Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Places to hunt, firearms to use, problems encountered

Moderator: Moderator Pack

Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby RowdyGSP » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:18 am

Sorry if this is kind of long, I don't blame you if you just look at pictures. Rowdy, Misty and I had a great time in Montana. The plan was to spend 3.5 days there hunting and camping (Friday afternoon through Monday). We went back to the same area Rowdy and I hunted in 2018 in the really bad bird year, when we still found birds. I decided to cut the trip short and head home Sunday afternoon after hunting due to a 100% chance of rain in the forecast for Sunday night and first half on Monday, coupled with 40 MPH winds. We saw a ton of wildlife on the trip, including big horn sheep, loads of antelope, some bison, mule deer, whitetails, coyotes, three species of snakes (including venomous ones), various birds of prey and elk. I got out there on Friday afternoon and it was high 70s for temps and put Rowdy down first on a BMA, while I left Misty in the shade of the rig with plenty of water. We didn't see anything in this spot except for some trophy mule deer we jumped out of the buffalo berry draws. He put in just over 10 miles and I got back to the rig to switch out dogs and let Misty run on some BLM ground that looked "grousy" and hadn't been grazed to hell.

Image

Image

Well I'll be darned if the little rookie tripod didn't come to a stop downwind of a patch of snowberries, while I walked up and took two shots at a small covey of flushing sharptails. I was able to knock one down for her and once she stopped chasing the main covey I was able to refocus her to the dead bird and she realized what we were doing.

Image

By that time it was well into the 80s and not even 4 PM yet, so I headed for a lake nearby to try my luck at fishing. The lake was a severely stunted lake filled with smallmouth bass all about this size, and I lost count somewhere after catching 40 of them, all almost identical in size or a bit smaller.

Image

As evening set in the mosquitos and sand fleas came out in droves and we made for greener pastures in the rig to find an area away from water to camp. Found a nice spot:

Image

Woke up in the morning to some cowboy coffee and hit a gravel road that led about 25 miles away from the nearest paved road to a chunk of land I hadn't hunted before but that looked good. Rowdy got first crack this Saturday morning and put in a total of 14 miles on this chunk of land. He worked really well and showed his experience as a bird dog by using the wind perfectly and hitting all the right cover. I really enjoy watching an experienced dog do their thing. He pointed two very large coveys. The first covey was jumpy in the 20 MPH wind and light cover and I didn't pull the trigger when the flushed popcorn style well out of range, with him pointing them from 40 yards away. About 10 minutes later we dropped down into some thick cover in a dry creek bottom filled with snowberries and buffalo berries and he went on point again. This covey was slightly smaller but still had 20+ birds in it and they flushed barely in range. The Beretta fired two shots and 1 sharptail fell.

Image

Image

After taking that pic, I saw a group of sharptails fly over the road onto BLM ground and since I hadn't loaded Rowdy back up we made a wide circle to get downwind of them and I was able to shoot another young bird over him that flushed barely in range.

I drove down the road aways to a different piece of land and let Misty run. I thought the cover looked pretty good from the road, but once we got out there it had been pretty heavily grazed. We didn't find any birds except a bunch of blue winged teal and honkers on a cattle pond. Misty put in 6 miles in this spot and was pretty tuckered out when we got back to the truck.

I drove around for a few hours getting some windshield time in, while the afternoon temps rose to 97 degrees.

Image

Image

Image

This rattler had been run over on the road and I also ran one over that I didn't see until the last minute. Really breaks my heart... :lol:

Image

Made camp for the night and listened to the coyotes howl, while watching an amazing meteor shower under the stars:

Image

Image

Image

Sunday we woke up, broke camp and continued trying to find a spot I found two years ago that had amazing cover. Finally located it and Rowdy proceeded to put on a show, finding three coveys of sharptails. The first covey got up on the edge of range and I dumped a sharptail, but after looking for a half hour we never did find that bird. Hate losing birds and I do count them against my limit. The next covey flushed over his point and I should have double but ended up with a single mature sharptail. A half hour later he went on point again and the close-flushing covey provided me a double. Rowdy put in 22 miles in this spot. Not bad for a 9 year old chukar dog on his third straight day of hunting. Don't tell Trudeau but Rowdy did briefly cross over into our neighbors to the north, past the second barbed wire fence in the fourth picture. He was getting really birdy, but didn't find any northern birds and I called him back over to the friendlies:

Image

Image

Image

Image

I took Misty up top looking for huns and we didn't find any, in the 5 miles she put in, but we did get one helluva view.

Image

All in all it was a great trip and I will be back in October. Rowdy and Misty crashed hard on the drive home to Idaho:

Image
You have to be smarter than the dog to train it.
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1356
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby J D Patrick » Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:11 am

good stuff,,,,we didn't find any huns in the area we were hunting,,,maybe next time

Hate losing birds and I do count them against my limit.


Kindred spirit,,,,if I know I hit one, it goes against my limit as well,,,and don't matter if it's birds, squirrels, or big game,,,,some people down here give me guff for that attitude but it's how I roll,,,

Don't tell Trudeau but Rowdy did briefly cross over into our neighbors to the north, past the second barbed wire fence in the fourth picture. He was getting really birdy, but didn't find any northern birds and I called him back over to the friendlies:


too funny,,,,Earl did similar last December, but on our southern border,,,,he chased over the Rio grande in southwest Texas,,,,dang illegal dog,,,,
J D Patrick
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 284
Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2017 9:33 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby Willie T » Mon Sep 07, 2020 3:35 pm

Awesome! Nothing like following your dogs in big country in solitude.
Willie
Willie T
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:26 am

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby orhunter » Mon Sep 07, 2020 5:14 pm

Thanks for all the photos. You know we all like those. Sounds like a perfect relaxing time with you hairy friends.
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 4832
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 7:02 pm

Awesome hunt, glad Rowdy is doing better. Forrest
Drahthaar1108
Master Poster
Master Poster
 
Posts: 421
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:44 pm

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Sep 09, 2020 12:45 pm

Rowdy, Great writeup. Enjoyed it. Sure Glad to hear Rowdy is back at it.
AverageGuy
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 2826
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:05 am

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby RowdyGSP » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:24 pm

Thanks guys. Harvey you'll have to let me know how you do when you go. I'll be back for pheasant season in October.

Kent, yeah I'm glad he's doing better as well. At 9 years old he's no spring chicken anymore, but he seemed to do just fine. He was still pretty tired yesterday but that's to be expected. Heading there for 5 days in October. I'll take a day off to just fish or go do some touristy things in "town"
You have to be smarter than the dog to train it.
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1356
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby orhunter » Wed Sep 09, 2020 2:36 pm

Eric: Still haven't gotten conformation on a place to stay. Want to leave next Monday but on hold at this time. Where will you be?
SARCASM, one of the many free services I offer
orhunter
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 4832
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 12:29 am
Location: nw oregon

Re: Montana Mini Vacation (Pic and text heavy)

Postby RowdyGSP » Wed Sep 09, 2020 8:56 pm

PM Sent Harvey.
You have to be smarter than the dog to train it.
RowdyGSP
Champion Poster
Champion Poster
 
Posts: 1356
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:27 pm
Location: Idaho


Return to Hunting & Firearms

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests