The 2022 season was a real challenge for our whitetail deer hunters. We only harvested 11 whitetail deer through 11 weeks which is about a normal 2 week average most years. A large storm that hit Montana in May 2022 seemed to be the concensus on why the state in general wasn't seeing any mature bucks. The deer numbers where really good in most areas, mature bucks where not. This presented a very challenging hunt for hunters bow hunting and rifle hunting this season. There where a few good bucks running around and a few hunters had some encounters with them but didn't capitalize on those opportunities. 2 of the nicer bucks we saw where wounded and not recovered. A lot of misses and wounding this year for some reason. Especially on the archery elk hunts.
We had a exceptional elk season this year. 9 archery hunters with 7 of the 9 getting shots but only 1 bull was killed. A few big ones had close calls or hit and not recovered. A few more of those for the photo album would have been sweet. Rifle elk hunters enjoyed really good success. After last seasons nearly 100% shot opportunity we matched that again this year for rifle elk. With 18 rifle elk hunters they harvested 13 bulls and we had 1 cow elk hunter harvest his cow. The 4 remaining had shots or opportunities and only 1 hunter didn't get a shot at a bull. The rifle elk hunting has been outstanding so hopefully we can carry that into the 2023 season.
We had a great mule deer season with some good bucks taken, a 187" 7x6 was taken which is the largest harvested by a Montana Whitetails hunter in our area. A few in the 160's and a 170"+ where the previous largest mule deer taken until this year. We did see a lot of really good mule deer this year but only after mid November. The early season looked kinda like a tough road to find some nice mule deer bucks but did they ever show up for the rut!
We had 2 rifle antelope hunters draw a tag this year and 1 tagged a great antelope buck. The other hunter was trying for the triple crown in 1 week and only hunted antelope 1 afternoon. He did get his deer and a elk which allowed him 1 more afternoon to try for a antelope but after his deer and elk harvest he was happy to take the last afternoon off. That broke our 18 years of 100% success for rifle antelope.
The 2022 hunting season photo album is not started yet due to me forgetting to download all the pictures off the Montana computer onto my external hard drive to upload them this off week over Christmas. So at some point I'll have someone mail me a SD card with them on and I'll get all the 2022 hunter photos posted on the site. It's been a busy year with emergencies short handing our guides this year so I fell behind with the season journal and posting pics. Texas has been really busy as well and we'll be heading down there after Christmas for more free range whitetail and exotic hunts. We thank everyone who came to Montana to enjoy Big Sky Country with us this year! Hope everyone had a great season and enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed having you with us to share the memories!
Also, feel free to check our our new Texas operation. Fair chase whitetail and year round free range exotic hunts are available. You can visit our website at www.hunttexaswhitetails.com.
Thanks to everyone again for making another season here at Montana Whitetails one we will never forget...!