Wednesday, December 7, 2016

They're Coming


We finally got some weather and with it, came a good batch of ducks and geese--more geese than ducks but here was a flock of mallards that just happened to have a few spoon bills or shovelers with it. There are still a lot of "local" ducks around and we have yet to see the wave of snows and swans so this is just the beginning. With the temps only reaching into the single digits for a few days, those locals will be gone and the Northerners will be soon to follow.

Check out The Montana Dream Cast for stories and updates. We'll also be trying out some good local brews from Ten Mile Creek Brewery.

https://montanadream.podbean.com/mf/play/g7vxcc/Dec_6master.mp3

Keep 'em where they live...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Ground Shrinkage

 
 
We talked about the progressions of the seasons on The Montana Dream Cast last week, with it going from chasing big game around with a rifle to now waiting for the cold and snow to bring waterfowl to the river. One thing we forgot about was hunting for Christmas trees! We found this big beautiful tree yesterday on our hunt but when we got it home and cut it down to fit the house, we definitely experienced some ground shrinkage.
 
Out here in Montana, you can purchase a permit for $5 and go cut your own tree on National Forrest Land. I'm guessing it's the same as in a lot of Western States. It's fun and a way to get the family out for the day to hunt trees. We could have spent a hundo  on a big, fully pruned and shaped tree but I think this is way more fun and even though it didn't turn out to be quite as full and symmetrical as it looked out in the woods, it's ours.
 

 
 
Keep 'em where they live...

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fly Fishing Christmas Special!



Having a hard time finding that special gift for the angler in the family? Purchase a guided trip for 2017 with Montana Dream Fishing Outfitters before the end of 2016 and get $100 off!

Visit www.mdfishingoutfitters.com for details and to set a date. Trips include use of all the gear, flies, tippet material and leaders, and lunch and soft drinks for two. This offer is good for any dates on the 2017 calendar but must be purchased before the end of 2016.

Merry Christmas and keep 'em where they live..

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Big Foot?


Scott Hirchi ran into something odd while hunting the other day. Could it be Big Foot leaving a trail behind?

Listen to the latest podcast from The Montana Dream Cast and you be the judge.
Big Foot?


 
 
Keep 'em where they live...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Good Night 2016 Gun Season

 
The 2016 General Big Game Gun Season has come to close out here in Montana with less than a big bang for many hunters. The weather was the big story with a lack of snow and the highs reaching into the 50's for most of the season. That weather kept a lot of hunters from participating and thus, a less than average harvest rate for elk. Deer harvest was up in a lot of areas, however. If you're still looking to get an elk, there are opportunities as the shoulder seasons are still open and in many areas and will stay open until the end of January and even into February.
 
As for my season, it's been fun and educational for sure. I've seen a ton of new ground and chased a lot of deer around. I wasn't looking for elk because I had already shot mine during bow season. As I wrote in the last blog entry, I decided to burn my deer tag on the second-to-last day of the season on a nice whitetail and now I'm looking forward to actually having weather come in and ducks coming down with it.
 
Keep 'em where they live...

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tagging Ooout

 
The second-to-last day of the gun season in Montana, I decided to hit a ranch I've had permission to hunt now for the past six or seven years. It's kind of the fail-safe and a good place to harvest whitetails. This was by no means the biggest buck I saw yesterday and definitely not something I would have burned a tag on had it been a week ago but with the season closing, I figured it was time to put one in the freezer.
 
Like I said, it wasn't the biggest deer I saw yesterday. Early in the morning, I watched a monster whitetail bed down with a doe a few yards on the wrong side of the fence. The doe was actually on some block management land so I decided to see how close I could get and maybe that buck would jump the fence. I was able to sneak within about 325 yards of that buck and he did jump the fence to where I could shoot him but at that distance, I really wanted to make sure I'd get a good shot with a good rest and it just never happened. I had him in the crosshairs a number of times but just never felt comfortable.
 
Later on, I glassed this guy bedded down with a doe and managed to put the sneak on him. In the tall grass, all I could see was his neck but with a good rest and feeling comfortable that he wasn't going to suddenly move, I squeezed one off at about 200 yards and he never moved.
 
I love shooting this American Ruger because it's deadly accurate. I actually shot a coyote yesterday at about 135 yards as well. The one problem I'm having though, is this gun's propensity to misfire. About 45 minutes after shooting the coyote, I was set up on this deer and squeezed and all I got was a click. I ejected the shell and racked another and that one went off and like I said, the deer never moved.
 
I've had that happen now with this gun four times since I bought it brand new and it's all been as I've been shooting at deer or antelope. I've changed ammo and I do clean my guns. Each time it happens, the primer on the cartridge has a tiny little nick on it but not the full dimple that you would normally see. I sent the gun in last year but Ruger wouldn't pay for the shipping because it was outside the warranty since it was over a year-old. The only reason I didn't send it in sooner was because I was told to really clean out the firing pin mechanism of any grease from shipping, (which they don't do anymore,) and try it again. Well, I didn't get another chance on an animal until the next year and when it happened again, it was too late for Ruger to pay to ship it back.
 
I did send it in and Ruger did replace the firing pin along with a couple other things with the trigger and I hoped that had fixed the problem. Well, it didn't and now every time I pull up on an animal I have to wonder if the shell is going to go off.
 
I don't normally bash products on this blog and to be honest, I love how accurate the gun is but this misfiring thing is a real bummer. I've talked to a number of people from gun shops and I'm literally the only person that I have heard of that's had a problem with the Ruger American. It has only happened while sneaking up on a deer or antelope when there has been a chambered round for more than a few minutes. It hasn't been terribly cold when it happens either. I guess I'll be on the phone with Ruger again for a while on Monday.
 
Keep 'em where they live..
 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Johnny Big Buck's Pops

 
Well, I passed on another decent buck but LaRue decided he'd put a little more venison in the freezer with this guy. We were looking for elk and possibly a shooter buck for me but at 250 yards out, standing broadside, this was just too tempting. It's probably a good thing John decided to take this guy because while he was quartering it, I hiked on and didn't see the elk or any other deer of this quality.
 
 
Check this out. We decided to take a break after John shot this buck to eat lunch and while we were sitting there, a small buck chasing a yearling doe came right up to us. Even the does that were with this buck stuck around until we started packing out. I have to say, mule deer are not the smartest animals on the face of the planet. It's just finding the big ones that's the challenge.
 
Just to give you an idea on how much work this buck was; even though I said they aren't that bright, we were 2 1/3 miles from the truck at the base of this butte as the crow flies. As you all know, we can't walk as the crow flies so you could probably add on another 2/3 of a mile or better. Although this wasn't the monster I was looking for, it's still a really nice mature buck and they don't generally hang out next to the road.
 
Keep 'em where they live...