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Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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The complete issue of the Montana Hunting & Fishing News. Where to go, tips and tricks for hunting and fishing, photos, gear, special offers and more.
H UNTING & F ISHING News July 2015 Montana ANTELOPE NUMBERS IN 6 STATES HOW TO LOCATE AND HUNT MORE ELK SOFT BAIT TROUT TIPS FOR BETTER LONG RANGE SHOOTING The Key to Successful Shooting...HSM Ammunition Made in Stevensville Montana. Available at your local retailer.
Page 1: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015







The Key to Successful Shooting...HSM AmmunitionMade in Stevensville Montana. Available at your local retailer.

Page 2: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015


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Page 4: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

4 - Hunting & Fishing News

Page 5: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

5July 2015

ANTELOPE NUMBERS ACROSS 6 STATESBy goHUNT Staff Originally published at www.gohunt.com

Photo credit: Steve Barker

The antelope is one of the greatest wildlife restoration success stories. In the early 1800s, antelope numbered between 30 and 60 million, ranging from as far north as Canada to as far south as Mexico City. By the turn of the century, however, European settlers had nearly hunted them to extinction, bringing the antelope population to a low of approximately 13,000. At this point, a number of state legislatures began instituting laws that made it unlawful to kill, ensnare or trap antelope and for nearly 50 years, the species was given complete protection. State authorities also initiated trapping and transplanting programs, further helping to reestablish antelope populations. By the 20th century, antelope populations increased to nearly one million animals. Today, antelope have a scattered but widespread distribution throughout western North America and, while the overall population has undoubtedly recovered, some regions are faring better than others.

Arizona Beginning in the late 1980s, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) began expressing concern over the loss of high quality antelope habitat that was being reduced at an alarming rate due to urban development and human population expansion into rural areas. Throughout the 1990s, the effects of urban growth on antelope populations had become evident, as the number of antelope in the state began to decline significantly. AZGFD recognized the severity of the situation and began implementing management strategies to address the issue. Today, declining antelope populations in regions of Arizona continue to be a concern. While the statewide antelope population estimate in 1997 was around 10,000, the current population is estimated to be approximately 5,000. In addition to the loss of high quality habitat, livestock grazing, historic fencing practices, drought and predation have all impacted populations to varying degrees. The combination of such factors has lead to a substantial decline in fawn recruitment and poses a significant challenge for future recovery.

Colorado Throughout the 1960s, there were only about 15,000 antelope left in the state of Colorado. Thanks to concerted conservation efforts, that number rose to 30,000 in the ‘70s and in 2008, Colorado’s antelope population was estimated at more than 70,000. During 2010, antelope peaked to roughly 79,000 but then saw a slight decline to 71,000 the following year. As of 2013, Colorado’s estimated statewide post-hunt population is near 66,000.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife Big Game Manager, Andy Holland, “the population reduction is attributable to increased doe harvest, List B licenses, and late seasons designed to achieve population objectives in the Southeast Region. Additionally, drought conditions have negatively impacted populations by reducing fawn production and recruitment.”

(continued on page 39)

Montana The severe winter of 2010-11 took a significant toll on antelope populations in northeastern Montana. Yet what is more concerning according to state biologists, is the increasing difficulty antelope face in making their seasonal migrations.Urban development, fencing, new roads, pipelines, oil and gas wells are expanding throughout many parts of the northern Great Plains. This growth has pushed its way into established wintering habitat and summer grounds where antelope rear their fawns. It has also fragmented portions of prairie habitat into isolated pieces. Biologists maintain that it will take five to 10 years before populations in northeastern Montana recover. Across the rest of the state, antelope populations are relatively abundant. Despite the previous years’ winter mortality and reduced recruitment in central and eastern Montana, populations are continuing to recover. Photo credit: Getty Images

Page 6: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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...Berkley pro staffer Bernie Keefe...consistently connects clients with trout and salmon on a variety of Berkley baits, often in numbers that put other presentations—including live bait—to shame.Legendary salmonid stalker Buzz Ramsey of Klickitat, Washington, is in full agreement. “From simple yet deadly bottom rigs to tipping spinners and plugs, there are countless ways to catch more trout and salmon with scented softbaits,” he says.To fuel the passions of trout and salmon fans across the continent, Berkley offers a stellar assortment of scientifically proven dips, doughs, eggs and other softbaits, offering options for boosting your catch rate in virtually any situation. Berkley’s trout and salmon softbait arsenal is broken into PowerBait, Gulp! and Gulp! Alive! options.PowerBait — Loaded with natural scents and flavors, PowerBait is designed to make trout hold on longer once they strike. It’s perfect for fast-moving tactics targeting fish feeding by sight and lateral line, but PowerBait dips and doughs also shine for bottom fishing and other sedentary presentations.Gulp! — Also laced with trout-friendly tastes and aromas, water-soluble Gulp! floods the surrounding area with attractants. Because it draws fish to the bait, Gulp! is especially deadly wherever scent plumes or trails are key to luring in trout and salmon.Gulp! Alive! — Offers the same great scents and flavors of Gulp!, plus it’s packaged in natural juices that constantly recharge the bait’s attractants. Of course, standard Gulp! can also be reinvigorated in Gulp! Alive! buckets, or in Gulp! Alive! Recharge! Liquid, which is available in 2- and 8-ounce bottles.Killer TacticsOne of the simplest yet most deadly setups for taking trout from boat or shore is the basic still-fishing rig.“Start with a 6-pound-test mainline of Berkley Trilene XL monofilament, with a 12- to 30-inch leader of 4-pound Berkley Vanish fluorocarbon,” Ramsey begins. “Use a size 10 Berkley McMahon swivel to connect the two lines, and run a ¼- to ½-ounce egg sinker on the mainline, above the swivel.” The height of fish off bottom governs leader length, while depth and current dictate sinker weight.Ramsey typically ties a size 14 or 16 treble hook to the business end of the leader, and covers the entire treble with a dime-sized dollop of PowerBait Trout Bait or Gulp! Trout Dough. To further raise the bar in trout attraction, roll the dough in PowerBait Dust. Packaged in easy-to-use jars, it features extra PowerBait scent and flavor enhancers, plus a special glitter formula for increased visibility.Ramsey notes that a variety of other baits also produce on this rig, including Gulp! Floating Salmon Eggs and Trout Nuggets, and PowerBait Power Floating Trout Worms, all of which excel rigged on a single salmon-egg hook. “With any of these products, the key is making sure you have enough bait to float the rig off bottom, where trout can see it,” he cautions.“Cast the rig out, let it sink to bottom and sit motionless, leaving a little slack in the line so the fish can swim with the bait and swallow it,” he says. “If nothing bites within five minutes, I lift the bait off bottom, reel 10 cranks and let it sit again. If that doesn’t produce, I make another cast to the left or right, or walk a short distance down the bank to try a different spot.”Afoot or afloat, Ramsey also favors a “crawl-retrieve” casting attack featuring a Berkley 3-inch Trout Worm, either Gulp! or PowerBait. “Sometimes the fish show a preference, so it pays to have both types of bait and experiment,” he notes.Ramsey threads the worm on a size 6 or 8 hook and partially onto his 2- to 4-pound Berkley Trilene XL mainline, so the bait hangs straight and the hook point is exposed. A size 5 split shot pinched 20 to 24 inches above the bait provides ample ballast. “Cast the rig out,” he begins. “Let it sink about 10 feet, depending on water depth, and lift your rodtip from the 9 o’clock position to high noon. Lower the bait on a semi-taut line, then reel 10 cranks and repeat the lift.”

Softbait Trout www.berkley-fishing.com

Page 7: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

7July 2015

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Page 8: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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ADVERTISING - Rick Haggerty (406) 370-1368Publisher - Amy Haggerty - Helena, MT. [email protected] www.huntingfishingnews.netThe entire contents is © 2015, all rights reserved. May not be reproduced without prior consent. The material and information printed is from various sources from which there can be no warrantyor responsibility by Big Sky Outdoor News & Adventure, Inc. Nor does the printed material necessarilyexpress the views of Big Sky Outdoor News & Adventure, Inc. All photo & editorial submissions become the property of Big Sky Outdoor News & Adventure, Inc. to use or not use at their discretion. Volume 12 Issue 5 cover photo: ©Angela Cable | Dreamstime.com

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How To Locate And Hunt More Elk

Photo credit: Jason Phelps

By Jason PhelpsOriginally published at www.gohunt.com

I got my start hunting the Roosevelt elk that call the coast of Washington home, but as time and finances have allowed over the past 5 years I have found myself wanting to extend my elk hunting in September. The only problem is that I have never hunted anywhere but in my own backyard. Here are the steps I use to increase the odds of figuring out a productive elk hunting spot.


I can GUARANTEE hunters that are successful year in and year out have one thing in common…they are all hunting in good areas with elk (feel free to call me Captain Obvious). It may sound simple enough but every year I hear stories of guys going on out-of-state trips and not seeing any elk or very little sign.

Punching an Idaho Elk Tag

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Page 9: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

9July 2015

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The first thing you must decide is where you want to hunt elk. My personal strategy involves over-the-counter (OTC) elk hunting that I can rely on every year. I find that I am often more successful if I am able to hunt the same area year after year and know everything about it, instead of bouncing around to new hunting areas every year. If enough time is invested you can create your ownhoney hole. I also have points in many western states but OTC tags provide me the most opportunity for hunting.

State by state elk population numbers

State Elk populationArizona 25,000Colorado 286,000Idaho 101,000Montana 150,000Nevada 12,300New Mexico 85,000Oregon 120,000Utah 68,000Washington 60,000Wyoming 120,000

Source: 2010 RMEF Data

Colorado, Idaho, Montana (under prescribed on licenses the past few years), Oregon and Washington all offer OTC hunting opportunities. As a Washington resident I count on hunting my home state every year. I also try and plan an out-of-state trip every year. Based on my location, I usually pick either Idaho or Montana.


The first place I start when researching a “specific” unit to hunt used to be the state’s fish and game website, but now I can easily use goHUNT’s INSIDER program to filter through each unit and see a breakdown of the information. (continued on page 22)

Page 10: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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No matter where his busy tournament schedule takes him, Randall Tharp nearly always spends at least part of each practice day searching for thick cover where he can use his favorite technique, a heavy tackle presentation known as “punching.”...“I believe big bass like a roof over their heads, a dark place where they can hide, and punching is one of the best ways to pull them out of that cover,” explains Tharp...“It’s a form of flipping, only with a much heavier sinker that pulls your lure straight through that surface cover and into the open water below.”Everything about punching is geared toward larger bass. Tharp uses a 7’11” extra-heavy action rod, 40 to 65-pound braided line, a sinker weighing between ½ and 2 ½ ounces, and a flatter, beaver-style lure that imitates either a bluegill or a crawfish, rigged with a straight shank 4/0 flipping hook.

“Years ago, we used heavy jigs for this style of fishing,” continues the Yamaha Pro, but today there are special skirts, known as ‘punching skirts,’ designed to fit on your sinker, so the lure maintains a bulky, compact appearance but is totally weedless and more efficient.“I like to use the lightest sinker I can, but if it doesn’t punch cleanly through the canopy, I won’t hesitate to change to a heavier weight. I want my lure to go straight through the cover immediately, not get snagged or stopped by anything. Even though I don’t believe these bass are as spooky as other fish normally are, I still want my presentation as quiet as possible.”Tharp normally lets his lure fall straight to the bottom, then pulls it up to the underside of the canopy and shakes it. In warm water, he only shakes the lure for a few moments before reeling in for another presentation, but in colder water he may leave his lure in place for as long as a minute.“Your first bass normally tells you where they are under the canopy, and how they want your lure,” he explains. “Sometimes the fish position themselves right underneath the canopy, but other times they’re holding on the bottom. This can change, too, between early morning when the water is cooler and late afternoon when it’s often several degrees warmer.”Tharp catches the majority of his bass this way in water less than five feet deep, but he’s caught them as deep as 20 feet, even though matted vegetation covered the surface. When he won the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup® championship held on Louisiana’s Red River, he punched hyacinth mats and caught bass in less than a foot of water. Unquestionably, one key to Tharp’s success using the punching presentation is tying a snell knot on his hook. It takes a few seconds longer to tie, but this particular knot creates a cam-like action that springs the hook upward practically 90 degrees so it more easily penetrates the roof of the fish’s mouth. Not many tournament pros use the punching presentation, but when they do, they use a snell knot for this reason.“I don’t think there is a lake in the country where this technique won’t work if you can find some type of cover that forms an actual canopy on the surface,” concludes the Yamaha Pro...

Punching Through Heavy Cover Best Way for Big Bass This Summer www.yamahaoutboards.com

Page 11: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

11July 2015

Tendoy Bighorn Sheep to be Depopulated, Restocked MFWP

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks wants to go ahead with a plan to depopulate the chronically diseased Tendoy Mountains bighorn sheep herd using public hunting as the primary tool. The area would then be restocked with healthy bighorns.

The proposed hunt format is similar to that used in unlimitedbighorn license areas, although a quota would not be established as the goal is to eliminate the entire herd of approximately 40 bighorns. Any remaining bighorns not taken by hunters would be removed by FWP.

On June 11, the Fish and Wildlife Commission put out for public comment the proposal to sell licenses to accomplish the depopulation and is taking public comment until 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, 2015. The Commission will make a final decision in July and, if adopted, licenses would be offered in early August.

Approximately 50 bighorn sheep will repopulate the Tendoys once all members of the diseased herd are removed. The healthy sheep used to restock the area will be from a yet to be determined herd in need of management reductions at the time.

The decision notice on the proposed depopulation and restocking action can be read here: http://fwp.mt.gov/news/publicNotices/environmenta-lAssessments/speciesRemov-alAndRelocation/pn_0071.html

Bighorn sheep in the Tendoys have experienced two significant pneumonia die-offs in the last 25 years (1993 and 1999). The population has been augmented three times since 1997, but the population has not rebounded because disease is likely being carried by some of the surviving sheep.

Page 12: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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PRO TIPS FOR BETTER LINDY RIGGINGBy Dan Johnson www.lindyfishingtackle.com

Know When To Rig“Lindy Rigging is great when the fishing is tough,” says Petrowske, who plies the walleye-rich waters of Minnesota’s Upper Red Lake. “I always go to it during post-cold-front situations when the fish are scattered and lethargic.

“Vertical jigging doesn’t allow you to search for fish as efficiently as rigging, while blazing along trolling crankbaits at 2 mph is way too fast for such finicky fish.”

Thelen and Sundin pull Lindy Rigs spring through fall when they need to thoroughly work a fish-rich area.

“It’s a perfect presentation early in the season when water temperatures are cool, but it also shines for picking apart specific areas such as mid-lake structure later in the year,” says Thelen. “When the water warms into the 70s, I look for reefs that are steep on one side and have a feeding shelf on the other. The fish will be on one side or the other, and I can catch them all day long.”Red Light, Green LightWhile it’s been said that slow and steady wins the race, Thelen prefers spicing up his Lindy Rigging routines. One of the tricks he uses to trigger strikes is to stop and start the bait.

“Pauses can prompt following walleyes to strike,” he said. “When it suddenly stops in front of them all they have to do is open their mouths. By the same token, fish that are hanging back watching the bait can be triggered to strike when it starts moving away again.”

To execute the perfect red-light-green-light sleight of hand, Thelen recommends the following approach: While the boat is in motion, drop your rodtip back to stall the bait. Pause it for two or three seconds, and then swing the rod back to its normal position to shift the presentation back in gear.

Lindy Rigging is unquestionably one of the easiest and most effective means of putting walleyes in the boat. This simple yet deadly method of trolling live bait slowly through the strike zone has accounted for countless ’eyes since Lindy Legendary Fishing Tackle created it back in the late 1960s.

As with any technique, however, certain tricks can help you catch more fish. Here are five top tips for Lindy Rigging success, courtesy of veteran guides and decorated rigging aces Jon Thelen, Jonny Petrowske and Jeff Sundin.

Page 13: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

13July 2015

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Down With The CountDeciding when to set the hook can be intimidating, but our rigging experts have the process down pat.

“The most important thing is to not get nervous,” says Petrowske. He said his clients often fail to hook up due to not giving the fish enough free line and setting the hook too soon.

“The fish typically isn’t in a hurry when it grabs the bait, repositions it in its mouth and then kills it,” he says. “So you shouldn’t rush the hookset, either. My typical count runs anywhere from 15 up to 25 seconds, depending on how aggressive the fish are.”

His advice on hooksetting is straightforward: While rigging, keep the reel’s bail open and cradle the line with your index finger. When you feel a fish, release the line immediately and begin the count.

“Start with 15, set the hook, and adjust your count based on how the fish is hooked,” he adds. “If it’s barely hooked in the lips, lengthen the count to 20. If it’s deeply hooked, shorten it.”

Sundin often waits even longer.

“How long to wait has been the subject of much discussion in my boat,” he laughs. “It all depends on how the walleye took the bait.”

An aggressive grab dictates a short count of 10 to 15 seconds, but a minute is in order if the fish barely takes it.

Great Bait Debate“Lindy Rigs excel with leeches, nightcrawlers and a variety of minnows,” says Thelen. “But knowing which kind of bait to fish, when, can be the difference between one walleye and 20.”

Thelen favors minnows early in the season when water temps are cool. The leech bite cranks up by the end of May and into June, he says. Nightcrawlers follow shortly thereafter, and minnows come on strong again later in the year.

Sundin toggles between all three varieties, but often ups the ante with super-sized minnows when walleyes wander deep structure in summer and fall. Redtail chubs stretching 6 to 9 inches are his favorites. Lightly hooked through the upper lip or one nostril, they move relatively freely, attracting nearby walleyes.

Whichever bait you decide to fish, Thelen advises choosing a hook to match.

“Lindy Rigs are available with either a leech-crawler hook or minnow hook, so make sure you select the appropriate option,” he says.

Sinker SavvyA sliding sinker is key to keeping your rig in the strike zone, yet allowing walleyes to run with the bait. Top options include the iconic Lindy Walking Sinker—which is standard equipment on the company’s Original Lindy Rig and other stock rigs—and the banana-shaped Lindy No-Snagg Slip Sinker.

“I fish Lindy Rigs with walking sinkers straight out of the package over a variety of bottom types,” says Thelen. “But when I’m fishing rocky bottoms, the No-Snagg gets the nod. Its unique design skips over most rocks, and rarely hangs up even when I pause the rig. If it does get stuck, I let the line go slack. The buoyant balsa inside the sinker makes it stand up, so I can easily pop it free and continue fishing.”

Armed with such savvy, walleye fans of all stripes can score consistent catches across Lindy Land this season. Put these tips to work for you and join the fun!

See more at: http://www.lindyfishingtackle.com/lindy-land/pro-tips-for-better-lindy-rigging/#sthash.qgyuulg9.dpuf

Page 14: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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A topic I do not cover much is that of muskie fishing. But having targeted these fish numerous times over my years as an angler, I thought I would share a few early season tips....

The first thing you need to consider when setting out for these toothy creatures is location. Because of their cold blooded nature, target shallow bays connected to the main portion of the lake, as the water will warm up quickly in these locations. With warming water brings baitfish and new vegetation making these locations even more ideal for muskies.

The second thing to mention is over the years I have found smaller baits are generally better for early season. This is due to the fact that baitfish in the lakes are relatively small and have not had a chance to grow. I suggest using erratic baits and or glide baits as they seem to be killers when you are fishing shallow water.

The third thing is having an adequate rod. My choice of rod when it comes fishing these toothy giants is a St. Croix Mojo Musky or St.Croix Legend Tournament rod, as they will handle these early season baits flawlessly. Plus the durability and superior back bone these rods have is truly amazing as you fight these powerful fish.

Good luck to those who have a big fish addiction and may you land that fish of a lifetime. Good fishing.


By Babe Winkleman www.winkleman.com

Mojo Musky from St. Croix Rods

Page 15: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

15July 2015

19 Year Old From Helena Takes 1st Place Fishing His First Adult Team Tournament

Kasey Chovanak with his day two 30-1/4” walleye

Fishing the tournament circuit can be a challenge. Many fish for years and never take 1st place. Kasey Chovanak and his fishing partner Brian Olson of Havre took 1st place at the 2015 Tiber Walleye Tournament May 30th and 31st, on Lake Elwell near Chester, Montana. This was Kasey’s first time officially fishing on an adult team in a fishing tournament. He has fished many tournaments on an adult/child team with his father, Dan Chovanak, owner of One Way Marine & Motor Sports, Inc. in Helena. Dan, who has fished many tournaments, both on adult only teams and adult/child teams over the years, was not able to fish the tournament circuit this year. Dan’s friend, Brian Olson offered to take Kasey on as his fishing partner for 2015. Kasey and Brian won the first tournament of the year in the 2015 Walleye Circuit. Kasey caught a big walleye the 1st day - a 27-1/2” and then followed it up on the 2nd day with a 30-1/4” fish. The two fish he caught were about half their total weight of 38.7 pounds (out of their total of 10 fish). It was the 2nd largest weight ever at the Tiber tournament.Kasey and Brian were fishing in a Ranger 1880 Angler with an Evinrude motor from One Way Marine & Motor Sports. For more on tournaments go towww.montanawalleyesunlimited.net

Helping to catch the 2nd largest weight ever at the Tiber Tournament

Kasey (l) and Brian (r) accepting 1st place2015 Tiber Tournament - Walleye Circuit

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Page 16: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

16 - Hunting & Fishing News

Brought to you bySay Hello To Success: Where to chase the Fish this Month







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Doug Breker and his wife Kathy had a great day fishing on Canyon Ferry.After catching a 24” they hauled in these 31-1/4” & 31-1/2” Walleye. Photo - Montana Walleyes Unlimited

July can be a great time to catch fish in the high country. As water flows drop and the waters becomecrystal clear, expect good fishingearly and late in the day throughout the summer months. Endless opportunities exist in Montana, and you can expect epic fishing days this month. It’s the best time of the year to take offfor a camping/fishing outing.Here are a few spots to consider.

July and August are the two best months for fishing in Glacier National Park. If it’s backcountry fishing you’re after, Park officials estimate there are approximately 130 named lakes and more than 600 unnamed lakes and potholes in Glacier National Park. Most of these are reached by trail. Stocking of fish began in 1955 and the Creston National Fish Hatchery was built in 1947 to provideYellowstone cutthroat trout, brook trout and rainbow trout for Glacier.For the best trout action, you can target Ole, Lost, Isabel and Snyder lakes. Larger trout are found in Red Eagle, Oldman and Arrow Lake. The Montana recordcutthroat trout, a 16 pounder, was caught way back in 1955 out of Red Eagle Lake. Hidden Lake, a 3 mile hike from Logan Pass Visitor Center, offers good fall fishing. Spin fishermen catch trout on small Mepps and Panther Martins. Fly fishers only need a floating line and a few black ants and nymphs. Many of the Park’s largest lakes include Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lakeand Lake Sherburne which can be

reached by paved or improved roads. These three lakes have boat ramps and camping spots. Laketrout or whitefish can be caught in Lake McDonald, which is easily accessed from West Glacier. St. Mary Lake holds some huge lake trout and is best fished from a boat. The launch is located at Rising SunLake. Sherburne holds some nice northern pike. Regulations are set by the Blackfeet Tribe. The boat launch is located at Many Glacier.Unlimited fishing opportunities exist in and around the Park. Bears are always a concern here, so make sure to pack your bear spray into the Park.

Whitefish bite on Flathead LakeIt’s an old joke, but a goody: One fisherman says to another, “Boy, do I like to smoke them whitefish.” To which the other replies, “Yeah? How do you keep ‘em lit?”

Fantastic whitefish fishing opportunities exist now as the Lake Superior whitefish begin their annual voyage up the big lake, getting ready to make the fall run up the Flathead River to their spawning grounds. But before they do, they fatten up on the perch fry that are found in weedy areas of shallow bays like Elmo Bay, Big Arm Bay, Woods Bay and in the delta around the mouth of the Flathead River. Perch and mackinaw will be in play as well. The mackinaw feed on the whitefish and the whitefish will feed on the perch - an excellent example of the food chain at work. Anything that resembles a perch will catch these fish. White and green are favored colors.

It’s been a strong year so far at Fort Peck with a decent smallmouth, walleye and northern pike bite ealier in the season. As the summer heats up, look for the fishing tactics to change a bit. Pike and walleye will slowly head for deep water off of points. Crankbaits in perch colors will catch their attention. Look for inlets and weeds where the water is coolest as these fish will be laying low for most of the day. Smallmouthscongregate in the rocky areas - Spinnerbaits in white or chartreuse with silver blades will work well now. Pull a ‘crawler harness with a bottom bouncer for both the walleye and northerns trolling along the mudlines. Orange and blue spinners seem to work best when it’s warm. Fort Peck is big water, so the key is to cover lots of ground to pick up these fish. Find the baitfish and you’ll find the walleye. Hell Creek Marina or Rock Creek are both equipped for overnight camping on the lake. Before heading out check the weather report and plan ahead.

You can catch some of the largestbass in Montana by working the rock faces and submerged rubble just below Highway 200 on the North Shore of Noxon Reservoir. - Smallmouth bass - Mid-to-late July can be fantastic fishing as the water heats up and the fish become more active and spread out around the lake. Finesse fishing with a drop-shot rig and a 4 inch worm, and jigs with a pork rind trailer attract bass. Crayfish and pumpkin seed colors both work well on Noxon. You can also pull smallies off sunken rock ledges by trolling a diving crankbait, tight to the cover.- Largemouth bass - If you’re gunning strictly for the largemouth, then shallow bays that are littered with submerged tree trunks will hold fish. Cover plenty of water by pitching crankbaits orspinnerbaits into likely cover. Once you locate, closely work the area with more subtle presentations.Worms, frogs or other creature plastics will work. Watch for a great top water bite both at first and last light along the little cuts and coves of both shorelines. Don’t be surprised if you tie into a few meaty northern pike while fishing Noxon.

Big northern pike will command attention during the summer months on Tiber. It fishes much like it’s cousin to the east, Fort Peck, but it’s much smaller. Good numbers of walleye, pike or perch can be had on Tiber. Crankbaits or spoons work best on Northerns, or you can pitch a jig near the shorelines to pick up fish. Bottom bouncing will work to pick up the walleye using

Page 17: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

17July 2015

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TONGUE RIVERRESERVOIRJuly is a perfect time to fish for multi-species on the Tongue, located about 2 hours southeastof Billings. The Tongue River State Park has fishing access and camping. Most of your fishing action will occur along the shorelines in flooded willows and weeds where you’ll find a good mix of warm water species.Boating will put you above the larger fish, and you’ll have the benefit of fishing more remote sections of this irrigation reservoir. The flooded brush in the upper end will hold good numbers of crappie and you can troll for 14 to 17 inch walleye by working the rocky shorelines along the eastern side of the lake.Trolling small, rattling crankbaits, micro spinnerbaits, or evenin-line spinners such as Mepp’s Aglias will produce good actionon eater-sized crappie and smallmouth bass.


Lots of water and plenty of bugshave West Yellowstone area anglers excited about fishing this season.Anglers have reported fish in the18 to 23 inch category, meatyfighters that want to take your bait.Fly fishermen have been using midges to connect on Hebgen’s quality trout. Stick with midges in the 14 to 18 size range or you cantie on a good baetis pattern - 12 to 16.Yellowstone’s Firehole and MadisonRivers along with waters like Lamar,Slough, and Soda Butte are good for swinging soft hackles to enticefish in July until the “hoppers” come out.

Chinook salmon fishing season on the upper Salmon River opened Saturday, June 13.The river will be open from the Copper Mine boat ramp approximately 2.5 miles upstream from the mouth of the Middle Fork Salmon River to a posted boundary 100 yards downstream from the Fish and Game weir at Sawtooth Hatchery south of Stanley. Fishing hours will be from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Mountain Daylight time. These waters will remain open until further notice.Limits will be four fish per day, no more than two of which may be adults. The possession limit will be 12 fish, no more than six of which may be adults. Anglers must stop fishing for salmon when daily, possession or season limits of adult salmon are reached, whichever comes first.The season limit is 20 adult Chinook salmon statewide during 2015 salmon seasons occurring before September 1, 2015.A seasons and rules brochure will be available...at Fish and Game offices, online, and license vendors. Seasons and limits may change on short notice. Anglers can call the salmon hotline at 1-855-287-2702...

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Page 18: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

18 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Ten Top Tricks for Walleyes By Ted Pilgrim

Every walleye angler worth his or her salt has one. You know, that sneaky trick up the sleeve that always gets rods thumping with action. Cold fronts, Jet Ski conventions, breathless summer days, or August blizzards (it could happen); the conditions are almost beside the point. You want a plan of action that works for walleyes, especially when the going gets tough and you’re fresh out of fish-catching ideas. Consider...1) Deadsticking a Minnow Big frisky minnows like creek chubs or golden shiners appeal to walleyes on basic, animalistic levels. It’s why anglers often rig an extra rod or two for minnow duty, placing them in rod holders while they cast with more active presentations. A long, soft spinning combo, such as a 7’6” St. Croix Legend Tournament Walleye rod, outfitted with a slip-sinker rig allows the minnow to struggle freely, while a #1 circle hook safely self-hooks fish, even if you’re not paying attention. Always exciting to suddenly realize one of your rods is folded over and pounding under the weight of a big ‘eye.2) Working the Weeds Particularly in stocked walleye waters, submerged vegetation provides these white-tailed predators with prime habitat: cover, oxygen and a ready-made supply of food. When it comes to walleye weeds, variety matters. Preferred plant species include large leaf pondweed (cabbage), elodea, chara, and coontail, with patchy, intermingled forests usually providing the most favorable environs.Crankbaits and jigs can score within deep or sparse vegetation, while 3/8- to ¾-ounce jigs dressed with specialized soft plastics, such as BFishn Tackle’s 4-inch Moxi and Paddle Tail yield wonderful results, often throughout the summer. Cast and simply do a nice steady retrieve, and hang on for arm-wrenching strikes.3) Make a Map High tech has become a big part of the walleye game, and one of the neatest new developments allows angling adventurers to create their own custom contour maps on previously uncharted water. Imagine the advantages of possessing the only depth map in existence of your local river or favorite backwoods lake? Discovering that sweet little sunken island no one knew existed?Humminbird offers Auto Chart Live, specialized mapping software that couples GPS waypoints with corresponding depth to instantly build never-before-seen contours on your chosen waterbody. Lowrance also offers Insight Genesis, a DIY map program requiring computer processing in addition to on-water reconnaissance.DIY map making programs uncover potentially new hotspots on previously uncharted walleye waters. (Photo courtesy of Humminbird)4) Drop a Bomb Previously deployed primarily by ice anglers, heavy jigging-style lures such as the Jigging Rapala and Custom Jigs & Spins’ RPM Minnow (new for fall 2016) have become new classic walleye lures, especially in open water. The anvil-like weight of these compact baitfish imitators allows them to be cast or jigged in deeper water, giving the angler complete contact and control. A simple snap, drop, pause presentation makes the lure dart, glide and stop on a dime—moves that have lately scored boatloads of big ‘eyes all season long, winter notwithstanding.

Fast sinking, swimming minnow lures have become one of the hottest walleye lures in existence.

(Photo courtesy of Custom Jigs & Spins)

Photo by Bill Lindner

Page 19: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

19July 2015

5) Fish . . . Nowhere Walleyes like structure, right? Not always. With apologies to Buck Perry, the truth is, walleyes go where the food goes. In many lakes and reservoirs, that means featureless open water. From late spring through summer, some of the biggest walleyes in many waters (not just the Great Lakes) suspend 10 to 25 feet down over much

deeper water. Sonar and surface-feeding birds help unearth schools of pelagic bait—ciscoes, shad, smelt, alewives, and shiners. Baitfish clouds also point to the presence of predators. Trolling baitfish imitating cranks or casting with spoons can each produce a surprising quantity of outsize ‘eyes.

...A nice frisky minnow remains the most reliable producer of big ‘eyes ever created. Frabill’s 6-gallon AquaLife Bait Station holds a heavy helping of large minnow. (Photo courtesy Frabill)6) Find the ‘Cline One of the most overlooked fish-finding factors is oxygen and an aquatic phenomenon known as the thermocline. This thin layer of water can be a walleye-holding goldmine. The thermocline is the region offering a precipitous change in dissolved oxygen levels. Below the thermocline, oxygen may be too scarce to sustain fish life. But above is an ample supply for healthy fish activity.Easiest way to find the ‘cline is to drop an underwater camera armed with a depth and temperature probe, such as the Aqua-Vu 760cz. When the temp starts dropping fast—often going from the 70s to upper 50s within several feet— you’ve hit it. You can also ID the ‘cline with a well-tuned sonar, which may display the thermocline as a continuously line of “clutter.” Focus on or just above these depths, especially along structural intersections, and you’re likely to put on a walleye-catching clinic.7) ‘Yak a Small River Another delightfully overlooked option, small rivers can offer ideal walleye habitat that often see scant few hooks all summer. Constant current means walleyes are always actively feeding somewhere. And a fishing kayak, such as Old Town Predator XL, can be the perfect way to float a sizeable stretch, surveying some alluring flora and fauna and sampling some potentially amazing fishing.Grab a medium-action spinning rod and a small box of tackle; small minnowbaits and ¼- and 3/8-ounce jigheads alongside packs of your favorite softbait. Among masses of super twisters and a profusion of paddletails, BFishn’s 4-inch Ringworm has become a go-to option among seasoned river rats. Swim lures through shallow riffles above deep holes, or jig behind any type of current break—from downed logs to boulders to inside bends of small points.8) Go “Video Fishing” Many modern depth findersallow anglers to observe their lures as they’re worked below the boat, and show fish reacting to and biting them, right on screen. Humminbird units offer a special “jigging mode” that auto-selects a specific ping pattern for easily observing vertical bait presentations. Other units can be tuned to operate with narrower cone angles to help display small lures and fish below the boat. For vertical jigging suspended walleyes or fish in tight clusters in deep water, this sort of interactive fishing can become addictively fun, and is often an effective way to gauge fish activity and response to different lures.9) Pitch a Cork Folks tend to write bobber fishing off as simplistic, juvenile, and only effective for sunfish. Actually, a slip float rigged above a lively ribbon leech is among the deadliest of all walleye presentations. And it is simple, which is the other part of its charm. With the addition of a stop knot, you can deliver bait to any depth, or keep it hovering enticinglyabove snaggy rock or vegetation. In wind, slip-bobber fishing while anchored near a rocky point can yield remarkable results. And at night, a lighted cork has been known to produce many a walleye monster.10) The Carp Cure Some days, the walleyes just don’t want to bite. Other times, they seem as scarce as Sasquatch. No problem. There’s always something biting. Why not carp? Blimp-size carp thrive in many top walleye waters...These unconventional sportfish like to bite, pull like freight trains and can be caught with simple rigs and tackle; often the same stuff you use for walleyes. Many times, the opportunity for pure fishing fun is but a cast away—swimming right before your eyeballs.

(Photo courtesy of Aqua-Vu)

Page 20: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

20 - Hunting & Fishing News

Ran across a fascinating whitetail study conducted in Oklahoma.

Researchers fitted bucks with GPS collars and monitored their movements using a technique called “fractal dimension,” which describes the complexity (crisscross paths) and linearity (more straight lines) of the travels used by deer at various times of the season.

The scientists found that in early fall (and again later in the post-rut), bucks stick to relatively small core areas and have complex, localized mazes of movement, which are the result of many short-distance trips during which the deer frequently circle, backtrack and change directions as they move from feed to bed (below left).

But come the seeking days of the rut–beginning in late October and running through mid-November–many of those same bucks show less confined, longer and more linear movements (below right). The researchers surmised that by traveling longer distances in straighter lines during the rut, bucks maximize their chances of coming into contact with estrous does.

So what does this mean for the hunter? Here’s how I interpret it.

During early bow season, when bucks move less in more confined habitats, scout for rubs and the most heavily used trails on a ridge or in a creek/river bottom. Based on the fresh sign you find, hang a few stands and hunt high-interaction spots that bucks seem to frequent most.

Around Halloween, as deer begin to lengthen their daily movements and roam more in daylight hours, expand your hunt area, too. Spread out, scout and hang some more stands in likely ambush spots back in the woods. Then sit in those stands every day for a week or longer. You’ll see deer big and small, including some bucks you’ve never seen or gotten pictures of before.

Hunt all day, or as many hours as you can hack it in a tree stand. You never know what time a shooter will show.It couldn’t hurt to lay a doe scent trail into your post; a buck moving on a long, linear travel pattern might cut it and come in. Also, grunt and/or rattle periodically throughout the day in hopes of contacting one of those vagabond bucks and reeling him your way.

Deer Research: How Bucks Travel By Mike Hanback www.mikehanback.com

Page 21: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

21July 2015

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MONTANA!Hunters typically think of standing corn as a hindrance to successful deer hunting.No doubt deer love the golden morsels and can just about live in the confines of the towering plants, foiling dreams of open country success.While deer drives can be an effective means to scare them out, ethical shots can be problematic with whitetails in high gear. They can be downright dangerous, as well, when it comes to slinging lead in the heat of the moment.There is another way: Go in after them.If you tend to be claustrophobic, still hunting tall corn might not be for you. If you can handle exciting surprises, however, proceed cautiously for up-close opportunities.Most effective movement is by means of crossing rows, by gradually slipping your head into every single row with your eyes pointed down the row. If nothing’s there, pull back slowly. Then, before taking one more step into that same row, do the same in the other direction. This process minimizes movement, which is of utmost importance, considering that your face may be mere feet from an unsuspecting animal in its living room.Scent control is not necessary, nor is camouflage clothing. All that is needed is dry corn stalks and plenty of facial wind to mask your approach.However, a word of caution is in order: It is very possible that you may spook deer out of the corn. Therefore, other hunters in the area must know if you are in there so that they don’t shoot blindly into the corn at runaways.Getting the Jump on Deer in Standing Corn

My firearm of choice has been a handgun –ruling out long guns, because of the awkwardness involved in maneuvering for a shot. Instead, I’ve carried a Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum sporting a red dot scope, although iron sights fit the bill, too, in other legal cartridges. Forget anything with a conventional scope attached; it will only muddle your sight picture for this technique.

Be ready with hearing protection. Quick deploying types tipped with foam earplugs can be worn around the neck snapped into place before making a shot.Shooting a large caliber handgun without some form of hearing protection is a good way to go deaf – even if done only once.It might get monotonous after a while, but realizing a close encounter with an antlered wall-hanger could be within the next row, is incentive enough to forge ahead. Understand that during the day, deer may be bedded down, thus posing a dilemma for ethical shot placement.For this reason, consider taking a neck shot – but, not just any neck shot. Aiming just below the head at the narrowest part of the neck, actually affords a hunter a greater kill zone, because the two largest vertebras in the spinal column are there. And, if you happen to miss, it most likely will be a clean miss, rather than a wounding shot.Standing corn is not something to complain about and hunting in it takes no special training or skills. In conclusion, if that trophy hasn’t been hanging out in your neck of the woods, you may want to consider a stalk, of sorts.

By Glen Wunderlich www.AmmoLand.com

Photo: AmmoLand.com

Handgun Hunting Deer in Standing Corn

Staiger Joyner ofHelena with his 1st bear taken thisspring. A huge accomplishment for Staiger who has hadto have many surgeries on his feet and knee so that he could walk again, after a fall from a haystack. After he harvested his bear he took 2 of his best friends, and helped get Drew a bear in the morning and Will his bear that evening.

Page 22: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

22 - Hunting & Fishing News

How To Locate And Hunt More Elk (continued from page 9)

From goHUNT INSIDER You can become an INSIDER for $149

After researching and sorting through the available information I can figure out the number of tags issued in a unit and the hunter’s success percentage. Then, I make a short list of two or three units that look good on paper.

Next, I turn to Google Earth. I want to get an idea of the topography, cover and access of the units so I can evaluate the ones that looked good on paper. While on the computer, I also use my oXmaps chip to confirm that there will not be any issues with private property or other potential access issues. The next step in my research is obtaining personal feedback on the units. I always take these reviews with a grain of salt; hunters may be the best at altering the truth. I may actually shy away from a unit if it is receiving too much press. I also search the hunting forums and review search engines as well as look at pictures from hikers and tourists. I usually call the local big game biologists to see what they have to say about the area (once again remembering that whatever information they give me has also been shared with everyone else that has called). Finally, I check in with the outfitters that operate in those units. Basically, I want to gather as much information as I can about the potential areas that I want to hunt.

Once I have settled on a specific state and specific unit, I make sure that I understand the state’s process to obtaining a tag and make note of any important dates. For instance, if you wanted to hunt Oregon your tag must be bought before opening day, Montana’s applications must be in by a certain date and other states like Idaho and Washington allow you to buy your tags from the local gas station or license vendor.

Google Earth Map



Back to using a combination of Google Earth and the unit boundaries, I work on devising a plan on how I want to attack the area. Ideally, I look for areas that will put me in unpressured sections two to three miles from roads or ATV trails. Then, I make sure the area has the three things that elk need to survive: food, water and cover/bedding areas.

Jason Phelps with his 2014 Idaho bull elk.

I try to locate four or five areas like this because I never know when I show up what the pressure will actually be or if the area happens to be void of elk. While nothing beats “boots to the ground” scouting — and I highly recommend it — the lack of vacation and a busy schedule makes this system work well for the busy hunter.

Charlie was able to notch a tag on his first day hunting a new area.

The last step is to decide when I want to hunt. In my opinion any time between September 10 and September 30 has the possibility of being very good, but I have also killed a lot of elk before September 10 (I can thank Washington for always having their season early in September). My goal is to spend a minimum of a week plus the weekends on both ends as a minimum length of time for a hunt. Ideally, I try to hunt two consecutive weeks with the weekends on both ends included. After all, the expenses for the travel and tags have already been paid for.

Finding elk may seem simple enough, but I am shocked at how many conversations I have with fellow elk hunters that put themselves in areas that do not produce. By doing a little research upfront, you can increase your odds of having a quality elk hunt come this fall. YOU WILL NEVER KILL AN ELK THAT IS NOT THERE.

Plan your hunts by searching and filtering through every unit, species and hunt in each state. View maps, weather, geography and more.www.gohunt.com

Page 23: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

23July 2015

Page 24: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

24 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Page 26: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

26 - Hunting & Fishing News

1. Less can be more – and often is The desire to fully realize the long range potential of loads we push through our rifles can lead to a tunnel-vision-like approach where only bullets with the highest ballistic coefficient loaded to screaming velocities that push the edge are considered valid candidates. After all, more is better right? Not so. Accuracy and consistency are the goal. Hotter loads are often less consistent compared to those that are backed off a bit. And just because a bullet has a BC you drool over on paper, doesn’t mean it’s going to shoot well out of your rifle. Now don’t take this as trivializing the significance of using bullets with high ballistic coefficients. It is important. However, we ultimately need to remember, as long as the bullet is arriving where it needs to every time you squeeze the trigger, neither you or it should care what numbers are attached to it. In other words, it’s not the size of your BC, it’s how you use it. So you might dial a few more clicks – big deal.2. Trust the bullet and yourself I had a buddy who broke up with his long-time girlfriend by saying, “It’s not me, it’s you”. This isn’t just mildly humorous – unless you were that girl – but applicable to shooting. How so you ask? Think of it like this. Just as he was trusting his gut and experience to make the call he and his female cohort weren’t destined for the alter, you can trust yours to conclude your bullet impacts are hitting where they are for reasons that have nothing to do with you, your trigger squeeze, rifle cant, form, or anything else you rack your brain trying to adjust. The facts are, often times, you aren’t the problem. Here’s an example: I was engaging a steel plate at 1,000 yards during a rifle competition. There wasn’t a breath of wind at our location. Perfect conditions for the shot. Three misses later with all impacts in the same spot about 1 foot right of the target, I packed up for the next stage. Only when I rounded the corner did the reason for my misses hit me. The answer my friend, was literally blowing in the wind. Once you’ve sorted out it’s not you and trust yourself, you can start investigating what the real culprit is…It’s probably the wind, that F@#%ing wind.3. Fast tracking a dang close – if not spot on – dope chart Let’s face it. We’re all looking to save time and streamline aspects of our lives. In some ways, I’m even hesitant to throw this tip out there, because there are few shortcuts to getting reliable dope. However, from experience, I can tell you this works pretty damn good. And, all it takes is more gear and a little bookwork.You’re going to need a “good, reliable and accurate chronograph.” Notice I didn’t just say “chronograph.” The MagnetoSpeed fits the bill. Next, you’re going to want to use a tested BC number by Bryan Litz. These tested BC’s and velocities oftentimes won’t match what’s listed on the ammo manufacturers website, but plugged into your ballistic calculator with the other necessary variables, you’ll get a ballistic chart you can dang near take to the bank. We highly encourage you take it to the range instead though.


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Page 27: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

27July 2015

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists have completed their 2015 winter and spring aerial surveys of deer populations across Region 6 in northeastern Montana. The surveys indicate a continuing increase in numbers for mule deer, and mostly unchanging populations of whitetail deer across the region.For mule deer, 11 trend areas in Region 6 are typically examined each year from the air. The winter “post-season survey” was completed in January, and the “spring survey” was completed in late March and April. While total deer counts tend to be variable, FWP Biologist Scott Thompson of Malta said the 2015 surveys indicate mule deer are above average. “The trend still shows an ongoing, gradual recovery across the region since the high winter mortality in 2010-2011,” Thompson said.The post-hunting-season surveys showed the region-wide mule deer population at 20 percent above average, and 50 percent above the 2014 surveys. The spring surveys showed region-wide populations at 13 percent above average, and 28 percent above the 2014 survey.While regional numbers indicate above average mule deer levels overall, differences are seen across the region and in isolated areas as well. According to Thompson, mule deer trend area numbers in the eastern half of the region (Glasgow area and east) are at or above the average. The western half of the region (Malta and Havre area), however, is at or below average. This same trend was seen in the deer fawn-to-adult ratios that are also conducted during the spring survey.“Fawn to adult ratio is an indicator of over-winter survival as well as new recruitment into the population,” Thompson said. “The 2015 survey showed 55 fawns to 100 adults across the region, which is slightly above the average of 53 fawns to 100 adults. The eastern half of Region 6 saw the higher number of fawns to adults, with 63 fawns to 100 adults, while the western half was at 42 fawns to 100 adults, indicating a slower-growing mule deer population.”“Figures taken from our deer surveys are only one factor in deer management recommendations,” Thompson further explained. “Season-setting and quota-setting decisions made by the Fish & Wildlife Commission also consider prior year’s harvest, weather and habitat factors, as well as additional input gathered from landowners, hunters, the general public and other agencies.”Another pressing factor in managing deer populations is the threat of chronic wasting disease (CWD) that is moving further south in Alberta and Saskatchewan toward the Montana border...For 2015, most Region 6 hunting districts will be managed under the standard regulation for mule deer, which includes either-sex for a general deer license (A-tag), but no additional doe/B-licenses. “The exception to this are hunting districts that were trailing behind in mule deer recovery, according to our surveys,” Thompson said. “These include hunting districts 600, 611, 621, and 622, which will remain as a mule deer buck only for a general deer license, with no doe licenses.” In 2014, all of Montana, including Region 6, restricted mule deer hunting to bucks only.In regards to whitetails, Thompson said surveys have been completed in six areas across Region 6. Due to more uniform habitat, the whitetail surveys tend to look at deer density, as opposed to total numbers, for trends. This year’s surveys show that whitetail populations are approximately 47 percent below average, which is an average of six deer per square mile in the trend areas. This is nearly the same as the 2014 survey... According to past records, current levels of whitetail are similar to what was experienced in the late 1980s.With whitetail numbers still relatively low, and in accordance with recent Fish and Wildlife Commission rule-setting, no antlerless “B” licenses willbe available to hunters anywhere in Region 6 this fall. All whitetail hunting in Region 6 will continue to be either-sex on a general deer license.

FWP Region 6 Mule Deer & Whitetail Deer AerialSurvey Findings Released MFWP

Mule deer photo by FWP technician Ken Plourde

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Page 28: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

28 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Elk Population in the Elkhorns Measured by Air, Phone & Teeth MFWP

The Elkhorn Mountain Range – spanning 300,000 acres of west-central Montana –is an area revered by hunters (both locally and around the world) for its trophy bull elk population and public accessibility.A lucky few get to hunt the Elkhorns (Hunt District 380) with an either-sex permit each year. Against tough odds, thousands of hunters apply for the chance to experience a hunt unlike any other.The allotted number of permits is based on a number of factors – primarily population trends. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists monitor the population through aerial surveys, and through helpful information from hunters (gained through phone surveys and a voluntary tooth return program).In 2014, 120 people were awarded an elk either-sex permit for the Elkhorns, and the phone surveys returned positive results. From the data collected in those calls, biologists estimate 75 hunters harvested a bull elk. And of the 75 bulls estimated to have been harvested, an estimated 68 (90.7%) of them were 6-point or better bulls.Also, 41 of the successful bull elk hunters provided an incisor tooth for aging of their animal. From that biologists determined that the average age of the 2014 harvested bull elk was 8.2 years with an age range of 4 to 15 years.In regard to the total elk population in Hunt District 380, 2,178 elk were observed during this past winter’s aerial elk survey.

Montana ranks third in duck production in the lower 48 states. When the glaciers melted, they left millions of natural depressions—these are the prairie potholes. Just fill these potholes with snowmelt and rainfall, mix with Montana sunshine and the ducks will come.For many ducks, Montana lies at the northern end of the annual migration route that takes ducks thousands of miles through the food-rich interior of the United States to the wetlands of the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, Gulf Coast and Central Valley of California. Unfortunately, a little over a quarter of Montana’s wetlands have been drained or filled, reducing the capacity of the region to attract and sustain breedingducks. An immediate threat is the continuing loss of grassland nestinghabitat. Less grass means fewer nest sites that are safe from predators and a mix of predatory mammals that are decidedly “duck unfriendly.”Fortunately, DU conservation investments are paying off. DU has restored, enhanced and protected more than 43,335 acres in the state. Most of Montana’s wildlife refuges, waterfowl production areas and state wildlife management areas have felt the helping hand of a DU project. DU continues to innovate with land purchases that protect critical habitats, and conservation easements that enable our conservation partners and us to sustain habitat cost effectively while maintaining it in private ownership. This vital work is only possible because of volunteer involvement with Ducks Unlimited. For morevisit www.ducks.org today.

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Page 29: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

29July 2015


The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation awarded $50,000 in grant funding to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) and Wildlife Services to assist Montana with its wolf management plan implementation.“RMEF stands behind the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation which calls for the management of all species so their populations will be sustained forever,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Predator management is a key principle in the model. And in Montana, we have a wolf population that far exceeds minimum objectives so we need to obtain more data to enhance the science of estimating wolf numbers so we can have more accurate information to assist in overall effective management.”The funding goes toward additional collaring for wolves in order to expand the science related to wolf pack locations, size and home ranges. More specifically, GPS collars will be deployed to help refine the Patch Occupancy Model for estimating wolf numbers and number of packs. The expectation is to use the modeling in conjunction with harvest surveys to have a less labor-intensive method of estimating wolf populations.With the onset of hunting seasons, wolf packs seem to be smaller in size yet the number of breeding pairs reportedly increased from a year ago. The goal of this research utilizing collars is to gain a better understanding of the new population dynamics of wolves in a hunted population.

Montana reported a 2014 minimum wolf population of 554 animals but biologists maintain the actual on-the-ground count is 27 to 37 percent higher. If you do the math, that places Montana’s wolf population somewhere between 705 to 760 which is still more than 400 percent above minimum objectives.“The bottom line is it’s extremely difficult to manage wolves toward a given objective unless managers know how many wolves there are on the landscape. This grant funding will help FWP determine just that,” added Allen.RMEF supports state-regulated hunting and trapping as preferred tools of wolf management. RMEF also remains committed to learning more about wolves and their effect on elk and other prey through research efforts. In the last three-plus years, RMEF awarded approximately $300,000 in grants specifically for wolf management.

Montana Receives RMEF Grant to Bolster Wolf Management Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation www.rmef.org

Page 30: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

30 - Hunting & Fishing News


North Dakota Game and Fish Department fisheries personnel will stock a record number of walleye lakes in the coming weeks.

Fisheries production and development supervisor Jerry Weigel said 130 waters are scheduled to receive a share of 9 million fingerlings.

“We need every available pond at Garrison Dam and Valley City fish hatcheries to meet a 9 million walleye fingerling request,” Weigel said.

The growth of walleye lakes, according to Weigel, is directly correlated to the rapid increase in the number of public fishing waters in the state.

“We now manage about 420 waters and 346,000 acres, excluding the Missouri River System,” Weigel said. “In the last five years alone we have stocked more than 48 million walleye fingerlings in the state, in addition to salmon, trout, pike, bass and panfish.”

Department personnel spent an additional three weeks of spawning efforts to meet this year’s record production. In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s hatchery staff plays a vital role in the growth of the state’s fisheries.

“There is no doubt we have had a successful operation because of the great relationship we have with both hatcheries,” Weigel said.

NDGF to Stock Record Number of Walleye Lakes

© Rebecca Hermanson | Dreamstime.com

North Dakota’s 2015 deer season is set, with 43,275 licenses available to hunters this fall, 4,725 fewer than last year, and the lowest number since 1978.Jeb Williams, wildlife chief for the State Game and Fish Department, said deer populations remain well below management objectives in most units, and continuing a conservative management approach is needed to help with recovery efforts.Any-antlerless (down 2,650 from last year) and any-antlered (down 1,150) licenses make up the majority of the reduction, while antlerless whitetail (down 800) and antlered whitetail (down 650) account for the remainder.On a positive note, Williams said the mule deer population in the badlands increased for the third consecutive year, with numbers showing the spring mule deer index is up 24 percent from last year.However, as was the case the past four years, there are no antlerless mule deer licenses available in units 3B1, 3B2, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 4E and 4F. This applies to regular gun, resident and nonresident any-deer bow, gratis and youth licenses.The number of licenses available for 2015 includes 1,875 for antlered mule deer, an increase of 525 from last year; 828 for muzzleloader, down 104 from last year; and 187 restricted youth antlered mule deer, an increase of 53 from last year.North Dakota’s 2015 deer gun season opens Nov. 6 at noon and continues through Nov. 22. Online applications for regular deer gun, youth, muzzleloader, and resident gratis and nonresident landowner licenses are available through the Game and Fish Department’s website at www.gf.nd.gov ...Total deer licenses are determined by harvest rates, aerial surveys, depredation reports, hunter observations, input at advisory board meetings, and comments from the public, landowners and department field staff.

Deer Hunting Licenses Lowest Since 1978

Rainbow Trout On The Comeback Throughout Colorado

After being devastated by whirling disease in the 1990s, rainbow trout populations are increasing in most major rivers in the state thanks to a 20-year effort by Colorado Parks and Wildlife aquatic scientists and biologists. “It’s been a long road, but bringing back populations of fish that were essentially extirpated from Colorado can only be called a huge success,” said George Schisler, CPW’s aquatic research team leader who is based in Fort Collins. The comeback is positive news for anglers who can once again fish for rainbows and brown trout in Colorado’s big rivers and streams. For the past 15 years brown trout have dominated most of the state’s rivers. But since last summer, anglers have reported that they are catching nice size rainbows in the upper Colorado, Rio Grande, upper Gunnison, Poudre, East, Taylor, Arkansas and Yampa rivers and others. The whirling disease problem started in 1986 when a private hatchery unknowingly imported infected rainbow trout from Idaho that were stocked in 40 different waters in Colorado. The disease eventually spread throughout the state and even infected CPW hatcheries which caused more waters to be infected...At a national conference on whirling disease in Denver in 2002, a German researcher presented information that showed trout at a hatchery in Germany, operated by a family named Hofer, were resistant to the parasite. Colorado’s aquatic staff moved quickly to import eggs from Germany which were hatched at the University of California at Davis. The fingerlings were then brought to CPW’s Bellvue hatchery near Fort Collins...CPW biologists have been stocking fingerling Hofer-crosses throughout the state at different sizes and times of year to optimize survival. The young fish are surviving and Schisler is confident that Colorado’s rivers and streams are again home to truly wild rainbows...

Page 31: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

31July 2015


Wyoming’s kokanee salmon record, which has stood since 2009 was broken earlier this month thanks to the efforts of Lyons, Colorado angler George Sharman. Sharman caught a 6.31 pound kokanee while fishing at Flaming Gorge Reservoir.

Sharman’s fish was 25.25 inches long and had a girth of 14 inches. It bested the previous state record caught in 2009 also out of Flaming Gorge by a little less than an ounce. Coincidentally, the previous record was caught six years ago, also in June.

Sharman, who fishes Flaming Gorge once a year, said he was fishing primarily for kokanee just outside Buckboard Marina. Fishing had been fairly quiet and earlier that day their party had boated one rainbow and a smaller kokanee. He was fishing at a depth of around 30 feet when the record fish took his chartreuse Rocky Mountain Assassin lure. Sharman knew he had a big fish, but after checking the Game and Fish website’s State Record Fish listing on his phone and weighing the fish on a portable scale in the boat, he knew he had a chance at the state record. His record was later confirmed that day on a certified scale at Buckboard Marina.

Kokanee are found in a number of waters in Wyoming and other states. The world record weighing 9 pounds 10 ounces was caught in Oregon in 2010.

A complete listing of Wyoming state record fish is on the Game and Fish website www.wgfd.wyo.gov.

New State Record Kokanee Caught Out Of Flaming Gorge

Booming populations of ducks and geese should mean another long hunting season and a liberal bag limit in Utah this fall. On June 4, members of the Utah Wildlife Board approved another 107-day duck and goose hunting season. They also approved a daily bag limit of seven ducks and four Canada geese.The number of canvasback, hen mallard, pintail, redhead and scaup ducks you can have in your seven-duck daily bag limit will likely be limited, though. And the season for scaup will likely run for 86 days.Blair Stringham says biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are completing their annual survey of the number of duck breeding pairs and ponds on the Canadian prairies and the prairie pothole region of the United States.Stringham, migratory game bird coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says in August, the DWR will know for sure if the recommendations the board approved fall within the final guidelines given by the USFWS.“Overall,” he says, “duck and goose populations are doing really well. I think Utah hunters can expect a long season this fall.”If the length of the season and the bag limits the USFWS approves are more restrictive than those approved by the Wildlife Board, Stringham says the DWR will go with the maximum season length and bag limits the USFWS will allow.The final rules will be available in the 2015–2016 Utah Waterfowl Guidebook. The free guidebook will be available by early September.If you have questions about this fall’s waterfowl hunt, call the nearest Division of Wildlife Resources office or the DWR’s Salt Lake City office at 801-538-4700.

Get Ready for a Long Waterfowl Season

Super Hunt Winners Draw Hunts Of A Lifetime

Idaho’s first Super Hunt drawing of 2015 is complete and 26 lucky hunters have won the hunt of a lifetime.All winners have been notified. Drawing results will be posted on Fish and Game’s website at https://fishandgame.idaho.gov/content/superhunt.The winners were:- Deer: 1 Idaho hunter, 2 from Utah, 2 from California, 1 from Washington, Nevada and Oregon.- Elk: 8 Idaho hunters.- Pronghorn: 3 Idaho hunters, 4 from California, 1 from Utah.- Moose: 1 Idaho hunter.- Combo: 1 Idaho hunter.Of the 38,870 entries, 15,947 were for eight deer tags, 12,150 were for eight elk tags, 3,044 were for eight pronghorn tags, 5,283 were for one moose tag, and 2,446 entries were for the Super Hunt Combo, which includes a tag for each of the four species.Winners of Super Hunt tags for a deer, elk, pronghorn or moose can take an animal in any open hunt, in addition to any general season or controlled hunt tags they also hold. All other rules of individual hunts apply.The second Super Hunt drawing will be in mid-August when another “Super Hunt Combo” and entries for two elk, two deer, two pronghorn, and one moose hunt will be drawn. The entry period for the second drawing continues through August 10.Super Hunt entries are $6 each and Super Hunt Combo entries are $20 each. No license is needed to enter either drawing and there is no limit to the number of entries. Hunters may enter the drawings...on the Internet athttp://fishandgame.idaho.gov/buy_online or by calling 800-554-8685...Orders must be received at Fish and Game no later than August 10...

Page 32: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

32 - Hunting & Fishing News




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Early training for gun dogs, often paired with older ones, also works well to bring your young canine along. (Yamaha Outdoors Photo)

I’ve hunted with and owned all manner of gun dogs: pointing breeds, flushing lines, retrievers and hounds. If I know one thing, the bond you build early when that canine is a pup will last a lifetime. And this isn’t to say older dogs can’t learn plenty, too. Many can. Five tips follow:

TIP # 1: It’s a myth an indoor dog can’t hunt well outdoors in the field. Build the bond by spending as much time as possible with that hunting pup from the time you bring it home. This includes the off-season, and definitely when the season is open.

TIP # 2: Early on, say at eight weeks of age, train by association and enthusiasm, taking that dog everywhere you go if possible. This helps with socialization. Introduce it to other dogs early as well. This will help you in hunting camp – though true enough, any time unfamiliar dogs get together, adjustments might need made.

TIP # 3: For road trips and local flash hunts, crate train your pup from the start by encouraging it to view his or her dog box as a place of comfort and refuge. Never use the crate for punishment, and only as a safe place to kennel the dog on your trips from home and back.

TIP # 4: What you teach them early will likely stick with your dog their entire lives. This includes mistakes you make. Early obedience training in a calm, comfortable setting will obviously help when hunting and at home. Offer concise commands during ongoing instruction. Sit, stay, kennel up, come, and so on work better than a string of incoherent words and sentences. You’ll only confuse the dog that way.

TIP # 5: Four or five months of age is a good time to step up obedience training, though again it starts the moment the dog comes home with you. For retrievers, use dummy exercises to unleash and stylize abilities you’ll later use when hunting. For pointing dogs, get them on released or wild birds, laws permitting. Same goes for other hunting breeds.

A dose of patience and steady, thoughtful effort will create a great potential bond.

Early Training for Gun Dogs By Steve Hickoff Yamaha Outdoor Tips

Page 33: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

33July 2015

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It’s satisfying to catch fish with a pattern you’ve tied. It’s even better after riding your Yamaha ATV or SxS to your favorite fishing water. Carry these five in your fly box.WOOLLY BUGGER Cross a big nymph with a streamer—this is the result. More specifically, this big fly—often tied on a 6-10 size hook—imitates many a prey species, from a stonefly nymph to a crayfish, leech, even a small baitfish. Versatility rules: you can fish it on either sinking or floating line as the water depth and speed dictates. Olive, brown and black are popular colors.POPPING BUG Popping bugs—a.k.a. “poppers”—have a dished-out froglike face. Twitch your rod tip or jerk your line a little on a still summer pond, and an audible plop or pop can be heard. As top-water options, poppers can be fished slow or fast. Cast it. Let the ripples fade. Twitch the popper. Even make it dive a bit... MOSQUITO Can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, the saying goes. It’s no secret adult mosquitos inhabit places we fish. As a dry-fly pattern imitating this pest, cast it upstream above rising fish. Allow drift without drag. Get ready for action. Use a floating line with a tapering leader to add realism. Sizes range from 12-20. While this imitative pattern represents a mosquito, it also can appear to be a mayfly. The visual upside: it’s fairly easy to see this surface-floating dry fly and as a fish rises to strike.HOPPER As with popping bugs, hoppers can be fished with a kick-and-swim retrieving movement. They imitate grasshoppers. The water surface plop draws strikes. Hoppers are tied in widely varying styles. Where stream banks are grassy and overgrown in summer, this live terrestrial will accidentally fall in the water. Trout often strike the imitation of this real insect with a fury, as do pond bass...WORM Yep, you could dig them, but then you’d be bait fishing...This worm imitation might push the envelope of “fly-tying” sensibility, sure. Tie it pink, red, tan, olive, or whatever other color suits you. There are times when fish—trout and bass alike—will take them. Use this option when you’re searching for fish in a sub-surface setting.

5 Patterns for Summer Fly-Fishing

Page 34: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

34 - Hunting & Fishing News

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I’ve always been athletic. Not a big guy but in high school I played baseball and football and while in Japan got into martial arts. I also did martial arts and some weight training while in the AF, Security Forces. In my junior year of college at Florida State, (Go Noles) weighing in at a whopping 128 lbs, I got into weight training and two years later while at the U of Illinois, got into body building. As I said, I was not a big guy but I was dedicated, worked out extra hard and started drinking a daily morning protein shake to help put some pounds and muscle on. Later I got into competitive body buildingwhile working for PSE and that really increased both the work outs and the supplements. If Arnold recommended it, I took it. Hell, if anyone recommended it I took it. At one time I was taking over 31 different suppliments to increase strength, stamina, energy and muscle.The only thing I didn’t do was steroids. My last contest before I moved to Tucson in 1980 with PSE was the Mr. Chicagoland. I was a month away from 40 and the oldest guy in the contest and weighed in at 154 lbs.Well I never competed after that so I cut down on the supplements. Besides they were making me goofy. I did continue to hit the weights. Between running Hawk Associates my advertising agency and bowhunting.net with Robert Hoague my life has not slowed down and has actually gotten more hectic since moving to Green Valley, AZ a couple of years ago. Today, I’m more active than ever before. I hit the weights three times a week but I also play tennis three times a week, golf, and go dancing with my wife once a week, etc. There isn’t a day I don’t do something physical. At 71 though I have to admit I was starting to run out of gas. For some unexplainable reason I didn’t seem to have the strength or the energy I had just 20 years ago. So when my friend Tracy Breen sent me some PR on a company he was working with, I decided to give Wilderness Athlete a try.I went to the site and placed my order thinking ‘what the heck, can’t hurt’ I thought. I ordered the 28 Day Challenge because it had just about everything I wanted. About a week later the box arrived.

Here is what I got.

28 Day Challenge Guide & Tracker2 Tubs of Meal Replacement ShakeTub of Hydrate & RecoverTub of Energy & FocusBottle of Multi-VitaminsBottle of Lean LifeTub of Green Infusion

I also ordered their Ultimate Pre-Work Out, a couple of caps, short sleeve T-Shirt and long sleeve shirt. I was ready to see if this stuff was as good as what I bought religiously, decades ago, from the Master Blaster himself, Joe Weider of Muscle and Fitness Magazine.

I haven’t taken the Lean Life but will start as I’m slowly putting some extra weight on. But, on to the trial. I started the mornings with a Meal Replacement shake; 1 banana, 3 fresh eggs, handful of peanuts, tablespoon of peanut butter, tablespoon of honey, some almonds, good scoop of frozen yogurt, tablespoon of Chia seeds, cup of frozen blueberries, scoop of the Meal Replacement powder and Green Infusion topped off with non-fat milk. Then on work out day, Tues, Thur and Sat about 30 minutes before I headed to the gym I took 3 or 4 Pre-Work Out pills. On those days I made the shake after the work out.

Wilderness Athlete By Rich Walton

Reprinted with permission from Bowhunting.netFor more please go to: www.bowhunting.net

Page 35: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

35July 2015

I took the Multi Vitamins as directed and every day for lunch I had a glass with the Energy & Focus. When I played tennis or golf I added to a bottle of water, a scoop of Energy and Focus and Hydrate and Recover that I drank during play. I used to buy Gator Aid by the containers of powder so I could mix my own but I’m now hooked on Hydrate and Recover as it doesn’t have the sugar.My weight training work outs are usually full body. I change the routine around but generally start with some stretching, then trunk twist on the machine and crunches on the incline board for abs. I then do three sets of leg extensions and curls and finish with 3 sets of 30 reps of leg presses 200 lbs. Then I do three sets of back at 100 lbs, 10 reps each, then chest, incline presses and 3 sets of flys. Then shoulders followed by curls and tricep push downs, 3 sets of 10 shrugs with 55 lb dumbbells and finish up with 30 sit ups and some stretching. I noticed on my first work out with the Pre-Work Out pills that I had more energy. It was no fluke. Over the next two weeks everything was increasing in energy and strength. I would hit the gym at 5:30 am, work until 3 pm and then play golf. I would play three sets of tennis during the off days and just never got tired. My sit up routine went from 50 sit ups to 80. I increased not only the reps of each exercise but also the weight. I cut the time between sets in half, to less than a minute and in the second week I added a day of aerobics with the rowing machine starting at 15 minutes and then 30, and stationary bike where I would ride for 15 minutes and while seated I would do 3 sets of 100 hammer curls with 10lb dumbbells.I felt like Superman. Honestly, I have spent the past 40 years working out, competing, taking huge amounts of pills, proteins, etc, etc etc. I have never felt the boost I got from any product, ever, like the boost I got from these products from Wilderness Athlete.I told myself when I moved to Tucson with PSE in 1980 that I would compete in a body building contest…when I was 70. Yeah, easy to say when you are 40 and bullet proof. Well two years ago I tore my Rotator cuff in three places and was out of sports for 5 months. I ballooned up to 198 lbs. I discovered when a body is at rest and consuming larger quantities of Scotch and Lays Potato chips followed by a large tasty meal capped off with a bowl of ice cream, it’s really easy to put a few pounds on. OK, more than a few. It really took its toll and dragged me down. When ready, I went back in the gym with a purpose. I was really ready to get back to 175. I did. Got back doing everything I love to do but, life’s a never ending challenge for the active senior. First month back on the courts I tore a hamstring. Healed and then blew out three discs in my lower back...Undaunted and undeterred I just kept pushing and soon, got back playing and training. So, right on course, two weeks into my trial of the Wilderness Athlete products I tore the medial meniscus in my right knee. I’m in week six and have just started back in the gym, some tennis and golf. When I tore the knee I went off all the products. Wouldn’t be fair to try and continue to evaluate the products if I couldn’t put them really to the test.So, I started them again this past Tuesday, went to the gym and I will continue to use them through my total recovery and beyond....Right in the middle of my recouping time I had the pleasure of speakingto Mark Paulson the power behind this incredible company and its products. Mark knows a thing or two about sports and commitment, about pushing the human body to extremes and the drive it takes to be an athlete who never gives up, never quits and never take defeat lying down. He also knows the fuel necessary. He has assembled an educated, inspired team of professionals who have formulated what I personally consider to be the best products available today for the athlete who wants the best in their body so they can get the best out of it. Mark Paulson: “We all love our gear and the latest gadgets but the undeniable fact remains that the most important piece of equipment you own is you! Take care of yourself and you can hunt well into your twilight years, neglect your health and the odds are stacked against you”.If you want the fuel to be able to get the most out of everything you do, from extreme sports, to hunting, hiking, mountain climbing, biking, and everything in between, do yourself a favor, go here, www.wildernessathlete.com , check out the products and the people who make them happen and then order. I’m sure you will be as satisfied as I am at the results...

Page 36: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

36 - Hunting & Fishing News

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By Mark Kayser

If you’re a hardcore Montana hunter I want to give you something to think about. Don’t squander the warm-weather months. Sure it’s nice to enjoy a weekend fly-fishing at the lake or a day at the ballpark, but there are also lots of scouting and preseason chores you can combine into a weekend of fun. If you want to get some hunt planning completed and still enjoy some downtime, consider these options.

-SCOUT LAND-Whether you hunt whitetails or elk, summer is a great time to scout out new locations. Have you ever dreamed of hunting a new location in Big Sky Country? Have you always dreamed of a backcountry elk or mule deer hunt, or river-bottom whitetail hunt? Plan your summer vacation around that very prospect. Look up a highly-rated tourist retreat near where you want to scout and plan a weekend getaway. You can check out huntingprospects in the mornings or afternoons while the family lounges at the pool. Montana has dozens of national treasures including Glacier and Yellowstone National parks. Combine these big attractions with stops at state parks and your family will learn as much as you do from your side excursions.

Take your Nikons (www.nikonsportoptics.com) along. They’ll come in handy looking at the sights and for scoping out hunting prospects at dawn, and dusk.

A couple summers ago my family headed to the mountains for a weekend of camping, but the destination also doubled as a possible, future elk hunting area. Our camp was set up on a high mesa that provided everyone with a great 360-degree view, cool breezes and unlimited outdoor adventure. In the mornings and evenings I snuck off to glass for elk, check out water sources and learn the roads in, and around the area. Last year a buddy of mine drew a premium elk tag for the very same unit.

With my summer scouting I already knew the area well and how the elk used it. I joined him on the hunt and

it only took two days for him to score on a mature six-point bull. Some of his success has to be

acknowledged as luck, but much of it came fromsummer scouting and knowing the country.

Page 37: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

37July 2015

By Mark Kayser

-SCOUT HUNTING CAMP-Either separate or in coordination with your summer scouting of a new locale, keep your eyes open for a hunting camp...In some remote communities you may even be able to rent old ranch houses for a comfortable camp. Put an ad online or in a local paper and you may find an affordablehunting camp with ease. If you want to go the wall tent route then your scouting can easily be combined with a family outing. Be on the hunt for a campsite that offers easy access to your hunting area, water and protection from the elements. You may also stumble across a cheap cabin or possibly a lodge with all the amenities. In any case, pack along all of your hunting camp gear and give it a good test. It’s better to learn that your camp stove is malfunctioning in the summer as opposed to November when the temperatures require a hot cup of coffee.

In addition to summer camping with the family, my son and I also do a summer horseback trip to our remote elk camp. We visit the camp, prepare the area for our tent by clearing ground debris and make sure the setup is ready for livestock. It’s a great preseason trip to ensure that camp is ready, the horses are in shape and our gear is ready for a week in the autumn wilderness.

-SCOUT ACCESS-Finally, do some fancy footwork. Summer is a great time to check out backdoor trails for whitetail ambush sites in addition to placing trail cameras. You don’t want to stumble through a whitetail bedroom in October and preseason planning can help you avoid this dilemma while mapping out sneaky routes. In the backcountry you’ll need to find trails to get you into animals quickly and efficiently. Oftentimes you’ll be hiking these in the dark so doing a daylight hike with the family makes sense to get a feel for the way in and out. Take along a lunch, mark waypoints on your Garmin (www.garmin.com) and enjoy a day in the mountains. Not only will you learn the country, but the hike will also test you to see if you’re in hunting shape. Do this early enough in the summer and you’ll still have a few months to cut the extra pounds, and train for optimum hunting strength.

On my summer scouting hikes I also weight down my pack to an equal amount as I’ll be carrying in the fall. This gives me even more of an indicator on how much additional training I’ll need and if the terrain is too intense for a day hunt. Some areas may look easy to access on Google Earth, but when you add a pack and limited hours of daylight the area may not be suitable for a simple day of hunting. It could require a backcountry camp.

Summer is a time to take a breath and relax, but remember, hunting season is just around the corner.

CONTACT INFORMATIONTo keep up with Mark Kayser visit him on Facebook looking under Mark Kayser, Public Figure: (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Kayser/119789001392664?ref=ts&fref=ts)

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Page 38: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

There`s unique, and then there’s UNEEK - the new sandal from KEEN. Using innovative two cord construction, KEEN UNEEK molds to your feet for the perfect fit. The two cords and a simple, free-moving cord junction design allow the upper to move and adapt to the shape of your foot. This construction provides freedom of movement while providing security and structure. The lightweight PU midsole delivers durability and comfort while the high traction rubber outsole with razor siping ensures secure footing. Now that`s UNEEK. FEATURES:Available in Men’s and Women’sMetatomical footbedMicrofiber footbed coverMicrofiber heel backNon-marking rubber outsoleRazor siping for improved ground tractionPolyester braided cord with nylon core for increased strength

38 - Hunting & Fishing News


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Benchmade H2O Fixed Blade Knife

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Benchmade`s new water knives offer great corrosion resistance, cutting ability and edge retention in durable and easy to use designs.FEATURES: Blade Length: 3.50”Blade Thickness: 0.124”Handle Thickness: 0.590”Blade Material: N680 Ultra StainlessBlade Hardness: 57-59HRCBlade Style: SheepsfootWeight: 3.20oz.Pocket Clip: Sheath IncludedLock Mechanism: FixedOverall Length: 8.07”Class: BlueSheath Material: Molded Thermoplastic with Thumb Release

With a sleek rechargeable design and excellent fore-aft balance, the 130-lumen Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp is a versatile, all-weather light that’s ideal for high-impact use on the trail or the skin track. A red taillight strobe in the rear adds visibility in urban areas, and the lithium polymer battery recharges through a USB port in 5 hours.FEATURES:DoublePower LED with 130 lumens (max setting) projects a strong, oval beamSettings include full strength, dimming and strobeRegulated for constant illumination on all brightness settings

Capture incredible moments and relive them on the spot. HERO+ LCD delivers 1080p60 video and 8MP photos, and features the convenience of a touch display. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® connect to the GoPro App to allow for shot preview, total camera control and easy content sharing to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and more from your phone or tablet. Rugged and waterproof to 131’ with the ability to power up and record at the press of a button, HERO+ LCD is the convenient life capture solution for all of your adventures. See these and other fine products at one of the 5 Montana Bob Ward’sSports & Outdoors stores or shop 24/7 at www.bobwards.com


Page 39: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

39July 2015

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ANTELOPE NUMBERS ACROSS 6 STATES(continued from page 5)

Nevada Nevada has found significant success through conservation efforts. The state’s dedicated trap and transfer measures during the late 1980s and early 1990s have helped the antelope population rise from about 9,000 to 27,000 statewide. This growth has meant significant opportunity for hunters. According to Nevada Department of Wildlife public information officer, Chris Healy, Nevada antelope hunters had 3,814 tags available last year. This represents a 3% increase over what was available in 2012 and a 40% increase from the past 10-year average. Total antelope harvest in 2013 was 2,330, a 5% increase over what was harvested in 2012 and a 27% increase over the last 10-year average. Buck harvest actually declined slightly from the 2012 level while female harvest rose 100% over the previous year due to an increase in tag availability. A total of 762 tags were available across 15 unit groups targeting female antelope in an attempt to reduce rancher conflicts, maintain herds within compromised carrying capacities, or provide hunting opportunities. During these hunts a total of 408 adult does were harvested by hunters.

New Mexico Antelope populations across much of New Mexico have been in decline over the past three decades. Poor fawn survival has plagued antelope populations in recent years and is suspected to be the primary driver of population declines. According to New Mexico Department of Fish and Game’s deer and pronghorn biologist, Ryan Darr, the “loss of suitable grassland habitats exacerbated by drought has potentially made antelope fawns more susceptible to predation leading to low fawn survival.” Each year, the Department collects composition data to determine buck:doe ratios and fawn:doe ratios across select game management units. Five-year regional averages are displayed below.

New Mexico regional buck:doe and fawn:doe ratiosRegion Bucks: 100 does Fawns: 100 doesNE 38 34NW 32 33SE 32 26SW 36 25Statewide 35 29Darr notes that the “most robust and stable populations in the state remain in the Northeast Area and on the Plains of San Augustin (around GMU 16E). These locations host an abundance of healthy grasslands as required for pronghorn survival and population growth. Moderate populations are found in portions of the Southeast Area. Antelope are more isolated and in lower numbers in the Northwest and Southwest Areas. Despite overall population trends for the state, many areas of New Mexico continue to provide hunters with the opportunity to take an antelope. Quality bucks can also be found throughout the state, but most trophies come from the northeastern quarter of the state and the Plains of San Augustin — including the new B&C World Record taken in 2013.”

Wyoming Wyoming’s antelope populations have been declining rapidly over the past decade. Just several years ago in 2010, there were more than 500,000 antelope in the state. Today, that number has dropped to slightly more than 400,000. According to Senior Wildlife Biologist Grant Frost much of this can be attributed to poor habitat conditions that did not allow antelope to sustain numbers or rebound from population declines as quickly as they used to. The drought over the past several years has also posed additional challenges, but the state has seen above average precipitation since then and in 2014, there was much better fawn survival.

“We should see our first increase in several years in estimated population when biologists finish their year-end work and reports. Another few years like 2014 would do wonders for habitat condition, nutritional status, and antelope survival and numbers,” explains Frost...

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Page 40: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

40 - Hunting & Fishing News

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Mossberg 4×4 Rifle in 22-250 Remington By Norman Gray, POMA Member ammoland.comMany summers ago as a young boy, social networking simply meant getting in the family car, driving across country and ending up at the family picnic that was held each summer.But what made it all worthwhile was watching my two uncle’s debate for what seemed like hours on the speed of the bullets fired from their 22-250 Remington and 220 Swift rifles.Knowing what I know now, I’m thinking it would have ended everyone’s misery sooner if they had just ran them through a ballistic chronograph.But then again, I wouldn’t have these fond childhood memories to speak of and it was those events and others like them that incited my lifelong love of firearms.Today those arguments are a moot point since I can just fire ten rounds and lay to rest those nagging questions about cartridge velocities. In this writer’s humble opinion it has already been resolved by the many sportsman who use the 22-250 Remington in the field every day.You have only to go to your local gun shop or sporting goods store and examine the shelves to see what caliber dominates the shelves.Sure there are new varmint calibers flooding the market every year, but the 22-250 Remington still holds its own. That’s simply because of the vast choices of manufactured ammo and its re-loading flexibility with the many types of bullets and powders on the market.The 22-250 Remington has an interesting past that dates back to 1915 and its parent cartridge the 250-3000 Savage. Unfortunately there has also developed a blur in history about the original date of origin of the first 22-250 cartridge. Harvey Donaldson, Grosvenor Wotkyns, J.E. Gebby, J.B. Smith and John Sweany all worked on versions of the 22-250. J.B. Gebby and J.B. Smith are commonly credited with present configuration in 1937. What made it confusing was the different versions of the 22-250 that existed then, Gebby’s version was named the .22 Varminter and he held a copyright on that name. The Wotkyns cartridge was the forerunner to the 220 Swift and Winchester used the 6mm Lee Navy case rather than the 250 Savage for their version.So we may never know who is wholly responsible for the 22-250 Remington cartridge, but I expect to see it for many more years to come.In the end, time washed out most others, but firearms manufacturers know the 22-250 sells rifles. In fact it’s so popular that all American, English and European firearms manufacturers have at least one model chambered in the 22-250 Remington in their inventory.

Of course the cartridge is nothing without a delivery system to send it on its way and Mossberg’s 4×4 Rifle does this job quite well.Now I have always been a fan of beautiful wood stocks and gun metal, so it was only natural that the laminate stock and marinecoat configuration of the Mossberg 4×4 caught my eye. Polymer and stainless have their place, especially in rough and wet environments, but these two esthetic features combined with the Hawke Optics matt black Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32×56 SR Pro ( tiny.cc/ykr0yx ) made for a work of art you can hunt with. But not to worry, if you are a fan of the conventional walnut or black synthetic stocks and matt blue finish, they have that too.My sample 4×4 starts with a 24” brushed nickel fluted barrel and free floats it in their laminate stock. This barrel has a 1:14 inch twist rate for stabilizing bullets from 50 grains and up and Mossberg also offers you the choice of a 1:10 and 1:9.5 twist. The purpose of the fluting is to lighten the barrels weight slightly and to aid in cooling during extended firing sessions. The muzzle crown is recessed to give your rifle the most protection possible in the field, so if dropped on the muzzle it will help protect your accuracy.The stocks forend has five vent holes strategically placed on both sides to aid in barrel cooling as well as checkering for a positive grip with or without gloves.The stock is very ergonomically cut to feel good in your hands and the rear of the stock has a cheek rest built in to raise your head for use with optics. It is completed with a well fitted recoil pad and two black sling studs.The 4×4’s action is right handed and controls are simple and easy to reach with the shooting hand. We start with Mossberg’s LBA (Lighting Bolt Action) trigger system which allows the shooter to adjust the trigger pull from 2 to 7 pounds. This is a great feature for long distance shooting and allows you to focus on the target not the trigger pull. The trigger is factory set to two pounds and is crisp and short and greatly enhances the shooters experience in the field or range. The trigger guard is generous enough for a gloved hand to operate the trigger. At the rear of the bolt on the right side is the safety lever, a small red dot is exposed when the lever is forward indicating FIRE and to the rear it is covered indicating SAFE. The left side is where the bolt release lever is located and is protected from accidental release by a shield that extends off the rear of the bolt.To release the bolt, drop the magazine and clear the rifle of any live ammunition and while retracting the bolt press the bolt release lever and remove the bolt, and to replace it just reverse the operation. Also on the rear of the bolt is a cocking indicator, when the round flat end of the striker is flush with the end of the bolt it’s cocked and when it is recessed it’s un-cocked. The top of the receiver is drilled and tapped to accept weaver style mounts and rings and does not come with any factory sights. At the bottom of the rifle in front of the detachable 5 round magazine is the magazine release lever, simply pull forward and the magazine will drop free. With one round in the chamber the total capacity is 5+1 rounds where allowed by law.With a varmint rifle capable of shooting a 55 grain bullet almost 4000 feet per second out to ranges of 200 yards and beyond, great optics are not necessarily that mandatory. I learned early about the value of a high quality optics in Sniper School and when varmint shooting this is where great glass proves its worth. I worked with Hawke Optics to find the perfect long distance scope that would allow me to wring out the full potential of the 22-250 cartridge. I chose their new Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32×56 SR Pro for many reasons but my top five were, magnification, illuminated reticle, 4” side wheel for parallax adjustment, adjustable sniper style turrets and the Ballistic Recital Calculator software...Shooting the Mossberg 4×4 was very pleasant as the 22-250 is not a hard recoiling cartridge. The rifles combined weight with the Hawke Sidewinder 30 SF 8-32×56 SR Pro and five rounds of ammunition comes in at 10.5 lbs. Since most varmint hunting is done from a stationary position the weight makes the rifle more stable for longer distance shots.Overall I was very pleased with fit and finish. Mossberg spiral cut the bolt, also known as bolt flutes and this offers a very nice esthetic touch to the rifle. As time rolled on the bolt became more fluid and smoothed out nicely, something I can imagine will get better with age and use. As I said earlier I appreciate a great trigger pull and at two pounds it makes each shot better than the last...

AmmoLand photo

Mossberg 4×4 Rifle and Hawke Sidewinder 30 SF 8 32×56 SR Pro makes an impressive team for varmint slaying

Page 41: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

41July 2015

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42 - Hunting & Fishing News

Page 43: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

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RECIPE CORNERKris Winkelman www.winkelman.comMarinated Duck Breast with Bacon Hors d’oeuvresIngredients:4 duck breasts (deboned)1 cup milk1/2 cup red wine1/4 cup vegetable oilMarinate duck breast in milk overnight. Drain & pat dry. Mix red wine, vegetable oil, soy sauce & garlic. Marinate duck for 3 hours. Drain, pat dry, and wrap bacon around each breast. Grill 7 minutes on each side until duck breasts are done. Slice and serve with sauce.Easy sauce to add for dipping: Rhubarb & strawberry jam – 3 tbspWhite vinegar – 1 tspMix and simmer on low heat until jam is melted

1/4 cup soy sauce4 pieces of bacon1 tsp crushed garlic

The trick of waterfowl deception lies in concealment: location, natural appearance, and camouflage apparel. Build that blind now to hunt game time later. Photo Steve Hickoff

You have land and water to waterfowl hunt. Secure success by building blinds now. LET’S GET SERIOUS: Take your blind building and placement seriously. Don’t mail it in, but plan it. Make a sketch. Think like an artist. You’re trying to get this blind to fit into the natural landscape. It’s fun, and buddies can even get involved in the planning.HAUL IT IN, OUT: From hammers to handsaws to natural blow-down materials from the nearby habitat, you can haul it all there in the back of your Yamaha ATV or Side-by-Side vehicle. Seek landowner permission as always, checking legal state regulations as well. Make return trips during the pre-season. It’ll keep you in the game until you’re out there hunting.THINK INVISIBLE: Some guys actually dig out an area for their blind and insert fiberglass pits. Down there in the marsh and mud, they’re looking up, with only their heads exposed—and only at the shot. It’s a good trick. Again, check to see if your state allows this. The trick of deception knows no boundaries, law willing.LESS IS MORE: Other times, less is more in some cases, so avoid making your blind stand out by working on it too much! Find another spot someplace else as a backup. It doesn’t hurt to have many different blind options to keep shooting fresh during the season to come.KEEP IT REAL: Realism is the key. Ever hear of matching the hatch in fly-fishing? Of course you have. It’s the same deal in blind building—sort of. Use natural and manmade camouflage material to do the job. Don’t put birch branches where there are none. One of the coolest blinds I ever gunned out of was on New Hampshire’s Great Bay where a landowner had granted me permission. That hide consisted entirely of rocks. I’ve also hunted mud and stick blinds, and some that looked like lodges with cooking facilities.CHECK IT OUT: Does it look right, this off-season, just-built blind? Will it stand the test of wary eyes come opening day? Check it out now from different perspectives. Ride there with a buddy or two on your four-wheelers, and ask them (if they haven’t been involved in the construction process): “Can you guys find the blind?” View it from a good distance to simulate what ducks or geese would see—helicopters optional.Scout new places during blind-making efforts, and have fun four-wheeling in the process. Get out there whenever you can.

Elk Tips Outdoor Gear OPENS In Deer LodgeDieter Kaboth giving elk calling seminar July 11thElk Tips Outdoor Gear, an archery proshop and TechnoHunt is now open at 329 Main street in Deer Lodge, MT. The grand opening celebration will take place the weekend of July 11th. Some valuable archery and hunting related prizes will be given away to those in attendance by random drawings. On that Saturday four time world elk calling champion, Dieter Kaboth, will give an elk calling seminar. He is the rep for Elite bows and will have samples of the Elite 2015 line up available for anyone to shoot that entire day...Diamond bows will be stocked in the store and application will be made to carry the full line of other Bowtech bows. Other brands of bows are being negotiated as of this writing, as well. ASAT Outdoors, Easton, Victory, Carbon Express, Montana Black Gold, Tight Spot, Spot-Hogg, Trophy Taker, Tru-Ball, Montana Decoy, HECS and Under Armour are a few of the popular brands stocked early on. Elk Tips Outdoor Gear is an offshoot from Dave Rowell’s seven year old website: www.ElkHuntingTips.Net. That informational site was birthed because Dave had a passion to write about elk hunting. The popularity of the website created a demand for, not only information, but gear that made hunting more enjoyable and effective. The very first purchase for the store was a TechnoHunt system which allows archers to shoot their own bow and arrows at live video of game animals. The high tech system scores each shot based on exactly where the shooters’ (blunt-tipped) arrows hit on the trampoline-like screen.

Off-Season Waterfowl BLIND BUILDING

Page 44: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

44 - Hunting & Fishing News

Here is a story and a lesson that I have learned from Montana bowhunter Luke Strommen.

One time I spotted a gnarly 6×6 buck during my scouting and glassing routines in the summer. The mature whitetail used his primary core area throughout July and August. I saw him many times and took some distant digital images of him from one of our tree stands. He would browse in an irrigated alfalfa field, and having completed his evening ritual, he’d sneak off to spend the night in a 20-acre corn field nearby.He continued this pattern into the early archery season in September, consistently passing by one of my stands, but late. I waited for the wind to be right and sat the stand three times in early September, only to have the buck come by on the 16-yard trail just after legal and ethical shooting light.

This “12-point” as my Eastern friends would call him wasn’t the largest buck I had seen that summer on the Milk River, but he was a much sought after 6×6. A clean 6×6 is hard to come by, especially for a recurve hunter like me.

As the season progressed, the buck’s pattern changed, and he became less visible and more unpredictable. He would spend a week or 2 in different “sub-core areas” in the area as food sources changed with the late-fall weather pattern. Remember that, because any big deer you find now might do that in a few months.

But ultimately the buck came back to his familiar, primary core area where I had spotted him all summer, to the place where he felt most dominant and comfortable. I figured he would do that and I was right. I spotted his 12-point rack whirling and twirling early in the afternoon of November 1. He was warding off inferior bucks, posturing his antlers like weapons to the stubborn invaders of his domain.

Since I had scouted this area so much, I knew how the buck used the place, where he liked to travel. It paid off. That was back in the mid-2000s when there were a lot of deer on the Milk, and when I was guiding a few bowhunters on our farms.

I put a bowhunter from Texas in the same place where I had spotted the 6×6 several times in low light in September. On the 2nd of November, with the pre-rut kicking into gear, the buck was a lot less cautious as he strode by the stand with 45 minutes of shooting light to spare. The hunter placed a sharp broadhead right through his oxygen tank.

The big lesson: Scouting your buck early and often in the summer pays off, even if you can’t connect on him during the first weeks of archery season. You might “lose” your mature deer for a few days or even weeks, but the rutting phases of the fall will generally bring him back to his primary core area, where one day he might finally make a mistake. One day in late October, November or even December you might finally kill the buck from one of the stands you hunt in the first week. Good luck.—Luke

Glassing for buck with a spotting scope

By Luke Strommen From Mike Hanback’s Big Deer www.mikehanback.com

© Mikaelmales | Dreamstime.com

Summer Scout: Find Big Bucks Now

Page 45: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

45July 2015

Page 46: Montana Hunting & Fishing News - July 2015

46 - Hunting & Fishing News

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