Every year I attend several sportsman shows where I often see large whitetail bucks displayed in the booths. Most of those bucks, I've noticed over the years, are taken on high-fenced wildlife ranches where success is virtually guaranteed. These deer have been carefully managed in controlled environments to maximize horn growth and to satisfy the seemingly insatiable demand for "wall hangers." I don't criticize this method of hunting, but it has increased my admiration for huge bucks harvested in the "wild." So I am constantly on the lookout for outfitters who are producing large whitetail bucks outside of high-fenced ranches. This winter I found one from Montana at a show in Portland, Oregon. What caught my attention was a tremendous set of fresh whitetail sheds along with dozens of pictures of successful clients posing with trophy-sized bucks. I introduced myself to Brent Fitchett, owner of Elk Creek Outfitting, and we discussed his hunting operation at great length. A litmus test for any hunting operation is the percentage of return clientele and available slots for the upcoming season. Fitchett's hunts are entirely filled for the upcoming 1999 hunting season, which means you will have to put him in your hunting file for 2000, or check with him for any cancellations this year.
Few areas in North America possess the genetics and habitat to produce huge whitetail bucks, but Montana is one of these places. Having shot whitetail bucks myself in the "Big Sky" state that gross in the 160s, I knew that Montana had the potential to produce trophies, but I had no idea just how big until I talked to Fitchett. Seems he has had clients in the last two years shoot monster non-typicals that exceeded 200 B & C points, a typical buck that scored 191 points, and several other bucks in the 170s! This is a scorecard that rivals any you will find in the most respected hot spots in Canada.
Besides world-class whitetails, mind you, Fitchett offers hunts for elk, mule deer, black bear, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, Shiras moose and mountain goat. His company is licensed........(continued)