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Montana Report and Question


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Returned home Sunday the 19th from Montana.  We hunted a mix of public, BM, and private. 

 

Sharptails were plentiful enough but seemed down from last year.  Huns seemed up.  All depended on where the rain fell.  We had ranchers tells us they got needed rain in August but just 30 miles the other direction we heard "yea, heard about that rain none here".  Definitely saw way less birds in those areas.  

 

For those of you who have hunted Montana in September for sharps/huns, and also hunted in October for pheasants, what is your experience with hunter pressure for pheasant season?  PM if you'd like and thanks.  

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The legislature passed a law mandating a program to release pheasants on various game management areas to enhance young hunters chances at success. There is/was (not sure if it's still ongoing) a rele

I always try to leave before the pheasant opener. More hunters, different demographic.

Where did you say you were parked???

Welcome to the Board.

 

Fair question and thank you for mentioning using PM for anyone wishing to or needing to mention anything remotely specific to hunting areas. Hot Spotting is not allowed. 

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4 hours ago, FSZ said:

For those of you who have hunted Montana in September for sharps/huns, and also hunted in October for pheasants, what is your experience with hunter pressure for pheasant season?  PM if you'd like and thanks.  

 

More bird hunters out and about hunting in MT once pheasant season opens has been my experience. 

 

What was your experience with hunter pressure in Sept for sharptail/huns?

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Pressure in September is generally low (note: never been there for the opener).  Weekends and ultra-easy access areas do have more pressure.   There are always exceptions.  We had a group of like 6 pull up to a spot just before us, and its a mile walk across wheat stubble to get to any cover.  And it was the middle of the week.  Pro trainers also can really work over some areas as well, but I would imagine they would be done/gone before pheasant season.  

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I always try to leave before the pheasant opener. More hunters, different demographic.

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Greg Hartman

As Flush says, we find more hunters when phez open, as compared to the early season prairie grouse and Huns.  Opening day and a few days afterward, especially. Still, as compared to home, there is virtually nobody.  I've never had any kind of problem finding good places to hunt phez in Montana without being around any other hunters.  If we find a truck at an area we intended to hunt, we just move on to another spot.  It's a BIG place, if you are willing to walk, there is no problem whatsoever.

 

10-11-20 - Birds in here, Boss!

 

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I dont understand the logic to traveling out of state to hunt planted birds.  At least in the area i go to montana is planted pheasant.  Cant be the only one

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Don Steese
1 hour ago, blanked said:

I dont understand the logic to traveling out of state to hunt planted birds.  At least in the area i go to montana is planted pheasant.  Cant be the only one

Ditch Chickens were all"planted". Sharptails, on the other hand, are native.

 

 

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Alaskan Swamp Collie

I've hunted pheasants in MT most years since 96. Only once was I there on opening day, late on Saturday afternoon. That was not to my liking and will not be repeated ever. Dog put up one rooster that I shot and than proceeded to bring me 3 cripples it found. My wife would not even get out of the car. Although a big state with lots of places to hunt I don't go till after the second weekend of pheasant season. As for planted birds to my knowledge I have never shot one, but than as I said I won't hunt the first 9 days of season.

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Been 20 years since I was there and where we were at all pheasants were wild as hell and there was plenty of them.   That said, we were  hunting private land.  There was Plots or whatever they call it nearby and it sounded like a war and there were people everywhere.   They were hammered then and no doubt they are more hammered now.  We were hunting in the NE part of the state.  PS.  Loved it and would go back, but its sadly no longer a drive I'd like to make.  From my house 32 hours one way as they say. 

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Doubleplay

Avoid the opening weekend and hunt during the weekdays. If you have good dogs you'll find birds.

Pressure is not an issue for bird hunting in Montana

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Don Steese
6 hours ago, Doubleplay said:

 

Pressure is not an issue for bird hunting in Montana.

 

While your statement is true I find it less true each year. We're in a bit of a lull right now. A lot of the Hun and sharptail hunters have left and the phez hunters haven't started arriving yet. Nice time to be here.

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9 minutes ago, Don Steese said:

While your statement is true I find it less true each year. We're in a bit of a lull right now. A lot of the Hun and sharptail hunters have left and the phez hunters haven't started arriving yet. Nice time to be here.

I'm getting ready to ruin your day Don! Five setters, three boykins and a loud ass guitar.

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Don Steese
19 minutes ago, juneboy1 said:

I'm getting ready to ruin your day Don! Five setters, three boykins and a loud ass guitar.

You don't count because I like you!

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Tim Frazier

In November last year I saw zero bird hunters    Of course the week before it was -9.  

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