Montana General Deer

Aug 5, 2012
102
0
West & East ND
Hey guys,

Well I've been on here for years and posted a few times. I dropped the cash and applied for the deer tag. I have done my due diligence on where I plan to hunt in Eastern MT, have the BLM book coming in August, and read every possible post regarding East MT deer on the net it seems. I've been looking at certain places to hunt on google earth and will be going out for 2-3 weekends in Nov due to school, definitely second half of Nov. Also I'd shoot any mature whitetail or mulie, looking for 140+ but more importantly an older deer.

Just wondering if anyone has any first hand knowledge to give me, feel free to PM me with anything at all.

Wouldn't be against any ranches to pay a trespass fee on. I definitely plan to camp out and hike miles in if the pieces of land are large enough. I get that the orange army will be all over these areas, just hoping burning some boot leather will get me closer to solitude.

Thanks in advance
 

joens

Member
Nov 30, 2015
92
3
Miles City, Montana
My experience is mainly with region 7. I do have some random thoughts on the subject though. First in my experience a huge majority of hunters here rarely leave the road. You will see lots of trucks all up and down roads but if you walk a mile off the road you will rarely see anyone. The block management areas are great I would definitely make reservations on some . Don't count on getting any useful information from the people at Fish and game that are answering the phone when they open up the Block management offices . Some of them have given me very helpful information and others weren't sure what day it was . Go ahead and ask them but don't have high hopes for useful info.. There are some very good public lands for instance the Tongue River Ranch southwest of miles city, the Terry badlands north of Terry (lots of BLM land with some very large Block Management areas thrown in) the Pumpkin creek BLM area south of Miles City , Lots of BLM between Broadus and Ekalaka , and the Custer national forest around Ashland and Ekalaka. Those will all have varying degrees of public hunting pressure .The worst will be the Custer National Forest. I had first thought that I would not bother trying to find a rancher that would let you on as most ranches either have contracted with outfitters or put their land in the Block management But I have met a few who have taken the land out of Block management because of hassles with fish and game but don't mind people hunting, none of the ones I know personally are that great for hunting so I would not want to recommend one and I think time could be spent better scouting than going knocking on doors. Some of the very large block management areas have fish and game offices ( in a camper ) onsite . The guys working those trailers are extremely knowledgeable of the area they are responsible for and will give you some excellent info . but you wont have access to them until you show up on site. usually the best block management areas that take reservations get filled early especially on weekends . Also a lot of people tend to hunt the rivers as there are more deer there so the hunting pressure tends to drive the better buck away from the rivers if they were ever there to begin with.
 

johnsd16

Active Member
Mar 16, 2014
353
3
N Idaho
Agree with Joens, and decide where roughly you want to hunt then when the BMA listings come out, hit it hard and pick a few type 2s you want to try for and try to get reservations. I have spent many many many hours on satellite maps online and cords referencing with BMAs and BLM/state. Going in with a plan is better than showing up on 12,000 acres and just walking around. As said above, don't rule out some straight public as in BLM or state. Smaller chunks or the extreme edges of bigger ones can be good. We've also hit some amazing looking spots and seen absolutely nothing. It's been a poor winter from my understanding and after two years of hunting region 7 we ha e decided that a reasonable goal is a 4x4 in the 140" range for mule deer or 125-130" WT. You WILL see much bigger bucks on private land. We have seen some bucks bigger than that on accessible land and while hunting but realistic goals are that range IMO. It is not where you are likely to find 170"+ bucks though they do come out of there. I get the sense 2015 and 2016 were still going up for the deer from the crash a few years prior, and this year may be a step backwards.
 

joens

Member
Nov 30, 2015
92
3
Miles City, Montana
Johnsd16 is right this has been somewhat of a bad winter and I don't know yet what to expect for this year . We have had more snow than we have had in a few years and it has been colder than it has been in a few years. fortunately it did not start until late into the year so hopefully the bucks had a chance to get back in shape after the rut before the bad weather got here.