It has been almost a month since we set our game cams and its been obvious that the elk have been hitting our wallow. It was finally the day to set the stands and allow 2 weeks rest before getting in the stands for opening day.
Setting the stands took a little longer than expected, for we were setting two stands in the same tree so that we can film the hunt.
Planning where you put your pegs is a crucial part in setting stands and having easy in and out access.
Here is some of our most recent animals cruising by where our stand is set. Can’t wait til September 3rd!
Warm weather has been upon us here in western Montana. Zack and I decided to trek out and setup my game cam on a wallow we encountered last year. The road allowing close access has been washed out during runoff, so we had to manage a 4 mile hike to the money spot.
After 2.5 hours of hills, we finally made it to within 150yards of our destination, when I noticed a large 5X6 bull elk standing exactly where I planned on setting up the game camera. We were stoked after not seeing an elk all day.
Within the last 1000 yards of our hike back to the Dodge, I was excited to find the first elk shed of the year. Maybe we’ll get a chance to see that bull this year and hopefully he’s put on some growth.
Today we made it back up to our trail cameras which we had hung over a well used wallow.
Checking trail cameras is like a mini Christmas…. you just never know what your gonna get. We ended up getting pictures of 8 different bull elk, two bears, a hawk, a mule deer, and a coyote. Pretty cool for only having them up for 12 days.
After checking the cameras and doing a little more scouting we dropped by the Clark Fork and did battle with muddy water and hordes of mosquitoes. Even though it’s now August the water clarity on the Clark Fork is still poor and the water is still high. You better be wearing a mosquito net in certain areas otherwise you might not come out alive.
Overall we had a good day and we’ll be back out on the rivers soon. It’s 3 weeks till school starts and the summer’s flown by so it’s a couple weeks of fishing and then school and elk season.
Today my brother and I headed out towards our elk stomping grounds from last year. We decided to set one stand to see if we could call in a coyote and then sight in some rifles. It was good to get behind a rifle again even though a couple gophers would have felt different. After that we headed up to a wallow we discovered last year to set up a couple game cameras in hopes of getting some photos of some good bull elk. On the way we saw a nice 5×5 in velvet and already I wonder what the cameras have on them.
It was awesome to see a bull and here in a couple weeks we’ll be taking the photos off them and hopefully have some great pictures. Check out our edit from the day.
The month of July is usually a great month for fishing here in Missoula, Montana. This year has been historic and most every river is still very high. Just this week the fishing looks to become substantially better. With the water high we decided to search down some coyotes and get back into the elk woods to do a little pre-season elk scouting. The day started early as we exited the interstate and started thinking about seeing some coyotes in the crosshairs.
On our first stand we didn’t see any coyotes but we did get to spot some cow elk feeding up the draw. We rallied the Subaru further up the road which was suffering the effects of some winter runoff. We crested the road into a large basin and set up again. Immediately we spotted 3 coyotes roaming the middle of the basin. The howler got them interested, but they hung up around 600 yards and the distress calls never got them closer than 450. We then hit the road and soon enough got a nice look at a good sized mule buck.
We then set up on a 3rd stand. We got a good response from the howler immediately but they seemed a ways off. We figured they were just over the ridge but as we crossed it and set up again we spotted 2 coyotes about 1/2 mile up the hill on the treeline.
We mis-judged their position and they had spotted us crossing the ridge so our hunt was done. We figured if we weren’t getting a coyote that day then we sure had to get a gopher.
On the way down we found a dead cow elk. She unbelievably got her back leg stuck in the very bottom strand of barb wire in the process of jumping the fence. How she did it amazes me but she spent her last day stuck in that fence.
Afterward we loaded up and drove to another spot where we did a little elk scouting.
The 1st ridge we hiked up we found a small wallow and a good trail with a decent number of rubs along it. It isn’t the best spot ever but it was a spot that we could definitely hunt.
We got done with that around 4 and decided to try some fishing on the way back to Missoula. We headed to Rock Creek which was loaded with cars at every fishing access. Definitely reminded me to never fish the Creek on the weekends again. We stopped at a few spots and Travis landed a couple small trout on a Parachute Adams. Overall it was a great day to get out and do some stuff your passionate about.
My brother Zack and I finally had some time to head out and take a couple days to scout some new land for elk. We decided to head out east of Missoula and hike a couple miles back into the mountains.
After hiking for 3 miles, we finally made it to the snow level and decided to camp next to a small mountain lake. The lake was still scattered with ice, and the surrounding landscape was covered in snow. This picture above is our campsite. It was tough to find any sort of dry wood to burn for a fire, for the last 3 hours was nothing but rain.
You can never have enough experience in the mountains, and this was a great trip to get our feet underneath us. We woke up around 9am the next morning and packed up camp and prepared for the hike down.
This trip was a success in the end. We saw plenty of elk rubs and poop to give us evidence that this area contains elk at some point during the warmer months. We didn’t see any elk, but we saw a mule buck and plenty of whitetail to keep our hopes up. It was great to get our first day of 2011 scouting out of the way and be looking for more scouting trips in the future.