Geppert reports seeing 10 to 20 bucks per day, with lots in the 150-range and two in the 170s, one of which he took. He says the ranches don't seem pressured by hunters and there is a lot of non-hunting land surrounding the properties.
According to Geppert, the ranch properties hunted by Montana Professional Hunters are made up of rolling agricultural land at moderate elevations. Geppert says that while there was livestock on the ranches, he saw very little of it. While some of the land was open fields, there was plenty of cover for the deer as well.
Geppert's hunt was conducted mainly by driving and glassing, and then stalking on foot. "Some of the follow-up stalks were maybe 30 minutes over moderately hilly terrain; easy, compared to elk hunting." Geppert adds, "My guide, Allen Baker, has hunted this area about 10 years, knows it well and is an excellent judge of trophy quality."
Accommodations were in a three-bedroom condo in a residential neighborhood in Colstrip, in southeastern Montana, about a two-hour drive from the airport in Billings. While not a hunting lodge atmosphere, it was comfortable, with a flat-screen TV and wireless access. A cook was brought in for all meals. The guides stayed elsewhere.
Geppert did not give the price of his hunt, but Montana Professional Hunters' website lists $7,250 for a 1x1 hunt, Sunday to Saturday with five full days of hunting. This includes accommodations, meals, transportation during the hunt, guides and field care of your trophy.
Our second mule deer report........(continued)