Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Missouri River Breaks

      I'm fresh off of an enjoyable week of mule deer hunting in Montana's Missouri River Breaks country. Now it's back to the grind, and looming deadlines. We had a comfortable camp full of great guys, I probably enjoyed the camp life as much as the time afield.
      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.


  1. Crooked Creek? Haven't hunted that country in years, I have many good memories from hunting the breaks. Hope deer numbers rebound quickly.

  2. Wow, those are awesome images. My elk season was very similar this year. Saw five bulls in four days but for a number of different reasons just couldn't get the right shot opportunity. It was probably my best season in several years.

  3. Nope, we weren't at Crooked Creek. The Breaks are a vast area, and certainly no secret but I'm not going to give out our specific location.

    Gary - Thanks. Yes, sometimes that's the way it goes, which just makes it that much sweeter when it does all come together.