Found! An Outfitter Who Hunts Three States


Published: February - 2002

Hunters beaten down by the odds of being drawn for a permit out West may want to take note of outfitter Mike Watkins of Trophies Plus Outfitters. He has a geographic advantage over a lot of other outfitters - namely, he lives in the little town of Alzada, located in Montana's southeast corner, which is but a stone's throw from South Dakota and Wyoming. It makes it a slam-dunk for him to offer hunts in all three states for any one, two or three of the species he outfits for. Those species are whitetail deer, mule deer and antelope.

Mule deer and whitetails are Watkins's primary species. Trophies Plus Outfitters controls a dozen large ranches in Montana and Wyoming, plus several in South Dakota, providing plenty of space for hunters. If your first interest is whitetail, then Wyoming is your best bet. On the other hand, the nod would go to Montana for mule deer. That said, Watkins' clients have killed big bucks of both species in both states. It's just that probably 80 percent of Watkins's mule deer are killed in Montana, while Wyoming is generally whitetail country.

Last season, Watkins produced around a 90 percent hunter success rate on mule deer and whitetails. A reasonable mule deer trophy expectation with him is a mature 24- to 25-inch, 4 x 4 buck, scoring 155 to 165 points, although his clients occasionally do better. His whitetails run in the 130-class with an occasional bigger buck. Watkins says that last season his hunters took five bucks scoring in the 140s, and three of his whitetail bucks green-scored over 150 B & C points. He also says that in early September there were at least five bucks on his pastures that would score between 160 and 190 B & C points. Despite high hopes, Watkins says that hot weather during the first three weeks of the season prevented them from killing any of these bruisers.

Now, you may have heard that many of Montana's whitetails were devastated by a disease called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or........(continued)

 
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