Montana Rut

mnhoundman

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Just got back from eastern Montana deer hunting, bucks were still together and not chasing does! The biggest bucks we saw were with other bucks just laying around and does together with no bucks. The does we saw with bucks were just small stuff. Anyone see the same? And how does the drought effect the rut??
 

Brianb3

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Headed there this weekend. Was in Co last week. It was a rut frenzy. WA where I live bucks look to be peeling off a bit. I know it’s still the rut but.


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mnhoundman

mnhoundman

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Was wei
Headed there this weekend. Was in Co last week. It was a rut frenzy. WA where I live bucks look to be peeling off a bit. I know it’s still the rut but.


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It's weird, I know people that were there last week and they weren't rutting good either, so idk! Usually by now it's going good.
 

Bsum82

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My home area of Region 3, rut is on. Big herds 2 weeks ago, now their broken up. I was able to get a decent buck Saturday because he was trailing two doe’s and was most concerned about that, not the guy stalking him for a mile but he didn’t much care for that either.
 
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mnhoundman

mnhoundman

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My home area of Region 3, rut is on. Big herds 2 weeks ago, now their broken up. I was able to get a decent buck Saturday because he was trailing two doe’s and was most concerned about that, not the guy stalking him for a mile but he didn’t much care for that either.
Ok, maybe we were way late. There was dink bucks walking around with does, but not chasing and they didn't want anything to do with them. Then there was bucks eating together, thought that was weird this time of year
 

Bsum82

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Ok, maybe we were way late. There was dink bucks walking around with does, but not chasing and they didn't want anything to do with them. Then there was bucks eating together, thought that was weird this time of year
In my view, it’s just getting going for mule deer. I am also seeing some chasing from whitetails close to town. The Muley’s were a herd I’ve watched since very early October during Pronghorn rifle season. Can’t speak for other areas because I only hunted this spot so that I could pin their behavior. I can say I am hearing other locals say about the same.
 

coop22250

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They are chasing does over here now, whitetail are full on, Mule deer should be pretty fired up this week. They are chasing as well now, but a little behind the WT
 
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mnhoundman

mnhoundman

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They are chasing does over here now, whitetail are full on, Mule deer should be pretty fired up this week. They are chasing as well now, but a little behind the WT
Does it seem later this year? Know quite a few people that do really well the week before Thanksgiving, and this year it wasn't good this week.
 

coop22250

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I just moved back to Montana after leaving in 2005, haven’t hunted outside Alaska since then. I used to hit them pretty good mid nov I thought, but it’s been awhile, so I could be wrong.

I guess now that we have a primitive black powder season in Dec maybe that will be the ticket
 
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mnhoundman

mnhoundman

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I just moved back to Montana after leaving in 2005, haven’t hunted outside Alaska since then. I used to hit them pretty good mid nov I thought, but it’s been awhile, so I could be wrong.

I guess now that we have a primitive black powder season in Dec maybe that will be the ticket
Talked to a few people out there that have hunted there for years and said it's the slowest they have ever seen, some say the drought. But idk.
 

cornfedkiller

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Just got home from eastern MT as well. I've been hunting the same week the last several years prior to this.. all previous years, when we've found a few does, there was almost always a bigger buck with them..

This year, every doe group we found had nothing bigger than a fork or spindly 3x3 with them. Found one decent buck with a group of does and little bucks.. he left them and let the little bucks chase the does around.
 

coop22250

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I’ve heard the game shops over here are a little slow this year by about half so far. It was really dry and really hot all summer, that could have something to do with it.
 

cornfedkiller

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Talked to a few people out there that have hunted there for years and said it's the slowest they have ever seen, some say the drought. But idk.

Warden told us that the numbers are way down this year and hunting has been very tough.
 
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mnhoundman

mnhoundman

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Just got home from eastern MT as well. I've been hunting the same week the last several years prior to this.. all previous years, when we've found a few does, there was almost always a bigger buck with them..

This year, every doe group we found had nothing bigger than a fork or spindly 3x3 with them. Found one decent buck with a group of does and little bucks.. he left them and let the little bucks chase the does around.
Exactly what we saw! Do they think alot of deer died to drought?
 

Bear7771

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Deer numbers were down quite a bit, but the rut was full swing all week in SE Montana. I’ve hunted the last 4 years there the week before Thanksgiving. The last two years the rut didn’t get rolling till mid week, this year they were breeding does when we showed up and it kept rolling all week. Not near the bucks to pick over but the 7 of us all filled our tags. It‘ll be a few years till I’m gonna try it again though. ✌️
 

hartigjosh

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I was there last week. Saw bucks cruising, does trapped in lock down by the road side, and a sht ton of hunters. The rut was on, no doubt. But I think the herd is in a bad way. I saw some dead heads and the age class of deer seemed really young. Also the densities were really low and and it seemed like everyone I talked to said it was a bad year. Outfitters I ran in to, Taxidermist, processor, guys at the gun store. All of them had negative comments.
That being said you could still drive the highway and see a 3x3 or 4x4 bedded down with a doe on a sliver of BLM and get it done if you wanted to. Also, private land, seems like they had ag they had bigger deer.
 

Dos Perros

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My personal opinion on SE Montana: I don't think many mature mule deer bucks died due to drought.

Evidence? We covered way too many miles in likely places, talked to other hunters, and no one was coming across carcasses.

We did see even younger bucks acting like mature bucks first week of November, in that they were popping up out of ravines at absolutely last night. Very careful, very spooky. I just think things got tough, or were tougher this year due to reasons mentioned above.

There are too many really nice eastern MT bucks in the meat pole thread to conclude a bunch of them died due to drought/other. There were there, we just didn't see them.
 

Spoonman

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The few places I was hunting the bucks were in full rut mode. Hunted unit 700 and also central MT. My brother and I both tagged out on bucks chasing does like crazy!
 

bsnedeker

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My personal opinion on SE Montana: I don't think many mature mule deer bucks died due to drought.

Evidence? We covered way too many miles in likely places, talked to other hunters, and no one was coming across carcasses.

We did see even younger bucks acting like mature bucks first week of November, in that they were popping up out of ravines at absolutely last night. Very careful, very spooky. I just think things got tough, or were tougher this year due to reasons mentioned above.

There are too many really nice eastern MT bucks in the meat pole thread to conclude a bunch of them died due to drought/other. There were there, we just didn't see them.
Overall I agree with your assessment. Way too many pictures of hogs coming out of MT to say they all died, but it was tough this year. I've never spent more time out hunting for MD this year and all I saw were forks, threes, and one middling 4-point.

I'll also add that I actually did stumble upon a couple of buck carcasses that were from this year.
 

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