Just one of five deer tags were filled in our camp, yet I believe most of us came away feeling that the hunt was a success. Whether or not the trigger is pulled, it's hard not to feel grateful and satisfied after spending a week in the heart of some of Montana's most storied hunting grounds.
We had our share of challenges during the hunt. The region's infamous gumbo mud slowed us down, as did mechanical issues with our jet boat. Deer numbers were down substantially, a result of the wretched winter that northeast Montana endured last year.
Despite the challenges, we hunted hard and saw plenty of deer, including some dandy bucks. Wildlife was abundant, on a daily basis thousands of migrating geese passed overhead, coyotes serenaded us at night, sharptail grouse flushed at our feet, and herds of elk had us wishing we'd drawn the coveted tags to hunt them. We even managed to sneak in some time for fishing, which produced a solid northern pike for me and a skunking for everyone else.
Here are a few images that I took during the hunt - the conditions were great for photography, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, a full moon, and great early and late day lighting. I'm certainly looking forward to next year's hunt in The Breaks, it's worth making a tradition out of.
|Glassing for mule deer at last light.|
|Our hunting camp, lit up under a full moon.|
|A beautiful sunrise from the boat.|