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Mosquito City, MT

[Well September is a busy busy month.  Archery season is only so many days long and throw in time spent filming and getting some work done and it always seems like time is too short and the personal days you get to hunt too few.  This fall has been a whirlwind and we've been very blessed so far.  I just wanted to give a quick update on the elk hunting and some recent success I had before we head back out the door to chase mule deer.  Enjoy!]

Two days prior to opening day Zack and myself wandered the hills, searching for bugling bulls. Our ears were instead filled with the buzz of little pests.  The mosquitoes were like the plague.  The heavy rainfall that this area had received at the end of August rejuvenated the mosquitoes in the area to biblical proportions. We quickly made a detour to the closest town to buy mass quantities of bug spray and cross our fingers that our Thermacell would deter a small portion of the hungry critters.
mosquitoes, sitka solids
Zack was up first, while I had the camera in tow. The elk hunting was difficult, between hunting pressure and avoiding the mosquito swarms. Stalks on bedded elk usually ended in a blood buffet for the mosquitoes. Staying still for more than five minutes was a chore and  spending time behind the glass was rather frustrating.

hunting mosquitoes, sitka shooter glove, vortex summit

Zack still managed a bunch of great encounters and passed on multiple bulls, hoping to lure the herd bull in close. Before we knew it another heavy rain storm was upon us.  The gumbo mud appeared in full force and our boots instantly turned into ten pound weights.  Living out of the truck became quite the task.
Gumbo, mud, montana, bad, nasty
After battling the elements, the sun regained its strength, but not without a price.  The mosquitoes had flourished in the new rainfall and we were now on the brink of insanity. Zack was frustrated and gave myself the opportunity to hunt the last four days of our trip. I made the best of my time, finding multiple bulls, and breaking the 100yd mark on numerous occasions.

elk, bull, wapiti

Our final morning we found a large herd we had been following. Our wind was swirling all morning and half the herd split for cover. A lone bull stole 6 cows and wandered elsewhere.  We pursued, seeing opportunity in the landscape they were headed. Removing my boots and going into ‘full ninja’, I crept in to 35 yards, cow calling the bull to his feet before deploying an arrow.

Ninja socks, hunting, stalking, socks

The shot looked good, but the penetration was not as expected.  Lung blood littered the ground, but slowly dissipated into a timbered coulee.  After an hour of searching we relocated the bull, who was bedding and standing every hour in the thick brush.  With no opportunity for a stalk, we waited the bull out for 6 hours, before he finally bedded in a position where I thought a shot might be possible. I got back into my ninja socks and crept in to within bow range.  The bull was about to stand to re-bed once again, I came to full draw, fighting the heavy crosswind before putting pressure on the trigger.  The bull stood stunned as I put two more arrows in his chest before taking his final breath.

Metcalf 2, mystery ranch, sitka gear,  core, merino, elk ridge, snapback, knife

After examining my first shot, I found out my arrow placement was too low given the downhill angle.  My arrow had pierced one lung and struck the sternum. I thanked the good Lord above that I was able to recover this animal and felt relieved to know that the animal would not go to waste. This elk season has brought about so many challenges, yet this season has been my best elk season to date. Once again I have been overwhelmed with the knowledge you gain elk hunting year after year. The confidence is high going into the remainder of the season.  Elk meat is in the freezer!

elk, hunting, bowhunting, missouri breaks, bull, montana, wild

mystery ranch, hunting, metcalf, 2, II

-Travis

Carbon Express Arrow Giveaway

carbon express, maxima, hunter, 350s, giveaway

We are teaming up with Carbon Express Arrows to giveaway a dozen of their Maxima Hunter 350s (unfletched and uncut).  These are a killer hunting arrow which we’ve both used with a lot of success.  Here’s the contest rundown.  During Montana’s General Archery season (September 6 – October 19) you’ll have the chance to submit a photo which will enter you into the contest.  The photo must be archery related.  It can be taken from anywhere you please and there is no constraints on the subject matter.  Our only criteria is that it embodies the experience of hunting in some way, whether it’s a horseback ride into camp, an epic sunset, two bulls fighting, or you and a buddy celebrating after a kill.  Be creative and get out there!

To enter simply post it to either Facebook or Instagram as follows:

Facebook – Simply share your photo on our wall with a quality caption of the photo.

Instagram – Post your photo to your account and simply use the hashtags #montanawild and #carbonexpress

***To be eligible you must [LIKE] both Montana Wild’s Facebook and Carbon Express’ Facebook***

We will pick a winner sometime the week of 19th-25th of October and announce it both on Facebook and Instagram.  We will be giving away some Montana Wild gear for some of the quality runner ups.

Photo Examples:

bear hunting, montana, wild, spring, rain, fire, camping, videos

hunting, bear, backcountry, montana, wild, backstraps, spring, diy, videos

elk, quarters, in, tree, hunting, montana, wild, videos, bowhunting

antelope, hunting, broadheads, montana, wild, spot and stalk, videos

-Zack

Speedgoatin’

Well the calendar keeps rolling forward and Montana’s General Archery opener is quickly approaching.  This past week we were able to get the time off to go brush up our archery skills by chasing around some of the elusive antelope.  Conditions started off with temps in the upper 70s and low 80s but deteriorated quickly by the time mid-week hit.  The last 4 days of our hunt saw rain for the most of every day.  Quality gear was a must this year as the rain can quickly put you back in the truck if your not prepared.  After getting some real good stalks in early we decided to go meet up with our good friend Branden VanDyken who is the co-owner over at BeTheDecoy.  We quickly got started with him as Travis was able to lay down a nice goat our first day out as a crew of three.  I was able to get one down on the last day after a long and stressful day prior spent in a constant downpour.  Life is total chaos right now trying to get ready for elk/deer so I’ll leave you with some photos from the hunt.

antelope, hunting, montana, wild, video, bowhunting

This is what it looks like when the 3 bucks you just stalked in their beds pop up and don’t give you a shot at 30 yards.

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The sun sets on Day 1.

camping, hunting, antelope, spotter, vortex, montana wild, video

Zack hunts smart before hunting hard on Day 3. Being able to wake up and pull out the spotter is the nice part about living out of your truck.

antelope, hunting, montana, wild, bowhunting, bear archery, spot and stalk

Travis uses some natural barriers to get to 30 yards before slipping an arrow through this bedded buck’s chest.

antelope, hunting, montana, archery, video, montana wild

Travis with his 2014 Montana antelope.

 

antelope, hunting, archery, montana, mystery ranch, metcalf

The guys packing out Travis’ goat. Not much weight when it’s split in half.

antelope, archery, montana, hunting, wild, rain, sitka, asat

Looking for the “Hundred Dollar” buck in the pouring rain.

antelope, archery, wheat, field, montana, wild

Tony being a turd and forcing us to bump him out of the wheat.

antelope, hunting, montana, wild, spot and stalk, archery

The final stalk. The antelope was bedded below the rock and Zack was able to slip down the hill using the rock as cover. After getting to the rock it was an easy 20 yard downhill shot that ended our day with the 2nd tag being filled.

antelope, hunting, montana, wild, archery, sitka, bear archery, vortex optics

Zack with his 2014 speedgoat.

antelope, archery, hunting, mystery ranch, metcalf

The final pack out and the lightest we’ll have all year.

If you have never bowhunted antelope I’d highly encourage it.  When we set out on Day 1 I told Travis that I didn’t feel very deadly.  I hadn’t hunted in months and it was awesome to get back out and start hunting again with the bow in hand.  By the end of the trip we definitely felt ready to tackle just about anything we could encounter come elk and deer season.  Good luck to everyone this year!  And thanks to the companies we work with that make some of the best gear out there – Vortex OpticsBear ArcheryMystery RanchSitka GearYETI Coolers -FHF GearDanner BootsTrophy Taker -

-Zack

YETI Coolers – SCOUTING SEASON blog post

Recently I headed into the badlands of Montana to scout new land for large velvet bulls. September is right around the corner and I was itching to get my eyes on some elk. Below is a video summary of my scouting adventure.

 

For the full story on the trip, go to: http://yeticoolers.com/pages/blog/scouting-season/

 

-Travis

New Hat Now Available

The BULLY TRUCKER is now available at: www.montana-wild.com/store! The hat is available in four colorways.  We also have all colors of the ELK RIDGE SNAPBACK in stock!

bully trucker, bull trout hat, bull trout t shirt, montana wild, bull trout apparel, montana bull trout