Here are pictures of my Montana mule deer and of the scene where I shot it a week or so ago. The deer was located just behind the white bush in the foreground. The little white spot across the valley shows the ridge where I and the guide, Rory, were set up for the shot...583 yards away. In my left hand is a shed we found a few yards from the deer's bedding spot. We waited for the buck to stand to get a clear shot.
We were in the Missouri River Breaks region of eastern Montana and judging the wind was a challange. The wind was straight into our faces at the time of the shot. The guide (right about everything else that day just like my wife) said he thought the wind was straight on all the way out to the deer...on average. I disagreed and held off by 1 moa. Drift ended up being even a little more on the deer's chest. It took about 30 minutes to work our way over to the deer. While standing on the ridge, it was quite informative to look down in three different directions. By throwing grass up, I watched the wind's effect and learned a little more about the complexity of judging in the midst of intersecting valleys.
This is the most beautiful setup I have ever had for a shot...by far. Just spectacular scenery! The outfitter has a great operation with bigger deer if I had been patient enough to hold out longer. We saw 20 bucks per day. But as you know, for me, the shot setup is as important as the size of the animal. As it turns out, the next two days after I left were very foggy with 200 yard visibility so my timing was good anyway.
The outfitter is Scott Sundheim of Souix Pass Outfitters and this was my second trip with him. I'll be back next year.
Sioux Pass Outfitters
Guaranteed landowner tags are available. His land is absolutely perfect for the long range deer hunter. (By the way, if anyone knows of good outfitter long range elk hunting land let me know)
[ 11-04-2004: Message edited by: Len Backus ]