Friday, October 26, 2007

Brock's first deer hunt!

Well, I came home yesterday morning from Butte, and decided to take Brock for his first deer hunt, as Tanya was at work and could not make it for our outing. Brock and I have shot some ducks and snipe together, but big game has been hard for us to find on our outings. As I picked up Brock from school, I only hoped to find a nice doe and make Brock's first deer hunt a success. Needless to say, the deer gods were smiling on us, because we found a real nice buck. We parked on a piece of seemingly unproductive public land not far from Great Falls. I only expected to see a doe or two, which would have filled the bill just fine. But after fording a creek, and crossing into the first canyon, I saw some antlers peeking out of the grass. Long of the short is after a good belly crawl, and a big bang, Brock got his first close up look at a deer. No ground shrinkage on this one, as he got bigger as we got closer to him. We decided to take the buck out in one piece, and after a couple of hard hours of dragging, he was in the truck. Brock was a good helper, and has a new found respect for deer. Although I wish Tanya could have been with us to share the moment, It was a treat to see Brock experience his first deer hunt. P.S. I told Brock not to expect deer like this every time we go out,,,,, as I don't think I can keep up those standards for very long.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Deer off the River Property!!!

Yesterday morning was opening day for "general" rifle season in Montana. Clint was stuck in Butte doing Game Warden stuff, but I still wanted to get out. We knew a lot of deer were crossing our property and I thought it would be kind of neat to get one of them. (Clint shot a doe off our property last year, but I hadn't gotten the privilege yet.)
Perry and Mom happened to be here bringing over a load, so Perry was able to come along for his first taste of Montana hunting. (Though the poor guy wasn't necessarily expecting to be drug out in the cold Montana morning to sit in a blind so he didn't really have the right clothes. It's hard to have everything you might need, when you are trying to move!!!)

We got the blind set up and after not too long a doe passed through the bottom. It was about 15 minutes before shooting light, so I was hoping that there were more coming. (I could shoot a doe or a buck.) About 10 minutes later two does and a little buck showed up. They fed down straight towards us, but because of the tall grass and brush, the depression they were in, and the fact that they were coming straight at us, I didn't take a shot. At about 60 yards, they began feeding in earnest, not a care in the world. The does were feeling a little sassy and kept rearing up and striking at one another. A couple of the hits they landed were pretty good... I would want a doe mad at me!!!
About this time I hear Perry whisper to me, "which one are you going to shoot?" To which I replied "whichever one turns broadside first". (He later commented on my patience. ) Ultimately, the buck turned broadside and then was feeding that way for long enough, he talked me into shooting!!! He's kind of a little bugger but it was great to take him off our property and to share this with Perry since it's been years since we have hunted together. After the shot he went less than a hundred yards and we had a great critter on the ground!!!
It was great hunt, but I truly missed Clint. It is something that we are both passionate about and not having him there made it feel like I was missing something. But, I think he may be back a day next week, so stay tuned for possible pictures!!!
Mom and Perry also have the cutest little puppy.. Her name is Meesha (sp?) and she is a love! She also is incredibly tenacious and wore out Bones. They would have played for hours, and as you can see, she made up for her lack of size by grabbing legs or whatever else she could get!!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Year's first rifle hunt

It took me a few days to get these pictures up, but last Wednesday, Clint and I got to go out and chase some speed goats. The weather was superb and it was so good to have the whole day to spend with him.
The area that we hunted has (in the past) proven to have a huge population of antelope. Unfortunately, this didn't seem to be the case when we got out there. After scouting for a couple hours, we were able to find two critters bedded down on an open hillside (about a mile from where we were) As we were making our plan of attack, they got up and disappeared over the hill. So, we hightailed it up after them, and then spotted them shortly after we came over the rise. Their attention was focused on some other people that were heading up a different draw, so we were able to belly crawl into a closer position. We ended up having to belly crawl for quite some time because the grass was so high that we couldn't get a clear shot.
Realizing that we were as close as we were going to get, Clint got creative and took a great shot. After we had determined his shot was good, I was able to sneak up to a higher position and take a shot at the other one. Spirits were high as we realized we had two nice critters on the ground!!!
It was a great hunt and the scenery was phenomenal. It is an area that is nestled right up against the Little Belt Mountains, so you feel that you could look up on the ridge and see elk any time!!! (and by the way, the forklift had a great time!!!)
Of course Clint had to go back to Butte, so I got to process the two critters!!! Oh well, it is a labor of love!
The day after the hunt, Perry (my step dad) and my Grandma Loree arrived from Washington with a load of goodies! It was great to see them and we even made it out to the River Property to enjoy the afternoon!