What to expect?
First off, I'm not looking for gps coordinates, but if anyone wants to give them out I'm all ears ha. A buddy and I are heading back to the Broadus area to hunt some mulies. It's been 3 years since we have been out there and I'm just curious how the herd is recovering and how the conditions have been. I've heard they started off quite wet and dried off quickly. We usually camp down at the moorehead camp site but are considering just staying in Broadus this year. ND is getting ridiculous to draw tags so we are heading west to try our luck. I'm hoping to stick one with my bow the first weekend of sept but that trip is usually more of a scouting trip for when we come back in rifle season. If anyone has anyone tips tricks or pointers or did we waste our money on these not so cheap tags. Thanks all!
If you are planning on hunting public ground you'll have your work cut out for you. The numbers are still sad compared to even 7-10 years ago. They are not recovering well at all, but they have FINALLY cut out doe tags so maybe in a few years the numbers will rebound some. Still allowing everyone to hunt through the entire rut with rifles is not going to allow numbers to ever be good but that's a discussion for another day.
This discussion is for public land or BMAs that I can hunt. I have been able to locate several nice 160"+ bucks that I'll be chasing and one buck that I'm guessing will push 180". I have put almost 45+ miles on my boots in 2 different weekends searching. I'm not sure what your expectations are but I have seen a fair number of 3.5 year olds that are respectable bucks with a bow. If a guy gets a good distance from the road you see more and more deer.
It's a far cry from what it once was. When I made these same scouting trips 5 years ago I would see 5-10 bucks in the 160" range, but like I said if you work hunt hard and get a fair distance from the jokers flying up and down the roads on 4 wheelers you'll have a good chance at a respectable buck.
If you're hunting a private ranch or with an outfitter who has 1000's of acres leased you'll see a lot more deer and have a much better chance at a mature deer.
Good luck, have fun, and maybe I'll see you there.
Thanks for the reply. We will be all public land hunting. I dono if its a good thing or not but we never hunted this area in the hay days 5-10 years ago. Last time we were out there we did see some nice deer, and actually what i thought we saw quite a few deer, but also i'm not one to sit in a pickup and scout. Its beautiful country out there and i like to get out and see it so we put the miles in.
I am just impatient waiting for season to start and wondering what the numbers are like for guys that are actually able to get out and see some country. I would love to get out there and do some scouting but it just isn't in the cards for me. Medtech if your out there the opening weekend of archery season ull have to let me know, i can always find a cold beer and bull shit story to tell ya.
good luck smith and like I said if you're willing to hunt hard and are patient you'll likely get a good shot at a solid buck. I'll most likely be chasing elk in western Montana, but I wish you well. If you see a super narrow, heavy, 4x4 with a couple little stickers let him walk because I've been after him since opening weekend last year!!
Just wondering how you did out there last fall. My wife and I are planning a trip down to the same area this fall during bow season. Haven't ever been down that way yet, but planning on making several scouting trips this spring and summer.
I hunted in archery season 3 different times but couldn't get it done on any bucks of the caliber I was looking for (any mature 4 point or better).....I did see probably about 5 or 6 deer that I made stalks on but couldn't get it done. Hardly saw another hunter (hunted during the week and skipped weekends) during archery season. I did see a few guides with guys chasing elk but most of the activity was on the private ground along the river bottom.
I did come back in rifle season twice as well. I hunted the hard and hiked my tail off and seemed to catch weather horribly both times. I did see a few solid bucks, hunter numbers was crazy (although most were just road hunting), but numbers are still way down from yesteryear. The first trip I made was a couple of days after a big snowstorm.....there were several nice mature bucks in some of the camps (most with the hide left on and it was over 50 degrees one day) and the folks I talked to said during and after the storm the bucks were rutting hard.
I would still say that during archery season you can turn up a few bucks that I would consider shooters. Its just sad what the numbers have fallen to before FWP did anything. I think with no doe harvest it should at least help numbers but the sheer volume of rifle hunters I saw and the amount of deer in camps (most being 2.5 year olds), I'm not optimistic in a big recovery.
Mike I'll still be in there next year with my bow chasing the few bucks that remain though
Thanks so much Medtech for replying back. That's some great info. I usually do my hunting around the little belts and the crazies. I'm blown away every year at the sheer number of hunters around there too. Mostly road hunters.
I'm planning on making several scouting trips down to the southeast corner this spring and summer. I'll defintely keep you posted as to what I find. Hopefully we'll have a mild winter down there and that will help the mule deer.
Do you see a lot of coyotes down there? Looks like some good area to do some coyote calling in. Thought we might incorporate that into one of our trips down there.
I shot 3 dogs during rifle season and whiffed on several more. There have been thick in past seasons but weren't as many this year. In past years have called with pretty good success following storms. It does get called to a lot during the winter but same as always if you get a little ways off of main roads the dogs are much more receptive to the calls.
Right on! That sounds awesome! I've hunted a lot of coyotes in my time and it's hard to believe how tough the coyote hunting is in the central part of the state. Just too many coyote hunters around here I guess.