Winter came too early again to Montana. Hunters need to hitch up their pants a bit tighter to head out into the cold wilderness. Most of the pictures of deer and elk are taken in a background of snow.
Antelope hunting is especially hard currently. Only a few days are left to fill your stink goat tag. I went the other day and saw a group of about 30 or so bedded down a few miles out. The wind was cold, hard, and bitter but, there was a tag to fill. Wind was to my advantage but somehow the lopes gave me the slip. I never got closer than 600 yards, then they headed into a coulee and disappeared. The herds seemed smaller this year. Early winter did not help.
Yesterday I took another 10 mile walk for deer. The snow was deeper, and I almost got the truck stuck along a snow drifted road. Thankfully the 4wd allowed me to hop off the road and onto a field. The snow was shallow, and I made it to the parking spot. While I was hunting the area, I had permission, the private land in the bottom was stacked with deer. Hundreds of deer were in the cut weed by the old irrigators munching up.
Thighs of steel! That’s what happens after hunting in Montana! Wearing layers and heavy gear means more work. We need to put in our time to earn the harvest. If you tag out too fast, the excuses to hunt are taken away. Now you must stay home and work the Honey Do list.
The Cold Grind does bring some great memories. Montana is a beautiful place. Sunrises and sunsets are special here. The ability to hike dozens of miles in harsh conditions and feel good, is an annual pilgrimage. As we get older, we need this kind of reassurance that we are still capable.
The best deer hunting is ahead. The whitetail rut is a few weeks out and Mule deer rut in December. Elk do what elk do and eventually trek to private land where even God can’t hunt. With patience will come rewards.
Hunting has become less about meat and more about hunting. We just enjoy the excuse to be men/ women that hunt, again. The forests and fields aren’t crowded right now. Weather has a way of thinning the hunting herd. Luck is a big part of hunting. Being in the right place at the right time is important. Getting a limit of hunting time is rewarding too.
Hunt hard, hunt harder!
For more Montana Grant, hunt him up at www.montanagrantfishing.com.