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Umpqua Hunter
07-21-2012, 02:26 PM
Hi...I just found out my wife and I drew Unit 215 for antelope in Montana. We had applied there since it was about the toughest unit to draw in the state and was closer to Oregon and my plan was just to earn a point. Well, it was looking like a slow year for tags with only a tag for Utah deer as of late May. In the last few weeks we hit on two Wyoming antelope tags, an Oregon sheep tag, then last week our card was hit for an Arizona deer tag (possibly a Strip tag). Last night we found out my wife and I drew the Montana antelope tags.

Unit 215 is just east of Deer Lodge, Montana. Does anyone have any insight on this unit? Is the trophy quality good. it was one of the recommended units in Mike Eastman's book on antelope. The draw odds are terrible for the minimal tags given (15 to 25 tags). I will need to make some decisions on how to try to work this hunt in (or not) in the next couple weeks.

Thanks a bunch for any info you might share. Feel free to PM me.

Drelk
07-21-2012, 04:03 PM
This is getting ridiculous. Will u do my applications next year:)

Umpqua Hunter
07-21-2012, 04:33 PM
This is getting ridiculous. Will u do my applications next year:)

That's funny :D I have been doing this 25+ years and this is the most crazy year ever, and several of the tags were truly longshots.

MSUcat61
07-24-2012, 02:49 AM
I've never hunted the unit for antelope but I grew up nearby. You're essentially going to be hunting the strip of dry upland between the Clark Fork valley bottom below and the forested hills above. Though I've seen them all the way to Browns Gulch near the intersection of I-15 and I-90. The herd seems to be doing well as it has expanded all the way to Drummond (they've even added a new hunting unit a few years ago, unit 291, b/c of this. In fact, 215 didn't even exist ten or fifteen years ago.)

Anyways, with the limited tags offered, it seems trophy quality has been pretty good; even getting the old Eastman's nod. I'm not sure that many 80" bucks will come out of this unit, but I've heard from friends that supposedly there a few Booners runnin around. I think a lot of people that put in for this unit just want an antelope tag that's close to home and when they draw it, they don't put in a ton of time trying to find a good buck. With any sort of effort you should have a good hunt as the unit isn't very big and once you find the antelope, the limited hunting pressure should allow for you and your wife to take some very nice bucks. The hardest part of this hunt is probably drawing the tag. :)

Also, you may find a lot of private land where the antelope are, but fortunately this country still has ranchers and farmers that don't give a crap if you hunt on their land as long as you ask first. Of course there are a few A-holes that put orange on every other post, but for the most part I would say that private doesn't necessarily mean off limits. There's probably some good ranches enrolled in Block Management too. In fact, I've heard a few ranchers in the area say that they hate that the antelope have expanded into the area because they think they've brought some sort of yellow weed or something with them that supposedly wasn't in the area til the goats got there.

Good luck and hopefully you find time for all your tags!

Umpqua Hunter
07-24-2012, 07:48 PM
Thanks MSU for the great info. As our schedule stands, I think the very best we will be able to pull off right now is a 1.5 day hunt on the way home from Utah because of other commitments at home. Hopefully it works out. On another forum, a guy emailed me a photo of a beautiful 78" buck he shot in Unit 215 last year. He only hunted a day and a half.

Montana
08-08-2012, 07:23 AM
I am going to have to give the unit more credit than that... If not the, it's up there for one of the best units in the state. Very few tags and a lot of great bucks running around. The Super tag was filled there 2 years ago. I would give everything you can to spend a little more time there. You just drew one of the hardest tags in the state.

Montana
08-08-2012, 07:31 AM
Well i can't lie.. I was totally annoyed when i first read this post. But I just looked at your profile and you are a hunter and obviously a good one. Give this unit more time and you will come home with a booner. Let me know if you need anything, I live an hour away.

Montana
08-09-2012, 07:38 AM
I am going to have to give the unit more credit than that... If not the, it's up there for one of the best units in the state. Very few tags and a lot of great bucks running around. The Super tag was filled there 2 years ago. I would give everything you can to spend a little more time there. You just drew one of the hardest tags in the state.

A public apology for being an idiot.

Umpqua Hunter
08-09-2012, 10:58 AM
A public apology for being an idiot.

I'll give this response a little perspective. I sent Montana a private message telling him the big commitment I have at home that is making scheduling this hunt so difficult. I want to publicly compliment him for his apology. That is truly being a "man". I respect him for that and I hope we move forward as "friends".

DavidMiller
08-13-2012, 03:45 AM
I used to hunt at Bozeman, a big sky area . I have a home and ranches there. so its little bit convenient for me to go on for hunting.

dihardhunter
08-13-2012, 09:39 AM
One word...jealous! Seriously though, I've got no advice to offer other than I hope your long list of hunts goes great and I can live vicariously through some story/photo threads this fall in some awesome units!

Umpqua Hunter
10-25-2012, 01:06 AM
Here's a couple pics from my wife's and my antelope hunt in Montana.

When we applied this year for Unit 215, we intended to just earn points, so we put in for one of the toughest to draw units in the state. After we drew these long shot tags, we were nearly certain we would not get to hunt due to other tags we had drawn and commitments at home. We were blessed and everything fell into place. We finished up our hunt in Wyoming early and a major commitment back at home got rescheduled, so we looped through Montana on our way back to Oregon. The landowner that owns the ranch that holds most of the antelope in this unit was kind enough to work us in between a couple other hunters.

My wife killed this great looking buck on the first day.

http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g437/jimcaddock/IMG_3623.jpg

We took the next day off and went for a swim at Fairmont Hot Springs. The following day we looked over numerous bucks, but I couldn't find that buck that just stood out from the others. On the last hour of the day I took this buck with my CVA Accura, my first with a muzzleloader.

http://i1101.photobucket.com/albums/g437/jimcaddock/IMG_3653.jpg

BKC
10-25-2012, 06:14 AM
Nice goats Umpqua! I'm glad everything worked out and you got this hunt in. Your wife's goat is awesome. I love those big cutters! Congrats.

ceby7
10-25-2012, 01:01 PM
Congrats to both of you! I gotta praise you for the high quality photos with the animal in a natural position, shows you "get it" and respect the animals you pursue. Well done!

Umpqua Hunter
10-25-2012, 03:24 PM
Thanks BKC...we were thrilled with her antelope. CEBY we really do love taking pics, and normally take about 100 to get that special pic or two that stands out. That is one of the best ways to preserve the memory.

sjsmallfield
10-26-2012, 08:45 PM
Wow Umpqua! You two are really stackin up the goats this year. Your wifes buck is a stud. Again, great pics man.

Montana
10-29-2012, 07:09 AM
:) Nice work!!

Umpqua Hunter
07-16-2013, 09:50 PM
Okay....this is nuts. I drew one of the two the non-resident buck antelope tags for Unit 215 again this year. :p

sjsmallfield
07-21-2013, 01:01 PM
Congrats and good luck Umpqua!

Ricochet
07-21-2013, 08:21 PM
Are you going to use the muzzleloader again? Good Luck!

Umpqua Hunter
07-21-2013, 10:02 PM
Are you going to use the muzzleloader again? Good Luck!

Thanks SJS :)

Ricochet, I will probably use my rifle. The landowner claims that hunters took two B&C bucks off the property the year before we went, but last year the horn growth was off. Hopefully there is a big buck or two again this year.