Two weeks ago, the phone call arrived.
Wayne Knudson (Walleye Wayne) and I had been anxiously waiting for that call from Ted Toavs, who lives in the Wolf Point area.
Yes, this is the same Wolf Point that many Western Montana figures is somewhere near the edge of the earth in that vast open area called Eastern Montana.
As the old saying goes, it is not the edge of the earth – but on a clear day you can see it from there.
Toavs’ phone call was an invitation for Walleye and I to drive over to do some pheasant and sharp-tailed grouse hunting and, if we could work it in, maybe even some deer hunting. The plan was to arrive Friday evening and broadcast the Montana Outdoor Radio Show live the following morning Ted and his wife Joy’s kitchen on their ranch about 14 miles northwest of Wolf Point.
Everything worked according to plan and after the show, the trip got even better. Our hunting party consisted of Steve Harada, Steve Bushman, Duane Nygaard, Tim Hagadone, Bill and Jordan Dasinger and, of course, Ted and his two boys Taylr and Tuker. Everybody was from the Wolf Point area except for Walleye and me.
This corner of the state was covered with a layer of six or more inches of snow. That made the pheasant hunting a little more challenging, but we still managed to bag about 15 birds.
There were plenty of birds, but it was hard to get up on them. They’d run on the crusted snow, while we broke through with every step. And because they could see us coming from a few hundred yards away as we entered every field, the pheasants seemed even more wily then they usually are at this point in the year.
The sharptails, on the other hand, would not be as aloof and we had a better success in bagging close to our limit.
The sharptail population appears to be at an all time high in the area. The sharpie season, which closes the same day as pheasants on December 15, would be well worth the 8-hour trip alone if you can fit it in before it closes.
Access is good and the birds are plentiful. Bring your dog and she/he will have a great workout and, if you even an average shotn will be able to retrieve quite a few birds.
To break up the upland bird hunting part of our trip, we went off the Fort Peck Indian Reservation and went up near the Canada/USA border to hunt whitetails and mule deer.
The boys from WolF Point were looking for a trophy buck. We saw one of each, but just like the pheasants, the deer were evidently very much aware that hunting season was on because they stayed well out of range of our rifles. I did buy an over-the-counter deer “b” tag for a whitetail doe and was able to bag a nice mature doe for the freezer.
It was a great four-day hunt with some fantastic scenery and even nicer company. We can hardly wait for the phone to ring next year.
Rodeo cowboys and fans probably already know that the 2003 legislature designated Wolf Point as the future home to the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame. There is a committee that has been appointed to oversee construction and financing of the structure to house the hall.
They have come out with a specialty license plate as one way to help fund the project. The special plate is available at all courthouses according Clint Long, of Wolf Point.
Wolf Point is also home to Montana’s oldest PRCA rodeo and last July marked the 80th time the annual event was held. For more information on how you can get involved or donate money to the project, contact Long at 406-653-2200.