MT Mule Deer Hunt 2021

duckcarver

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Jan 7, 2021
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Excited to see that several friends and I have general deer tags to hunt Montana this fall. As Maryland whitetail hunters, this will be the first western big game hunt for them and my first in 25 years. Hopefully, we'll confirm it as a combo hunt when the antelope draw results are released in July. We're booked with Chase Hill Outfitters in Big Sandy, MT to hunt unit 690-20 and can't wait.

Currently planning to shoot a .270 with 130 or 140 grain bullets-specific load TBD. Any guidance or insight is welcome.
 
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duckcarver

duckcarver

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Specific trip dates are to be confirmed, but sometime in the last week of October or first week or two of November.
 
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Werty

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May 28, 2019
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Montana
Use the search function, the archives are a wealth of information. Good luck, antelope should be pretty easy, they should be bunched up by then.
 

Netherman

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Bullet selection is a blackhole you'll never find your way out of. My advice would be to use a bonded bullet and find the speed node that your rifle likes. My 30-06 seems to like 2800ish and since I can push a 165 or 180 that fast I choose the 180s for more thump and better BC. I'm personally shooting accubonds and feel they are the sweet spot between penetration and expansion in the ranges I shoot (0-400).

As an easterner myself, my best piece of unsolicited advice would be to get a bipod. In the country you'll be hunting I suspect your shots will be in the 200-300 range and having a stable rest is huge. I have a 12-25 Harris that really shines in that sage country where you need a kneeling/sitting shot.

It is a bit cumbersome to shoot prone which is why I'll be trying a hatch outwest bipod (lots more $$) this year. Still not 100% perfect but seems to check a lot of boxes (height range, durability(expected), speed and control of leg extension, quick attachment). Playing with it at home my only gripes are speed of leg deployment (not a huge issues for my as I typically carry my rifle with the legs deployed), and needing to release the friction lock to spread the legs for prone shots (fairly minimal as I expect to have time setting up for a perfect prone shot).
 

hobbes

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If you want the best chance at rutting bucks, shoot for your later dates. I would recommend one of the taller bipods also for shooting over sage when needed. I can't help you with bullet selection. I've not been picky 175 gr Core Lokts out of a 7mm mag has been plenty. I'm sure it takes a lot less than that.
 

Cahunter805

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You will have a great time. They kill some pretty respectable bucks at chase hill. I’d recommend practicing out to at least 300 yards from your bipod and field positions quite a bit. Have your friends practice also. Plenty of good bullets available for your 270Win. The 140gr Accubonds or 140gr Berger VLD is what I’d recommend.
 

hobbes

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You will have a great time. They kill some pretty respectable bucks at chase hill. I’d recommend practicing out to at least 300 yards from your bipod and field positions quite a bit. Have your friends practice also. Plenty of good bullets available for your 270Win. The 140gr Accubonds or 140gr Berger VLD is what I’d recommend.
Under normal conditions, I'd agree with "plenty of good bullets" and lots of practice. I wouldn't count on plenty of ammo anywhere right now and I'm limiting my shooting to make darn sure that I have ammo to hunt.
 

SecretSpot

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Jul 20, 2020
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MT
Be ready to shoot 500 yards, bring a window mount for binos, bring a tripod for glassing while on stalks. Be prepared to lay down and crawl in prickly pear. The best setup is a tripod with a gun mount like triclops or a savvy version like spartan offers. If you dont dial and shoot, be confident and have a paper dope chart on your gun specific to elevation and temps, ready for holds and/or dialing. Alotta guys depend on their phones for dope data, and the cold zaps them dead when they are most needed. when people mess up their oppurtunities it's almost always guys with rifles that are zeroed but have no idea about bullet drop or where to hold when there guide says "380 yards". Practice holding wind and know what you and your rifle need to do to cooridinate a good shot. I suggest shooting steel from all kinds of positions, ranges, conditions and with an elevated heart rate.

Also its flat land hunting, but be in shape. Any rain fall will mean your boots will be 5-10 lbs each from mud and the ground will offer zero traction and tire you out easily.

As far as clothing, a wind resistant softshell as an outter most layer is handy in the wind and durable. Gaiters for mud are great, and glassing glomitts are your friend at dusk and dawn. Although it's only gonna be 2nd week November at latest, Montana can throw the shit at you with bad cold spells and snow. Be prepared for 0 degrees and also be prepared for 60 degree days.
 

Tmac

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South of Portland
If you draw Antelope, make sure and check into when bucks usually drop their sheaths in Nov. in the area you are hunting. I’ve seen quite a few shed in early Nov, and most by mid Nov. That may inform your date selection. Deer hunting will usually get better as you get later into Nov.

Any 130-140 gr. hunting bullet out of a 270 will work fine on deer and antelope.

Good luck and have fun.
 

Tallfeller454

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May 24, 2017
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I shoot Hornady Precision Hunter 145gr ELDX. It groups very well out to 700 on paper but limit myself to 500 in the field.

As stated above bring clothes for any type of weather. Other than that I'm sure the outfitter will make sure you all have a good hunt.

Good luck and have fun!
 
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duckcarver

duckcarver

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We hoped to make this a combo hunt, and are a little disappointed that no one in our group drew an antelope tag. Nevertheless, this started as a mule deer hunt, and that’s what it will be. Looking forward to getting to Montana in late October.
 
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duckcarver

duckcarver

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Excited to finally be traveling to Montana on Friday!

I understand we're early for the mule deer rut, but am hopeful the cool temps will encourage deer movement. 16 degrees on Sunday night will be a welcome change to the 80s we had in Maryland yesterday.
 

SecretSpot

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MT
Excited to finally be traveling to Montana on Friday!

I understand we're early for the mule deer rut, but am hopeful the cool temps will encourage deer movement. 16 degrees on Sunday night will be a welcome change to the 80s we had in Maryland yesterday.
I'm sure if you're on a lease you will still see plenty of resident deer worth shooting. The rut definately brings out deer from the woodworks but I bet you'll still see plenty of bucks
 

Shaund7

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Dec 4, 2021
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Sorry to re-hash an old thread but I was curious how this hunt went? Me and a couple guys are talking about mule deer hunting with Chase Hill next year.
 
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duckcarver

duckcarver

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I appreciate all of the advice and feedback from posts here and should have shared a report earlier. We had a good time.

All five guys in my group killed a buck. We also enjoyed chasing sharptails and huns and some sent time shooting prairie dogs and coyotes. This area of Montana is in a drought that really impacted typical winter wheat plantings. The guides explained that the hunting this fall was much tougher than a typical year. We saw lots of does and young bucks. Had to work to find older deer, which I expected, but I gather prior years were easier for the guides.

I did not anticipate the amount of time spent riding in a trucks, which isn't my style. During lunch on day two, I told my guide I would much prefer shooting a smaller buck found while hiking and glassing over spotting a monster from the passenger window. He accommodated and changed our hunting style. I connected with a nice 4x4 the next morning. Spent the last two days helping to retrieve friends' deer from coules, chasing upland birds and watching bighorns. I have hunts in other locations planned for the next few years, but would hunt with Chase Hill again.
 

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duckcarver

duckcarver

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More photos.
 

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EdP

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Jun 18, 2020
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Southwest Va
As a fellow easterner (from Va) who loves my quiet time outdoors matching wits with the critters, I'd say you made a smart choice getting away from the truck and you still took a very nice deer. Having done a guided MD hunt in Wy myself this fall, the time spent in a side by side made sense and increased our opportunities, but wasn't much to my liking.

Where were those sheep pics taken? Looks like the Badlands Nat Park in SD.
 
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duckcarver

duckcarver

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All pictures were taken during my hunt with Chase Hill in the Missouri River breaks—about 25 miles from Big Sandy, Montana


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

znichols

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Sep 6, 2021
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I hunted mule deer 11/13-11/19 in eastern Montana and was tough trying to find the bog boys. My group of 3 hunters tagged 2 bucks. Drought put a damper on the deer according to the locals
 
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