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View Full Version : Wyoming or Montana for Mulies?



4by4
08-24-2013, 11:30 AM
I am in the process of planning my 3rd mule deer hunt for 2014. I hunted eastern WY about 6 years ago. Had a contact to hunt some private land but on the first day, so did about 50 other people. Needless to say, my buddy and I noticed a BLM sign on the drive in and ended up hunting that area on the first afternoon. We walked far in and both harvested a 4x4 and 4x3. That's where my drive for hunting DIY public land started. What we did notice in that area (Glendo) is that they shot everything, lots of available tags and hunters because of CWD. That is why we started to think about Montana.

SO..last season, as a rookie, I did some research, looked on their website, decided to try out the Block Management Program, called the Fish and Game Biologist and finally just pointed on the map and decided we were going to drive there. It was quite a learning experience. We talked with the Fish and Game guy daily on our trip. We ended up hunting a large tract of BLM most of the time. there were three of us and we all ended up all getting 4x4's. Fish and Game wanted pictures because we had a 100% success rate and I guess it was only like 3.8% overall last year. The one thing I did realize while out there was there is a ton of private land and the locals were not to fond of letting anyone hunt on their property.

I just got done reading one of Eastman's books on hunting public land mule deer and realize how many things we could have done to improve our hunting. We did walk a lot and didn't find a high vantage point to glass. We got lucky I guess in locating a few and being able to put a stalk on. I just wonder how many we just walked on by laying in the sage.

Since then I have read about how good WY can be. So, I am trying to decide if I should go back or continue with eastern MT(Broadus area). What concerned me the most about MT was the low success rate in our area for the price a NR pays for a deer tag. However, I now have a knowledge of the land and did spot some nice bucks that I was not able to get to. People are correct on here, get more then a couple miles off a road and you will have the land to yourself. We did!

I am new to this forum and am not looking for any location to hunt or just some quick info. I have read through here a lot and plan to share any insight of what I can. So I was wondering if anyone have any thoughts or suggestions regarding the two states. Pro's and Con's. Thanks,

Bitterroot Bulls
08-24-2013, 12:17 PM
That success percentage for SE MT is way off and low. FWP says NR hunters harvested over 1000 bucks in 704 while residents harvested over 800.

Even on bad years, deer in SE MT are plentiful, but so are hunters. Eastern WY is much the same.

4by4
08-24-2013, 01:39 PM
Perhaps I read the stats wrong. We did see a lot of deer in MT but when we hunted the large tracts of BLM, we never ran into another hunter. So that part we liked very much. Do you know if it is allowed to backpack in and camp on the BLM? If I go back I would like to do that for 2-3 days at a time instead of walking 5 miles in an out every day. Very open country.

Bitterroot Bulls
08-24-2013, 03:15 PM
Yeah, it is totally legal. Have at it.

Good luck !

4by4
08-24-2013, 03:49 PM
That's what I thought. Fish and Game made it sound more complicated. We did hunt the Block Management so in some cases we did drive through private land to get to it. I was hoping I could just park overnight and walk in but they made it sound like had to sign in and out everyday. If that is not allowed I did find access off a road directly on BLM. Fish and Game helped us out find that area. From the map I would have access to probably 12 to 16 square miles of BLM. I would need the GPS with the map interface to make sure I stay on BLM but they told me barely anyone hunts it because of the walk. I was hoping to just pack in for a few days and see the country and perhaps get lucky with a deer. Thanks for the responses.

Musket Man
08-25-2013, 06:19 AM
Sounds like your on the right track. If you found an area you like stick with it a few years and get to know it. The rules can vary on block management as to what you can and cant do on it. You may want to talk to the owner directly about staying overnight. I killed a nice buck on block management a few years back. E MT can be a really fun deer hunt although I hear the deer numbers are way down in some areas and I havent gone back since they raised the prices.

AT Hiker
08-25-2013, 08:21 AM
I am looking into MT as well. One thing that intrigues me about MT is the later season.

WY is good too, cheaper for now, but harder to draw tags for premo areas.

hvfd21walker
08-25-2013, 09:12 AM
Heading over east with my dad and brother this fall. Thinking im gonna try the Southeastern part of the state. My dad has lived in MT most of his life and not killed a mule deer buck, so my goal is to get him a decent 4pt.

Bitterroot Bulls
08-25-2013, 10:57 AM
Sounds like your on the right track. If you found an area you like stick with it a few years and get to know it. The rules can vary on block management as to what you can and cant do on it. You may want to talk to the owner directly about staying overnight. I killed a nice buck on block management a few years back. E MT can be a really fun deer hunt although I hear the deer numbers are way down in some areas and I havent gone back since they raised the prices.

I was under the impression he was asking about federal BLM land and camping. If he accesses through private land, he will need permission (Block Management or otherwise) to both access the BLM and leave it.

Some Block Management areas require daily sign-ins, and some don't. If he can access the BLM froma public road, then he is golden.

4by4
08-25-2013, 06:10 PM
Yes I was talking about federal BLM. Some of the BMA's include BLM land. The BMA instructions say no camping but I am wondering if I am not signing in and have access to the BLM land off a public road. In fact I think there might be a trail off this road into the BLM land. I was hoping to park the truck there for a few days and start hoofing it.

Musket Man
08-25-2013, 06:55 PM
I thought you were asking about parking on block management over night. I know some have roads you can drive in and park and walk in from there.

4by4
08-25-2013, 07:21 PM
When I hunted the BMA I parked on private land and walked into BLM. If I wanted to stay overnight, I am not sure, per BM rules if I can do that since I have to sign out every night. That is a question for the Fish and Game I guess. I large tract of land I was in can be accessed off a public road so I might just scrap the BMA and just stay on federal/state land this time. I will ask though since I am curious unless someone here has hunted BMA and knows.

Bitterroot Bulls
08-25-2013, 08:29 PM
When I hunted the BMA I parked on private land and walked into BLM. If I wanted to stay overnight, I am not sure, per BM rules if I can do that since I have to sign out every night. That is a question for the Fish and Game I guess. I large tract of land I was in can be accessed off a public road so I might just scrap the BMA and just stay on federal/state land this time. I will ask though since I am curious unless someone here has hunted BMA and knows.

The problem wouldn't be backpacking/camping on the BLM, but rather the parking on/leaving through private.

Musket Man
08-26-2013, 07:14 AM
When I hunted the BMA I parked on private land and walked into BLM. If I wanted to stay overnight, I am not sure, per BM rules if I can do that since I have to sign out every night. That is a question for the Fish and Game I guess. I large tract of land I was in can be accessed off a public road so I might just scrap the BMA and just stay on federal/state land this time. I will ask though since I am curious unless someone here has hunted BMA and knows.

I thought this is what you were asking which is why I suggested talking to the BM owner directly. BM rules vary by what the owner wants or allows and even if its not in the BM rules doesnt mean that the owner wouldnt give you permission to park over night while you backpack on BLM.