The First Hunt

My wife says I should do the hunt stories again. For those of you who don’t know, the hunt stories are an account of the hunts that I guided. After the first year I did the stories, I realized it was a lot of blogging. Due to pressure from wife, hunters, and thousands of fans, here we go.

The first Hunt was October 29th. The hunter was a friend and fishing client “Pete. This would be Pete’s first time ever big-game hunt. The location was a new ranch I had leased way out in the middle of the Big-Dry. Pete was game to try the ranch, we set up camp in the historic cow town of Jordan, MT.

The first day of the hunt was warm, backed up by a large moon, not the best combo. To make matters worse the ranchers were moving cattle that day. Two thousand head of cattle and a bunch of bellowing calves doesn’t do any favors for deer hunting.

We still were able to roll up on two whitetail deer that were bedded. The big one was sound asleep. As the deer woke up we could see his eyes slowly focus in on the mobile ground blind built by Ford. the buck was a really good whitetail maybe in the mid 140s. The only play on the deer was to shoot out the window, otherwise he would be gone. We both agreed this was no way to take your first deer! We were able to watch both bucks at bow range for 10 minutes before they sprang up and run. It was a good encounter.

Even though it was only day 2 we were both feeling a little pressure with the cattle drive and warm weather. After looking over many spots it seemed as though the deer were underground. We did an afternoon walk into a large creek surrounded by wheat and pea fields. About 10 minutes into the walk things really turned around quite quickly!

As we were slow sneaking along on an island within the creek, I noticed a really tall racked buck staring our way at under 100 yards. I motioned for Pete to get down! I was excited as I knew it was a shooter deer and he was about to bolt. I told Pete to slide a bullet in the chamber. We then needed to crawl forward to clear the hill we were on. I adjusted the shooting sticks as I watched the buck watching me, he wasn’t sure what we were.

Now we were at our position, gun on shooting sticks. The buck was about 80 yards and staring at us, His horns looked tall and I could tell he was a 5x5. I was excited! To keep us out of full sight of the deer we would just clear the hill with our shot. Pete was frantically trying to acquire the deer in his scope. We had many heated exchanges while he was in the process! Finally we figured out Pete he was looking to high. The target was right underneath or position, Pete was now on him. The deer still looking our way, I hiss at Pete, Shoooot Nowwww!

Pete’s shot rang true! The big deer stumbled and then flipped over a big sage bush. Pete’s first big game animal lay before us. Great moment for hunter and guide. Beautiful Buck!

Lindsey Channel
Lindsey Channel
Guide | Montana Outfitter #7886

Lindsey started guiding professionally in 1989. After guiding 10 years for some of Alaska’s finest lodges, he formed Channel Outfitters of Montana. He has over 3,000 days guiding fly fishermen and hundreds of days guiding hunters.