South East Montana Mule Deer Trip 2020

VenaticOppidan

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
100
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Well, its been about a month since me and 3 friends went out on our second Montana Mule deer hunt, in the South East, between Ekalaka and Powder River. We used a friend of mine who is a hunting consultant to find some private land that offered basic on site lodging, as well as private land and BLM access, made easier since we could drive the truck on any land since we were with the ranch, it allowed us to utilize the trucks, which came in handy with the weather we experienced.

We arrived Friday afternoon on 11/06 to 70 degree weather, that was going to be short lived. We started hunting Saturday AM in 2 2 man teams. Myself and my partner Sal took One side of the road, our friends Rob and josh took the other. We all saw doe and spikes fairly consistently from the start of the hunt, but the first 2 days n one even glassed anything close to a shooter. Sunday night into Monday Morning we had a significant temp drop down to the High teens with driving sleet/snow, with a feels like temp in the single digits. Glassing was hard and we were freezing, at this point we decided to utilize knobs and the warmth of the truck. We still have not seen a buck worth taking a better look at, same as the other crew.

Tuesday the wind was down, but still noticeable, and the temps were in the high 20's. We parked the truck on the knob, watched the sun rise, then started spotting deer about an hour after first light. We had 6 doe to the left over 1000yd, as well as a group of 15 to the right even further, not a buck to be seen. An hour later straight ahead on a knoll rolling out of some "Mountains' I saw what appeared to be 2x mule deer butts with my binos, I hopped out of the truck and got my spotting scope on them at 30x and could see antler and he looked decent. We were still far away, but I thought I wanted a closer look. Using the contours of the land, which looks flat but isn't, I was able to about cut the distance in half. I got the spotter up again and now he was bedded and I could just see antlers in the sage barely, but I thought he may be a shooter, and since we had no other prospects, decided the stalk was on.

I told my hunting partner to come with, as I wasn't sure if I was going to shoot him and wanted to give him the audible, as I wasn't going to shoot a buck smaller than the one I got on our last trip (a solid 3x), and he was still after his first after striking out 2 years prior. We were now out of sight from the buck, and the wind was in our favor. We hiked to the base of the mountain and dropped down into a arroyo, or drainage, whatever you want to call it. Using this as cover, we were able to follow it around to just under the knoll, when I thought we were close to the buck, we climbed up the side and out onto the knoll, with the wind still in our favor. We crawled through the sage until I was able to spot the buck, exactly where I thought he would be, still bedded, just his antlers poking through the bush. We the set up on our bellies, in the snow, guns on the bipods, the deer bedded at 130yds, now the wait begins.

We waited on our stomachs there in the snow watching the deer move his head and scan for danger sporadically. after about 90 minutes another deer got up from about 5 yards to his left, we never saw him besides initially down at the truck. He was a small 3x, and I whispered to my partner not to shoot, we could do better. A few more minutes go by, and the bigger buck starts moving his head more giving us a better look and I could tell he had decent width, and looked like he had some forks, albeit not huge. But this deer was a shooter for me (ended up being the biggest buck spotted or shot on this trip), and I told Sal, to his dismay I was going to shoot him. He started thrashing the sage, as he still had some velvet, and a minute later he was standing on his feet, looking over us.

The deer was staring straight over our backs. he turned slightly and stepped 2x towards us, exposing his shoulder in a quartering shot. I flipped the safety off and aimed high on the shoulder. Boom, the .300win barked and the 180gr Hornady found its mark. The deer dropped like a sack of potatoes, he didn't move an inch. He ended up being a nice 4x4 with double brows, a trophy I was proud to harvest and my 3rd and best Mule deer to date. I marked the Kill spot and used OnX to draw a line to the spotting location. I spotted this guy from 1.25 miles away, honestly don't see much of a need for more than 8x bino's if you have a spotter.

We ended up going 3/4 with me helping my partner Sal make a nice stalk, and the 4th missing a 150yd broadside shot on a deer slightly smaller than mine. All and all we had a great trip drank some good whiskey, and made some new memories. Can't wait till the next western hunt! Attached are some pics.
 

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OP
VenaticOppidan

VenaticOppidan

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
100
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Here are some more pics
 

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Plowboy85

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2021
Messages
18
looks like it was a blast. 4 of us will be headed to SE Montana this fall, hope we have the same experience y’all did.
 

Chett09

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2020
Messages
21
Great story and better memories created! Does your hunting land consultant work exclusively in Montana? I may be interested in his services. not trying to weasel into your spot.
 
OP
VenaticOppidan

VenaticOppidan

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
100
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Great story and better memories created! Does your hunting land consultant work exclusively in Montana? I may be interested in his services. not trying to weasel into your spot.

No, has people/places all
Over the states and other countries as well. Pm me and i can send you one of his books describing the hunts and costs. Really neat. He sent me a bunch cause he used my pic in this years hunt book.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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