This was the first year the non-resident deer combo, elk combo and big game combination licenses sold out on the March 15 deadline. Because those licenses hadn’t sold out since I-191 took away the Outfitter sponsored licenses, many of our guests didn’t purchase the preference point. They were able to purchase both 2017 preference points and area bonus points prior to Sept. 30th, which will increase their chances of success in 2018. When the results of the drawings were all said and done we relaxed and settled into our summer fishing schedule, looking forward to a great hunting season this fall.
The 2017 season was successful, with a great mesh of guests and the game they took! We had more non-hunting guests this year, accompanying a special hunting friend/family member than ever before. What a great way to make memories forever! We also had our first photography hunt at the request of 2016 hunters. Brenda Burritt took some fantastic shots, capturing nature, the hunt and game very uniquely. She told the story of her husband’s hunt through the lens of a camera. What fun!
The game taken was exciting as we saw the limits we put on the number of Mule deer we took each year for the last 7 years, pay off great dividends. 100% of our deer hunting guests took the animal of their choice, with some horn widths measuring 25”, 26” & 28 ½”! Every trophy was unique. Young Dax Causey not only took his first buck Mule deer this year, but shared the experience with his dad and granddad. We’re thankful for the youth programs that make this possible and cost effective to involve young hunters.
Antelope numbers are up again and we are excited to serve more hunters pursuing antelope with archery equipment in the future. The group of guides we have onboard with us, are very good at getting their archery clients doable shots. If bow hunting elk and antelope are on your mind, lets talk in January when it is time to apply for permits!
Speaking of permits, the elk draw licenses only allowed us 5 archery elk hunters. While they got shot opportunities, they didn’t convert to kills. However, the kill doesn’t dictate the success of a hunt. They each gave it their all, but the stars just didn’t line up quite right. Bow hunters are amazing, patient individuals with an honor system of ethics to be highly commended. Their mindset is such, that because so many things must line up perfectly for a kill, such as wind, distance for the shot, the animals reaction to calls and close encounters all play a huge part of the challenge, that a shot opportunity and being on game account for a successful hunt for them. All of our elk hunters holding either sex licenses were successful. The last two weeks of the season the cow elk were totally buzzed up & on the move. A few of our hunters holding cow elk licenses weren’t successful.
We are so very thankful for each guest who allowed us the privilege of joining us in 2017!
The 2018 season is shaping up nicely already and we’re hopeful for success in obtaining licenses and permits! We help you through the licensing process or do it for you if you will provide the information and payment. Give us a call at 406-557-2503 in Mid January if you would like help applying.