Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Pete got into town on Tuesday night and we made a run up to the Garrison area for some Grouse hunting Wednesday morning. Conditions were perfect with about 5"of powder snow on the ground, temps in the upper 20's, and a winter storm moving into the area that evening. We flushed about 15 birds but the majority of them flushed wild 40-60yrds in front of us or out of the trees. I missed one easy shot early, but we managed to scratch out one bird. Pete went home empty handed but in much better shape. We logged some good miles!
Pete and I stopped into Whitecombs Uncommon Scents on the way home and met the owner. He let Pete and I look out back and check out his deer heard. Below is a photo of two of the Big Boys. I am planning to sneak out this weekend for one last pheasant if the weather allows. That will put a cap on my 2009 hunting season.
Friday, December 4, 2009
We celebrated a bit more than I would recommend that evening, but the cold MT air and cackling roosters the following morning cured whatever hangover I had in short order. We focused on roosters and whitetail does for the remainder of our trip.
The bird hunting wasn't as good as it was in the past for Montana, but it still exceeded my expectations. I truly believe the area we hunt is one of the few untapped upland bird meccas left in the country. We easily shot our daily/possession limits for the rest of the week, with Sunny's creek being the hottest area of all. I think we shot 26 of the 46 roosters off that section. Our shooting was on point, the dogs worked great, and the birds held tight all week. It was awesome to get back into pheasants, it's the one thing I miss hunting the most in MO.
Josh shot his whitetail doe on the 21st and Justin filled his tag on the morning of the 23rd. It took me until the final morning of our hunt to finally fill my whitetail doe tag. We were actually headed to Lon's for birds when we spotted a nice buck and doe headed into one of his draws in a horse pasture. After shooting the breeze with Lon for a bit we headed out in that direction. Josh spotted the buck standing up in the bottom, so I bailed out of the rig expecting them bust out across the pasture. To my surprise the buck just stood there and watched me get closer with every step. After seeing the rutting activity at a fevered pitch all week, I knew the doe had to be bedded under him. Surprisingly a decent muley buck popped over the ridge and into the draw and this was to much for the whitetail buck to handle. He chased the muley out of the area immediately and I saw my window of opportunity open.
I slid up to the edge of the draw and spotted the bedded doe about the same time she saw me. She busted out of the draw like her tail was on fire, but since I was inside 25yrds she was in a world of trouble. My first shot was just over her back as she crested the top of the draw, but shot #2 anchored her in her tracks and my Montana deer tags were officially filled.
We hunted birds for the rest of the afternoon and hit the road early the next morning so everyone could get home for Thanksgiving....I arrived back in KC around 1:30am Thanksgiving morning after 18 hours of driving!
We headed to Shana's folks house for Turkey Dinner and I was scheduled for my managed hunt Nov. 30 - Dec. 2, unfortunately I was called back to KC because of an emergency at work. I took full advantage of the antlerless season though, and was able to harvest another nice MO doe off the BS 70 farm. I've killed 4 deer from my natural ground blind on the 70 in the past two seasons including my buck in Scott's earlier post about the MO firearms opener. It's to bad we are losing that property this week. I'm going to miss the Zoo!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
The day started with me in the office, until Brad finally talked me into going out for one last sit. We got out to the BS 155 farm and into the stands about 2:45pm. Brad went to Pete's ladder set and I went to my north ladder set. About 3:05pm a nice doe entered the field to my south. She kept looking back in the timber as she fed, but nothing ever came out after her. After 15 minutes of watching her I decided it was time to take her since it was still early and I was sick of just watching deer all season. I ranged her at 125 yards, waited for her to turn broadside and squeezed off a shot. My bullet hit home and she only made about 15 yards before eating a dirt sandwich. It felt good to finally get a deer on the ground! After the shot I decided to drag her over to the edge of the timber, since she was laying right where a lot of deer had been entering the field.
About 15 minutes after getting back in the stand another mature doe entered the field right by my west ladder set. She fed around for about 10 minutes before going back into the woods.
As light faded more deer piled into the field. All of the them were does and minis. I kept hoping that a mature buck would show himself with all of the does in the field but unfortunately he never did and with light about to run out on my 2009 gun season I decided to take another doe. I picked out the biggest doe in the field and touched off another shot at 60 yards. She held it like a champ and made it 60 yards into the timber before calling it quits. With that my 09 MO firearms season came to an end.
Kinda of funny that Brad and I went out and had the same situation happen one week earlier, only it was Brad who had the luck that night.
A couple more weeks and it is time to break out the smoke poles!!