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Del's Montana Early Season Trophy Whitetail

While attending the 2007 Pope and Young convention in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to meet Montana Whitetails outfitter Keith Miller. After several conversations I decided to book a September hunt, unfortunately there was a four year wait for an opening.

Keith and I kept in touch by phone and email and I continued to log onto his website to read his daily journal. I could hardly wait to get there. Luckily the time seemed to fly by. The date finally arrives and I leave for Montana. My hunt started on September 4th, it was a clear and cool morning. Keith set me up with a great ladder stand overlooking a large field, wood lot and pasture.

At day break the deer were moving all around me, spikes, small six’s and a large shooter buck came in at about 80 yards – I could not coax him into shooting range. Day one, a Montana shooter! Whata thrill. This was just the beginning of a great week. I saw deer. Good deer. I passed up those that I know I would have taken back in Connecticut, but I was waiting for my “Montana dream buck.”

On the morning of day three I asked Keith if he had any ladder stands overlooking huge fields and he said he did but had been waiting for the wind to be right for a certain set. That afternoon when the wind was right,he brought me to a new location – beautiful fields with a view of the Shields River. I climbed into my ladder stand at 4:30; it was a beautiful sunny day. Within one hour of getting settled, deer started funneling by me from out of the river bottom. They passed me on their way to a huge barley field. I watched as does and small bucks, passed by. A nice velvet eight gave me a broadside 18 yard shot, but he was not what I had traveled that far for.

Somewhere around 7:00 I heard a noise behind my stand so I looked over my left shoulder and directly down through my tree canopy. I made out two hard horned small eight pointers just pushing each other back and forth. I remember thinking, how did they get four yards from the bottom my stand without me hearing them? I watched these three year olds for about five minutes when all of a sudden I heard a snort wheeze coming from behind one of the eights – at this point I was still sitting. I turned and looked to my right and through the canopy I saw horns, wide, white horns. At that point the big deer snort wheezed again and turned sideways and walked and postured a good twenty yards to within five yards of the smaller eight. I couldn’t tell how many points this deer had and at that point I didn’t’ care. He was a shooter – big body, wide and tall rack. 

As I watched, having no shot, he charged the smaller buck and hit one of them in the right ham causing them both to jump and scatter. At that point my shooter buck snort wheezed again and walked away after the two smaller bucks. With no shot what-so-ever; I just kept watching, arrow knocked, looking for a hole in the canopy to slip my Muzzy tipped Carbon Express arrow into the chest of this bruiser. As he walked away my chances were dwindling with each step. But then an answer to my prayers, at thirty-six yards the two smaller bucks popped out of the canopy; then, quartering away the same distance here comes the shooter. I raised my Ben Pearson Legend and set my TruGlo pin on his last rib, I held my breath and watched my arrow slice through him. The buck jumped and ran a half circle about seventy yards and stopped. He looked back in my direction and toppled over. I waited for Keith to pick me up. I told him about my buck. We walked over, found him, pulled him out of the ditch and Keith congratulated me. A true Montana Whitetail, nine point. Thank you, Montana Whitetails.

Del DelMastro

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