We sneak up into the trees just where we had last seen the buck. Figuring they had enough time to feed up above us, I was really surprised when we walked right into the buck at 49 yards. Luckily I just saw his antlers in the trees then he put his head back down to feed and sniff. We sat and waited. He never stepped out where we sat up. So after what seemed like forever we sneak up and can’t find the deer. They had to be close…

We use the trees and cover and are now walking in directly behind them. We hit the tree edge hiding in the shade of trees and see both the doe and buck feeding about 100 yards out.

We get the sticks set up. The deer are due west of us now. We are between them and the private and the sun is now in their eyes. I can’t believe how it all worked out.

As we set up the big pod for my son, he gets settled in and ready. They are feeding straight away, before I can say wait for him to turn both him and the doe turn broadside on their next step. My son readies, I tell him behind the shoulder. I get my Binos up and tell him to take the shot when he can. The Binos hit the deer and I see blood on the right Daisy of his face as he looks back at us. Then bam, the shot hits and the buck is down instantly. Not even a wiggle.

My son was super excited. It is his second big game tag and his second animal. He was so excited. He wanted a whitetail so bad. He has grown up with mule deer. All he had seen for years, all he had hunted. White tails were exciting and different.

We hugged and cried a bit before making our way up to his first white tail.

The shot was a high shoulder shot and took out the spine. The blood you see was all over his antlers and more. He had about a 1” cut at the base of his right ear. The when we got up too him the wound was packed full of ice and snow from over night. His blood was pretty bright red, but I believe there was a bunch of blood from another buck on his antlers as well. There was a bunch of older dark blood on his antlers as well.

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elks96

Very Active Member
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2,674
I have to state that I love my new pack. I loaded up the 4 quarters, back straps and neck meat. I took it about 1.5 miles back to the truck without need to break. Just slow and steady.

My son however was getting his butt kicked a bit. To his credit there is not a good pack we have found for him. He is long torso and a super tiny waist. So no matter what he ends up with all the weight on his neck and shoulders. The sale and head were a decent load fir an 11 year old.

He was taking a break on every rock and even on a stick tank. But he never complained.

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elks96

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2,674
When we made it back to the truck, we can hear a hiss… not good. We unload the pack and look. We find a nail in the right rear tire. I mess with it and the hoss slows. Luckily we have a little air compressor. So we give the tire about 10 psi and then huddle to town to see if we can find a repair.

Of course small town Thanksgiving nothing really open in terms of repair places. But we do find the little cafe is open in town.

We we run to our BNB and hang up the quarters and wash up.

The Cafe has a family style Community Thanksgiving dinner for free. We got to eat Turkey, ham, potatoes pie and all the fixing. It was amazing and the cafe owners refused to accept any money. They do it every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. What an awesome deal. They even let my boy take a to go box for dinner tonight..

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elks96

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2,674
After a allergy issue with my son, we left town at around 2 to explore new areas. We took some wrong turns, and ended up not getting much hunting in but we eliminated a bunch of roads for the future. We did see a few deer, a bunch of Turkey and some really cool country.

I still have a buck tag and we have 2 white tail doe tags. A couple days left and I will update as we go…
 

elks96

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2,674
So I would love to talk about about how hard it was and how much effort we put in today. We got up around 5am. We filled our slow leaking tire backup and headed out towards a chunk of state land.

We arrived at the state land just as legal light was setting in. We back in by a little shed to hide the truck and get ready to sneak into the cottonwoods to try and call/rattle a buck.

I as I was packing my my bag my son says deer. I look up and on the hill behind us is a little doe and a buck. They were across the main road looking at us.

Since I have only killed 1 white tail, I am not really picky on them. So I look and the buck is good enough. Stop packing my gear and slip my orange on. Uncase my gun and set up next to the little pump house shed on the state. About 4 minutes pass the doe feed down about 80 yards out the buck

We had the buck loaded and headed out before the sun was visible.

So we have both our buck tags filled. On good sized white tails. I think total we had 2 hours of hunting in. Today we are getting the tire fixed we have been driving looking at bucks on private. Some nice white tails around but compared to last year the mule deer are way down and the bucks are super small.

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elks96

Very Active Member
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2,674
Good on you dad. What pack are you using? Ive had an exo since they came out with the k3 and really love that pack.
I am running the Mystery Ranch Metcalf. The only thing I find difficult is keeps big track of all the straps. I brought my mule deer out in 1 trip earlier this year as well.
 

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