My first Montana Mule Deer
After missing deer hunting for the first time in a very long time last year, I had fully intended to hunt this season but I’ve been dragging my feet watching another hunting season pass me by.
When we moved to Montana last year from Michigan I wasn’t able to hunt as a resident so I wrote missing a hunting season off as purely circumstantial. My enthusiasm for deer hunting in Michigan, both archery and firearm, would fluctuate from year to year but I would always get out at least a few times a year. As you know it is in large part fishing that brought me here but it was not lost on me that Montana also has awesome and abundant hunting opportunities. The problem I have had is that I’ve been overwhelmed by the vastness of the land and my unfamiliarity with the majority of it.
This season’s archery opener came and went and I hadn’t broken my bow out of the case. I talked hunting with Russ Dobrzynski who guides for us quite a bit and he was pretty persistent in urging me to shoot my bow and to buy my license so we could hunt. I talked the game but failed to shoot or buy a license but then Russ harvested a nice bull early in the season and I helped him pack it out and that got me charged up enough to at least get the bow out and fling some arrows – still, I failed to actually go out and purchase tags and get serious about things.
Fast forward to firearm season - still no tags and I had not had a shell in my 30-06 since deer season 2011 in Michigan. Russ persisted in urging me to sight in my gun and buy some tags so we could hunt. As things slowed here at the shop I decided it was time. I shot a box of shells and bought some tags and yesterday I spent my first day afield hunting in Montana.
Long story short – I harvested a beautiful 3 x 3 mule deer and learned a lot about hunting in the west. Up until yesterday my idea of hunting was looking for sign, setting up a tree stand or ground blind somewhere in the vicinity of that sign, and then sitting and waiting and waiting and sitting…for hours…even days at a time. Not so much in Montana. We spent the day moving and glassing and, as luck would have it, harvesting. It was definitely what I had pictured western hunting to be like and I can’t wait to get out and see if I can find an elk.
It was a thrill to harvest an animal but more than that it was great to get out and enjoy more of the magic that makes this state what it is. I’m hooked!
Now – back to your regularly scheduled blog.
Fishing is still very good according to all reports we’ve been getting here at the shop. It sounds to me like all methods are getting it done right now but if I were to close the shop and fish the river this afternoon I would definitely be chucking streamers…but that’s just me. It looks like another great November fishing day out there. We’re at 42 degrees and cloudy right now – going up to near 50 with SW wind at 10-15. Tomorrow looks good with low 40′s but it sounds like it may get a little breezy with gusts up to 36. The weekend looks like it may be better spent hunting or tying with snow and blowing snow and nighttime lows dropping into the single digits.
Stop by today or tomorrow for your last chance at HUGE fall clearance savings.
See you in the shop and on the water and in the field ~Jason O.