First Montana mule deer

BH107

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2014
Messages
89
Location
Bozeman, MT
I am pretty lucky to have been raised hunting mule deer in SW Colorado every few years we could draw tags as a non-resident. 5 years ago I moved to Montana and had fun hunting the other species I now had in state taking my first elk, Antelope, and a couple of nice whitetails.

Coming into this year I decided to focus on getting my first Montana mule deer. Because of family commitments I don’t get to start hunting until October but as mostly a rifle hunter this works out just fine.

Opening weekend I spent 4 days in eastern Montana with my 8 year old son driving around and exploring. We drove 1700 miles in 4 days scouting and seeing different areas that I wanted to check out later in the season. I actually tuned up a good buck the day before season started but the weather didn’t cooperate opening morning and to be honest I didn’t want to be finished that early.

Several more trips and many more miles on both the truck and my boots saw lots of deer but nothing mature enough to really go after. Heading into the second to last weekend of the hunt I headed back east with my cousins for a final long weekend of hunting before Thanksgiving.

The first day we found quite a few more deer and a few that were showing interest in does, but again mostly young bucks. As the sun rose on day 2 I found myself sitting 150 yards above a group of does that I was sure had to have a buck with them. I watched for quite awhile but nothing showed up and they seemed happy just feeding in the timber. As I glassed further out I saw a buck in full rut chasing a deer all over the side of a hill before they disappeared into a coulee. The problem was they were 1-1/2 miles down below me and I hadn’t really seen how good the buck was but I decided to head down and get a closer look. After stumbling on another buck while headed that way I made it to a butte above where the deer had disappeared and I made my way to the edge. I glassed for some time but couldn’t find the deer but it had been a good walk finding may more places for the deer to hide. As I worked my way around the butte I took one more look back from a different angle just in time to see the 2 deer slowly moving away at about 150 yards. I grabbed my gun and got a better look… it didn’t take long for me to decide to shoot. I waited for a good broadside shot that finally presented itself at 250 yards and the 6.5 PRC did its work. The buck went above 40 yards before expiring…

I was thrilled that everything came together and excited to get a closer look. The bucks didn’t disappoint and there was no ground shrinkage as I got closer. He ended up being 24” wide with almost perfect symmetry except missing one eye guard. He grossed just over 165” and while he’s not my biggest I am more than happy with my first Montana mule deer.
 

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mtwarden

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
6,676
Location
Montana
Nice! I was a game warden in SE for 24 years, imo some of the best mule deer hunting in the state :)
 

LKY_DVL_1

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2021
Messages
11
I am pretty lucky to have been raised hunting mule deer in SW Colorado every few years we could draw tags as a non-resident. 5 years ago I moved to Montana and had fun hunting the other species I now had in state taking my first elk, Antelope, and a couple of nice whitetails.

Coming into this year I decided to focus on getting my first Montana mule deer. Because of family commitments I don’t get to start hunting until October but as mostly a rifle hunter this works out just fine.

Opening weekend I spent 4 days in eastern Montana with my 8 year old son driving around and exploring. We drove 1700 miles in 4 days scouting and seeing different areas that I wanted to check out later in the season. I actually tuned up a good buck the day before season started but the weather didn’t cooperate opening morning and to be honest I didn’t want to be finished that early.

Several more trips and many more miles on both the truck and my boots saw lots of deer but nothing mature enough to really go after. Heading into the second to last weekend of the hunt I headed back east with my cousins for a final long weekend of hunting before Thanksgiving.

The first day we found quite a few more deer and a few that were showing interest in does, but again mostly young bucks. As the sun rose on day 2 I found myself sitting 150 yards above a group of does that I was sure had to have a buck with them. I watched for quite awhile but nothing showed up and they seemed happy just feeding in the timber. As I glassed further out I saw a buck in full rut chasing a deer all over the side of a hill before they disappeared into a coulee. The problem was they were 1-1/2 miles down below me and I hadn’t really seen how good the buck was but I decided to head down and get a closer look. After stumbling on another buck while headed that way I made it to a butte above where the deer had disappeared and I made my way to the edge. I glassed for some time but couldn’t find the deer but it had been a good walk finding may more places for the deer to hide. As I worked my way around the butte I took one more look back from a different angle just in time to see the 2 deer slowly moving away at about 150 yards. I grabbed my gun and got a better look… it didn’t take long for me to decide to shoot. I waited for a good broadside shot that finally presented itself at 250 yards and the 6.5 PRC did its work. The buck went above 40 yards before expiring…

I was thrilled that everything came together and excited to get a closer look. The bucks didn’t disappoint and there was no ground shrinkage as I got closer. He ended up being 24” wide with almost perfect symmetry except missing one eye guard. He grossed just over 165” and while he’s not my biggest I am more than happy with my first Montana mule deer.
Nice buck!!!
 

jdyansick

Junior Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2021
Messages
26
Nice buck dude! Shoot that any day of the week.

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