2014 was one of the most memorable years we have had in the backcountry of Montana since I started guiding in 1988. Usually I pride myself on the way that I see each individual on our trips try to get the most out of every moment on the trip and in the end, whether it is a summer packtrip or a fall hunting adventure, I witness people leave the backcountry and return to their families and life with renewed passion for getting back to the basic’s and not getting caught up in today’s fast paced world. But this year, I had two separate experiences in the backcountry that made me take a step back and appreciate all of life’s special moments as well.
The first was hunting with the Andraski’s, a father and son combo from Nevada and the second was being part of the Big Hearts under the Big Sky program, where we were fortunate enough to assist military veteran Tim Johnson, as he battles with stage four brain tumor.
So, for everyone out there that is waiting for my usual yearend review, where I recount the stories of the “big ones harvested or the even bigger ones that got away”, you’ll have to indulge me and let the following stories speak for themselves…
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
K Lazy 3 Outfitters
Brett & Julie Todd
664 Hwy 10 East
Big Timber, MT. 59011
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!!
I hope you had an exciting and productive 2014 hunting season. We just finished up our Scapegoat Wilderness and Deer Creek hunts with this season being another successful year! We harvested 17 brow-tined bulls and 8 mule deer bucks, which gave us a 47% harvest and a 70% opportunity rate. The 2014 Deer and Elk animals can be viewed at our photo gallery. Click here to view the Deer. Click here to view the Elk. Be sure to call several references for any hunt you decide to go on, we list ALL of our previous years hunters at http://klazy3.com/hunting-trips/montana-hunting-references/
Our 2015 Scapegoat Wilderness 2 on 1 hunt rates are $4500.00 per person, divided as follows. $600.00 down to book your hunt spot, $1500.00 due 5/1/15 (once your license is in hand), and the balance of $2400.00 is due upon arrival for your hunt.
Our 2015 Deer Creek Hunts are sold out. Our 2016 Deer Creek 2 on 1 hunt rates are $3200.00 per person, divided as follows. $600.00 down to book your hunt spot, $1200.00 due 5/1/16 (once your license is in hand), and the balance of $1400.00 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 – 2014 were on a random draw. However, the non-resident combination license (elk/deer/fishing) has had a 100% success rate every year in the draw and there were around 1600 licenses still available through the fall hunting season. For the 2015 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.
2015 License Rates: All licenses have a March 15th application
Combination (Elk & Deer) (Deer only) (Elk only)
$996.00 $592.00 $846.00
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 2015 or 2016, the current available openings are listed at http://klazy3.com/about-us/rates-deposit-schedule/ Don’t let another year slip by you, these remaining hunt spots are filling up!
SHOOT STRAIGHT! Brett