sixteen below montana deer hunt.

KINGSNAKE

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Mar 9, 2014
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Western IL
We went mulie hunting in montana last week when it was really really cold. We saw a lot of deer but we never found a decent buck on block management. We hunted in region seven. Most.of the guys we talked to were.in the same boat. Because it was so cold we didn't have a chance.to sit.and glass.much. which is my preferred method of deer hunting. My question is how do you guys hunt successfully in conditions that cold. We worked drainages slowly and got into killing position many times but the bucks were always small. If we stopped for more than ten minutes we were getting cold.
 

robby denning

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With the rut and those weather condtions, you'd see the good bucks if they were there. I'd say the area you were in held few mature deer.
 

flytrait

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Feb 24, 2012
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We were over there as well during the same time period and it was cold that's for sure. What worked for us was glassing from the road side "truck" we use good glass for bino's and spotters. We would take our time and glass for a while just when we thought nothing was there we would move anywhere from 20 yards to 300 and stop and glass again from a different angle. We spotted many deer this way and where able to judge size as well so we were not leaving the truck much. Like Robby said very few mature deer in the area and we found that to be true as well. We were holding out for 150 and above and only found 4 such bucks out off many. Don't give up use your glass no matter the situation. BTW the best bucks we found were 1/2 mile or more from the roads and most were on the move chasing doe's or searching and they were covering alot of ground doing so. Once we found one we moved fast trying to cut them off on the direction they were heading and that worked 1/2 the time.
 
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May 23, 2012
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I was out during that cold snap too. And yes, it was definitely too cold for long glassing sessions. I dressed warm and hiked slower than I normally would, stopping every few feet to glass. That's really about all you can do.

As flytrait said, glassing from a vehicle works well if possible. For me, it wasn't possible.

The good news is, with snow on the ground and such cold temps, I'm pretty sure I saw just about every deer in the drainage.
 

DaveC

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Jan 9, 2014
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Montana
Filled a doe tag in the Blackfoot that cold Saturday (maxed out at -2F mid day). It was sunny and fairly still, and the deer were moving in the early afternoon. Shot my deer at 1:30pm.

I climbed to the top of a ridge early and moved slow, never stopped to glass for more than 15 minutes. Blew a couple stalks before I closed the deal. Key is to never let yourself sweat, and thrown on another coat even for a short period glassing. Had I been hunting for antlers I would have been tempted to bring a bunch more clothing so I could have stayed still longer, and perhaps built a fire.
 
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With the rut and those weather condtions, you'd see the good bucks if they were there. I'd say the area you were in held few mature deer.

Yep. You can bet when it's that cold, the deer will spend a lot more time up and feeding. If they are bedded, it will usually be in the sun on a south facing slope.

Odds are you're just seeing the after effects of some very significant winter kill, and an age class of bucks that isn't there.
 

flytrait

Lil-Rokslider
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Feb 24, 2012
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Yep. You can bet when it's that cold, the deer will spend a lot more time up and feeding. If they are bedded, it will usually be in the sun on a south facing slope.

Odds are you're just seeing the after effects of some very significant winter kill, and an age class of bucks that isn't there.

Jason, our first year over in Eastern MT we thought the same thing about them bedded on the south side when it was that cold, but what we found was actually the oppisite. They were bedded in the snow in the shade, it did not seem to matter the temp. In fact we found that they chose the snow over bare ground.
 
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