Eastern Montana Deer

crashbro744crashbro744 New MemberPosts: 20 New Member
I will be making a long trip from TN to Eastern Montana soon. This will be my first trip out of state hunting mule deer. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help.

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,874 Senior Member
    Guided or DIY?

    This time of year be prepared for everything weather-wise.....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,038 Senior Member
    Good hunting
    I have a need for speed
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,230 Senior Member
    Get there a couple days early to get adjusted to the altitude, depending on where you're hunting. Try not to skimp to your bino's, there's no substitute for cheap bino's/glass as you'll be glassing a ton. Be prepared to cover many miles each day you're hunting. Understand that shooting up/down hill at is going to change your bullet trajectory and POI, the steeper the angle the higher your bullet will impact. Dress in layers, cold mornings but it should warm up during the day. Drink lots of water, stay hydrated. Where a good day pack!

    Above all take in the scenery and have a great time, it's beautiful out there.! Best of luck, good hunting and post some pics!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • earlyearly Senior Member Posts: 4,950 Senior Member
    I never been there. Good luck to you.

    Spending a couple days there before opening day is good advice. Also take care of you feet, you'll need them.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,426 Senior Member
    If you bump a deer, be ready to shoot. Muleys often bounce a ways, stop, and look back. They're not like whitetail. Glass, glass, glass, and then glass some more.
    Wambli Ska wrote: »
    Once again, please refrain from cutting short any baseless totally emotional arguments with facts. It leads to boring, completely objective conversations well beyond the comprehension ability of many.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,818 Senior Member
    Gonna shoot you a private message shortly. I have several very successful seasons of experience in that rough vicinity and some tools to suggest. You picked a great state to hunt.

    In short, what Jeff wrote above is good general advice. The nice thing about the eastern side of the state is that, for the most part, it's not as steep as the really rugged west side. I've hunted both ends, and your tactics will change a bit based on that fact alone.

    Glassing is definitely important, and I have watched guys literally drive right past deer thinking they were going slow enough to see everything. If you refuse to get out of the truck and look around with optics, you're going to lose opportunities: guaranteed. At the very least, stop, step out and surf the turf with the best binos you can afford. Cheapie glass (stuff under $250), is going to make life tougher, but ANY glassing gives you a better shot than the naked eye. Better still, if you have a good spotting scope and a truck window mount, you can get the best of both worlds - drive a bit, then kill the engine and glass a bit. When the opportunity is there, take the spotter and tripod, and climb even higher from where you parked and glass some more. Your glass will spare you blindly walking for miles trying to find a target.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,024 Senior Member
    I will be making a long trip from TN to Eastern Montana soon. This will be my first trip out of state hunting mule deer. Anyone have any tips or suggestions? Thanks in advance for any help.

    I've never been to Montana, but a friend who used to be on this forum used to hunt out there. He always said they have the biggest baddest Mule Deer and Elk of any Western State there.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,093 Senior Member
    Is deer hunting in Montana on a draw system, or do they offer over the counter tags? Inquiring minds and all that, you know.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,818 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    Is deer hunting in Montana on a draw system, or do they offer over the counter tags? Inquiring minds and all that, you know.

    The general deer license is on a draw, as are the the special unit permits. The general license has very high drawing success, but it’s demand limited purely by how extremely expensive it is. A non-resident general deer combo, which includes a deer tag and all required stamps, plus fishing and upland licenses, runs about $600. Pressure stays relatively low outside of major cities accordingly. Price aside, I truthfully can’t identify a better opportunity Western deer state.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,093 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    The general deer license is on a draw, as are the the spcial unit permits. The general license has very high drawing success, but it’s demand limited purely how extremely expensive it is. A non-resident general deer combo, which includes a deer tag and all required stamps, plus fishing and upland licenses, runs about $600. Pressure stays relatively low outside of major cities accordingly. Price aside, I truthfully can’t identify a better opportunity Western deer state.

    Thanks.

    If I don't find a Texas deer lease, this is something I might consider, even though it may take a few years to draw.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,818 Senior Member
    JerryBobCo wrote: »
    Thanks.

    If I don't find a Texas deer lease, this is something I might consider, even though it may take a few years to draw.

    Let me know how strong your desire to go is and I can help you out. With the deer population as good as it is, draw success for a non-res general deer combo is nearly 100%. Once you secure a general deer license, as of right now, you can buy an over-the-counter whitetail B (doe) tag for $75. As long as the whitetail population doesn’t crash, I don’t see this changing anytime soon, and whitetail does are plentiful there.

    You can also put in for a mule deer B license that has slightly more limited - but not outrageously tough - draw odds. Me and a friend each applied for and drew one this year. These are just $80 for non-residents.

    So, for a little over $750, you can kill 3 deer, shoot upland birds and fly fish all year, which really isn’t a bad deal, especially if you make several trips to fish throughout the year.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 6,093 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Let me know how strong your desire to go is and I can help you out. With the deer population as good as it is, draw success for a non-res general deer combo is nearly 100%. Once you secure a general deer license, as of right now, you can buy an over-the-counter whitetail B (doe) tag for $75. As long as the whitetail population doesn’t crash, I don’t see this changing anytime soon, and whitetail does are plentiful there.

    You can also put in for a mule deer B license that has slightly more limited - but not outrageously tough - draw odds. Me and a friend each applied for and drew one this year. These are just $80 for non-residents.

    So, for a little over $750, I can kill 3 deer, shoot upland birds and fly fish all year, which really isn’t a bad deal, especially if you make several trips to fish throughoout the year.

    Filed away for future consideration.

    Thanks!
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • Jeff in TXJeff in TX Senior Member Posts: 1,230 Senior Member
    One more note when it comes to glassing. Train your mind not to look for a full animal standing in the open, though you'll see some. Instead you'll really be looking for antlers above the grass or sage and possibly a head and antlers. Mule deer like to bed down against a brush, in tall grass and sage. You may only see their antlers sticking up at times. They're very easy to miss, glass slowly, very slowly and try not to sweep an area quickly.

    Best of luck!
    Distance is not an issue, but the wind can make it interesting!

    John 3: 1-21
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 6,699 Senior Member
    I've hunted the Missouri Breaks area. Lots of rolling terrain, open range, and if there's any water near by, there will be small clusters of brush and trees. They will look like islands in the ocean. Deer like to bed up in those areas 'cause the brush is thick, so they can lay down and feel secure. Hunt those areas and you will flush deer like grouse, you almost have to step on them to get them to move, but you will have white tails and mulies flushing in all directions!
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,874 Senior Member
    Jeff in TX wrote: »
    One more note when it comes to glassing. Train your mind not to look for a full animal standing in the open, though you'll see some. Instead you'll really be looking for antlers above the grass or sage and possibly a head and antlers. Mule deer like to bed down against a brush, in tall grass and sage. You may only see their antlers sticking up at times. They're very easy to miss, glass slowly, very slowly and try not to sweep an area quickly.

    Best of luck!

    This...I will add that I have spotted a lot of deer due to an ear flick or a tail flip....look for anything....also remember that most things in nature are vertical or close to it...horizontal lines bear scrutiny...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
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