Montana Hunting Testimonials;
Elk, Mule Deer and Mtn. Goats
December 20, 2015
As a Montana resident, I have long been familiar with the outstanding
reputation of K Lazy 3 Outfitters has in the state. When I decided to
treat myself to a guided wilderness elk hunt for the 2015 season, Brett
Todd was the only outfitter I called. The hunt exceeded my expectations
in all respects. Very comfortable camp, great food, fun companions, good
saddle stock, spectacular scenery, excellent guides, and trophy of a
The cook and packer are first rate and the guides are skilled, dedicated,
and hard working. All five guides tailored their hunting technique to
accommodate each hunters abilities, skill, and enthusiasm.
Any one that wishes to experience the classic horseback wilderness elk
hunt should hunt Montana’s Scapegoat Wilderness with Brett and Kenny.
I am sure glad I did!
November 15, 2015
My father took me on a couple DIY hunts back in the late 70s to Colorado with his friends and got me started Elk hunting. I wouldn’t have been able to afford it but he paid part of my way. As he grew older and his health got poor I took him on hunts in New Mexico and Montana. These DIY hunts were always fun but in the 6 hunts I only had one opportunity to harvest an animal and was successful in New Mexico with a Cow Elk harvested with a muzzle loader.
I had never considered a guided hunt thinking they were always beyond my financial resources until a few years ago. I had a Bull Elk on my bucket list and wasn’t getting any younger. The wife and I had talked about it for a few years, all my children were now grown and on their own, I’ve been applying for a ND limited Draw tag for over 30 years and I’ll probably die before I draw a ND Elk tag. Then the wife and I meet you at the local sports show.
My career has been dealing with the public all my life and I felt I was a pretty good judge of character. At the show you answered my questions honestly and didn’t over sell your operation and abilities. You could say you told me the way it was. There were other outfitters at the show but I had uneasy feelings about them and some of the comments they made. After the show I communicated with you by e-mail a couple times and checked some of the references you provided on the web site and decided to take a leap and go on my first guided hunt.
That was back in March of 2012 and I’ve hunted with you every year for the last 4 years. Over the last 4 years I’ve hunted with you 3 times at Deer Creek and once in the Scapegoats. I’ve been fortunate enough to harvest one Bull Elk and 3 Mule Deer Bucks’ and had the opportunities at a couple more Elk.
The first year with you at Deer Creek I should almost call it shooting and not hunting since I was lucky enough to shoot my first ever Bull elk and my biggest Mule Deer buck. Filling both tags by 10:00AM the second morning; I have never been that lucky in the past and don’t expect to ever be that lucky again. The weather wasn’t bad; we had about 6” to 10” of fresh snow on the ground lows around zero and highs in the teens with light winds the first two days. Now I have a shoulder mount Mule Deer and my Bull Elk horns on the wall and my picture on your web site and show back drop.
Year two found me back at Deer Creek with my youngest son Will (dad is trying to get the kids hooked on hunting). This was his first Guided Hunt, the weather was too nice (above freezing for the lows and in the 50’s for the daytime highs) but Logan our guide on the first day found us a nice Mule Deer Buck. He tried very hard to get Will on that buck but he gave us the slip over the ridge and when they got on top he was nowhere to be seen. By the time I caught up to Logan and Will we decided to glass the area over and see where things may be. We spotted a herd of Elk from the ridge with several cow and calves and a couple spikes and at least 2 larger bulls, but it was too late that day to make a move on them and about the time we were packing up the Buck we spotted in the morning showed up. Logan felt we could make a move on it and cut the distance, but I wanted Will to try the shot from where we were at; he didn’t feel comfortable taking that long a shot but told me to go ahead. I set up and made the shot. The next day Guy had us moving into the area where we saw the elk the day before. I was bringing up the rear and blew a chance for Will on a bull. Guy positioned me around another side of the ridge we were on and they made a move on 2 bulls they had spotted. They got within 200 yards but Will wasn’t able to get a shot off, it was still very exciting for him. You took us out the last day of the hunt and Will managed to fill his Mule Deer tag with a nice Buck.
Year three found me back with my son Shawn. It was a total 180 degrees with the weather, this year we had negative temps for day time highs, 6” to 10” of fresh snow and thank god for light winds or I don’t think I could have taken it. Day one Guy found a big Mule Deer Buck a couple miles away on a bare ridge with his doe’s. Much too late to make a move on them we headed back to the trailer and came across another shooter buck, while I held the horses Guy and Shawn made a move on him but in the end Shawn Missed the shot. Day two found us with Guy headed for the area he had spotted the big buck, as we topped the ridge Guy found fresh elk tracks, we tied the horses and Guy positioned us while he made a circle, he came back saying he’d jumped a bull and repositioned both Shawn and I at another vantage point while he checked to see which way the bull had gone. He later repositioned me again further down the ridge with instruction to watch the far side of the ridge and the saddle below me while he took Shawn to try to cut the bulls tracks again. As it turned out I messed up I was spending too much time watching where Guy told me to and had dropped down below a ridge to get a better view and it turns out the elk came out on my tracks behind me, either saw me or caught my wind and made his escape, I heard him and caught a glimpse of him just before he crossed over the next ridge and never got a shot off. With that excitement over we looked for the Buck and Guy spotted him again. Guy and Shawn made the stock while I stayed back and watched. After seeing and hearing the shot and watching the fist bumps I untied and lead the horses down to Guy for the pack out. Shawn had his Biggest Buck Ever and one that will be hard to beat if he ever wants to shoot a bigger one. I got my chance at my widest Mule Deer Buck the next day. We had just cut some Mountain Lion tracks and what looked like a herd of cattle for all the deer tracks and I asked Guy if we were about as far from the trailer as we would be getting and he said yes and if I shot anything back in here it had better be “BIG”. Then things happened fast, I saw the buck chasing a doe across a small meadow a couple hundred yards off, I hollered big buck and bailed off Kelso and got the gun out of the scabbard and was taking a shot pretty much before Guy had a chance to judge the buck. After the shot we spotted the buck standing partway up the bank with his head held low under a pine tree. Guy asked me how I though the shot was and I told him it felt good, Guy had me reposition to a spot with a better rest and when he could see it was indeed a buck acting like it was gut shot I finished it off. It was another long walk back to the trailer for Guy and my second largest Mule Deer. Day four found Shawn hunting with another young man and I was out with Don. Shawn lost the coin flip and watched Nathan shoot a nice 6X6 Bull.
This past year I talked my son Will into another hunt with you this time in the Scapegoats (it didn’t take much talking, your marketing plan worked plus dear old dad helped out with the cost again). I wanted to hear the Bugle of an Elk one last time; I had hopes of seeing a Grizzle Bear hopefully at a safe distance and purchased a wolf tag just in case. This is the first year I didn’t fill either of my tags with you but it was also a very rewarding and memorable trip. I did hear the Bugle of a Bull Elk, We spotted a Grizzle Bear from camp the first night and watched him at about a mile (a very safe distance) and on the ride out the first morning the timber wolves serenaded us. I did see elk moving across the canyon and told myself it looked just like it does on TV; we just didn’t get close enough for me to have an opportunity. Will did have an opportunity at a good bull one day with you and another day with Bill but wasn’t able to close the deal, he did shoot his first elk ever what looked to be the lead cow of a small band and of course after she was down the 6X6 bull stepped out to see what was going on. I couldn’t have been happier if I’d have shot it myself when Bill came back to gather me and the horses up and told me (that was a very long 2 hour wait from hearing the shots to seeing Bill and getting the news).
You asked me after this year’s hunt which hunt is tougher the Scapegoats or Deer Creek. I’d have to say the Deer Creek hunts are tougher. The two areas are about the same for vertical challenges and except for the number of downed trees that cover most of the Scapegoats walking is I believe easier. You spend more time on the horses at Deer Creek and do less walking but the weather we had in the Scapegoats in late September was perfect, bad weather could change my thinking. I think the game opportunities in Deer Creek are better than the Scapegoats. You have a better chance at seeing a nice or a once in a life time Mule Deer Buck at Deer Creek and also have a good chance at taking an elk.
Brett, you and your Guides (Guy, Logan, Brandon, Bill and Carrie) are first class and worked as hard as you could to get me into position, my age and physical conditioning was a limiting factor for all of you. The food served at Deer Creek or Meadow Creek were as good as any meal I’ve ever had, if you’d have told me I would have had roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and homemade pie in a remote camp I wouldn’t have believed it. I think I gained weight while hunting in the Scapegoats this past fall and every meal that Julie makes at Deer Creek is great.
Julie and yourself open your home up to the hunters at Deer Creek and treat everyone like family. It is easy to understand why you have so many repeat customers and why it is so hard to find an opening at Deer Creek. I’ve meet hunters that I’d be honored to hunt with anywhere and call them a friend.
I believe my Elk hunting days are about at their end; I’ve crossed it off my bucket list and would like to end with this.I’ve enjoyed every day I’ve hunted with you, I’m more than happy I decided to take a chance and go with you on a guided Elk and Mule Deer Hunt. I’m glad I had the chance to get my 2 sons out hunting with me and you showed them a great time.
Thanks for the memories.
October 9, 2014
Dear Brett and Julie Todd and all who are involved with K Lazy 3 Outfitters:
I grew up hunting with my dad in Western Nevada, and some of my fondest memories with my dad have been made while chasing mule deer, antelope, and chucker up and down the hills near where I grew up. Once I moved to Colorado for college, hunting trips and adventure with my dad slowed down a lot, and while I dedicated almost all of my free time to being outside and furthering my love for the outdoors, I left hunting behind.
The experience that my dad and I had in the Scapegoat Wilderness rekindled my passion for hunting. I had forgotten how much I truly love it, how lucky I am to have the opportunity to share experiences like hunting with my father, and how close it can connect a person to our natural surroundings. It was my dad’s and my first elk hunting experience, and it was one that we are sure to never forget. That week in the woods was the hardest that either of us has ever hunted. What a rewarding experience.
Thank you all for providing the opportunity to rekindle my passion for hunting and to forge such a strong and positive memory with my father. It has been two weeks since we returned from Meadow Creek Camp, I am still dreaming about hunting elk, and my dad and I have already begun talking about when we might be able to get out on another elk hunt. It was great to learn about and to see the amount of effort and coordination that it takes to organize such a memorable hunting pack trip into the wilderness.
Julie, the lasagna that you made for us on the first night was delicious, and the food Sharon cooked throughout the week was hearty and tasted great. Calling, finding and stalking elk is an art form, and it was fun to see how each guide approached it slightly differently and had their own manner of hunting and calling elk. It was clear that each guide is passionate about hunting elk and works as hard as he can to create the opportunity for his hunter to make the most of his/her experience. I can’t think of a better way to learn how to hunt elk and to see a lot of beautiful new country.
Brett, I thoroughly enjoyed hunting with you on the final day of the hunt. I’m happy to have had the chance to talk with you and to get your advice and opinion about guiding and mixing passions with work. The thought has crossed my mind that perhaps if I become a better elk hunter and better hunter overall, I may try guiding. I believe working as a hunting guide would suit me well. It was insightful to listen to you share your goals and how you approached trying to meet those goals. I wish I could remember the mane of that book that you read (Peak Performance) that helped you improve your bull riding when you were pushing to win the College National Finals.
Futhermore, while it would have been great to have filled my tag earlier in the week than at 5:00 p.m. on the fifth day so that my dad could have had first dibs on the next opportunity to harvest an elk, the way the week transpired and came to a close made for a great story. I believe I can speak for my dad on this as well as for myself: this experience was the most rewarding hunt that we have ever had. We wanted to work hard before taking the life of such a powerful creature, to see a lot of new country, and to spend time in a hunting camp with really good people. Each of these hopes was accomplished, and the experience has amounted to the most memorable two weeks I spent with my father.
Thank you all for helping make such a memorable learning and father-son experience possible.
November 17, 2014
Dear Brett & Julie,
We want to thank you for your participation in the recent Big Hearts under the Big Sky trip for Tim Johnson at the Hobble Diamond Ranch. Your willingness to allow us to use your outfitting services and expertise played an integral part in the success of the trip. A wonderful time was enjoyed by all at the celebration dinner in honor of Tim’s service and sacrifice. Your contribution to the Big Hearts program is greatly appreciated. We hope to continue this opportunity for trip recipients in the future.
The Big Heart under the Big Sky (BHUBS) program is unique in the nation in that we work with recognized national affiliates who identify qualified candidate families for whom we provide high-quality therapeutic outdoor trips, at NO COST. We support those who have provided extraordinary military service to our country and those who face the challenges of a life-threatening illness. We accomplish our mission through close partnership with Wounded Warrior Project, Hunt of a Lifetime, Catch-a-Dream Foundation, Grateful Nation and Casting for Recovery. We are proud of the growth we have experienced over the past six seasons. With your continued support we will continue and expand this important work and make a difference “One Family at a Time”.
In 2014 the Montana Outfitter & Guides BHUBS program will have served another 11 Adventure/Trip placements. Four trips were granted to children facing a life-threatening illness, six in honor of military men and women who have provided extraordinary service to our country and one full retreat in support of women suffering from Breast Cancer (served25 women). In so doing, we were able to fully meet the requests from all of our National Partners and serve 57 people with trips that totaled $65,749 in donated retail value at a hard cost of $28,573 paid out to participating outfitters (43% of retail) to cover out of pocket expenses related to trip delivery.
Since 2008, BHUBS program has served 39 families/groups totaling 264 people, from 30 different states and involving 24 MOGA Outfitters businesses and accounting for $264,748 in donated adventures.
Thanks again for the opportunity you provided to the Big Hearts program!!
The following is from Galen & Ben Fitzel’s hunt with K Lazy 3 Outfitters on September 23 -29, 2012
Bucket List Hunt
at 4:30AM September 22, 2012. Van was packed and ready to pick up my son (Ben) in Blaine, MN and head West to our stop for the night at Billings , MT at least that’s what we had planned. Several hours of windshield time, gas and rest stops later we rolled into Billings–checked into a motel and went to a restaurant came back and was resting on the bed watching college football at around 8:00 PM when my cell phone rang. The pleasant voice asked my name and inquired where I was—Julie Todd in her very soft directing voice said that we were to be in Lincoln, MT that night for the pre-meeting before we ride into camp EARLY next morning. Dead silence from my end of the phone –jaw dropped and a questioned look and inquiry from Ben. What’s wrong Dad? After several moments I answered Julie saying THANK YOU for calling –please inform Leepers Hotel to keep the light on and room open and will settle up in the morning. It was around 2:00AM we arrived in Lincoln and caught a few winks of shut eye to be ready by 6:00 AM for an apology to Brett for our misunderstanding of time. A short walk over to the Lincoln café for breakfast and meet our two hunters (Art and Spike) joining us in elk camp. Chemistry of personalities blended very well with Art, Spike, Ben and I immediately—lack of sleep did not seem to bother because we were all geeked up.
Drove to the trail head and proceeded to have gear packed— get horse selection by Brett along with specific instructions on what to do on the trail ride to camp. Several miles and hours later, butts sore we arrived half way for
a lunch break at the Rangerettes cabin. Spike took out his splint for his teeth so he could eat. A good half hour passed and we finally received permission to continue on the trail because of the nearby forest fires which previously closed the trail. The fire was still encroaching on the Spring Meadow camp that we were originally heading into. Just days before Brett and crew scrambled and set up a new camp. Lunch finished and a rest for the horses Brett said— Lets head out—–NO, NO we have to look for my teeth I must have dropped them. We all looked around the area of the horses to no avail. We had to take off and Spike was not a happy camper that he had lost his teeth; however, he did pack a spare set along just in case. Several hours later we rode into camp and
unpacked our gear and got acquainted to our new home. Conway the cook made supper along with some delicious cowboy coffee. Ben was not feeling good and made several trips to the back forty for relief.
Next morning arrived early as Brett hung the gas lantern in tent at 4:30AM. Agenda: wake-up, get dressed, eat breakfast, and be on the horse by 5:15AM riding out of camp. During the night Ben was getting more sick and made the best decision to stay in bed the next day. Really bummed out that he was not able to go, however, realized need to rest for the remainder of the hunt and not pass everybody else the bug. . Brett said to me— you and I will head out. It is good that horses can see during the night and I cannot, because if I would have seen what we went up in the dark I might have been more petrified. Casper was the name of my horse for a reason. Yes, he was white and a wonderful horse that had better sure footing than me at times and saved many a footsteps up the mountain. During the dark morning ride up the mountain over numerous downed logs traversing back and forth and rocks slipping and sliding away we were at the summit of a long mountain range to see three mule deer bucks slowly meandering away. None were really shooters even though had the mule deer license. Finally we reached a point where we tied the horses hiked another 45 minutes to a ledge overlooking a couple of game trails into the valley below. Brett indicated that the game trail was 220 yards. Just the distance I had sighted in the 7mm Winchester. We waited with anticipation that at any moment elk would be racing up the game trails for escape of the other hunters encroaching below. The smoke haze was drifting in and was getting thicker and thicker and suddenly Brandon, Spike and Art appeared below in the valley next to the small stream. No elk so Brett and I headed up the mountain to the summit to listen for bugles and have our Conway sandwich. Half done with the sandwich a bugle came from the valley below. Brett stopped chewing and looked at me and said did you hear that. I answered YES, and he said that is a big SOB bull. What do you want to do? Well I did not come here to listen. Ok, take off all unnecessary clothing and stuff we are going after him.
I ended up with my safety orange vest, light wool shirt, bottle of water extra ammo just in case and started the journey of my life down the steeper than steep shale mountain slide. I had not done much training or conditioning of muscles from knees to hips for going down a mountain on sliding shale rocks—not something a flat lander sees. About ¾ of a mile down we arrived at an outcrop of small trees. Brett takes his bugle call and announces to the herd bull that we are approaching. Yes, the herd bull answered and the heart started pumping more. However, I was very exhausted and I looked at Brett gasping for air and said I do not know if I can make it. Brett looked at me with the steel blues and reached over grabbed my gun and said yes you can. Now with about 10 less pounds of gun and second wind I could use both hands to grab onto brush so one did not slide down the mountain we preceded onward. Suddenly he stopped and motioned. I quickly as I could advanced to Brett were he said he had just seen a satellite bull jump over the log and head farther down to the valley. I mentioned to Brett that this was definitely not like having the bulls in a fenced corral. He laughed and smiled and said lets go. Another couple hundred yards and we stopped and he pointed and their stood a 5 x 5 looking straight at use. I raised the gun, however, looking into the sunshine it completely washed out the vision of the bull and only could see with the naked eye and then with a blink of the eye the bull jumped over the small ridge and was gone. Brett grabbed the cow call and called four times and listened. Quickly he turned and said something is coming—–get ready. And
then one could hear the brush crashing down in the ravine below. Do you see him? He is a shooter —-take him
now —-he is 163 yards and aim low. BANG—I said aim low, you shot over him. Within seconds a second shell was chambered and the bull was still standing broadside at a slight angle. Aimed lower and BANG the Winchester
reported with the bull hitting the ground. We could see the head moving around behind some brush , however, could
not get a clean shot so we waited for a half hour and patiently watched. Brett suggested that I stay put so I could
guide him to the bull. Another half hour passed because the time to get over to the bull was not a walk in the park. Coming down the steep hill across the deep ravine to the bull was Brett. I said about 100 feet in the brush below.
Brett walked closer keeping a tree between him and the bull and when he got close enough he grabbed the antler and said he is alive. Well, it was good the tree was between him and the bull because he started to charge him.
Brett said it was like déjà Vu when he was riding the bulls in the rodeo. The bull took off down the hill and Brett yelled shoot, shoot—I yelled back that I would not shoot until he was clear. I could see the bull going in and out of the brush heading farther away down the hill out of sight until he stopped. Antlers, head and small portion of the neck was all that was visible. Instantly positioned the crosshair on the neck remembering what Brett said before aim low. Shot and the bull was laying on the ground. Brett yelled back that the bull was a nice 6 x 7. He said start heading up the mountain back to horses and he would catch up after taking care of the bull.
Well, about three fourths up the mountain Brett caught up to me and showed me the photos of the bull on my camera. Once up to the top of the mountain it was another hour back to the horses and then a happy ride back to camp. Brett had saved the heart so when we returned to camp we were going to have hor-d’ oeuvres before dinner. As we rode into camp and took care of the horses everybody was wondering if we had any luck. As Brett and I entered the eating tent Brett threw the paper bag with the heart in the direction to Conway and said the lunch was terrible and that he should go back to cooking class. Conway laughed and said that he would think about it. Conway started to prepare the skillet and fixings for the delicious appetizer of elk heart and onions. Yum, Yum. I had a smile that was from side to side while I showed the photos of the bull elk to everybody. Unfortunately, Brett had mentioned that I had a 50/50 chance that the bull would be in one piece or the property of a grizzly when returning the next day to pack out. My legs were still cramping and very sore so I said to Ben you need to go along and help pack out. Of course Ben was eager to go since he was in camp the day before and felt much better.
O dark thirty and by 5:15AM the next day we were on horses heading up the trail to pack out the elk. Brandon, Brett, Ben and I made our way until I got off on a ridge a couple miles away and hunted Mule deer back to camp. I sat on the ridge and watched the three B’s ride away and walk down into the next valley over a mile away wondering if the grizz had found my bull. Up the steep mountain face the three B’s proceeded until they disappeared out of site and then I would find out the answer back at camp that evening. Brandon and Ben were going to hunt the valley were the big bull was the day before and hopefully was still in the area. Brett was going to pack out to another camp location and meet the packer to get the meat into Lincoln in the cooler.
It was about 5:30 that evening that Brandon and Ben walked back into camp from their seven mile hike back from the pack out because all horses were needed to pack out the meat which was not found by the grizz. They had not seen any elk, however, felt they were in the right area because the smell of elk was in the air, however, no luck. I had not seen any mule deer bucks only does and fawns which still made an interesting hunt back to camp. At about 8:45 PM we heard horses coming and it was Brett returning to camp after a long, long, long ride. Brett said that in all of his guiding of twenty years plus this was right up there of being 1 or 2 in the worst pack out ever. We all had Wang (tang and whiskey) and toasted to the success. Next day was again up early and out by 5:15AM to go after elk. I walked up the valley glassing in hoping of catching a mule deer buck grazing along the ridges—again only does and fawns. Oh well, still beautiful and wonderful to be out in this part of God’s creation. Ben had a Texas heart shot at a cow, and missed. Brandon took Art and Spike up and down a mountain via horses that Spike was almost speechless when they returned to camp. They did witness a nice bull heading up the game trail with a couple of cows for safety, however, way out of distance. The last evening Jerry came in with the pack train to prepare for the next hunters and brought in the missing teeth for Spike that the Rangerettes found. You would have thought Spike had shot the biggest Elk in North American for he was one happy camper. Next day long ride back to the trail head with a midway stop at the Rangerettes cabin and special thanks from Spike for finding his teeth. Once back to the trail head we unpacked and loaded up the vehicle to head to Lincoln and pickup the elk from the cooler. We packed the elk in four coolers along with several bags of ice and headed homeward bound with many hours of windshield time. Sixteen hours later we pulled into Blaine, MN. Our trip was almost complete except for arranging with the meat market and taxidermist to take care of butchering and mounting.
Even though this was my bucket list hunt I feel this was Spikes for he passed away unexpectantely two weeks after the hunt.
Thanks to Brett and Julie Todd and the K Lazy 3 Outfitters organization for the memories.
“Life is not measured by the breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away”
St. Paul, MN
Shoot Straight or Shoot Often
This story was written by Hank Newburn who hunted with K Lazy Three Outfitters in September of 2011 and it appeared in the Big Timber Pioneer and the Agi-News newspaper.The story as presented here is exactly as it was written.
On the second morning of our early season elk hunt in the Scapegoat Wilderness, I was awakened shortly after 3:00 A.M. by Brett Todd, the owner of K Lazy 3 Outfitters. There was a bit of moonlight lighting the trail for our 2 1/2 hour ride to exactly where Brett wanted to be when daylight finally arrived. If you have never ridden a horse for several hours on a dark mountain trail, it is a trust exercise that everyone should experience.
Later in the day, Brett and I were overlooking a wooded area from a vista that was so amazing I cannot describe it. I took pictures, but the pictures don’t really show the magnificence of the view. Brett was perched like an eagle out on a rocky point. He pointed out a shelf to our right where he had once had a hunter who disappointed him when he wasn’t able to get close enough to the edge to take a shot at a bull elk below. I told him I could shoot from that shelf but not from where Brett currently was perched. I am somewhat afraid of heights, but it never occurred to me that I might have to follow through on that statement.
A short while later, Brett called in a bull elk to the area right below our look-out. I do not know how I mustered up the courage, but I ended up shooting from that precarious perch. One of Brett’s admonitions to his hunters is, “Shoot straight or shoot often.” I have always shot straight before, but somehow from this height, it took me four shots to kill the elk. Fortunately for me, the sound was carrying strangely in the canyon so the elk did not even realize he was being shot at. Now the adventure began!
To say that the location of my elk after I shot it was in a very difficult location to get to would be the understatement of my lifetime. We had to descend somewhere close to 1,000 feet down a chute in the cliff side. The top half was very technical, requiring four points of contact (hands and feet) to help lower ourselves down this chute. We were essentially mountaineering without the proper equipment. Keep in mind that this harrowing descent came after we had already exhausted ourselves checking out other locations and then resigning ourselves to this location. I am a runner. I have completed two marathons (just six minutes off qualifying for the Boston marathon) and several half-marathons in the past five years, so I know when my tank is on empty. I had no idea how this mountain man/cowboy could do this every day all season. I knew I was already pushed physically, and I knew we still had to get back up to where we started. We made it down the chute, both of us assisting each other at some points. All we were carrying was our knives and license.
Brett gutted the elk, and I realized with dread that we were ready to return from whence we came. My excitement was upstaged by apprehension and concern for my well-being, but I knew there was no other choice but to ascend back through the chute we came down. Brett assured me that you can climb more severe terrain than you can descend. In other words, if you can get down. you can get back up, but not vice versa. As we climbed I inconveniently remembered something I have told my wife and family for many years…..I do not want to die in a car accident or in a hospital. I want to die falling off a cliff or down the side of a mountain or at the paws of a grizzly while I’m out hunting. Granted those might not be peaceful ways to go, but they would be natural.. As those thoughts popped into my head at a time where this could certainly occur. I made a mental note to reconsider that wish if I made it out of this alive. We made it out somehow, but it occurred to me you have to be careful what you wish for!
I am sure Brett could see that my sense of adventure was waning, so apparently he decided to make some small talk. As we were taking a breather and planning our ascent through a difficult spot, Brett thought it appropriate to ask me if I had seen a television show where a father and his son and daughter were rock climbing in Arizona and had a mishap. The father ended up cutting his rope and falling to his death to save the life of his children. I couldn’t help but think that this was hardly the appropriate time to discuss that show or any related theme, but it did give me an uncomfortable glimpse into what was going through Brett’s mind.
After we made it down and back up, we prepared for our return to the horses, a long and difficult trip walking on the side of a hill with loose shale and wet grass. Brett was well ahead of me looking like he was just getting warmed-up, while my tank was on empty. I thought to myself what an awesome gift Brett had just given me. Sure I paid him for this, but I don’t think what I just went through is provided in most elk hunts. The effort Brett put into this was amazing from getting me to the location, bugling the elk in, coaching me through shooting it, and then the descent/gut elk/ascent/return to the horses is an experience I do not think is possible to top. For me, it is an experience I will remember and share for the rest of my life. For Brett, it was just another “day at the office”.
As a physician, I am reminded from time to time of my ability to have a significant life-changing impact on the lives of others. What is routine for me in my daily life may be life-changing/life-saving for my patient. Brett impacted my life in a significant way, and I hope he realizes this and keeps that in perspective every time he guides a hunter. I decided to share a quote from T.S. Eliot that I had learned a couple weeks ago with Brett: “Only those who risk going too far will possibly find out how far one can go.” I found that out on September 16, 2011!
Author Hank Newburn
“Finding ones mental and physical limit is truly a gift, a treasure that feeds the sole. An event that heightens ones self awareness and enhances ones self image.”
October 5, 2008
I want to thank you for the great hunting experience that I had with you and your guides while in Montana last month. I have had the opportunity to book hunts with other outfitters and none show the professionalism that you and your staff demonstrate. Everything from the effort you and your guides put forth to make the hunt successful, to the outstanding food that Susan prepared each day was outstanding.
I can’t wait to get back out to Montana and spend another week with you, Guy, Brandon, Susan, and the rest of your staff. I HAD A GREAT TIME!
November 18, 2007
Hello Brett & The Gang @ the K Lazy Three,
I just wanted to drop a quick a note and let you know how much of a great time we had on our hunt this fall. First, both Don and I have told everyone how much of a “Real Trip” it was; from the customers, to the employees, to the scenery, to the experiences, it was truly awesome. I never would have thought that I would drop an Elk at 330 yards; and an 11 pointer to boot. As I said just after the shot, It was the most amazing hunting experience in the last 20 years; it was awesome….a hunt of a lifetime. You all have a little piece of Heaven in your back yard. I just wanted to pass my sincere appreciation to you and the gang. As I said to you before, we will absolutely make the trip again.
Please feel free to use me as a reference; I would be glad to speak to any potential clients. Home number is 815-459-1414.
Attached is the photo of our bull….
Again, it was an experience I will never forget.
November 19, 2007
I’ve been wanting to drop you a note about our recent trip to the Scapegoat Wilderness, while the memories of that trip are still fresh in my mind and before life beats the “West” back out of me!
I have to say, as much as I was looking forward to that trip, I was still taken aback. The mountain air & scenery, the ride in to Meadow Creek (I know how to pronounce “creek”, now too), the food, the camaraderie; all far beyond expectations.
I had never before had an opportunity to take such a trip, and elk hunting had long been a dream of mine. Hunting whitetails in the Deep South left me with a lot of questions about what such a hunt would be like, mountain
weather, gear, traveling on horseback, extensive hiking and even making a shot in the mountains.
Needless to say, you and your crew did an outstanding job settling any questions I had, and more importantly, getting me in the middle of elk on several occasions. Well before noon on the first hunt at Maryann/Blondie, Guy managed to get me into position and ultimately within range of several elk on both sides of me. I had to admit to him then, that even if the chance to pull the trigger escaped me; I could come home knowing that I experienced true elk hunting. Actually getting my elk a couple of days later was icing on the cake!
I have to hand it to Brandon too, when I finally caught up to him at the lookout over Camp Creek, he already had a bull spotted, and, in spite of my record-setting uphill pace, he was still willing to make the four hour hike around Galusha Peak and the Devils Staircase in pursuit. Too bad, that big boy stayed a step ahead of us. Nonetheless, that was an unforgettable day, and goes down as one of the highlights of the trip. Had someone pointed out that hike to me before leaving Cajun Country, I’m quite sure my response would have been “Mais Jamais (Never!)”
Just today, I noticed your mission statement: “.to provide you with a Rocky Mountain wilderness experience that will renew the spirit, refresh the mind and invigorate the senses!”. I can truthfully say that y’all have certainly succeeded in doing so, and in addition, have left me with fond memories and a tremendous sense of accomplishment.
Feel free to have anyone contact me as a reference, and give my regards to Susan, Guy, Brandon, Jess, Jerry & Dustin; had a lot of laughs with that bunch.
Hoping everyone has a safe and happy holiday season,
(504) 616-7104 cell
December 10, 2006
I had to say thank you again for providing me a fantastic hunt of my lifetime which will never be forgotten. This was my first fully guided hunt and I had no idea what to expect, but everything exceeded my wildest expectations.
Marc did a super job guiding me and locating and calling my 5 x 6 bull within 40 yards for the kill. As we descended as fast as we could from about 7,500 down to the South Creek bottom he cow called over and over and the bull would bugle back and we new he was coming. It was like he had that bull on a lead rope reeling him in.
The horse back ride in and out was an adventure in itself with the beautiful mountain scenery and the winding/climbing/descending trails. Jim the camp cook kept all of us well feed and his camaraderie can’t be forgotten either. I hope to make it back again and this time bring a friend or two so they can see for themselves instead of me trying to explain. Unless you have been to Camp Creek and experienced it then it just isn’t the same.
Thanks again and hope to book another hunt in the future.
I will be glad to give references for K Lazy 3 for Camp Creek Sept. 23 to
29, 2006. I can be best reached on my cell @ 563-379-1764
I want to thank you for such a great hunt! The experience, the food, and the company was awesome. You run a Class A operation. When I elk hunt again, you will be my 1st. choice. This was my first time in the wilderness. I have been in remote areas, but not like Meadow Creek. It was incredible! I can’t thank you enough. I hope that you and your family have a great Christmas.
December 20, 2005
Bret & Julie,
I would like to just say thanks for the most exciting and memorable hunting experience of my life. It has always been a dream of mine to go on a “wilderness fair chase Elk hunt”. Meadow Creek Camp in the Scapegoat Wilderness provided all I had hoped for and more. K Lazy Three Outfitters is a first class operation from start to finish.
Being lucky enough to harvest a nice 4×4 on my first elk hunt was great but the 7 days in the wilderness with good friends, experienced guides (Brett, Guy & Brandon), a great cook (Susan) and a hard working packer like Jerry was just as rewarding as the hunt itself. The views on top of all the mountain peaks and ridges were breathtaking and I have a photo album full of pictures to remember each and every on of them. Mineral mountain would have to be my favorite because that is where Tim and I shot our elk on the same day and almost at the same time. Next would be Bugle mountain and the day we spent together on top of the mountain. It was neat adding my rock to the rock pile of people who had been there before me. Also, this is where you spotted the herd of elk on Mineral mountain the day before we shot our elk.
I shall return and next time I will bring my youngest son who loves to hunt and hike as much as I do. Thanks, again for a totally outstanding hunting adventure.
PS: Thanks for the letter and pictures you sent. I like the 2005 Hunting Season In Review and the pictures on your web site.
October 11, 2005
Hello Brett and to all at K Lazy 3,
I wanted to write and say “THANK YOU” for a truly TOP NOTCH hunt that my friends and I had. Camp Creek was a great experience even with all the “sweat and pain” I endured. Even though I was not one of the lucky ones to take an elk myself I was still able to experience the excitement of the hunt. I was fortunate and was with my buddy Steve when our guide, Mark King, called in a very nice 7×7 which Steve was able to harvest. Prior to our arrival, Steve and I agreed that if we were so lucky as to take a shot he would get the first shot. Mark called the bull to within approximately 60 yards of us. Steve was able to get the shot off and take a Very nice bull. Even though I didn’t do the shooting, the excitement that I experienced could not have been greater. It was the rush that all hunters have and you, I am sure, know what I am talking about.
Our other guide, Guy, hunted with me after that. He was able to call in two different bulls. One bull bugled over twenty times in a two hour period but he just wouldn’t show himself. The next night a bull snuck to within approximately forty feet behind us and when he blew we couldn’t see his brow tines!
I didn’t get the kill but I’m far from being disappointed with the hunt. What a great experience! I had it all except for actually pulling the trigger, it was fantastic!
The food prepared was outstanding and the guides were superb, they want you to take a bull as much as you want to take one.
I hope to see all of you again in the near future years.
Again thanks for a great hunt and a great time. I hope the remainder of the season is a successful one for all at K Lazy 3. Happy Hunting!
Jim Weldon, Gallatin, Missouri
P.S. We were a hunting party of four and were 50% on the hunt with two bulls taken at Camp Creek. Our hunt was from September 15th through September 21, 2005. I highly recommend K Lazy 3 and will be glad top give references on their behalf. I can be reached at 660-772-3223 should anyone wish to contact me.
September 22, 2005
K Lazy Three Outfitters
664 Highway 10 E
Big Timber, MT 59011
Dear Brett and Julie,
Just thought I would drop you a note to let you know how pleased I was with my hunt this first season of 2005. As you know, this is my second hunt with you folks, Camp Creek this year and Meadow Creek last year.
As you probably know I took a 7×7 good bull this year. Our camp also had a 5×5 nice bull and a lot of other close opportunities for the other 2 hunters in camp. The four of us are friends from a small farming community in Missouri.
Our cook, Scott Clatt, was the cause of my six pound gain. Our guides, Guy and Mark caused me a lot of sore muscles and our horses a sore rump.
I would also like to thank Jerry who packed the meat to the locker for processing (18 miles).
From the planning by Julie to the hunting and exceptional accommodations, this has taken a very rough and physical hunt and made it the most enjoyable time I have ever had. My friend Jim Weldon (who should have been shelling corn) is usually more nervous than a rat in a trap when he is gone during harvest. On Sunday he asked what day it was because he was so relaxed he didn’t even know, let alone care what day it was.
Thanks again for the fine hunt.
February 1, 2005
I just wanted to drop you a line to say how awesome my hunting experience was with KLazy3. Everything was first class from the guides to the food to the awesome outdoor experience of seeing a Lynx, Elk, Moose, Mountain Goats, eagles and all the other critters native to the Scapegoat. The scenery was breathtaking! The tents were dry, warm and downright comfortable!! To be honest I was disappointed when we had to leave. Can’t wait to come again!!! Thanks for a great experience! It was awesome not only to take my 1st elk but also my 1st Mule Deer.
Thanks for everything!!
October 28, 2008
Brett & Julie Todd,
I really don’t know where to start with the elk hunt starting September 15, 2008. I never dreamed that it would be such awesome time with family and friends. The horseback ride to camp was great with all the beautiful scenery but not as bad on the behind as I thought it would be. Susan the cook; could cook about anything you would want, the meals were 5 star rated .The hunting was great too; our group of four, all scored with nice elk which made the hunt that much more unforgettable even more the other two hunters in our camp scored too, one with an elk the other with a mule deer. The guides Brett, Brandon and Guy were the top of the line. They new all the tricks of the trade to get you close enough for the kill or bring the game to you for the kill. Jerry was our packer and he did an awesome job taking the kills out and bringing in fresh supplies, we kept him busy. The camp was clean and very relaxing we didn’t have any trouble sleeping and the scenery was just gorgeous. Brett has two camps one with 6 people and the other with 4, and 5 of the 10 people were returning, some for multiple times I think that says a lot about this outfitter guides and family. I know for me, my sons and friend that this adventure will be a talked about for many years to come, and if I am able I will do it again. Thanks again Brett & Julie Todd and the K LAZY 3 OUTFITTERS AND GUIDES.
Have a great day and I shot straight,
Mike Kuntz Jr
I am writing to express my deepest appreciation for the “wilderness experience” that you made possible recently over the early archery Elk season for 2008. Although the Elk hunt was the excuse and stated focus, your camp, crew, and personal perspective ensured that I did not miss out on the “wilderness experience” regardless of the outcome of the hunting. That said, the hunting was beyond description. Seeing and hearing Elk every day is more than can ever be expected in any area. When it takes more than one hand to count the number of times that I was within 30 of elk I am glad my heart is healthy. While I missed a shot at a nice bull with my arrow (but smacked that tree good), I come away with the elation of having been presented with an opportunity to get a shot off with bow and arrow which is a testament to your skills as a guide (just not my ability to keep cool). In addition, the challenge presented by the terrain and effort necessary to make such opportunities possible were themselves a welcome part of the experience.
On my return, I find myself telling stories of the wonderful wilderness, incredible crew, fellow camp inhabitants, and tough stock while maintaining a beaming grin on my face. After finishing with stories of the animals I was able to get close to, I usually need prompting by the listener to indicate whether I harvested an animal. It is not that I am not intensely focused on this element or that I lack desire to accomplish this goal, it is simply that the whole of the experience is so filled with satisfaction that this seems to be only a part. My return also reintroduced me to the tremendous stresses that occupy my life currently, but my time in the mountains brought these into new perspective and left me with a refreshed vigor.
I have hunted in several locations including Kodiak for bear and Mexico for Mule deer with other outfitters and believe it is simply not fair to compare them to the experience I enjoyed with KLazy3. Although it is abundantly obvious that I have quite strongly feelings about the experience, I have to separate out a component that I feel is absolutely unique, the KLazy3 crew. The respect I have for each member of the crew is complete. There are many reasons that I could list but two of the most important are their true respect, passion, understanding of the wilderness and their personal integrity. Spending time with these individuals in any setting is a valued experience but even greater during the wilderness experience. It is no surprise to find these characteristics in the crew given the character and integrity of Brett, Julie and the Todd family.
I am more than happy to serve as a reference (and warn them about metal attracting trees).
Thank you again for such an amazing experience,
December 28, 2004
I just wanted to say “Thank-you” for a great week of hunting that I will always remember, and for the stories I will relive for years to come.
It was truly a memorable experience; from the camp, to the guides, the wonderful views, and “Johnny Walker”, my trustee ride back to camp each night after a long day of hunting.
Just a word about you and Wade. I appreciate everything “ya’ll” did to help me get my trophy mulie; and afterwards arranging to get the meat processed, sent to me and finding a taxidermist for the mount. You certainly went above and beyond the call of duty! I will see you at Meadow Creek Camp in 2006!
P.S. How about that shot!
October 14, 2003
K Lazy 3 Outfitters
664 Highway10 E
Big Timber, MT 59011
Dear Mr. Bret Todd
We sure had an awesome time in the Scapegoat Wilderness at Camp Creek. Everything was top notch to the ride and pack in, the camp equipment, and the animals. We saw elk herds almost every day, even though they seemed to appear across the next drainage area like they knew they were safe from us!! Got a nice long stalk on a huge mule deer till dark. Jumped another buck during the week. They sure don’t wait around. The herd I shot the elk out from, I had seen for 3 days straight. The first night, it got dark before I could get into effective range. Second night, they came out on top at dusk, while I was back down by the bottom. Finally, the last night, they were there early and back down below which allowed a fun stalk through the burn on the other side. The shot was 279 yards. But the awesome part was hearing all the bugles for those 3 evenings. Though it was a looong walk back each night to camp. Anyways, thanks again for providing us a memorable hunting experience.
Michael E. Carson
An excerpt from an article from the January 2002 issue of North Country News
ELK HUNTING IN MONTANA
by Dan Zarembinski
“The trip itself was an 8 day adventure! It was a trip that I will never forget the rest of my life or should I say my rear end will never let me forget. The trip started with a 6 1/2 hour horse ride to camp to get set up for the 6-day hunt to start the next day at sunrise.
The camp (Meadow Creek) itself is located on a small creek in the valley of the mountains, where the scenery was unbelievable. The camp provided everything from hot meals to hot showers. Almost like the “Holiday Inn”. Every morning Brett (Sarge) would wake you up and let you know that the coffee is on. Once in the mess tent eating a hearty breakfast Brett would review the day’s itinerary. After breakfast we all just saddled up and went to our locations for the day. Each day the cooks prepared a great bag lunch for out in the field. The guides were always ahead of the game making sure that the horses were ready and they knew the location we were going. Upon returning at the end of the day the food was always hot and delicious. We definitely never went hungry.
The hunt results were tremendous. We shot 3 bulls; a 5 x 5, 6 x 6, and 6 x 7 for 6 hunters and had 4 other opportunities. The opening day, 2 of the 3 bulls were shot. The third bull was shot on day 3. Even with the hunting pressure at its peak every day brought opportunities for all of us. On day 3, my brother Tom who scored a 5 x 5 on the opener had a 7 x 7 broad side 20 feet from him as he lay in the fallen trees. The last opportunity came at the last minute of the hunt. That’s what I call an exciting hunt. When you can see elk from day 1 to day 6.
If you’re looking to book an elk hunting trip I highly recommend K Lazy Three. They know their elk and they have an excellent location. We will be booking with them again.”