Montana 2021

hobbes

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Now that the 2020 Big Game and Upland seasons are both over, I’ll stop adding to my 2020 thread (https://www.rokslide.com/forums/threads/montana-2020.190653/) and go ahead and start a 2021 thread.

Thus far in 2021, I closed out my 2020 upland hunting on January 1 and closed out my extended cow tag on January 15. I posted details on the Montana 2020 thread, but here are a few photos:
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I got out for a single morning of coyote hunting with my son on the 9th without any luck:

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I’ve picked up a relatively inexpensive Foxpro Patriot E-caller since then:

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I've watched this whitetail a couple different days. I've been hoping that he would drop soon and a buddy could try to pick up his sheds. The buck is forked on his left G2 and the main beam is broken in front of his right G3.

The 7th:
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The 13th:

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It’s been a crazy mild winter here in Montana with very little snow so far but it actually snowed around an inch here in Helena last night and I’m assuming that it snowed more in the surrounding mountains. I would really like to go east to hunt coyotes for a few days but I’m running pretty low on vacation and comp time. I’m also trying to go easy on spending money since we are headed to Florida in March.

Since we can’t go to Eastern MT, we are going to give coyotes a run in the mountains tomorrow morning. We are also going to check out some areas that should have wolves to see if we could be so lucky. I know a lot less about wolves than coyotes and wouldn’t be surprised if there are very few coyotes to be found in wolf country. The wife and I may take a drive this afternoon to look some areas over

As far as the Florida trip goes, I’m supposed to hunt Osceola turkeys in March. I’ve said that I was going to do it for multiple years now but it’s a long trip and something always gets in the way. I’ve got a little more incentive now because friends of ours here in MT have moved back home to FL and my buddy’s wife’s dad has private land lined up for me to hunt. My wife will also have someone to spend time with while I’m hunting. I wasn’t expecting the private land but had instead planned to jump into the madness of Florida public land. I’m not going to hold my breath on it working out because it seems almost too good to be true. I’ll be content with hunting public land if necessary. I may even try to hunt both.

After that, I’ll start hunting turkeys here in MT in early April through most of May. It’s always possible that I’ll try to hit another state afterwards that stays open until May 31st. I did South Dakota last year, but have done NE and WA in the past.

In addition to turkeys, I usually threaten to get out and look for a bear. Bear hunting just never has turned me on too much. It’s always just been a side bet tag. Maybe I’ll finally put some effort into it this spring.

The summer will include some elk scouting and hopefully I'll get a camera up on a really good looking wallow. I'm also hoping to scout some new country this year with Pedro, my inexperienced llama in tow.

I'll plan on the usual fall and winter of antelope, elk, mule deer, and pheasants.
 
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timbrhuntr

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Nice ! Sounds like another good year in 2021 for me seems like it will be the same crap as 2020 lol
 
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hobbes

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I took a drive today to look for some areas to give a wolf hunt a try. We could do some hiking for sure but it looks like a snow mobile would be a lot more effective. The roads are all closed to wheeled vehicles and there has been a lot of traffic from the sleds and I'd guess that tomorrow would have sleds passing us right and left. We are going to hunt another area tomorrow mostly for coyotes but it's close enough to wolf country for it to not be out of the question.

I finally got around to grinding up my mule deer. I got it out of the freezer Wednesday night and left it in the sink overnight and part of Thursday then into the spare refrigerator. I picked up some beef suet to add about 10% fat. I ended up with 27 packages that I'm guessing they averaged 1.25 lbs each.

Around 15 lbs straight MD in each:
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Ground up beef suet blended in then ran through grinder a second time:
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Assembly line going with my wife helping after I did the grinding. Plastic wrap then freezer paper.

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All packaged and labelled:
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hobbes

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We made multiple stands today. We had three coyotes in range(on our second stand) but only shots at one and Isaac shot too fast and missed him. He was close. We had three other coyotes at three separate stands respond to howls but never come in. We could see one of them and it clearly knew that we were up to no good.
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timbrhuntr

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Sounds like your of to another great season. Man that meat looks good. I have been keeping my wild game in large chunks and then getting it out to grind when I want some seems to keep longer that way than when I used to grind it all at once . Plus we don't eat that much with just two of us lol
Ya land border still closed and not looking good until maybe September but I wouldn't hold my breath ! Makes it tough to deside whether to apply for tags or not .
 
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hobbes

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The whitetail buck that I've been seeing behind my house still has both sides. He's busted up some with a broken right main beam but he's still a good buck. I hope I can get eyes on next season's growth.

Blurry photos through my spotter:
IMG_20210129_165111584.jpg IMG_20210129_165112853.jpg IMG_20210129_165300817.jpg
 
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hobbes

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He's dropped his right side since yesterday.
IMG_20210130_160256227.jpg
I'll go ask permission to walk the field when he drops the other side. IMG_20210130_161245018.jpg
 
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Dalep

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That’s a really cool whitetail. Be awesome if you’re able to grab the matching pair of sheds
 
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hobbes

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Cooked my mule deer tenderloins last night. I seasoned them with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Tony Chachere's More Spice. I then seared them in butter in the cast iron. I added some garlic oil and some A1 as I cooked them. They didn't last long once out of the skillet.
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Dalep

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Had mule deer steaks from my 2020 hunt last night also! Hopefully 2021 be another good year
 
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hobbes

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It looks like winter is going to check back in:
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I was hoping to hunt coyotes on Saturday but we'll see what the weather is doing. Snow wouldn't hurt but hunting while it's snowing very much can be miserable for hunting and driving.
 
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hobbes

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I guess that I should have expected it. The buck behind my house is in a grass field surrounded by houses so I figured someone else had probably seen him.

I saw the one antler had dropped between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning but wanted to let the other dropped before I tried to get back there and pushed them off. I've watched off and on but never could see what I thought was him.

This evening I had just looked out and was pretty sure that he was in the group and missing both sides now. Thirty minutes later I spotted all the deer running and thought what the heck has them spooked. Sure enough, two people zigzagging the field looking for his sheds.
I wanted to watch to see if they picked them up but as usual I've always got someone or something demanding my time. By the time I got eyes back out there they were gone.
 

fire

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Those deer tenderloins look freaking divine. I'll need to keep the adding A1 as they cook in my back pocket.

Hellofa good job!
 
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hobbes

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I don't really want to make this a cooking thread but that's about all that I've got going right now. We made stuffed burgers tonight from the mule deer that we ground up a couple weeks ago. When it comes to ground meat, I prefer elk well ahead of deer for actual burgers. I usually use the deer in things that are seasoned a little more like chilli, spaghetti, tacos, etc. However, my freezer is devoid of elk so deer it is.

We made really thin patties then added green chillies and cheese before putting another patty on top and working the edges together. The weather is too nasty to cook outside so they went into the skillet.

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We broke out the fine china. While I still don't think they were up to elk burgers, I didn't have any complaints.
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I did go by and look at rifles a little yesterday. I think I'm going to buy both my boys (18 and 21) bolt action rifles this year. I'll stick with one of the more budget friendly rifles along the lines of a Ruger American (that's not set in stone) then shop for glass for them. I currently have a 7mm RM and a 308 (both Remington). Both boys have killed animals with the 7 RM but both prefer the recoil of the 308. I'll probably go 308 or 30-06. I could go with the more popular 6.5 Creedmor but I really like the range of options in 30 Cal bullets. I'm not much for bandwagons either, I don't have enough hair for a man bun and I won't wear a flat bill hat. JK 😁.

I wanted to hunt coyotes this weekend but the wind is rocking out there now and blowing snow all over the place. I think I'll get caught up on a couple things here and go to the office and do a little work. 😏
 
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hobbes

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Office work is never fun on weekends but it's crazy how productive a few hours can be to help stay caught up. It also doesn't hurt to build a little comp time before hunting season rolls around.

I've not added a lot of personal stuff to my office (something I need to work on) but I do have my 2019 deer and antelope and my 2020 deer.

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hobbes

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Montana has seen an influx of people over the last year. I cant blame them, I moved here nearly 10 years ago. My issue is with folks that want to bring what they are leaving to Montana,. "Well the way we did it in Seattle........".

It's not uncommon to hear said that we need a good cold winter to send folks like that packing. Unfortunately, we've not had one this year. It's been very mild with very little snow.

It's still just a small taste but winter finally peaked out again. Screenshot_20210209-065740.png
 
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hobbes

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You can tell that the bird dogs are really concerned about the cold. IMG_20210209_071937920.jpg

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They wake me up at 5:30 so they can go outside, come in and eat, go outside for another few minutes, then they come back in to do this.
 
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hobbes

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It's a little brisk outside this morning. I think it got a little colder as the sun came up. A coworker saw -33 on his way in while driving in a canyon along a creek. He pointed out that it's 70 degrees warmer in his refrigerator.
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