View Full Version : Memories of a good hunting season...

01-15-2007, 06:33 PM
Doesn't look like there's much going on here so thought I'd throw out some comments and see it I could get something started.

Hunting was good here in S.E. Montana this fall. I managed to collect a nice buck antelope with my custom .25-06. Used a 100 gr. Hornady at 3300 FPS. A heart shot from 220 yds. over Stoney Point sticks.

Filled my mulie doe tag with a 40 yd. lung shot from the .30-30 Contender using a Nosler 150 gr. BT at near 2000 FPS. It was a good stalk and a perfect shot, text book hunt.

Filled my first whitetail doe tag with the same load above in the .25-06. From a sit using the sticks again the bullet dropped her at 178 yds., another heart shot. These sticks are getting a lot of use. From a sit they work great!

My second WT doe tag was filled with a real neat stalk through a noisy forest on a very windy day. The shot was taken after a real slow sneak at 30 yds. with a cast 240 gr. at 1600 FPS from a Contender .44 using a TruGlo red dot sight.

And, lastly, the very best of all... the filling of my WT buck tag. It was a real classy shot. It was just like an old Winchester or Remington calendar. I was hanging over a rocky cliff with the same old .25-06 to take a super nice buck 279 yds. distant, far below in some heavy blow-down timber. The single shot was perfect. It angled through his chest for a perfect heart shot, flopping his off-side leg high as it broke the shoulder on it's way out. He ran 35 yds. and slammed into a fallen log. It was a great hunt with a great shot to end it. The 5 hr. extraction like to killed me though. But he was worth it. A real nice buck; 5 X 6, 20 inches wide, massive beams (6 inch bases!), and 176 lbs. field-dressed. He was a real beauty. A hunt I'll never forget!

How did the rest of you fare this year?

01-15-2007, 08:43 PM
This past season was miserable here. No tracking snow, just rain - from drizzle to torrent. The only thing I got was a cold, but one friend did get a nice buck. I saw quite a few deer, but nothing legal to shoot at. The deer herd is very low here, though it has been improving, but not to the point in this part of the state where we can take does with anything but a bow. On the plus side, most of the bucks taken around here were really big ones, 200lbs & up dressed. Looks good for next year.

01-19-2007, 03:47 AM
Here in Pennsylvania we have antler restrictions, meaning that a buck must have four points on one side in the western part of the state and three points in the rest of the state. I live in the four point area and I saw four different bucks while still hunting and could not identify if they were legal. I think this whole system is for the birds and wish we could get back to regular Pa. deer hunting. This might work all right for archers or other tree hunters, but a guy hunting on the ground has a very slim chance to get that good of a look before they take off. As a result of all this I just about go into the woods hunting for does. My 14 year old daughter got a nice doe early on the first day, and after that I had a heck of a time finding a doe for myself. I hunted for a week and three days and other than the bucks that I couldn't shoot, I didn't see a deer untill the last day. I finally got a running shot at a doe that was kicked out of a swamp by other hunters and was able to make the shot through the thick brush with my .350 Remington. Even though it was just a doe, I was very thankful to have got it . I like venison a lot! I sure would love to have a season like the one you had in Montana.

01-19-2007, 06:21 PM
Yup! There's lots of folks who'd like to hunt Montana. It really is a great place. But that's why every year we get more and more non-resident hunters and people moving here. No offense meant but the more of the out-of-staters we get the worse things get. Think about it a minute. The reason most states have piss-poor hunting is because too many orange suits are out there. So the more they come here the worse it gets. It's just a matter of time before we are all in the same situation. But for now it's still better than lots of other places. That's why I live here!

I'm retired USFWS and spent my last 14 years down in Wyoming. That state had experienced some real tough winters and lost most of their deer herd so they did that stupid point-count thing. It sort of works, but not without it's downfalls. In lots of cases we had hunters who would mistakenly shoot a 3-pointer, thinking it was a four-pointer. Since it didn't have enough points they feared being caught with it so they'd leave it lay. It's easy to see how that only made the situation worse. And it turned a lot of hunters with good intentions into outlaws.

I don't mean to go on a tirade but the mismanagement I'm aware of sets me off sometimes. The real problem is greed and people in management positions who don't know enough. Biologists they may be, but many of them have no "on the ground" experience. Toss in the politicians and you've got a h___ of a mess!Years ago it used to be that hunters and ranchers worked together and things seemed to find a happy medium. But then the Fish & Game departments needed more money. So they sold licenses to non-residents at high prices. Soon, there were too many hunters for the ranchers so they'd close things down.

That caused over-population. About this time comes along outfitters. More people looking for money. The state and the ranchers see an opportunity to make more $$, too. What happens then is that the local, who pays taxes and is your neighbor who has been helping in the past to keep things balanced, is left out. He has no place to hunt. The outfitters and out-of-state hunters want only trophy animals. Who's gonna pay those big bucks to shoot a doe? So, they shoot off most of the good bucks and the does overpopulate. Then the state sells more non-resident licenses to get the numbers down. The rancher is unhappy at this so he closes his place down except to the outfitter. See where it's all going?

Now we have a situation where we have someone standing behind every tree wearing orange. A good number of hunters these days won't get far from a road if, indeed, they get off it at all. So for five weeks the deer hole up in the nastiest stuff they can find. Deer pops are way too high in some places due to all this screwed up mess the game depts. and outfitters have created. We can't really blame the non-resident, either. His state is overpopulated with people and their officials have probably messed up some, too. So he has to go elsewhere to get a decent hunt.

If you read my first post you'll see I shoot quite a few deer. That's because I hunt almost every day during season and I dig 'em out of that nasty stuff. I really hunt hard. I spent the better part of my life in conservation and am still trying to do my part. True conservation is effective game management and most of our officials can't even spell it, let alone practice it.

I do feel sorry for those of you who are real good hunters and sportsmen who can't find a decent hunt. It's getting hard to find that anywhere. I am thankful that I can still enjoy it better than most.

01-19-2007, 07:35 PM
Thanks Lovedogs. I do not consider your reply a tirade in any sense. I do agree with you and see many of the same things happening around here. We do not have outfitters here, but we do have, in my opinion, too many people who watch those big buck TV shows and that is how they learn their hunting ethics. We have many tracts of private ground formerly open to hunting being leased and closed off to all other hunters. We have a good bit of public hunting lands that are now the only place for all these displaced hunters to go and so there is the over crowding you wrote about. We too have seen and heard of many bucks left in the woods because of the antler restriction thing. I too hunt very hard and use mostly the still or "stalk" hunt method, but most of our public hunting land in this area was logged in recent years and they are now nothing more than thickets than are just about impossible to walk in, let alone slip up on a buck and count his points before you can shoot. I didn't even mean to imply that we have no deer left. I see too many all year to think that. It is just that as soon as the shooting starts they all naturally go to were the hunters can't and then the hunters that lease the ground are the only ones to get to see any of them. I do not know where thisnis going either, but I am afraid that it will soon be like Europe where only the rich will be able to hunt, and I sure hate to see that part of America fade away.

01-21-2007, 12:52 AM
Howdy MAR 354...

I guess we true hunter/sportsman types know what's going on... but we don't know what to do about it. Even if we did, what could a few of us do?

I fear you're right about where it's all heading. Texas has been there for a long time. If you can't afford a good lease you're just out of luck. Until a few years ago Montanans didn't know about leases. Now we are learning about leases, outfitters & guides, block management, etc.

Hunting and all gun related things are really in trouble. You can see it in the firearms industry, also. In these days we've got the best selection and quality of arms and munitions ever. But you can see the desperation in the industry. Why do you think they scramble so hard year after year to develop new calibers. It's simple. If they don't come up with new enticements they can't sell anything. We don't really need all this new proliferation of calibers. They don't really do much more than the old ones did. The real story is that our culture is dying and is struggling to survive. Ask anyone who has a small-time gun shop. We used to see all kinds of men, boys, and their friends and relations hanging out there, talking guns and hunting. Now, all you see are a few old-timers, die-hards. No young folks coming up in the culture. So, where is the future? We are no longer politically correct. In almost every part of society we, the true hunter/conservationist, are being phased out.

Like many of you, I love our heritage of shooting and hunting. Each year it gets more difficult. And some year, probably in the not-too-distant future, we will go the way of the dinosaur. Of course, if you're a Christian, you understand this old Earth isn't much longer anyway.

Guess I'm too old and set in my ways to change. I'll hunt as long as it's possible. I'll love every animal I shoot. Don't know how many can understand that last statement. And I'll hold and caress my guns for as long as I'm alive and allowed. Without them we'd have had no freedom and darn little to enjoy. God bless us all!

01-26-2007, 01:25 PM
Well said Lovedogs! I believe that you are correct. Please do not consider yourself "old and set in your ways" If you recall,we formerly referred to that as tenacious, and were proud of it.

Bullshop Junior
01-28-2007, 05:27 AM
I have filled every moose tag that I ever got, except for the 06, due to an ATV crash.

01-28-2007, 01:56 PM
BS jr.--- tell us about the ATV crash. Did you try running over a moose instead of shooting him? I could have told you that wouldn't work. Folks are always trying that with cars and it seldom works out well. Anyway, I hope you weren't hurt too badly.