Contributors to this thread:
On Monday afternoon I checked my Montana drawing results. I have maximum moose points, and thought that this has to be the year after 30+ years of no success. Yet again, no luck. No moose, no sheep. I checked them again later, in case there was a mistake, as they did look kind of strange telling me twice on each species that I was unsuccessful, versus the usual just once. No, there was no mistake, I was just out of luck again. I felt kind of down for a while, but then I realized how lucky I am to live in the state of Montana. On August 15th, I can start bow-hunting for antelope. Then on the first week of September I can start hunting for elk, mule deer or whitetail deer, black bears, wolves, mountain lions, even turkeys if I choose to. Since I'm retired, I can hunt every day, all 6 weeks of bow-hunting season, and clear through the 5 weeks of rifle season past Thanksgiving, and in some areas I can hunt deer and elk long after the regular rifle season ends. I can then keep wolf hunting through the winter. I can hunt from sunny hot August, clear through the fall, and through winter. There are over 33 million acres of public land, 7.2 million acres of Block Management land, and about another million acres of Timber Company land, plus lots of other ranches that you just have to ask for permission on. I can hunt all sorts of different areas, from 10,000 ft in the mountains, to the open lands of the eastern parts of the state. In fact there are so many different places to hunt, that I never get to go to most of the places that I say I will each year, despite all the time I have. I could go bitch about how Montana FWP screwed me over again, and how the draw odds suck, but the fact is that I'm lucky to live in a state with so many hunting opportunities, and I'm really thankful of the job that Montana FWP has did in maintaining these opportunities for the people. Life is good, and I'm looking forward to another great year of being outdoors and hunting.
Good attitude. Moose & Sheep tags are so rare. I never count on drawing, and always assume I won't. Even when applying in 9-10 different states. No benefit at all to building up your hopes for something with such ridiculously tough odds. It's strictly a long-term game. Like you, I set up a hunt plan each year for other more "accessible" species. It's easy to shift those plans on the rare occasion that lightning does strike. Good luck to you this fall.
Very well said. But didn’t you draw a goat tag last year?? Hunt
I'm right there with you Irishman. Always a little disappointing to not draw one of the big three, but I can wear myself out just fine with our hunting seasons. Like you I never seem to get in all of the hunts/places I want each year.
Right now it's time for fishing our great rivers. But September isn't that far off and if I can't find enough to entertain me then I've either been extremely lucky or I need an attitude adjustment.
HUNT MAN you are correct. After 30 years of applying for the "big three" I did draw a goat tag last year. Unfortunately due to circumstances mostly beyond my control, I had a very limited hunt for a goat, and didn't fill the tag. In hind sight, I probably should have hunted earlier in the season, and not waited until their winter coats were longer, but the country became pretty inaccessible. However, the past is the past. I prefer to think about the future, thinking about what I should have did differently last year would be a worthless waste of time and energy. Ha!
I understand. Best of luck this year!! Hunt
Well said. We live in a great state. Shameless plug for the Montana Bowhunter Association....the seasons we enjoy are in large part due to them. Please make sure you are a member if you are a bowhunter. It’s only $25 a year and they do a ton for us. Happy hunting!
Very much agree. I can hunt elk, antelope, whitetails, and Muleys within a half hour for my front door. It is a land of opportunity for those of us blessed to live here.
MT yes. Lived in AK for about 28 years and prefer MT. Could fill my deer tags from my recliner if I chose and it's a bike ride to hunt antelope. Pheasants, sharptails, Hungarian Partridge, geese and ducks on the place and rainbows if I stock the ponds.
At least you've drawn one of the big three... I on the other hand am sitting 0% success in like 4 states over the last 25 years. You are right to be great full for what you have, because ONE is whole lot better than NONE... Good Hunting
Great attitude. When I graduated college in 1975 I was going to move to Montana with my Wildlife Biology degree and hunt and fish my life away. Silly me, I got married instead and lived happily ever after on the liberal east coast.
You and all the hunters in MT are surely blessed! Nice post! C
I've been visiting my daughter this week in Missoula. We've been fishing, hiking, horseback riding, etc. The wildlife is abundant and the country is beautiful! If you live here, you are blessed! I almost forgot, the beer is excellent!
And not to mention the country you were born into. We are all in the top 1% of the entire world having had 0 control over where we were born. Gratitude is important, and we ought to help the other 99%! Great attitude Irishman!
And he's a real Irishman we have been friends for about 30 years I'm lucky to have two places in Montana One in Kalispell the other in Landusky .One I have whitetails and Turkeys. The other I Have Bighorn sheep, Elk, Mule deer, Whitetail & Antelope
Blessed you are, Irishman. I had the same dreams as Charlie, live, hunt, fish in Montana or Wyoming. Got married, had kids, now grandkids (anchor babies), live in same liberal crap hole as Pat. I'll probably be lucky just to someday see those states.
Great perspective about being grateful for what one does have in life regardless of interest. I'm currently making the rounds in MT checking out potential properties. Hanging the hat in Seeley Lake at the moment. Was in the Philipsburg area yesterday. Hamilton and west of Kalispel are next on the radar.
JL-check out the ice cream stand in Seeley Lake!
Great post, Irishman! I hope you draw both tags next year! (beings you’re retired)
I drew my Sheep tag on year #30. It can happen, I'm still waiting for a Moose, now year #32. I stopped applying for Goat tag because I was afraid I would draw one. :)
Perspective is EVERYTHING!
Hunting 410 elk this year hoping to get a look at one of those big rams while we’re thier
Montana reminds me of Colorado about 40 years ago. Then the invasion started.
Enjoy it while it lasts, Irishman. And always keep the positive attitude.
Good luck seeing a big ram in 410.