Outfitter News

2015, the year that changed it all for K Lazy Three

Howdy Friends –

12510459_742820525854039_985639189781514349_n2015 started out like any other year for us, we had a full summer schedule on the books and looked forward to the fall run as nearly 70 % of our clients were repeat clients or referrals. And then the phone rang!  A young fellow by the name of Kenny Low was on the other end inquiring about information obtaining an outfitter permit in the Bob Marshall Complex. We visited in detail about any potential opportunities that we could think of and at the end of the conversation; I told him if he couldn’t find anything, he could always make an offer and buy the K Lazy Three…

Less than a week went by and Kenny called back and asked if we were serious about selling the K Lazy Three. I was silent for quite some time before I responded that I wasn’t sure but we could sit down and talk about it. In the last couple of years, Julie and I have started to think about scaling back, but had not really put a timeline on what or when that would be. After all, the K Lazy Three has been a major part of our life. We have put in long hours and the tens of thousands of miles in the saddle to build the outfit up that we are proud of and represent as one of the “Best in Class”, in the services that we offer. So we decided to show Kenny the ropes this season to make sure the reputation of the K Lazy Three continues well on into the future.

We had 8 summer pack/fishing trips into the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness areas.

Highlights included the Arthur Carhart Wilderness Stewardship packtrip in June where we serviced 28 people and had 43 head of stock in two separate camps. In July we had retired outfitters Sam and Gary Duffy come to Meadow Creek with some of their former clients for 8 days of rest and solitude. The group had been on several other pack trips throughout the years and at the end of the trip, they thanked us for all the hard work by the crew, the outstanding horses that they rode, the great food in camp, and proclaimed it was their best packtrip yet, and vowed to return in 2017. In August we had a group of 8 guys on the Scapegoat Mountain trip. In the 18 years providing outfitted pack trips in the complex, this was the best one that I can remember. The fishing was great and the majority of the trip was spent riding high elevation off trail country. This included white knuckle riding on a mountain goat trail to get to the plateau on top of Scapegoat Mountain and it took a venturous soul to explore the nearly 10 miles of cave system at Green River. (We went about a ¼ mile in!) In early September we packed in the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists for their continued research on the Westslope Cutthroat Trout.

September also meant hunting season is here! During the archery hunt in the Deer Creeks, the bulls were in full rut and we called in 12 bulls during the 5 day hunt! All 4 hunters shot at bulls at 30 yards or less, but only managed to connect on 2 bulls. It was one of those hunts that you just did not want to see come to an end! The archery hunts have been so exciting and productive, that we are planning on expanding to 2 hunts for 2017.

Off to the Scapegoat for the September 15th early season rifle opener.  Guy and Kenny ran Camp Creek and proceeded to chase around one of the biggest bulls we have ever seen in that country.  Guy figures him to be in the 360 -380 class. Also on the hunt was 14 time return hunter, Sean Batunkyi from Pennsylvania. Sean has harvested a few smaller 5 and 6 point bulls over the years but keeps coming back looking for the “Big Bull”. Early one foggy morning, Guy spotted the big bull and the hunt was on.  Working the terrain and fog all morning got them amongst the herd. Guy also had another hunter from Pennsylvania along on the stalk and just as they were getting into position for a shot on the big bull, the second hunter pulled up his gun and shot. Guy asked him what he had shot, but did not get a clear answer. Upon further inspection, the second hunter had shot a spike bull and the big bull made a clean get away. In an instance, Sean’s once in a lifetime bull was gone… But Sean is booked in for his 15th time next year, in pursuit of the big bull. Kenny had a pair of hunters from New York and nearly had the daily double in the head of Camp Creek, but Tony was able to make the long shot to harvest his 5 point bull.  We got it going in Meadow Creek as well when Kerry took Brian for the long hunt up Scotty Creek. The 6 point that they were after was very vocal but refused to leave his cows. A 3 hour cat and mouse pursuit ensued. In the end, Brian has a nice 6 point to take back home to Vermont. Bill brought his son out from North Dakota in pursuit of his first elk. On the last day, William had an opportunity to harvest a cow and decided to do so. Just after he had shot the cow, a nice 6 point stepped out of the timber. Most of the time patience’s pays off, but William was extremely excited nevertheless. Guy found another curious 5 point in Camp Creek and his hunter claimed his prize.

Elk1October can typically be the time of the year when the herd bulls become most vulnerable and this year was true to form. I had been working a deep growly bugling bull for the first two hunts, but not only had I not killed him, we had not seen him yet. On the 3rd morning of the hunt, as Dan and I were hiking up the ridge in the dark, Dan stated that he would be ok shooting a cow today. I said let’s just see how the day unfolds. 10 minutes after sunrise, I spotted a cow 200 yards from us and a few seconds later, a bull appeared behind her. Over the course of the next 10 minutes, the bull was totally covered up by branches and there was only about a 2 second window where he passed thru an opening. After the bull passed thru the opening, I realized how big he was and was fearful that we would not get a shot. Another 5 minutes went by before the herd grazed back out into some scattered timber. After some not so suttle prompting of Dan to “take him”, the shot rang out. It was a beautiful sight to see the huge 370 class 6 x 7 finally on the ground after 3 weeks of pursuit. And I have no doubt that Dan would have shot a cow that morning and have been thoroughly satisfied with his hunt. On day 4, Per from Sweden, was stepping up his game as he had come along way for his hunt and wanted to be successful. I matched him up with Logan, as their stride covering the mountains, seemed comparable. (aka Logan likes to go hard all day, every day!!) Late it the afternoon, after scaling to the top of Pyramid, (8700 + feet) Logan spotted a herd with 2 bulls, a mere 600 yards away from them. The spot and stalk was on and Per took his 6 x 6 in the throat at 40 yards. On the last hunt, it seemed like the bulls were playing possum with Tony. He had a rifle capable of making the long shot and early on I put him to the test. A beautiful ivory tipped 6 x 6 in Lost Pony, finally grazed into position and Tony had a rock solid rest for the 440 yard shot. The bullet landed well to the right of the bull and so opportunity # 1 was over. On the next day, we tried a closer shot on opportunity #2, but the bull standing looking at us at 60 yards away, left unscathed as well. On the very next day, Tony decided to take it a little bit easier and stay closer to camp. After finding a great spot next to the creek for a rest, Tony’s eyes got a little heavy. The splashing of the water upstream awakened Tony and it was not a mirage, it was a real live 5 point bull drinking out of the creek, and opportunity #3 is in front of him! Tony said he seen the bullet hit the water to the right of the bull even though he was 70 yards away. Cousin Joe also took the honor of being the only hunter that I ever had, be able to shoot at an elk from the fire pit in front of camp. I said “at an elk” because the first year 6 point went into the timber and left the usually sure shot Joe, shaking his head.

IMG_0772Its November now and finally our first snow has arrived. Guy and Jerry are taking 16 year old Jackson and his dad up the Boulder drainage in hopes of filling his coveted mountain goat tag. The snow is a lot deeper at 9500 feet this time of year, but the long hair on the billies keeps us going back. Meanwhile, in the Deer Creeks, Sean Ward gets his very first elk and it’s a nice first year 6 point. Syd and Paul get their mulie bucks and finally we hear from Jerry that there will be 4 more for supper, Jackson got his goat on the first day of the hunt with one shot and the K Lazy Three is now 17 of 17 on mountain goat hunts.

A pair of father and son combo’s provided the firepower for the second hunt. Charlie got it started on the first day by passing up a 400 + yard shot and later we were able to harvest his first bull elk at 60 yards. Joe was a proud Dad to be standing in the picture with his son and another nice 6 point bull. Later in the day, Jeff finally persuaded Logan to let him shoot a respectable 4 X 5 mulie than was close to the horses. Surround and conquer was the game plan mid-week, as we had spotted a 5 X 5 bull grazing by himself. We surrounded the ridge and Ben was the lucky one to get his eyes on the bull first…

Elk11On the third hunt we had all return clients, so they knew what was ahead of them. Charlie wasted no time and as soon as the snow storm cleared and we put the warming fire out, he bagged a nice heavy horned 5 X 5 mulie. On the next day in was another surround and conquer hunt. I had spotted a big mature 6 point bull and the game plan was set into motion. Eric was on point when the bull tried to give us the slip, but in the end the huge 6 point bull is headed to Washington State. Don has made a career out of making the extremely long shot with us. He is set up for long range shooting and can back it up. He has harvested a bull at 730 yards and a mulie at 570 in years past. I found a bull bedded on the last day of the hunt, but even this distance was just a little out of range – 1550 yards. We were able to move down the canyon and get the distance to just under 1000 yards and then waited to see what the bull is going to do once he decided to move. Nearly an hour passed before the bull got out of his bed and to my surprise, he started heading in our direction. It looked as though if he stayed the course he would end up around 500 yards across the canyon from us. Once the bull got into the 700 + range, Don started to ask when he should shoot. It wasn’t easy to convince Don to wait as the bull steadily marched closer. Not only did the bull get to the 500 yard mark, he eventually worked his way straight across from us and had his head down feeding at 404 yards. It must have seemed like forever to Don, but I finally give him the green light to shoot. One more final adjustment to the scope and the shot was launched. The bull jerked his head up and looked around; it had appeared that the shot had missed. Don took slow and steady aim again and set a second one toward the bull, again the bull looked around, then started to work his way down the mountain. As I was in the middle of cussing Don’s shooting ability, the bull started to tumble and slide down the mountain. Upon closer inspection, the bull had 2 holes about an inch apart, placed perfectly behind the shoulder. Don’s long range attempts are still perfect with the K Lazy 3! Jennifer, Kevin and Kurt also took some nice mulie bucks to finish out the season and 2016 is in the books.

I hope you had an exciting and productive 2015 hunting season. We just finished up our Scapegoat Wilderness and Deer Creek hunts with this season being another successful year! We harvested 14 brow-tined bulls and 8 mule deer bucks, which gave us a 42% harvest and a 65% opportunity rate. The 2015 animals can be viewed at  http://klazy3.com/photo-gallery/ 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 2016 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 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 – 2015 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 1200 licenses still available through the fall hunting season. For the 2016 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.

2016 License Rates:  All licenses have a March 15th application

Combination (Elk & Deer)   (Deer only)                                  (Elk only)

$1001.00                                 $597.00                                      $851.00

2015 was a year of big change for the K Lazy 3 and in the end Kenny Low proved he is a worthy individual to carry on the “Best of Class” traditions of the K Lazy 3 in the Scapegoat Wilderness. In 2016, I will continue to work with Kenny to make sure the past and future clients of the K Lazy 3 continue to have memorable trips into Montana’s Wilderness.  Julie and I will continue to outfit and ranch in the Deer Creeks, so whether it’s the Scapegoat Wilderness and Kenny Low or the Deer Creeks and Brett & Julie Todd, we will be here to help guide your next great backcountry experience!

Julie and I would just like to thank everyone who has helped us over the last 20 years, whether it was guiding, packing, cooking or helping Julie on the ranch. We have been surrounded by some awesome friends and great family. We also want to thank everyone for the GREAT memories and life-long friendships we have made, and hope to continue building on those well into the future!

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!

Brett Todd
brett@klazy3.com

Kenny Low
kenny@klazy3.com

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Montana 2014 Hunting Season Review

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.

Sincerely,
Andrew Andraski


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!!

Sincerely,
Mac Minard
Executive Director


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

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Montana 2013 Hunting Season Review

2013 got off to a great start in the backcountry of the Scapegoat Wilderness! We were able to set up the Meadow Creek Camp during the second week of June and run our first summer packtrip on June 20th and then ran the annual field packtrip for the Arthur Carhart Center in late June. In-between 1st and 2nd cutting haying, we ran a total of 7 wilderness packtrips in 2013, with the Continental Divide and the Chinese Wall trips being the noteworthy ones, as we had some of the best fishing that I can remember in years. We have several folks that just can’t seem to get enough of the Bob Marshall Complex and the solitude within, as evidenced by Scott & Donna from NY., who joined the K Lazy 3 for the 9th time.  The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks contracted us on two separate trips to assist them in getting into the very remote places for their native fish survey. I look forward to getting the results and sharing them with you all.

The fall of 2013 found the crew of K Lazy 3 hitting on all cylinders. Over the past several years, we have had to deal with forest fires, bears, blizzards and even camp relocations to service our hunts, but this year we had a normal uninterrupted go at it. We had hunts in Meadow Cr., Camp Cr., Hahn Cr. & the Deer Creeks, so with a crew of 12 and 50 + head of horses and mules, we were ready!

Steve Wendell | And the A - Team is successful again!

Steve Wendell | And the A – Team is successful again!

I decided to try something new in the Deer Creeks this year. In years past, we have always hunted the Deer Creeks in mid to late November. The hunting is always good then for both elk and mule deer, but the evidence of the early season elk rut is amazing. An archery hunt starting the 7th of September was in order. Every day we were into bugling bulls! Steve and I found a herd late on day 1 and the hunt was on. We positioned ourselves between two bugling bulls and I proceeded to hit the cow talk. One of the bulls immediately responded and started coming our way. I would hit the cow talk and he would bugle in response. Steve positioned himself with a couple of shooting lanes and I retreated to a position of cover. I could not see the bull, but he seemed to be only 50 yards in front of me, and Steve was in-between. As I hit the cow talk one more time, I saw Steve draw his bow and let fly at 20 yards. I heard what sounded like the bull raking a tree, so I chirped again and Steve gave me the hand signal to keep him coming. To my surprise, as I was cow talking and throwing out a challenging bugle, Steve stood up while the bull was still raking the tree! Now Steve’s hand signals were with much excitement; he must need the bull to take another step for the shot. At that point, I was calling with tone and frequency that should have cleared every animal from the woods. Then Steve started talking to me with the same excitement as his hand signals. He had hit and dropped the bull in his tracks on his first shot and what I thought was a bull raking a tree was actually his 5 X 5 bull thrashing on the ground!

Craig and Frenchy were into position a couple of times during the week as well. Frenchy had a 6 point within 14 yards, but could not get a clear shooting lane. They passed up a rag horn and finally the moment of truth was at hand. Guy had a bull hooked up and coming in hard. Craig and Frenchy split up and got into position. A quick swing around with the range finders and they were ready. The bull was honed in on Guy’s cow talk and had a deliberate pace in his cadence. As Craig tells the story, he had the bull at 60 yards, 50 yards, 40 yards, just 10 more and it’s a broadside shot in the breadbasket. Frenchy had other ideas though, as he is confident in his shooting (I saw him have a three inch group at 70 in practice), he had a 60 yard shot on the bull and decided to take it. Craig saw the arrow fly over the bull’s back; then he whirled and was gone. I think Craig and Frenchy are still good hunting buddies, but Craig might be still kicking the dirt and cussing…

Opening week in the Scapegoat; I have a favorite spot to go opening day every year, but this year I was a little miffed. After a long ride and a short hike, it began to break daylight. Before I broke out the bugle to get the season started, I decided to glass the back end of the canyon and to my surprise 4 grizzlies filled my spotting scope. After viewing them at a comfortable distance of ½ mile, I decided to alter my hunt plans and head in another direction. Turning north and walking a mere 80 yards we ran smack into another grizz! Fortunately, the boar was as unnerved as we were and vacated the area. Hunting competition is a major concern of the hunters that we serve, but I think they are referring to the ones that wear the orange vests. Brandon and Eric got the party started though with Brandon’s magical cow talk being the bait once again. The 5 X 6 bull nearly ran them over before the sound of Eric’s rifle silenced the bellowing bull. On day two, Dan and I were hunting together above camp, when a bull answered my bugle in a draw below. The next ½ hour seemed to be fruitless, as my calls were not being answered and we could not hear or see the bull anywhere. Out of nowhere the 5 point bull was looking right at us a mere 30 yards away. I was looking eye ball to eye ball with the bull, but Dan was sitting 5 feet from me and couldn’t see him. The bull knew something was up, and he decided to leave in a hurry. We ran down the mountain in hot pursuit, and I saw the bull crossing the draw so we should have a second chance at him at about 150 yards. The bull thought he had created enough distance between us and himself since our initial meeting, so he came walking across the other side of the draw. A quick chirp on the cow talk froze him in his tracks. “Take him”, I whispered and Dan fired the shot. The dirt flew behind the bull, a clean miss! As the bull did not even flinch, I instructed Dan to try again. The second shot was true to the mark, and the bull was rolling down the mountain. Brandon and I also had other bulls called into 40 yards during the week and after the shots were fired, we had no elk to pack off the mountain. Guy and Tony C. were taking a lunch break in Camp Creek and Tony’s 5 point bull decided to check out the conversation; now he is the conversation back in camp. Sid had a similar experience with Bill and Tony D. in Hahn Creek. Now a 5 point and a 5 X 6 reside in New York State.

Dean Neiderbaumer | A massive September 6 X 6 bull!

Dean Neiderbaumer | A massive September 6 X 6 bull!

September 23rd – 29th saw a change in the weather. The 4 inches of snow that fell was a welcome site, it would help to keep the elk grazing for longer periods and the moisture would soften up the vegetation, so our spot and stalks would be quieter. Guy and Mitch were the first to score in Camp Creek, one shot at 80 yards and Mitch had a very even 6 X 6 bull. It seems like the herd bulls were getting more aggressive every day… Dean, Kurt and I headed out of Meadow Creek on day three, but the closer it got to daylight, the harder it began to snow. With limited visibility, we decided to build a fire and wait the flurries out. After a two hour B.S. session, the storm broke and we continued up the mountain. A short 20 minutes later we tied up and began to glass. We immediately spotted a 25+ bunch of elk and I proceeded to crank down on them with the spotting scope. There was a bull for sure and once I cranked down to 60 power, we could see the massive bull in its entirety. Even at over a mile away, we could tell this one was a keeper. Back on the horses, on up the trail for an hour, and were closing into position. The mountain was steep and slick with the fresh snow cover, but in a short time we were peeking over a rock outcrop for an initial locate on the herd. A lone cow was standing across the ravine at about 80 yards-a sentinel looking for the well-being of the herd. Scanning the timber behind the cow produced nothing, and a mule deer buck came walking by less than 20 yards in front of us. We were pinned down and had to wait until both the cow and the buck moved on, or we would be busted. Dean said, “I’ll take a shot on the bull, just like that cow standing there”. I smiled and said, “I bet you would”.  15 minutes later the buck had moved on and the cow was grazing into the ravine in front of us. We could move on now, but maybe we should stand up and get a good look into the ravine before we go. I slowly stood up and something caught my eye. The movement could have been the snow falling from a tree branch, but just then the whole tree moved! It was the big 6 X 6 grazing at 50 yards from us the whole time! I don’t know if I even got any words out of my mouth, but Dean could tell by the look in my eyes that it was game on. He laid his 338 on the top of the rock and punched him behind the shoulder. The mountain of a bull took two steps forward and Dean hit him again in the shoulder. Either of the two shots should have put the bull down, but he kept going up the bottom of the ravine. After traveling another 40 yards he stopped once more and Dean hammered the shoulder again. The bull knew he was hurt bad and tried to go straight up the side of the ravine. A few steps later he came crashing to the ground.  Dean has taken bulls with us in previous years, but nothing like he was standing over now; a 350 class 6 X 6 is his latest reward for his efforts. The following day we returned to the site with Jerry to help him load the elk and the mules for the trip to the trailhead. Once the loads were secure, we decided to poke around in the area, as it would be too late to ride into another drainage for a hunt. Less than an hour later, we had elk running all over in front of us! With no time to get a solid rest, Kurt used a root limb from an uprooted fir tree for the shot. The cows were over the ridge and the bull was moving in their same path. Kurt’s first shot missed in front of the bull, but he turned and headed paralleling us down the ridge. Kurt moved over to a stand tree for the rest and shot; #3 hit home. His 5 point bull came to rest just 600 yards from where Dean’s bull died the day before.  That makes 5 bulls and two mule bucks in 3 trips for Kurt and Dean. Trevor and Gary took advantage of the snow cover and spotted a big herd in the head end of Camp Creek. Gary said he had to use some of his logging background to help retrieve his 5 point bull…

Jason Campbell | October 6 X 7 bull with huge tine length!

Jason Campbell | October 6 X 7 bull with huge tine length!

October 2 – 8; The snow from last week is still having a positive effect on the hunting. The rut might be winding down a little, but our spotting scopes are picking up the slack. Larry and sons Brett & Jason have hunted elk their entire life and a lot of that hunting has been in Montana. They enjoy the backcountry and the challenges of a wilderness hunt. Larry got his chance early, and he was glad to take a 5 X 5 bull. He quickly turned into his sons’ best cheerleader. Jason had a very good opportunity on day two, having his pack down on a log and his rifle cradled on it, but he missed a 160 yard shot. He made up for it on the last day as Logan found a nice 6 X 7 still thinking about the rut. One bugle and the bull left his cows; this time Jason connected on a 140 yard shot. Richard tried to stretch his barrel in the avalanche slide on Bugle Mtn., but the herd seemed to not even know they were being shot at. Ryan put enough effort into the hunt to harvest every single day, but the bull Gods did not see it that way. Hopefully, he will dig in and get addicted to hunting elk for years to come.

15 year old Savannah & proud Papa Mitch with Savannah's big 6 X 7 bull

15 year old Savannah & proud Papa Mitch with Savannah’s big 6 X 7 bull

October 11 – 17; Toward evening on the day we rode into camp, I took the spotting scope for a walk above Emerald Pond. We can see into four major drainages and often times have a game plan for the first hunting day. This evening would be no different. Nearly two and half miles away, we have spotted three elk. Cranking down to 60 power, I can see a cow and calf and a big wide racked bull. Mitch and daughter Savannah get to look at the elk as well; I think it was a restless night’s sleep for them. Come morning we headed toward the area where we had last seen the elk. Tying the horses low on the mountain so we would not spook the elk, we headed up the mountain. Half an hour later, I spotted the cow and thought they might be in range. The range finder reading changed my mind though, as a 600 yard shot might be a little bit long for 15 year old Savannah. We worked our way closer, checking the yardage along the way. We made it to 350 and the cow was on to us. She did not move, so we proceeded to make up valuable yardage toward the bull. At 280 it was time to pick our spot, Savannah laid her rifle over a log and the bull appeared broadside. I can remember thinking; at least she got a shot at the bull, as I realized she had missed. Savannah quickly chambered another round and waited for her opportunity. That opportunity came as the 6 point stepped into the open again; this time she connected, and the bull was hit low in the brisket area. We could see that he did not want to go uphill toward the cow, but he forced himself farther away from us. The next clear shot Savannah had she made it count, and the bull lay dead on the side of the mountain. I thought it was quite a ways to the bull, so I put the range finder on it and it showed 375 yards! When we made it over to the 6 X 7 bull, both Savannah and proud papa Mitch told me that not only had Savannah never harvested an animal before, but this was the first time setting foot in the field in pursuit of game! The only thing she had ever pulled the trigger on was a target. Upon listening to the day’s events back at camp, veteran K Lazy 3 hunter Sean asked how is that possible? This was Sean’s 12th consecutive year hunting with us and yes he has harvested several bulls, but nothing like Savannah took in the first hour of the first day that she ever went hunting. As the old saying goes, “And that’s why it’s called hunting, not killing”. Of course a little luck along the way is helpful as well. Danny from TX. pulled 1 of the 2 Bull Moose licenses for hunting district 280. We had heard of a big bull in the valley and I took Danny in pursuit. We glassed the meadows by camp before we hiked up country toward the last known visual of the bull. Hunting all morning with no luck, we walking into a neighboring camp that had seen the bull two days prior, and they even had pictures. As we were visiting around their campfire, one of the guys went to the creek for two buckets of water. He quickly returned and reported that the bull moose was standing down by the creek. Danny and I ran to the creek only to see the back half of the bull go into the brush, never to be seen again. Upon returning to camp, our story of misfortune got worse. Shortly after we hiked away from camp that morning, the bull paraded around on the other side of the creek for all of 45 minutes and just 140 yards away! Five days later when Danny left for Texas empty handed he said, “It was more fun to hunt for the big bull and not get him than settle for a small one.”

October 20 – 26; On the first day Chet and I found ourselves looking at a small group of cows & calves. We snuck to within 170 yards just in case there was a bull that we were unaware of. We backed out and hunted higher up on the ridge and then circled back around to watch the same bunch of cows come out to feed before dark. Chet was thinking about a cow, but we opted for leaving them alone, as they did not know we were in the area. We covered a lot of country that week, even seeing 19 Mtn. Goats along the way, but the bulls were hard to find. On the last day, Logan, Bruce & Alex found a herd with 2 mature bulls in Camp Creek. The herd bedded in the dark timber for the day and did not expose themselves before dark. Chet and I only saw two Mtn. Goats on the last day as well; Mother Nature proved that we are just along for the ride…

Guy Gravert | November 7, 2013  |  9 inch Billy taken at 375 yards!

Guy Gravert | November 7, 2013 | 9 inch Billy taken at 375 yards!

November 4 – 7; Guy was lucky enough to draw area 323 for a Mtn. Goat, so Jerry & I went along for the adventure of it. The trail into the Meatrack Meadows was in pretty tough shape, as we had to cut several trees off the trail to get in. We set camp and had enough hay for the night and Jerry headed back to the trailhead on day 2 for the hay to last four more nights. Guy and I headed out hunting for the day. We had packed in snowshoes, as we were uncertain about the snow conditions at 10,000 feet. We had also picked out our tallest horses for the hunt and it proved to be a good choice. We rode for about two hours in the chest deep snow and finally the snow was too deep for our horses to travel in. The snowshoes worked good in the heaviest snow, but we had to constantly take them on and off to scale the near vertical rock outcroppings on the spine of the ridge. The wind was screaming across the ridge tops, so the goats weren’t going to wind us; we just had to worry about them seeing us. The first two goats spotted were a nanny and kid lying on the southern exposure of the ridge. They were at 150 yards, and because Guy had shot a nanny in the early 80’s, I thought it would be neat if Guy took the kid this time and he could be on his way to having a family of goats. He did not think that was too good of an idea, so we pressed on. Oh well, his loss I guess. The next goat up was a big mature Billy, whose frame and cadence commanded our attention! Problem was that he was walking away from us a mile up the ridge. We continued in that direction and found two more billies, but before we could get into range, four more goats were standing less than 100 yards directly above us. We judged those goats and decided to pass. Pressing on to the spine of the ridge, we bumped the two billies out of their beds. Now they were standing together and one of them stood shoulders above the smaller one. With a 40 + mile an hour cross wind, Guy placed 3 shots behind the shoulder at 375 yards. It was a very impressive piece of shooting. The goat looked to be anchored against the rocks, but he kicked free and it looked like it would be all of 1000 feet below before we could start to pick up the pieces. Once we made it to where the billy started his tumble from, we were very pleased to see him hung up in the deep snow just 30 yards below. Another 2 yards and the 1000 feet would have become a reality. The next day Jerry joined us in the retrieval of the 9 inch billy, the 70 mile an hour wind made for blizzard conditions, but we still called it fun!

November 11 – 14; It’s hard for any new hunters to get in and experience the Deer Creek hunts because the repeat guys keep a good hold of their spots. Bill brought his son Will this year and just had to show off a little. Logan spotted a nice 5 point mule buck and instead of getting closer, Bill took the buck at 580 yards. Logan thought the shot was low and had Bill shoot a second time. Upon closer inspection, the buck had two holes behind the shoulder and through the heart! Chuck had his pick of two bulls that I spotted, even though I guessed the range a little off because my range finder was in my pack hanging on my horse. I suppose there is a difference between 300 and 390, but a shot through the neck folded the nice 6 X 6 bull. Jamie patiently waited for his opportunity, and it came in the form of a good 4 X 5 mulie. We are still trying to figure out how one shot could produce two sources of blood though… Will did get his chance on the last day, harvesting only the second deer of his life, a 4 X 4.

Rob Arnaud | November, Heavy Horned - Roman Nose Muley!

Rob Arnaud | November, Heavy Horned – Roman Nose Muley!

November 17 – 20; Rob & son Kendell struck first, as we found not one but two good bucks working 20 some does. We got into position for the daily double and the first shot rang out. Let’s just say that there was some reloading going on and after the shooting stopped, I got up to go get the horses for the retrieval, but it was hard to keep my balance for all the brass that I was walking on. Kendell had a nice 25 inch 5 point and Rob’s 5 point was a heavy horned Roman nose buck. Don and grandson Nathan were back again; as you recall Don is setup for the super long shot (he killed his bull at 730 yards last year). This year would be no different as in a snow storm, and across the draw shot, he took his 5 X 5 mulie buck at 560 yards with one shot. Even though Nathan was setup for the long shot, his well-placed shot at 50 yards netted him a 5 point mulie as well. Logan and John found a nice 4 X 5 buck on that same snowy day, and they were headed back to Ohio.

November 23 – 26; On the first day we found 2 bulls bedded across a big draw from us. Frank and Carl were wondering if they should shoot because the bulls were only 2 points. I explained to Frank not to pass up an animal on the first day that you would be happy to shoot on the last day. He decided to shoot the bull and then 2 more bulls appeared out of the timber. Now Carl had his opportunity. We determined that his 30-06 was not quite reaching out there, so Frank offered his rifle to Carl. After several shots we determined that it was probably not the rifles and Carl should not waste anymore of Frank’s bullets… Ron came all the way from AK in search of a heavy horned mulie and find one we did. Ron also brought his good friend Mark to film the hunt as well. Mark was always taking in the beauty of the country for himself and never doing any filming, including when Ron shot his buck. During the moment of truth, we had just dismounted the horses to judge the buck, and Mark asked what do we do with the horses if Ron shoots. I told him to just hang on to them, and I put the range finder on the buck. The first shot missed, but the second hit home and the buck came rolling down the mountain. I heard the horse’s hooves behind me and when I turned around, I found Mark with binoculars up to his eyes just watching the show and the three horses sold out and were headed home! I finally caught up to the horses just before dark about 3 miles from the kill site. Mark still owes me for that stunt… Danny and Guy found two bulls on the last day of the hunt, but after a 3 hour stalk the wind changed ever so slightly and their “sure thing” got up and walked over the ridge.

November 27 – 30; Elmer was mixed up on his days, so when he finally got here a day late, he had some catching up to do. On his first day though, we found 5 bulls bedded at 860 yards away. We put a stalk on and ended up on a ridge that put us at 460. With no other way to approach the bulls, we were forced to wait them out. After lying in the snow a short time, I realized we were not going to be able to do that much longer, so I built a nice warming fire. After a couple of hours into it, I noticed some deer on the ridge behind us. Upon putting the glass to them, I found a huge mulie buck with them. So, now we have this huge buck in one direction at 250 yards, we have the 5 bulls in the other direction at 460 yards and we are in the middle with a fire burning. We decided that if we shot the mulie first the bulls would be gone, but if we shot a bull first, the mulies might hang around long enough for a shot. The bulls were getting up out of their beds, so now was the time. It took Elmer 5 shots over the course of several minutes to bag his 6 point bull, but by then the buck was gone. In hind-sight, we should have shot the buck first, because the bulls were very patient, I don’t even know if they knew they were being shot at. It was just a fun couple of hours to be in that predicament. On the same day, Logan and Adam, snuck up on a 6 point bull and shot him in his bed. Leon and Adam also bagged 4 point bucks during the week.

 

 

I hope you had an exciting and productive 2013 hunting season. We just finished up our Scapegoat Wilderness and Deer Creek hunts with this season being another successful year! We harvested 18 brow-tined bulls and 16 mule deer bucks, which gave us a 52% harvest and a 76% opportunity rate. The 2013 animals can be viewed at  http://klazy3.com/photo-gallery/ 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 2014 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 5/1/13(once your license is in hand), and the balance of $2400.00 is due upon arrival for your hunt.

Our 2014 Deer Creek Hunts are sold out. Our 2015 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 5/1/15(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, 2012 & 2013 were on a random draw. However, the non-resident combination license (elk/deer/fishing) has had a 100% success rate in the draw and there were around 2000 licenses still available through the fall hunting season. For the 2014 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.

2014 License Rates:  All licenses have a March 15th application

Combination (Elk & Deer)   (Deer only)                                  (Elk only)

$976.00                                 $580.00                                      $826.00

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 2014, 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

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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

http://klazy3.com/about-us/montana-hunting-testimonials-1/

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
handed.

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
repaid…

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  http://klazy3.com/photo-gallery/

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 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.

2013
License Rates:
All licenses have a March 15th
application

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 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

 

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