Blizzard for Montana's Opener

Discussion in 'Antelope Hunting' started by MontanaRifleman, Oct 11, 2008.

  1. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Well I was hoping to be on the road by now to SE Montana for the opening of Montana's antelope season. But, there is one mean blizzard blowing that started yesertday (Friday Oct 10) and is still blowing and is expected to blow through tomorrow night (opening day). It is supposed to dump 1-2 ft of snow with high winds. As I look out my window right now the winds are at least 40 mph.

    It's about a 350 mile trip one way (about 5 1/2 hrs under normal driving conditions), so I will pass this weekend and hope for better next.

    Hope all your hunts are going better.

    Mark
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2008
  2. cinch

    cinch Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    542
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2006
    Ya, I know what you mean. I'm sitting at home with my truck loaded, ready to go. We are supposed to be in the Big Horns setting up elk camp today. Hopefully it will move out or weaken and we can try it tomorrow. I'm not real happy about it, but I am only one of three people going. If it was up to me, I'd be up there anyway.
     

  3. Dana in Montana

    Dana in Montana Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Mark,
    I'm in Ashland......it quit snowing sometime this afternoon.It's supposed to be much warmer by this weekend,up to 64F is what the prediction is.
    I went out for a little while this morning but the snow was blowing pretty hard and visibility was not good......
    I'm not looking for a trophy,just meat in he freezer.......
    best
    Dana
     
  4. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Hey Dana, I'm looking for a nice buck, but not necessarily a trophy, also have two doe fawn tags. I figure the meat will pay for the gas, LOL.

    How much snow did you get out there? I'm heading for Carter County. Did it blow bare and drift?

    Mark
     
  5. Dana in Montana

    Dana in Montana Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    I really don't know what they got up there..--I'm in southern Rosebud County--.we had about 6" with very little drifting.It's a heavy ,wet snow too.
    I'll probably go out for a while tomorrow.
    Dana
     
  6. montana_native

    montana_native Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    565
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    It's no better on this end of the state.
     
  7. magicofmt

    magicofmt Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    441
    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Woke up Sun am to head out for antelope but no power in the house, emergency travel only and here's my truck. It has 8 inch lift kit, 37 inch tall tires. 22+ inches.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. jonoMT

    jonoMT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    It was definitely more of a challenge this year. Between Bozeman and Livingston the afternoon of the 11th there's a stretch of I-90 that's two-lane only because of bridge construction. We were eastbound to Big Timber and for several miles saw no cars headed the other way. Turns out a semi had dropped the tractor off into a drift and was blocking miles of cars and trucks behind him. Other than the roads, I was excited that there wouldn't be any problem cooling the meat.

    A big general thanks to LRH and its members. From what I've learned here and have put into practice at the range, I was pretty confident making the 310-yd shot that it took to get a nice buck this year. I had a 10-15 mph cross-wind and should have corrected more for it but the vertical placement was perfect and horizontally was 2 inches farther left than I aimed. Last year, we were done at 10:30 in the morning but this year (with two more animals to bag as well) we took until 5:00 p.m. to get out. Average snow depth was around 8 inches with drifts up to 3 feet and the antelope were just farther out where they could shelter in the lee sides of the hills. Blowing snow and fog made it otherworldly out there.

    I know bagging an animal around 300 yards ain't much by some shooters' standard but I couldn't help notice how much I've progressed compared to my hunting buddies. A few years ago, they taught me the ropes and now it's kind of painful watching how little preparation they put into hunting. (I took one of them out to range in his .30-06 and every time we adjusted his bargain scope something screwy would happen. I moved it 4 clicks to the right and the vertical dropped 5 inches!)

    And it showed: One buck stood around with a broken hind leg for several minutes until the shooter decided to walk closer and dispatch it and a doe left a blood trail that they had to follow for 200 yards. Also, although I simply learned it all by watching a video several times, there's better ways to field dress than what I got to see out there. I know what to get them for Christmas! I'm not trying to dis on good friends but just to point out that you can put in a little more knowledge and effort and achieve much more reliable and humane kills.

    Jon
     
  9. MontanaRifleman

    MontanaRifleman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,068
    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Glad you got your buck Jon, and a real nice write up, thanks for sharing. How far did you have to drive and how long did it take? I've driven the Bozeman pass many times in the winter comuting from Bozeman to Livingston where I did a few jobs. There were always at leas one slide off/ roll over after some snow, which was quite often in the pass. Also saw many Semi's blown off the the interstate into the ditch on the Livingston side.

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  10. jonoMT

    jonoMT Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    122
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    I used to live in Bozeman and sometimes went over Bozeman Pass at 10-15 mph (with chains). We left Helena about 3 p.m. and got into Big Timber at 6:30...stayed at a motel packed with guys from a Texas seismic crew. They looked like they all wanted to be back home the next morning. Our worry was that the roads up north would be drifted in, but they were mostly okay. We hunted about 15 miles NNE of town.

    One clarification: I meant to say that my POI on the animal was 2" farther than I compensated for. The buck was NE into the wind and I aimed right in front of his shoulder, thinking it would land about 8" inches left (just behind the shoulder). When I looked at a ballistics table after first posting, I saw that it's more like 10" at that distance. I gotta confess I never paid a lot of attention to windage before this year. Most of what I know about it was from a training video on the M1 (http://www.archive.org/details/Rifle_Marksmanship_with_M1_Rifle_Part_1). Amazing to think that adding a 13 mph crosswind will deflect the bullet as much as my total rise and drop (8").

    Jon