A few friends and I are thinking of trying the "Breaks" next fall on a do-it-yourself Mule Deer / Lope hunt. Anyone have any experience or comments? We would like to see deer, not really concerned with trophy hunting at this point. Two of us are interested in a potential LR shot. Any comments are appreciated.
Yes, you can get some long range shooting in the Missouri Breaks area. Depending where you go (Breaks cover a big area), you can shoot as far as you can see in many areas. Drawing a tag in Montana as a non-resident may take 2-3 years with their bonus points. Try the extreme Northeast corner of the state. Tags go into late November, so the muleys are rutting and more exposed. Just had a good friend come back from that area. They saw a lot of bucks, didn't find a monster. Settled for a pair of three year olds on the last day. Son shot a 4X5 and Dad shot a 4X4. If you don't care about "huge", you'll be in heaven over quantity. Lots of BLM and State land opened under a new block program in Montana where the State is paying landowners to allow hunting. Good Luck. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
I make a yearly trek to the Glasgow area to fill our "A" tags. I just finished 4 days worth up there and, as Wapiti said, saw lots of bucks, nice bucks, but no true "monsters". Not this year, nor last year. But in 2002 we say 3 BIG bucks that we couldn't get on, so the potential in this area is there. Lots of "Block Managment" areas. This has turned into a real great program for hunters and landowners alike here in Montana. Make sure when doing your research to check with the Montana FWP (Fish, Wildlife, and Parks) and get ALL the info on Block Managment. There are books that include maps showing the locations of the areas, plus landowner info with phone #s and such, as some areas are by appointment only. Most that do will let you reserve your days. Also, State lands, BLM, National Forest, all have hunter access in the state. You just need to do a little research. This is a HUGE area you are interested in, therefore you should encounter many opportunities for game. Good luck!
I moved to Montana, bought a Sendero, and the first 3 deer I took were less that 50 yards away. Go figure.
Most of the hunting is public land or open private land under the Montana "Block" program. They drove 600+ miles on side roads just spotting & stalking. You must remember that area is slightly rolling country with draws, but mostly OPEN applies. Not the best picturesque, but great mule deer country! Even most of the private land can be accessed with a simple door knock on the landowners door. As far as camping, yes you can camp in the area. Most of my buddies put up in a small town motel or trailer rental(mobile homes parked & rented out)in the area they are hunting. The main problem in the area is getting around if bad weather. If you hit heavy rains, nothing short of a four wheel drive truck with four chains will move. Worst slick, sticky mud you ever encountered. So don't get too far off the main road! Game Dept. & local Chambers of Commerce can help. Also, Montana has a BLM map available showing all the BLM land in the area. Last time I hunted over there, you needed a $6.00 access permit for Federal lands, so you need to do some homework. Hope this helps.
BigE, now this is something I know a little about. I live right in the heart of some fantastic Missouri river breaks country. You will see lot's of deer and many bucks. I saw a little over 200 bucks this season, but I do get out a lot. However, this is the first time in a long time I haven't seen a true wall hanger. I passed up many bucks and a few slightly larger than this one I took. I waited until the last few days and settled for this buck. If you would be happy with a buck like this then you will love hunting the Breaks. Your biggest problem will be drawing a tag, not finding deer. I wish you the best of luck in both the draw and the hunt. This photo of my deer this year should give you some idea of just how open this country is.