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  1. #1
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    Hunting Style/Tactics

    How do most of you prefer to hunt mule deer in open country (SE Montana)? Alone? With a partner? A group of people? We had three of us last year and in open country one can cover a lot of territory. We all walked together which I am starting to think was not a good idea. Do you think each person should just pick a location several miles away from each other and hunt. I just think too many people might be bad. If you all hunt together, then everyone shouldn't plan on shooting a deer since it may take you a couple days to get one that you spotted. Just curious what you think and your style. Thanks,

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    The reason I ask is now that we went there once, more of our friends are asking to go.....

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    We hunt in central South Dakota and it is pretty open as well. Mostly just grass hills with some Cedar and buck brush in the draws. My dad and I hunt together a lot and I have hunted by myself a few times. I have never had more than one other person with me. I found with one person you see more than with two and with three I would guess it would be lower still. We have seen parties of three and one four person group out there and we can pick them off at long distances because they all seem to blob together to one big dark moving object. If we could see the group you know the deer can. I personally think you can hunt with two people comfortably but out in that open countryi wouldn't go more than that. Plus, like you said if you all hunt together the chance of everyone filing tags is lower but you do have more help to pack or with the first trip.
    Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
    Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

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    How many of you would spike camp it in the brush overnight if you are a few miles from the truck? I was thinking of doing this so this would reduce the amount of walking. This would give me better opportunity to glass a large area thoroughly.

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    I started kicking that idea around last year too. Every morning we hike in about three miles. Most of the area is walk in only but some is blm. I don't really have the right great to bring in and out. All ours is really heavy or summer camping stuff. If I'd had the right stuff I would have done it last year a lot more hunting and less walking.
    Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me.
    Genesis 27:3 (NKJV)

  6. #6
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    I've only been hunting for a few years. But I've done a lot of backpacking and kayaking trips. I think it depends on the goal of the trip. At least part of the goal for me is a good harvest, so I want to use proven tactics. I only have a couple guys I'm willing to walk with, and can hunt with side-by-side. But I could enjoy a camp or even glassing with other people. Buck camp is different than hunting together.

  7. #7
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    The last time I hunted Eastern MT, there were three of us and we generally stayed together (kind of the point of hunting with friends if you ask me), though we would split up a bit so each of us could glass different coulees, etc. and then reconvene to make a game plan. One tactic that worked out for us was leaving one spotter while the others made the stalk. On one such stalk, we had spotted a buck bedded and made a plan. As we rounded the last corner, he was nowhere to be found and we figured we had blown the stalk, but because our other buddy was still glassing from his vantage point, we found out that a doe had come by and he had simply followed her over a ridge in a completely different direction. It worked well and we shot that buck less than an hour later a few draws over. The three of us hunted together essentially the whole time, and all filled our tags in three days. One buck each day.

    I do think splitting up when you have multiple people in a group is advantageous since you'll cover more ground, but I generally like to have everyone on the same page before heading out and maybe make a place/time to meet again in case things change as you find game, weather changes, etc. Doing things like everyone taking a different coulee or finger ridge and then meetings at the top or bottom is what I usually like to do. Everyone going several miles apart seems a bit extreme to me and but it may be useful if the situation calls for it and depending on everyone's hunting style. If I'm hunting with friends, I usually like to hunt with them and not necessarily just in the same corner of the state. It's usually a lot more fun to have someone next to you when you shoot something and makes for better memories, in my opinion. And who knows, you might pull a double. I've done that before and it made for a really great hunt and an even better story.
    Last edited by MSUcat61; 08-26-2013 at 01:01 AM.
    Can't spell scum without U&M... Go 'Cats!

  8. #8
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    I would split up even if your not real far apart so you can cover more country.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4by4 View Post
    How do most of you prefer to hunt mule deer in open country (SE Montana)? Alone? With a partner? A group of people? We had three of us last year and in open country one can cover a lot of territory. We all walked together which I am starting to think was not a good idea. Do you think each person should just pick a location several miles away from each other and hunt. I just think too many people might be bad. If you all hunt together, then everyone shouldn't plan on shooting a deer since it may take you a couple days to get one that you spotted. Just curious what you think and your style. Thanks,
    Did you kill anything with that method? That should answer your question.

  10. #10
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    I know I may not hunt exactly like most native westerners do............but we do a combo b/w spotting and what I call "sneak hunting"........we sit on high points in mornings and evening, and if we don't see anything or if we don't see anything big.........we go sneaking along the canyons. It is open country where we hunt.............I will just say it is the powder river break country.........so it is pretty broken open country. We sneak along the edges of the canyons and look down in for bedded or feeding deer. we usually split up or work in pairs. one guy in the bottom and one guy on top, or guys on top across from each other, or just hunt alone.

    In 2 years with 8 total tags, we have killed 6 mulie bucks. and we should have had all 8 except for misses. Biggest scored 143". I saw one after I tagged out and was gunless just spotting for my buddy that was even bigger. could have wacked him for sure.

    and sneaking along the rims last year, we could have shot 2 of the bucks with our bows, including the 143"

    I will say though......this is the first year that we will have a spotting scope, so we will probably do more spot and stalk. But we wont hesitate to put on some miles. Round trip, we figured we were putting on 10-15 miles a day on foot.

    While not conventional methods, we do seem to be successful in our style of hunting.

 

 

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