November is known for a changing of the season, Thanksgiving and a kick off to the holiday season. Here in Montana it is also known for the mule deer rut. We packed the pickup and took off for the Missouri River Breaks in late November. This is a trip we try to do every year.
After loading down the trailer and packing the pickup full of people we took off on a Friday morning for a 7 hour drive. Needless to say we were all eager on the drive and could not stop talking about the excitement that awaited us. We took it as a good luck charm that we saw piles of deer off the highway all the way up.
We arrived at our camp site shortly after dark and got to work. We pitched the wall tent, stoked the fire and had an easy dinner. There are not many things that beat sitting around a wall tent with good company, discussing the plan of attack for the next day. After some planning and a cocktail we hit the rack eager for rutting muleys.
The day started with excitement in a nice buck that presented a small window of opportunity. By the time we were setup to take a shot, the deer was gone. A wonderful thing about the breaks is the ability to spot and stalk deer. We saw where this buck was going and had confidence that we could find him again.
After several miles of hiking and continually being one step behind the deer we were unable to catch up with that buck. After a day of hiking all over the breaks we called it a day at legal shooting light and went back to camp. The hike out provided additional conversation amongst us of "Why in the hell did we log so many miles?!". The day seemed to be nothing but up and down hiking all over the place. All fo the pain of the day melted away with a breaks sunset, which is one of the most beautiful sights a person can see.
The following day, Sunday, we went back into our 'honey hole' to find a nice buck bedded, sunning himself in the open. We moved into position and took a shot. The buck quickly expired and the work was about to begin. Luckily there were three of us, which makes packing out much easier.
The 3 of us were excited that all our hard work had paid off. While the trip was quick, it was well worth it. A highlight for the trip was being able to get outdoors with a fellow Marine, one that had not hunted in nearly a decade. It was nice to get outdoors together and take in the views, share a few stories from yester-year.