Montana 2012 Hunting Season Review | KLazy3 Outfitters

2012 K Lazy 3 Hunting Season in Review

Brett and his sturdy steed!

2012 is going in the books as one of the driest, flat out hot years in memory. I don’t think a single person in the country did not feel the effects from food & commodity prices to feed, hay and livestock supplies. The drought continued into late summer and early fall, we had a 5000 acre fire close to the Meadow Creek camp and as a result, we could not use the camp for the first three hunts of the season. As the president of the Montana Outfitters & Guides Association, I had a full agenda, but I think the time spent will be well worth the effort for the outfitting industry and the non-resident hunter. In our spare time, we calved out the cows, ran 6 summer trips and put up over 750 tons of hay.


September 14 – 20,
I was informed by the Forest Service on the 12th of September that the fire was still growing and the predicted path was the entire Meadow Creek drainage. We were able to set up a make shift camp in the Upper Lander’s drainage on the 13th and luckily most of the hunters were return guys and they pitched in every chance they could. On the morning of the 14th it’s go time! Guy is headed into Camp Creek with crew and hunters, Greg has the lead into the Hahn Creek Camp and I will be headed to the Upper Landers. On the ride into camp, the wilderness ranger caught up to us, only to inform me that the mainline trail is going to be closed from Webb Lake to Lost Pony Creek. This meant that the Camp Creek crew had to head out to the North Fork of the Blackfoot trailhead at the end of their hunt and the Lander’s camp had to add an additional 8 miles to our ride to go over the Chaps Gap trail to get back to the Indian Meadows Trailhead. We were prepared to operate 3 camps all summer, now we have 4 camps setup and the main camp of Meadow Creek is inaccessible. This meant 3 camps being serviced by 3 separate trailheads, total of 60 head of stock to supply feed for, let’s just call it a logistical challenge.

Opening Day! As we were tying up the horses just before daylight, we heard that ever so welcome sound, a bugling bull! A couple hundred yard walk and we are in position. The bull is responding to both the bugle and the cow talk, we could not script it any better. He is close, but we cannot see him. Mark wants to go at the bull, I nearly had to hog tie him to just sit in one spot and remain quite. Then a glimpse of antler and the bull is already less than 60 yards from us. He is walking a slow but deliberate pace toward us. 47 yards and the 6 point bull stops, the neck and should are in full site. The loud report from Mitch’s gun and the 2012 season is officially open! The bull spins and is out of site. Twenty minutes later, we cross the creek to ground check our prize. As we approached the spot where the bull is supposed to be laying, a massive 6 point whirls away less than 20 yards from us. A two hour search yielded no dead bull and not an ounce of blood. It was a clean miss. It was disheartening, but little did I know at the time, it was a scene that would repeat itself over and over and over again for me during the 2013 season…

Upon returning to camp that evening, we found Jim Conway our camp cook somewhat unnerved. Two of the local game wardens had rode into camp around noon and had a cup of coffee and some cookies, then just as they were about to depart, one of them noticed his horse looking intently across the creek. The warden caught a glimpse of a bear as it was headed into the brush. The wardens told Conway to keep a look out for the bear as it was not like a bear to show himself in the middle of the day, and then they climbed on their horses and rode off. A short 20 minutes later, the bear was back and Tank the trusty K Lazy 3 dog was keeping him from getting too close to camp. The way Conway tells the story is that an 8 foot tall grizzly bear tried to get into the camp not once, not twice, but at least 20 times. It got to the point that Conway took a camp chair and his shotgun and sat in the meadow in front of the cook tent on guard. Brandon and his hunters were the first ones back in camp that evening and Conway almost kissed them all! Later that evening after he had told the day’s events, he asked me, “When is it ok to shoot the bear?” I told him, “that’s not something the law spells out very good and it’s not something that I can tell you when it’s ok to shoot, but I can tell you if the time comes, you will know, but one thing I can tell you for sure, if you start down that road, you finish the deal, we do not want a wounded bear”. The bear tried coming into camp a couple of times that night and Tank ran him off every time, and then proceeded to bark into the September night.

The next morning, we wished Conway luck and I said, “It’s been good to know you Conway and I hope to see you again”. I don’t think it was what he wanted to hear from me as we rode off into the early morning darkness. As it turned light, we tied up our horses and hiked toward a saddle that is a natural crossing for the game. As we approached to glass, a bull stepped out of the timber about 500 yards away. We let the bull take his time and eventually he went back into the timber. We advanced our position to get about 250 yards from where the bull had disappeared. Kevin had been with us two years earlier and got a nice 5 X 6 bull and this time he brought his twin brother Keith for his chance and this was it. Keith got settled in with a nice rest alongside the base of a fir tree and I commenced to call the bull. A bugle followed by a couple of cow talks, then we waited. Several minutes went by and I bugled again and the bull walked into sight at about 270 yards away. I continued calling the bull in and we could see that he was going to cross a steep wash out and be around 200 yards from us. I hit the bull with the range finder; he was broadside at 195 yards. Keith felt confident in the shot and I told him to put it right behind the shoulder. A single shot rang out and the bull did not move. After a few seconds the bull spins and headed back into the timber. It did not look or sound like a hit and a few minutes later we watched the bull fleeing down the far side of the ridge. A search of the site revealed my suspicions, it was another clean miss.

As we were riding back into camp that evening, I could see a rack leaned up on the wood pile, Brandon had called in a 6 point for Mitch and this time he connected! I sensed the excitement level in camp was not what it should be for having a nice 6 point on the meat pole. Conway had shot the bear! He was more nervous now
than when the bear was alive. I asked him to tell me very clearly how the bear had deceased 2 feet from the corner of the cook tent. He said that as it was turning daylight, he was sitting in a chair next to the wood stove and Tank was stretched out at his feet. They were both exhausted from the sleepless night and a nap was in order next to the warm stove.

Conway awoke to the stove pipe shaking in the stove jack going out of the tent. He thought it was odd because he did not remember feeling a breeze earlier that morning. Then the lantern was swinging so hard it was about to fall off the hook. Conway and Tank realized at about the same time, “The bear was coming in the back corner of the tent!” Conway grabbed his shotgun off the table and headed toward the front tent flap. Tank flanked the bear from the back side of the tent and as Conway was coming around the front corner of the tent, he grabbed two galvanized water buckets off the wash basin. Upon rounding the corner, Conway saw the bear standing on his hind legs and the two were a mere 20 feet apart. Conway threw the buckets at the bear and the bear dropped to all fours and headed straight for Conway. The first shot was 00 buck, which dropped the bear in his tracks, followed closely by a slug to the head. I assured Conway he did the right thing and I was amazed that the 00 buck would drop an 8 foot grizzly in his tracks. As I pulled the tarp off the bear, I immediately knew it was not an 8 foot griz and for that matter, I’m pretty sure it’s a black bear. Upon closer examination, it is indeed about a 300# black bear. It may have been the couple of whiskeys that Conway had that evening, but he is still sticking with the 8 foot tall griz part of the story!

Now that the camp life is somewhat back to normal, let’s get back to killing elk!
Brandon took Mark back to the same area that son Mitch had missed at 47 yards
opening day. They spent two hours talking to the herd bull, without seeing him.
He just kept moving the cows farther up the mountain. Finally, Brandon said,
“We are going to have to get aggressive with him”. Every time the bull would
bugle, they ran toward him. Once Brandon felt they were close, he sent Mark out
in front and worked his magic on the cow talk. For those of you that have not
heard Brandon in action, it is a thing of beauty, not a bull in the woods can
resist his cow talk. The massive 6 point bull could not resist as well, he came
crashing in and Mark put the 354 B&C herd bull on the ground!

The other camps had some of the same shooting issue’s that I experienced, but by weeks end
we had 18 opportunities and 5 bulls packed out.


September 23 – 29,
My good friend Art from Wisconsin is back again. He always comments, “Elk or no
elk, we are here for the memories”. He had such a good time last year watching
his son take a bull that he felt the urge to tackle the hunt again, even though
he has a good start into his retirement. This time he brought his friend Spike,
because it has always been a dream of Spike’s to do a wilderness elk hunt and
now they are at the age they can say it’s on their bucket list. Father and son,
Galen and Ben are also on the hunt, it was their first time, but I doubt it
will be their last trip with us. On the first day, Ben had to stay in camp as
he had picked up a stomach bug from his family before heading west. So that
left Galen and me to hunt for the day. We spent the morning hunting without
much activity and found ourselves taking a well needed rest overlooking the
next valley over. I told Galen that often times a herd bull will bugle in the
heat of the day just out of habit and we should wait it out. 20 minutes later
that oh so familiar sound awoke me from a cat nap, game on! Galen tried to
impress upon me that he had used up most of his energy earlier in the day and
did not know how much that he had left in the tank. I think most of his plea
fell on deaf ears, but I did convince him to stick with me and we could have a
chance. Upon descending toward the bugling bull, we bumped into a satellite
bull 40 yards from us, but the bull was gone before we could even think about
raising the rifle. We found ourselves sitting on a finger ridge listening to
the herd bull in the bottom and just then I saw a flash of horn on the adjacent
ridge 200 yards away. By the time Galen found the bull in his bino’s the bull
walked into the timber. Galen told me he is all in and cannot go any farther
and suggested that we start heading back. I convinced him to take a moment and
I would try to call one of the bulls toward us. 10 minutes later, I could hear
something across the drainage from us, but could not get a visual. It seemed
like an hour, but it was probably only a few minutes and we had the 6 point in
the crosshairs at 150 yards! “Galen, that bull does not even know we are here,
so don’t rush your shot”. Another 30 seconds and the bull is stopped and
broadside. Galen squeezed the trigger and the bull did not even flinch. “Shoot
again”, I said and this time the bull buckled in the back end. It looked like a
spine shot, so we waited 20 minutes. Galen could not cross the steep draw, so
the plan would be to have me cross the draw and confirm the bull is down for
good or have Galen shoot him again once I was close to the bull. Well, the bull
was not dead, but I thought I could maybe get close enough to slit his throat
and Galen would not have to shoot again, because the herd bull is still bugling
below us and maybe we can have a crack at him tomorrow. My misjudgment, the
bull watched me until I was about 5 feet from him and then managed to get to
all four feet and was head lowered coming at me! All that ivory flashing at me,
I had flashbacks of the old bull riding days and it appeared like I was about
to get an ivory enema! Fortunately, the bull was hit too hard to follow thru
with his intentions and he whirled downhill ending up about 50 yards from me. Galen
had a front row seat to the whole show and once the bull came to a stop 50
yards below me, Galen put the nice 6 point bull down for good. Galen wrote a
testimonial about the hunt and can be view by clicking on

The other two camps are cranking out the bulls as well, two 5 point bulls from Hahn Creek
and a big 6 pointer from Camp Creek. Camp Creek had some excitement of another
kind to boot. As Adam was positioning his hunters for a shot, a mountain lion
came stalking in to within 10 yards of the three hunters; evidently Adam’s cow
talk is very realistic as well.

We received word from Art that Spike’s dream hunt and bucket list scratch off came none too
soon, as Spike passed away shortly after eating dinner just 10 days after their
hunt. We only got to spend 7 days with Spike in camp and he influenced us all,
I cannot imagine the number of people he touched throughout his great life.
God Rest Your Soul Spike.


October 2 – 8, It looks like we have snow in the forecast, and if it happens, we will be able to
move back to the Meadow Creek Camp. Yea-Ha! but until it snows we are headed
back to the Upper Landers Camp. We’ve been finding some elk, but it’s been late
in the day with a spotting scope and have been unable to make a move on them.
The first wave of the storm is upon us, not much snow, but very foggy
conditions. Finally, we have a 6 point bull and two cows spotted that we can
make a move on in the morning. Overnight we received 10 inches of snow and the
cloud ceiling is low and Brandon and his hunters have to go in blind for the
bull. They do not prevail, but John and I found a 5 X 5 bedded across the
canyon from us. It will be late in the day when we get to him, but that is not
the only thing I am thinking about. With the snow cover we are moving back to Meadow
Creek today and if we kill this bull we will have to pack him on our horses and
then walk about 17 miles to camp in the dark. Sounds like fun, let’s do it! We
snuck into with about 50 yards of the bull, but the new growth saplings are too
tall for us to get a visual. I hit the cow talk to stand the bull up, but all
we can see are his antlers. The bull sensed something was up and headed away
from us. That was ok, because he was crossing a draw and gaining elevation so
we can see him, still less than 80 yards away. John got nervous and sent two
warning shots toward the bull on the move. I told him, “Just wait he is going
to stop at the top of the ridge”. The bull was true to my assumptions and
stopped broadside at 120 yards away. This time, John made it count and our
journey began. I went for the horses and met John at the bull right at dark. We
field dressed and quartered the bull, then loaded them on our horses. It was
cold enough that a person needed to have a jacket on, but we exerted enough to
build up a good sweat. As the hours went by, so did the energy. It became clear
that we were not going to be able to walk the entire distance to Meadow Creek.
John did not argue when I suggested we cash the quarters, and ride the last two
hours into camp. We got to bed at 1:00 a.m. that night, but everyone else had
made it to camp with enough daylight to see 4 bulls in the avalanche slide
above the Meadow Creek Camp. Brandon made the game plan and took Chris and
Steve to the top of Bugle Mtn. by daylight. John and I were awakened by gun
shots on the mountain and a lot of them, 9 shots in all. That was enough
shooting to make me think the hunt went sour and they would be returning empty

In our absence from Meadow Creek, a pack rat had decided to make himself at home. While eating breakfast we could hear a thumping noise coming from the bottom of the propane stove, it was the rat and
we had to get him! After nearly disassembling the entire stove, we have the
little creature and proceeded to hang him from the meat pole, so our empty
handed hunters would be further ashamed when they returned to camp. But, to my
surprise, they came in packing a 6 point and had another 6 X 7down as well!
They had gotten above the bulls and Chris whittled his down first, then Steve
shot his about a 100 yards to the east. That’s when it got real crazy! The
bulls died in the avalanche slide 100 yards apart and at the same elevation,
but that’s not where they came to rest. With the fresh snow, both bulls took
off sliding down the mountain like bobsleds. Steve’s bull went airborne as it
slid over a rock outcropping and continued down Bugle Mountain. When all of the
crashing and nine-0 sliding came to a stop some 500 yards down the mountain,
the two bulls lay smashed together in a single heap! If we could do that
another million times, we would not be able to reproduce that result. The
picture in the photo gallery is exactly how the bulls laid when they finally
caught up to them. Chris & Steve think this wilderness elk hunting is easy,
2 trips equals 4 bulls and a mulie to show for it.


October 11 – 17,
Cousin Joe from Missouri came with his son Jared and Scott from upstate New York is
becoming an annual fixture in our hunting camps, this is trip 6 or 7, I can’t
remember which. Jared was getting married after Christmas, so Joe realized it
was probably now or never to get a father – son trip in. We were finding some
elk the first couple of days, but we either could not get in right position to
score or there were no bulls in the bunch. On day three we hunted Mary Ann
Creek and Brandon was going to hunt all the way to the Upper Landers camp that
we still had set up and meet Jerry there to help pull the camp the next
morning. On the hunt, they found a 5 X 6 with a bunch of cows and Jared held up
his end of the deal! That night was a long one for the guys, as Tank the trail
dog, traveled with Jerry to help in packing up the camp. Tank must have had a
vivid memory of the events that had happened four weeks earlier, because he
kept the camp up all night with his barking into the night. He was sure that if
one bear was able to get in the tent with him, surely another bear would try
the same. Scott did not get to fire his rifle this time, but that’s ok to him,
just being back in the mountains is high on his priority list, as evidence he
and wife Donna will be joining us for another summer pack trip this year.


October 20 -26,
Tom & Drew from PA. are back for the 8th time. The weather is
somewhat unsettled and the wind seems to be non-stop. Usually a cold front is
not all that fun to hunt in, but after it passes it can be awesome. Guy spiked
out with Monte and Paul to Camp Creek. They located some elk, but time and
distance prevailed in the stalk. Not to come back to camp empty handed, they
saw a pack of wolves and Guy had a license. I think the final bill is still
being tabulated for Guy, as Monte had to rent his rifle out to Guy for the
kill. Many hunters asked me this fall about purchasing a wolf tag and I honestly
could not recommend any non-resident to purchase a tag due to the cost. A
non-resident wolf license is $350.00 and the chances of seeing a wolf is very
remote, hell I have been in the Scapegoat since 1997 and have still not
personally seen a wolf. Nevertheless they are in there and as president of the
Montana Outfitters and Guides Association; I can tell you that we are
sponsoring legislation that would lower the non-resident price to $50.00. So
far the bill has great support, it has currently been passed out of the House
on a 96 -3 vote. So, come this fall, I will probably make all of our hunters
aware of the opportunity and I suspect more guys will have a license in their
pocket. Tom has killed several nice 6 points with us and this year he did not
come across the one he wanted, so he took advantage of the either sex
regulation and harvested a cow. That’s a freezer full of meat to get him by
until next year. Time to pull the camps and head for the Deer Creeks.


November 1 – 7,
Both my daughters have drawn special unit elk licenses and they are wondering if Dad
is ever going to have the time to take them hunting. Jackie is up first and we
have located a big herd of about 130 head. The 9 bulls in the bunch are still
bugling like it is September! We got into position about 400 yards from them
and waited for the right opportunity. 20 minutes into the wait, they all
bunched up like a ball of snakes and came up the ridge toward us with a monster
bull in the middle. He was a 6 X 8 that is going to score around 380 B & C!
Then, as if the sea was parting in front of us, the ball of snakes untangled
and the big boy was standing in the middle all by himself. The yardage was
around 300, which is not exactly in Jackie’s comfort zone, but it’s now or
never. Jackie had a bipod on her .270 and the odds are she will drill the bull.
The shot rang out and I saw the dirt fly just over the monster’s back. I
reported the shot placement to Jackie and said to shoot again, but it was too
late. The ball of snakes was back together again and on the move. Later in the
day, Jackie had to settle for a very nice whitetail 5 X 6 buck just before
dark. On day two, TediJo joined us for the hunt. We found two spike bulls and
both the girls informed me that they would not be shooting any little thing
like that, there seemed to be a little sister to sister competition brewing.
Midday we found a nice heavy horned mulie and TediJo snuck into place for the
150 yard shot on the 4 X 6 buck. Both the girls have their bucks, but no bulls
yet. On day three, TediJo had school to attend so Jackie had a 1 on 1 hunt
today. We located the 130 head again, but the monster had left the bunch.
Jackie had heard about people eating their tags and was pretty sure she would
not be one of those hunters. A well placed shot behind the shoulder and her
very first bull elk was a nice 5 X 6!

Brandon has also been the lucky recipient of a Mtn. Goat license this year. Guy, Brandon
and I went two years ago when I pulled the coveted tag and this year it will be
no different. The snow is not as deep in area 323 as two years ago, but we
still have a lot of winter on the ground. We set camp and the next morning
Brandon and I set out on the hunt, while Guy returned to the trailhead with
mules for a hay run. It was about 11:00 a.m. before we topped out on the 10,000
ft. ridges and a stiff crosswind cut like a knife through our sweat soaked
hunting gear. We quickly realized that we needed to get behind some brush to
avoid being succumbed to hypothermia. That worked for a short time and then we
had to get on the move just to stay warm. An hour later Brandon spotted a billy
cruising down the ridge across from us(about 3 miles away). We had a decision
to make, we could head in the billie’s direction, but if we did, we would not
be returning to our horses that we had left tied in the valley floor. Maybe not
the smartest decision, but we were in hot pursuit by then. We did not find the
goat again until about 3:30 and it is getting to be pretty dark by 5:00 this
time of year, so we had to hustle. During the mile long stalk, we found another
20 + goats, but they were out of play for the amount of daylight that we had
left. Down the back side of the ridge we went and when we got to the billie’s
bed it was empty! With 15 minutes of daylight remaining, we started the long
pull back to the top of the ridge. About ¾ the way up we stopped for a breather
and Brandon spotted his goat below us in the exact same spot that we had just
come from. Shooting at a steep angle downhill, Brandon’s first shot sailed
high, in his correction for the second shot the bullet landed at the billy’s
feet. The 3rd and 4th shots hit home and the billy did the suicidal dive off the rocks and ended up going into an ice chute and down the mtn. several hundred yards. We made the decision to leave the billy and
return in the morning with horses from the bottom side of where he lays. Now
the return to camp… It is mostly downhill to get to camp, but in the dark, the
ice chutes are beyond challenging, they can be deadly. Brandon had tweaked his
knee by now, so I took the lead. Several times I got sucked into an ice chute
that we could not safely scale down, so we would have to back track up the ravines
to try and pick out another route. Brandon and I both freefell on two different
occasions. Sliding down a chute with your fingers and toes trying to grab
anything you can so you don’t fall into an unknown black hole below you is not
for the faint of heart! Finally at about 9:00 p.m. we made it back to camp.
More tired and exhausted than hungry, we were glad to see Guy and a nice warm
tent. Our horses were still tied to the trees up the valley floor about 3 miles
from camp, but Guy accepted our plea to go get the horses on our behalf. He
returned to camp around midnight with the horses in tow, stoked the fire and we
all slept in a little the next morning. The retrieval of the billy went good
and now we are all waiting for Guy to pull his goat tag, so the debt can be

Getting home a couple of days early on the goat hunt meant I had a day to help TediJo find her bull. We had been tipped off where some elk were living and if they were in the same spot in the
morning, TediJo could be back to school early. As it turned daylight we could
hear the cows talking to each other. I set Tedi up with her bipod and we
waited. She is an excellent shot and had won several awards in the 4-H shooting
sports program. As the elk were filing by, she picked out a nice 6 X 6 and hit
him good behind the shoulder. The bull stood motionless, so I had her shoot him
again. With the thump of the bullet, it was realized as another good hit, but
the bull refused to go down. At this point I told her as long as the bull is
still standing; she needs to keep putting lead into him. A total of 4 shots in
the boiler room before the bull finally came crashing down. TediJo did miss 20
minutes of school that day, but the principal agreed she had a good excuse.


November 9 – 12,
Time to see what the Deer Creeks have in store for us this season. First day we are
off to a great start. I have Bill from ND and he is on his very first guided
hunt. The snow is coming down at a steady pace, but it is quite in the woods
for good hunting conditions. From my horse I spotted two bulls grazing on the
hillside across from us. We tied up and our stalk was all of about 50 yards. We
were at 360 yards and the terrain made it questionable if we could get any
closer without being busted. Bill assured me that he could make the shot and I
thought, what the hell, I have not had a hunter hit the animal on the first
shot all season with close shots, maybe a long shot will turn the tide. Bill
adjusted his pack in the tree limb and wiped his glasses one more time before
the shot. Bill pulled the trigger and I just sat there on the mountain in disbelief.
Finally, on the 9th of November, almost two full months of hunting,
I had a hunter not only hit the animal on the first shot, but it was a one shot
kill! Brandon and John took a very nice heavy horn 5 X 6 mulie that day as
well. On the next day, Bill and I went to pack out his 5 X 5 bull with two
mules in tow. Before we got to his bull, we rode right into a bunch of bedded
down mulies at 70 yards and there is a dandy buck with them. I jumped of my
horse and motioned for Bill to grab his rifle. The huge 26 inch tall 4 X 5 buck
never had a chance to get to his feet. We quartered the bull and packed him on
the mules, then loaded the mosey horned buck on my horse for the long walk back
to the pickup and trailer. The long shot of the year goes to Don Pake from MN.
He has a husky scope and is set up to make the extra-long shot. After waiting
for over an hour for a bull bunch to get up and feed, the 71 years young Don
plucked his 5 X 6 bull at 730 yards! John and Guy completed their 3 hour stalk
that day as well, with John being rewarded with a very uniform 6 X 6 bull to go
with his buck from the day before.


November 15 – 18,
We have father – daughter and husband – wife combo’s this week. Jen got the
party started when she missed a 6 point bull and then a 6 X 4 came running down
the mountain toward us. On the way out that afternoon, a 4 X 4 buck came across
the trail in hot pursuit of a doe. The buck was mid-sized and I told Jen that
if she killed the buck she was going to be tagged out. She said, “I know.”
Boom! The girls had the right to talk a little smack that night. Guy had Eric
and wife Jenifer on the long ride, where they found some elk but no bulls in
the bunch. Jenifer decided to take a cow, but the rifle was not insinc with
Jenifer’s shot placement(nice way of saying she missed three times) and the
girl power talk was subdued that night. Elmer and Eric both managed to harvest
5 point bucks later in the hunt to defend our gender.


November 20 – 23,
All three hunters are return guys and we can skip checking out the hunter’s
abilities and go right to hunting. Charlie has his chance early and often. Late
in the afternoon on day one, we rode into a bunch of mulies and there is a
shooter buck working the does. Charlie’s shot just barely grazed the forearm on
the buck and we tried to get into position for the rest of the day with no
success. The next morning as it was breaking daylight, another good buck stood
with his does at 80 yards. Charlie’s shot was off the mark, as was a 200 yard
shot 20 minutes later on the same buck. It left Charlie in disbelief, shaking
his head and saying, “I am usually not this bad of a shot…” We decided to
double check his rifle and he shot at a tree ranged at 100 yards. A couple of
clicks and we are back in business. Ron and Bobby are hoping to find another
wall – hanger mulie and the elk are secondary to them. Late on the last day, we
have 7 bulls spotted and I finally talked Ron into going for one of them.
Brandon took Ron and got into position and I was to walk the ridge down and
bump the bulls toward them. The 7 bulls started in Ron’s direction but then
turned and walked with-in 100 yards of me and going away from Ron. With 5
minutes of daylight left, I heard a shot and I knew they could not be shooting
at the bulls, because they had to be over 1000 yards away from them by now. I
hollered across the draw to Brandon to see what they were shooting at. Brandon’s
voice had a tone of excitement when he answered back, “We just shot a trashy
horned buck!”  Indeed they had, Ron’s patients had paid off big time, and he had a 7 X 5 monster with no brow tines!
It was a very nice buck to finish out the 2012 season on.

I hope you had an exciting and productive 2012 hunting season

We just finished up our Scapegoat Wilderness and Deer Creek hunts with this season being another successful year!

We harvested 19 brow-tined bulls and 8 mule deer bucks, which gave us a 57% harvest and a 78% opportunity rate. The 2013 animals can be viewed at

Be sure to call several references for any hunt you decide to go on, we list ALL
of our previous years hunters at

Our Scapegoat Wilderness 2 on 1 hunt
rates are $4200.00 per person, divided as follows. $600.00 down to book your
hunt spot, $1200.00 due 5/1/12(once your license is in hand), and the balance
of $2400.00 is due upon arrival for your hunt.

Our Deer Creek 2 on 1 hunt rates are
$2800.00 per person, divided as follows. $600.00 down to book your hunt spot,
$1000.00 due 5/1/12(once your license is in hand), and the balance of $1200.00
is due upon arrival for your hunt.

Due to the passage of citizen’s initiative
I-161 on November 2nd 2010, the guaranteed outfitter sponsored license is no
longer available in Montana. All licenses issued in 2011 & 2012 were on a
random draw. However, in both years the non-resident combination license (elk/deer/fishing)
had a 100% success rate in the draw and there were around 2000 licenses still
available through the fall hunting season. For the 2013 season, I anticipate a
100% success rate for the combination license as well, providing your
application is submitted prior to the March 15th deadline.

Montana also has a new non-resident preference
point system that allows 75% of the licenses to go to the applicants with the
highest amount of preference points. Give me a call and I can help you through
the application process. Even if you are unsure about your future hunt plans in
Montana, it is a wise decision to start building preference points for use in
the future.

License Rates:
All licenses have a March 15th

Combination (Elk & Deer)                              $   959.00

Elk Only                                                         $   809.00

Deer Only                                                      $   570.00

Thanks to all–from the hunters, to the crew, cooks,
guides, packers, and their families, and to my family (especially Julie)!
20 some years from now, when I am nearing the end of my run in the mountains,
it won’t be all of the animals we called in or stalked and harvested that I
will recall; it will be the friendship and camaraderie of the back country
experiences that I will cherish. See you on the mountain next year!

If you are thinking about hunting with us in 2013, the current available openings are listed at Don’t let another year slip by you, these remaining hunt spots are filling up!



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