September 4, 2017:
For Family Home Evening (something we do every Monday night as a family) we fixed the kids bikes and went and rode them for a while before dinner. Then we drove through the back roads hunting deer. We saw several smaller bucks and one nice 20″ 3×4. I laid down in the road and my wife drove off to see if I could get a shot at the 3×4. Two minutes later someone else that we know drove by and thought I was a dead guy on the road until they saw my bow and the deer. Those bucks smelled me and I could not close the distance, but it was fun to make a friend freak out a little.
A few minutes later on our way home, we saw a buck that I had not seen in about a month. He was huge!!!! My wife locked up the brakes on the car and I jumped out. He was 54 yards from me when I drew back my bow. My wife attempted to take a picture of him from the car and a green light on the camera startled him right when I took my shot, and I missed. I had no clue what spooked him, but now I do. It was totally unintentional on her part. I still love her.
Riding Bikes at the State Park
The untouchable whitetail deer on private land.
The smoke from the Montana fires has been awful for the last several weeks.
The mourning doves love this sunflower patch, but I don’t hunt doves.
I left my camera in the car while I was chasing a buck and the girls played with it.
I have seen this owl flying around several times and I finally got a picture of it.
September 5, 2017:
I went out in the morning to look for my arrow that I shot the night before and shot at a nice 3×3 buck in almost the exact same location. I was so frustrated with myself. It is hard to put in all that time shooting and scouting time in the pre-season only to choke when it really counts. I tried to blame my bow, but in the end, I was the problem, not my equipment. I just missed. It has been a rough year for me so far with my bow. I have missed four animals (2 antelope and 2 mule deer) with my bow.
After work, my wife and kids went with me to make sure my bow was still locked on target. Knowing that my bow was still sighted in didn’t really validate my excuses.
I need to redeem myself.
September 6, 2017:
I work up at 4:10 AM and drove about a half hour from my house to go elk hunting for the first time this fall. I have a type 1 elk tag so I can take a bull or a cow. Unfortunately, I didn’t see, hear, or smell any elk on a 3-mile mile hike. They have been in that area recently, but not today or I would have found them.
I am going to go back to the same area on Friday and Saturday mornings this week to see if I can locate the bulls. I know they are in there because they have been rubbing on all the little trees and my friends have been seeing them in that area several times per week.
On my way home I saw Big Boy and his does, but it would have been impossible to stalk him in that wide open flat so I left him alone and went back to work. I think I can get him with a rifle on October 5th if I don’t push him out of the area with my bow.
There is a full moon right now. I don’t think it is helping me out any.
September 7, 2017:
I was unable to hunt in the morning because I had some things to get done at work and I had several meetings that I have been putting off until after the eclipse. I did catch a small buck on the skyline at work.
After dinner I went to look for the bucks I missed earlier in the week and I only saw one doe and one buck antelope. The buck antelope was not in my unit or he would have been on the menu.
September 8, 2017:
I was back at it first thing in the morning hunting elk, but I changed up my game plan a little bit from what I did on Wednesday. The bulls were bugling at about 3:00 PM so I tried to get above them in the area I thought they would go into early in the morning. They never showed up. I covered a lot of land with my binoculars from the truck and hiking attempting to turn them up without any luck.
I saw a few more deer today that I did in the same area on Wednesday, but no bucks. I found one tiny shed antler.
In the evening I did a quick 30-minute drive, but I only saw 2 does on public land. It was almost 80 degrees at sunset.
September 9, 2017:
I got above the fields early in the morning and tried to catch the elk coming off the river bottoms. They were not in there or I flat missed them. I could see for two miles in each direction from my vantage point. I watched the deer come off the field, but there were not any elk. I headed back to the car and practically stepped on this nice whitetail buck before he bolted. I was able to get a quick picture from several hundred yards away before he disappeared.
I headed back to the car and practically stepped on this nice whitetail buck before he bolted. I was able to get a quick picture from several hundred yards away before he disappeared into the river bottoms that I can’t hunt.
I had a few minutes left before I had to go to town so I went looking for an antelope. These were on private land, but they are definitely starting to rut more this week than last week.
In town, I picked up a few more arrows and a box of ammo for my Tikka T3 Lite rifle. My wife convinced me to switch to lead-free ammunition this year. After doing a lot of research, I went with the Barnes Vor-tx for my 7mm Rem Mag. Hopefully, my Tikka will like them and I can zero in my groups quickly. My rifle hunts start on October 1st for deer, October 5th for antelope, and October 15th for elk.
My rifle hunts start on October 1st for deer, October 5th for antelope, and October 15th for elk.
September 11, 2017:
I decided to give bowhunting hunting elk a break until Thursday when it is supposed to cool down about 20 degrees. We have had several 90+ degree days, where the temperatures are in the mid-70’s at sunrise. This weekend is supposed to have lows in the 40’s, the moon won’t be as bright, and the rut should intensify. It did rain last night, which is a good thing because it has been so hot and dry for the past month or so.
I didn’t see anything at first light where I thought I would see a few bucks, so I drove a few more miles and decided to go on a hike. I was only about 10 minutes into my hike when I came across two three point bucks in an opening in the trees. I decided that I wanted to shoot the three point with bigger forks, so when he passed by me at 45 yards I shot him. I immediately knew I had hit him further back than I wanted, but he bedded up 20 yards away and stayed there. The other three point tried to get him to move but eventually left him behind.
An hour later, I assumed he was expired. So I moved in slowly and bumped him out of his bed on accident. I followed the blood trail until I found him in the really tall willows and stuck another arrow in his neck. Game over!
At 23 inches wide he is my biggest archery buck that I have ever taken. I am happy!
After my steak dinner, I will finish cutting him up. All smiles here.