Montana Rut

elkocd

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Oct 29, 2013
Messages
210
Also seems like no buck is safe. Guys shooting any small buck they can. Not sure how there are any left in this country.
 

fatlander

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Joined
Feb 11, 2016
Messages
1,445
Also seems like no buck is safe. Guys shooting any small buck they can. Not sure how there are any left in this country.

If deer can survive months of being run by hounds with every bubba from Florida to West Virginia breaking their necks to shoot a forky, they’ll never be in serious trouble out west.


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Wapiti1

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,322
Location
Indiana
The whitetails are chasing at my folks place near Great Falls. The muleys in the bluffs aren't quite there yet, but should be early next week. My dad said he saw some forky mule deer nosing the does, but nothing bigger. Yet.

Jeremy
 

j_volt

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
431
Location
Missouri
How is the rut report? Heading to the ol' Montucky on Thursday. It looks like it'll be a cold start to the hunt!
 

Deucebump

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Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
117
I got home Friday night from my trip to eastern MT. Rut activity was minimal from what I saw. I saw 1 young 3 pt locked down with 2 does on Monday, and that was all as far as rut activity. I saw 5 does bedded all alone on Tues with not a buck to be found. And the buck I killed late Tues evening was all alone. With very cold temps and what I expected to be the peak of rut chasing activity, I was pretty shocked. But I think this was more to extremely low deer numbers in the area. This was my 4th hunt in this same area in 6 years and by far the lowest numbers I have ever seen. I used to see 20-30 deer a day, this week in 3 full days of hunting I saw I think a total of 10 deer. I had pretty high hopes for this hunt but with the snow beginning to block access to many of the blm areas I hunt and the weather expected to get much worse, I shot the first and only mature buck I saw. Although not what I had hoped for, Im happy with him for a solo, DIY public hunt. 664796CD-3F62-46E2-AC59-C80A54EF1DFB.jpeg
 

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snvts82

snvts82

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2020
Messages
48
Congrats, solid buck man.

Almost the exact same for us, figured it was going to be at its peak but few does seemed hot. We saw armies of them and few mature bucks. I passed on a lot of immature ones and did not take a deer but tagged a fat cow which I’m super happy with. Our camp took two decent bucks a little smaller than yours and a decent amount of elk.
 

a_noob_hunter

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jan 3, 2019
Messages
387
Hunted from Thursday - thru Monday (11/21).

Saw around 85 does and about 9 or 10 bucks, of which all but 2 were either spikes or forkies. The morning i took this buck i saw another mature buck following a doe but it didn't seem like the rut was going very hard. I saw ALOT of groups of doe by themselves or occasionally having a forky with them. This guy was still by himself.
6803dc6d94c8ebb2139d6d37430cd3d9.jpg


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hobbes

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 6, 2012
Messages
2,192
Location
Montana
I saw plenty of rut activity last week for the number of deer that I saw, but deer sightings overall were down. The wind likely played some part in that. Bucks that I saw were either with does, nosing does around, or cruising on their own clearly looking for does. I did not shoot a buck because I couldn't find a buck on public land that I was willing to shoot. I saw a couple bucks on land where I couldn't hunt that I'd have been happy to kill.
 

Whisky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 25, 2012
Messages
1,396
I saw plenty of rut activity last week for the number of deer that I saw, but deer sightings overall were down. The wind likely played some part in that. Bucks that I saw were either with does, nosing does around, or cruising on their own clearly looking for does. I did not shoot a buck because I couldn't find a buck on public land that I was willing to shoot. I saw a couple bucks on land where I couldn't hunt that I'd have been happy to kill.

Ditto for me, exactly.
 

406huntermt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
People want to know why they aren’t finding any good deer anymore look what you guys are shooting young bucks and anything that moves keep it up and we won’t have anything g to shoot but dinks and does anymore… hopefully Montana changes stuff drastically and soon
 

Deucebump

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 22, 2021
Messages
117
People want to know why they aren’t finding any good deer anymore look what you guys are shooting young bucks and anything that moves keep it up and we won’t have anything g to shoot but dinks and does anymore… hopefully Montana changes stuff drastically and soon
Heck of a way to welcome yourself to the forum. I only see 3 bucks posted, so Ill assume mine was one of the “small young bucks” you are referring to. Not sure how you age deer, but that is a mature deer. Not a 5yr old but not a deer many are going to pass up in eastern Mt. And he was likely not going to have back forks as he got older. Im sure if you look at all the outfitters from the area websites you will see that is the respectable buck for the area, and your state outfitters are more than happy to take clients money and shoot every young buck they can to post on their website to sell more hunts. And as a DIY NR public land hunter, Im not going to pass up a mature buck after actually passing up young bucks for days before, and having used a weeks vacation and spent several thousands in gas and tag fees. The increase in tag fees and lower tag limits for NR that you so badly want will only make that reality worse. The harder and more expensive it is for NR to get tags, the less likely they are to go home with a tag in their pocket, and will shoot a yearly just to fill that tag. So always be careful what ya wish for! Oh, and welcome to the forum!
 

BRTreedogs

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
6,477
Location
Central Oregon
People want to know why they aren’t finding any good deer anymore look what you guys are shooting young bucks and anything that moves keep it up and we won’t have anything g to shoot but dinks and does anymore… hopefully Montana changes stuff drastically and soon
1990s Problems 30012023223314.jpg
 

406huntermt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
I got home Friday night from my trip to eastern MT. Rut activity was minimal from what I saw. I saw 1 young 3 pt locked down with 2 does on Monday, and that was all as far as rut activity. I saw 5 does bedded all alone on Tues with not a buck to be found. And the buck I killed late Tues evening was all alone. With very cold temps and what I expected to be the peak of rut chasing activity, I was pretty shocked. But I think this was more to extremely low deer numbers in the area. This was my 4th hunt in this same area in 6 years and by far the lowest numbers I have ever seen. I used to see 20-30 deer a day, this week in 3 full days of hunting I saw I think a total of 10 deer. I had pretty high hopes for this hunt but with the snow beginning to block access to many of the blm areas I hunt and the weather expected to get much worse, I shot the first and only mature buck I saw. Although not what I had hoped for, Im happy with him for a solo, DIY public hunt. View attachment 477718
3 year olds aren’t mature deer nice try though
Heck of a way to welcome yourself to the forum. I only see 3 bucks posted, so Ill assume mine was one of the “small young bucks” you are referring to. Not sure how you age deer, but that is a mature deer. Not a 5yr old but not a deer many are going to pass up in eastern Mt. And he was likely not going to have back forks as he got older. Im sure if you look at all the outfitters from the area websites you will see that is the respectable buck for the area, and your state outfitters are more than happy to take clients money and shoot every young buck they can to post on their website to sell more hunts. And as a DIY NR public land hunter, Im not going to pass up a mature buck after actually passing up young bucks for days before, and having used a weeks vacation and spent several thousands in gas and tag fees. The increase in tag fees and lower tag limits for NR that you so badly want will only make that reality worse. The harder and more expensive it is for NR to get tags, the less likely they are to go home with a tag in their pocket, and will shoot a yearly just to fill that tag. So always be careful what ya wish for! Oh, and welcome to the forum
 

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406huntermt

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2023
Messages
10
Heck of a way to welcome yourself to the forum. I only see 3 bucks posted, so Ill assume mine was one of the “small young bucks” you are referring to. Not sure how you age deer, but that is a mature deer. Not a 5yr old but not a deer many are going to pass up in eastern Mt. And he was likely not going to have back forks as he got older. Im sure if you look at all the outfitters from the area websites you will see that is the respectable buck for the area, and your state outfitters are more than happy to take clients money and shoot every young buck they can to post on their website to sell more hunts. And as a DIY NR public land hunter, Im not going to pass up a mature buck after actually passing up young bucks for days before, and having used a weeks vacation and spent several thousands in gas and tag fees. The increase in tag fees and lower tag limits for NR that you so badly want will only make that reality worse. The harder and more expensive it is for NR to get tags, the less likely they are to go home with a tag in their pocket, and will shoot a yearly just to fill that tag. So always be careful what ya wish for! Oh, and welcome to the forum!
3 year olds aren’t mature deer nice try though
I’ll agree with you though there aren’t a lot of actual mature deer left the eastern Montana that used to be is no more all those deer are public land bucks but I also eat my tag a lot of years in search of actual mature deer. Non res still shoot whatever they see at the end of their hunt… hell western Montana hunters are just as bad but residents are getting to be over it with Montana seeings how non res tags are supposed to be capped at 17000 and last season they have out 66000 non res tags! Maybe just look at it in a different perspective instead of coming here not finding a good deer and shooting one just to shoot one if you have the thousands of dollars to come here at least you have money to come back if ya don’t kill one in that year
 
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