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!