Ive been staying in the Sidney Montana area off and on for the last 6 months, Ive heard great things from years past from the locals,now they say there 80% down. since ive been here along the yellowstone they seem very sparce a long stretch then you will hit a little pocket where there is a good number I think the EHD missed a few islands.Seems like all those pockets after the first of rifle season slid over to a posted area, I did see a few hog bucks chasing does( private of course). Just across the border in north dakota they seem to have been decimated, I drive 200 miles+plus a day in some of the best looking whitetail country ive ever seen and nothing.The private land around the crazys mountains is loaded with whitetail though mostly posted.
The whitetails around Fort Peck were hit pretty had between the winter of 10/11 and the the EHD. A buddy hunted around Jordan last year and the best buck they found was 130. The year before they hunted the same area and were seeing a number of bucks in the 150+ range.
I think it will be a few years to bring back many of the quality bucks that were lost to the recent winter kills and EHD in eastern MT, SW ND, & NW SD. Don't get me wrong, there are still some good ones but nothing like there was.