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  1. Default

    I sometimes think about how many 3 and 4 point mule bucks get smoked on turkey day after lunch , or on friday and Saturday after turkey day . I bet it's s high number . It would be cool to see a survey and see how many deer are whacked the last 4 days of the season

  2. #452

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    Quote Originally Posted by brownbear932008 View Post
    Man I really hope this weather pattern breaks and breaks fast....
    No kidding. It is double the fun when you get to see it first hand. Just looked at the forecast and just about the entire SE part of the state is predicted to get 10" or more.

  3. #453

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunt West View Post
    Until bucks start giving birth hunting during the rut has little to do with overall herd numbers. Trophy quality yes, success rates yes, but not overall herd numbers. The number of B tags is what’s asinine And should be eliminated for the foreseeable future. Second using Wyoming’s model of “pick your region” for non residents when applying would help alleviate a lot of pressure in the southeast assuming they set reasonable quotas and adjust yearly based on scientific data. Third (and I know it will bunch some panties) for the love of god get rid of NR elk deer combo tags and manage these species independently. As someone mentioned earlier I like the idea of the general season closing 10/31 with a special LE season in November. Ok... so you can start calling me an idiot now.
    I agree with everything here. I think an easy solution for the Turkey day hunters and the freezer filler families of MT would be to limit mule deer after a date, kind of like Gardiner Elk, but keep the whitetail general. Still provides opportunity for all, while protecting the muleys. And yes, split the combo deer/elk tags for non residents and manage game on a species based basis. And as for B tags, make them private land only. Hell, if you’re a landowner that complains about your hay getting hit, invite your friends to whack a doe on private over thanksgiving. BLM, Forest, and State though should be severely restricted for does, preferably to the extent that the only doe you kill is with your A tag only. I believe it was antlerradar that said the private recovers faster, and he’s right, so a private only hunt could satisfy the rancher/farmer in years where the population is up. You know, In a decade or so at the rate this winter is going. 2 more feet on the way in SW MT.

  4. #454

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    Quote Originally Posted by EYJONAS! View Post
    I hear ya ..... this last weather blurp I just came across doesn't sound good. One of my friends that hunts a lot of high country said this winter reminds him of 91 I believe and the sheep alone damn near vanished in the tooths, took years to come back, let alone the deer. I talked to a friend from Glasgow he said ridges are finally burning off but the flats and bottoms are solid..... very solid.

    Im glad I'm not a rancher, them boys have had one hell of a tough 18 months.
    You know we have been talking about antelope and deer. But in the back of my mind a keep wondering how those goat and sheep are holding up esp goat.

  5. #455
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    Jan 2009
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    Bitterroot Valley
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    5,275

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    Quote Originally Posted by brownbear932008 View Post
    You know we have been talking about antelope and deer. But in the back of my mind a keep wondering how those goat and sheep are holding up esp goat.
    From my understanding years like this are easier on goats than warmer years where we get a lot of freezing rain and avalanches.

  6. #456

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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy11 View Post
    From my understanding years like this are easier on goats than warmer years where we get a lot of freezing rain and avalanches.
    Interesting I never thought about the avalanches but I'm guessing the warmer weather causes those and a lot of goats can get swept down the mountain. I thought maybe the winds in the higher elevations kept the ground bare in spots. It still amazes me they can survive in such places all winter.

  7. #457

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    Last winter was pretty snowy too. When FWP flew the beartooth about this time or a little later in the year all the high plateaus were snow covered badly.

    This winter has been snowier but very very windy

    The few times I’ve gotten views of high elevation plateaus this winter, I think they have gotten blown off fairly well. I hope so.
    “To me, if you don’t eat it, then it’s not a point of pride”. -Matt Rinella

  8. #458

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    Looking at the 10 day for the SE corner of the state and I'm seeing temps hit the 60's and damn near touch the 70's by next Friday. Too little too late probably, but it beats seeing a damn snowflake on my screen. Hell, there's even a little rain mixed in!

  9. #459
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Phillipston, MA
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    321

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    I just looked at the DOT cameras for Ekalaka, Lame Deer, and Biddle and it looks like all the snow is gone?? Is that actually the case? That has to be a good thing unless it's too little too late like YoungGun said.

  10. #460

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    Snow is all gone except for north facing timber and drifts. There is even some green showing up. Lots of good moisture and it would not be too hard of find some place to get stuck in the mud. As for the deer. I haven't been too far from the river lately but the river bottom is full of parts and pieces of whitetails and some of the ones that are still kicking are not in good shape.

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    Snow is mainly gone, so are a good number of the deer. Quite a difference driving around last fall versus this spring. Worse for antelope.

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    So whats up guys now that some snow is melting and you can see the carnage of the winters snow fall just how bad do things look ??

  13. #463

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    I will say I noticed less deer turkey hunting this spring than last yr.

  14. #464
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    1,307

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    Quote Originally Posted by oldschool.06 View Post
    So whats up guys now that some snow is melting and you can see the carnage of the winters snow fall just how bad do things look ??
    It looks like a beautiful landscape with significantly less wildlife on it compared to years past. Cattle look good though!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlakeA View Post
    It looks like a beautiful landscape with significantly less wildlife on it compared to years past. Cattle look good though!
    Of course its beautiful most of Montana is . I love Montana If I could get my family to move I would already be living there . Im really sad to hear of the wildlife carnage it really sucks . I will be hunting there this year as I know if I turn in my tag it will just go to someone else anyway .

  16. #466
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Missoula, MT
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    233

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    I'm hearing that winter kill was less severe than anticipated. While winter mortality in eastern Montana was higher than normal, deer numbers remain fairly strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelweb View Post
    I'm hearing that winter kill was less severe than anticipated. While winter mortality in eastern Montana was higher than normal, deer numbers remain fairly strong.
    I've not been to or heard anything recently from SE MT ,but I was recently out to NC Montana and the ranchers I ran into all said numbers look about like last year , which was really good I thought , they said they found no more dead deer than normal

  18. Default

    Pretty sure if you draw a 20 mile circle on a map with Ashland in it's center, there's a bit more than "normal" winter kill. Just my guess. The upper rosebud area around Colstrip didn't look nearly as bad, which isn't too far from where it looked like the apocalyptic ice cap this spring.
    Last edited by Greenhorn; 06-12-2018 at 01:51 PM.

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    Hopefully the critters did better then we had all anticipated . Only time will tell. Breaking in new boots already so I can get further from the road then we normally have to do .

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    I am also hearing that the kill was not as severe as anticipated. This came from a mfwp biologist I spoke to who expected worse, but was surprised and happy that the surveys are simply not indicating the disaster that was expected. Bottom line, indicators are pointing to marginally elevated winter kill, but certainly not the disaster some have predicted.

  21. #471
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    Dec 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
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    Quote Originally Posted by stealthy_bowman View Post
    I am also hearing that the kill was not as severe as anticipated. This came from a mfwp biologist I spoke to who expected worse, but was surprised and happy that the surveys are simply not indicating the disaster that was expected. Bottom line, indicators are pointing to marginally elevated winter kill, but certainly not the disaster some have predicted.
    Obviously there is still decent numbers of deer on the landscape because they are not ALL going to die. If you are strictly meat hunting with zero intentions or expectations on having an opportunity to hunt and kill a mature buck, you will have a fun hunt. Lots of does and 2 year old bucks running around on the landscape. If you thought it was a challenge to find a mature buck on public land over the past 5 years what do you think the worst winter in a decade did to your odds? Those who think that a lot of 3.5-4.5+ year old bucks survived that disaster are a special kind of naïve.

    Of course the bios are going to say the numbers are not that bad. The MT system is designed for opportunity, not quality age class on public land. For $700, you are getting one hell of a meat hunt down there. If I'm driving from out of state and investing 1k+ into a deer hunt, it would be nice to legitimately have a glimmer of hope at potentially just seeing/hunting a 160+ buck. Do they exist right now on public land down there, sure??? As an NR coming from out of state without any previous boots on the ground scouting, will you need to hit the lotto to have that opportunity? Absolutely.

    I hope this thread stays alive and I, along with others are proven wrong. Good luck to those who venture down there and please post how your hunts went.
    Last edited by BlakeA; 06-13-2018 at 01:39 PM.

  22. Default

    I guess it should be a given that nearly all of the folks who have been happily hunting SE MT public land for the last decade have not really looking for a deer hunt that included anything more than gravy terrain and a few young deer with beating hearts. So I guess for those of you - it should all be very good this year still.

  23. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BlakeA View Post
    Obviously there is still decent numbers of deer on the landscape because they are not ALL going to die. If you are strictly meat hunting with zero intentions or expectations on having an opportunity to hunt and kill a mature buck, you will have a fun hunt. Lots of does and 2 year old bucks running around on the landscape. If you thought it was a challenge to find a mature buck on public land over the past 5 years what do you think the worst winter in a decade did to your odds? Those who think that a lot of 3.5-4.5+ year old bucks survived that disaster are a special kind of naïve.

    Of course the bios are going to say the numbers are not that bad. The MT system is designed for opportunity, not quality age class on public land. For $700, you are getting one hell of a meat hunt down there. If I'm driving from out of state and investing 1k+ into a deer hunt, it would be nice to legitimately have a glimmer of hope at potentially just seeing/hunting a 160+ buck. Do they exist right now on public land down there, sure??? As an NR coming from out of state without any previous boots on the ground scouting, will you need to hit the lotto to have that opportunity? Absolutely.

    I hope this thread stays alive and I, along with others are proven wrong. Good luck to those who venture down there and please post how your hunts went.
    Good post I have to agree

  24. #474
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Missoula, MT
    Posts
    233

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    As far as I understand, 3.5 to 4.5 year old bucks have higher than normal winter survival rates. It's the fawns that get hit, followed by the old. 3.5 or 4.5 isn't old. I think the reason there aren't a lot of mature deer in eastern Montana is because of high hunting pressure when bucks are most vulnerable.

    I would expect the forkies to be the ones who took the biggest hit this year from winter as they were last years fawns.

  25. #475
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    In the middle
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    854

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    Joel, that is what I would expect also.

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