After making a trip to eastern MT every year for the last several years to go mule deer hunting
, I have noticed that the severity of the drought (sp?) is directly relative to antler size. If you are trophy hunting, you may want to keep your plans flexible, as far as where in MT you are going to hunt. Last year the drought caused poor antler growth. Western MT had great trophy mule deer last year.
I still plan a hunt to eastern MT regardless. The terrain is great for long shots, and you will see plenty of game. It is great for taking my 13 yr old daughter. Last year was her first hunt. She shot two mulies average distance 200 ish yards. Drilled them. I set her up with a Weatherby Vanguard youth model, comes with full size stock also. Shot factory Rem ammo @ 4" groups @ 100. NOT GOOD. So I hand loaded quick just before we left for a hunt 140grn AB's and it shot sub 1".
Go to MT FWP web site, I believe they have block management listings for private ground to hunt.
Have fun, Steve