bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

Spring in Montana.  It brings beauty and beast to the western half of the state each and every year.  Mostly it’s been beast.  Since Travis killed his bear, we’ve been blasted with rain almost every day.  The state of the weather flips on a dime it seems and the second you think the weather is shaping up, well think again.  The conditions have been making my goal of arrowing a black bear more and more difficult.  With the rain and longer days the grass is green almost everywhere, and it’s making the bears less and less reluctant to stay in the open for long.  Fortunately we’ve still been getting after them and we have upped the bear count to 20 for the year with 7 seen in the last 7 days.  Let’s just say seeing bears doesn’t convert into killing bears.  Often they are a ways off and on the move.  I could have killed at least 4 with a rifle, but the challenge of the bow makes it more intense and rewarding when it’s all said and done.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

The Backroads

The weekend started slow as we left town and drove 30 miles into the mountains.  We were able to glass one clearcut before the rain started coming down and hard.  Soon we were fogged in and had to call it a day.  It’s a bummer when you can’t even get out of the truck, but the mountains make the rules.

The next day we were in a spot we hadn’t hunted this year but knew held bears.  We had ran into two last year doing some elk scouting and there was plenty of open landscape to glass.  About 20 minutes in on our bike Travis made a crazy good spot.  There was a good black bear crossing some rocks and moving up a north facing slope.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

Bear #17

He was about 850 yards across a deep ravine.  We watched him bed down right behind that tree and watched him for a while.  He seemed to be staying put despite it only being 8AM.  We decided we better try to locate him and try to get a shot.  We backtracked on the bikes and went down into a steep ravine before climbing up onto the ridge the bear was bedded on.  We had taken landmarks and knew we only had to go down this ridge about 100 yards.  We slowly started creeping down the ridge.  I knew we were getting close but it was thick.  The wind was perfect, the only problem was we had a bunch of downfall between us and the bears position.  Finally I saw black fur through the trees.  He was still laying down and I could see his butt and legs.  We were only 45 yards away, but there was no shot with all the branches and downed trees.  There was no option of approaching him any other way and getting a clean shot so I kept sneaking forward.  Every step was slow and we were being as quiet as we could be.  Of course a chipmunk decided now was a good time to start screaming at us.  That combined with one tiny, and I mean tiny twig breaking was enough to make this bear sleepily sit up.  I could see him sitting there, groggy, and contemplating laying back down.  Well his intuition had the better of him, and he slowly stood and walked back down and to our left.  There was never a shot and we were only 37 yards away at that point.  We slowly crept down the hill only to never see him again.  It was a letdown but it felt great putting such a stalk on a mature wild animal.  I truly believe this is the best way to hunt, and I hope you’ll never see us hunt from a treestand over bait.  I feel that bears should be hunted fair chase, spot and stalk just like every other animal unless they become a problem or there’s zero open terrain to catch a bear in.  It’s just seems like the American way to throw out your bait and sit there and pick your bear.  You just learn so much more being out there, seeing new areas, learning about animal movements, and experiencing God’s country.  It’s also going to be so rewarding when it comes together.  We left that area and decided to explore some new roads on the other side of the highway.  Well we made it way up in the mountains and decided to get some more time in with the new Razor HD spotting scope before the weather changed.

We found a few new areas that looked promising as far as bear hunting or some elk scouting but it’s still a little brown that high up and the snow is still sticking around.  We both took turns on the scope but only found one lone cow elk bedded in a small cut in the timber.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

We finally packed it up and head back to Missoula.  After a couple hour break we were back up the mountain and glassing more open country.  After about 20 minutes Travis made another solid spot.  He could see a nice blond bear about a mile away.  Ordinarily we would have gone after this bear right away.  On this day we pulled the spotting scope out and took a closer look.  Good thing because it was a sow and two cubs and it saved us a heck of a trek.  We watched them until the weather began to change and we knew it was time to call it a day.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

A beautiful sow and two cubs

The next day we woke up at 545 only to find it raining and foggy.  We’ll looks like we’re sleeping in.  When I got up around 930 it was clear out and sunny.  Uhhhhh ok Montana you win.  Looks like you’ll let us hunt this evening.  Well of course as we start heading out of town the clouds start building.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

Spring storms

About 2 minutes into driving the dirt road it starts pouring rain.  Soon it began to hail and we were surrounded by lightning.  We decided to see if it would pass and reluctantly turned around as it was just too dangerous to get out of the truck.  We rallied some mud puddles and made it about a mile down the road before we stopped to get a few timelapses.  We’ll by the time we had finished some filming it was turning out to be pretty nice again.  We figured we’d drive back up top and at least glass and see if we saw anything pop out of the timber.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

Searching

We continued to glass for about an hour but only were able to spot one lone mule deer doe.  The weather was shifting so much I’m sure most of the animals were seeking cover in the timber and waiting for nicer weather to really come out and feed.

bear hunting, Montana Wild, black bears, bowhunting, archery, Nikon D7000, hunting videos, timelapses, Bear Archery, Anarchy, Carbon Express

Things aren’t shaping up to be too great the rest of the week.  It’s raining now and the forecast is calling for 100% tomorrow.  I’m sure we’ll be back at it again this weekend.  It’s coming down to crunch time as this Thursday marks the one week mark until season is over and it’s officially summer fishing.  I hope we can pull it together and get one more chance before it’s over.  If not it’s been an amazing spring and time spent in the mountains is always a blessing.

-Zack

 

Here is the latest of our hunting edits.  Zack did an amazing job filming and editing the footage. Check it out! More awesome hunting edits in the near future!

-Travis

We started up the truck and finished grabbing our gear.  Camo on, calls ready, and a full clip of bullets.  It was day one of a three day trip to Central Montana to become the hunted.  We would be calling coyotes in open coulee country in hopes of capturing some sweet winter hunting.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Silver and Gold

That first morning we got to our second stand only to spook a coyote just as we were pulling up to park adjacent to a deep coulee.  We called that stand but drew a blank.  Over the course of the next few stands we had one hang up at 700 yards that didn’t come in and another that we spooked walking into a promising stand.  A little discouraged with the conditions we headed to a spot that has produced in the past.  Sure enough after about 4 minutes of calling we saw a coyote charging to our left at about 400 yards.  Before we could swing the camera and shooters into position we lost sight off him.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Waiting for a shot

I knew as he would get closer he would catch our wind before popping back up into sight of Tyler and Travis.  Sure enough about 2 minutes later we saw him running in the other direction.  Running away over numerous finger shaped ridges left us no chances at a shot.  We finished that evening with no luck and looked forward to the next day.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

End of Day 1

Well all I can say about day 2 is WIND.  All caps because it was so damned windy we couldn’t even think about calling.  Wind speeds were around 30mph and gusts of 50mph were common.  Combine that with a windchill of 15-20 below and let’s just say we bought a case of beer and watched some football to pass the time.  Forecasts for the following day were ideal.  They were calling for no wind and a daytime temperature of 4 degrees.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

A great sunset

Day 3 found us up early and chomping at the bit.  Conditions were ideal and we quickly got set up on our first stand.  We called a long coulee full of dead cottonwoods and sage but never had any takers.  Over the course of the next 6 stands we sat some beautiful spots but never saw a dog.  We new something was up.  Either the area had been hit hard by hunters on ATV’s or planes or the coyotes had moved down into the valley were the livestock and game was herded up.  Sure enough our first stand back down in the valley was a winner.  We set up to call at the end of a couple coulees that dumped into a prairie dog town.  After 10 minutes and just as Tyler was about to shoot a rock, Travis made a good spot on a dog standing on a ridge at 260 yards.  Travis was in search of his first coyote but couldn’t get repositioned quick enough.  Tyler made a quick shot with his AR-15 and dropped our first coyote of the day.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

1st yote down

The next stand we switched up the call after about 7 minutes.  A few minutes later we stood up after not seeing anything and sure enough right behind us was a coyote.  He quickly spotted us and took off.  I turned the Nikon back on, switched to live view, and got focused.  This took place over the course of literally a few seconds, and just as I said I was on him Travis lit off a round.  The coyote dropped and Travis had his first coyote out of the way.  He made a quick shot on a running coyote at around 150 yards to top it off.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Trav’s 1st yote….ever

After checking out the second unlucky coyote of the day we walked another 800 yards and set up again.  Again, after about 7-8 minutes of calling I spotted a coyote walking up the bottom of a draw.  By the time I got the guys on him he disappeared into the sage.  We looked and glassed for 5 minutes but couldn’t see him.  We figured he had a den there and had went into it.  We had Travis stand up to see if he was still down there and would spook.  We saw nothing and of course as we all stood I spotted him begin to walk off in the same spot we thought he had disappeared in.  Within seconds I was on him with the camera and Travis made another great moving shot at 300 yards.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

3 in 3 stands all within a half mile

We followed this up with another stand just another 700 yards away.  We had a coyote coming in at about 600 yards but he was spooked by a small herd of mule deer.  We had spooked these deer on the way in and our chances at 4 in a row were gone.  We headed back to the truck to relocate to a new location.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Off to a new area

We gassed up the Ford, filled up our bellies with a hearty gas station meal, and left to finish our day off strong.  After pulling off the highway we drove a half mile down into a vast open drainage spotted with sagebrush.  We quickly got setup and started wailing on the distress call.  Soon Travis had 3 coyotes spotted coming in from our right.  As the coyotes neared us I had 2 of them in the frame on the Nikon, and I tried to communicate to both shooters which coyote to take.  The coyotes wouldn’t stop running in and disappeared behind a small ridge.  Soon one popped up at 150 yards and stopped.  I was on him and Tyler squeezed off a round.  A burst of dust and the coyote was charging away.  Tyler narrowly missed him as he dodged and weaved his way out through the bottom.  We all were amped up even though we were leaving empty handed.

Lets just say we were definitely heating up after a rough morning.  To make a long story short, on our next stand we convinced a territorial female to come within range after 20+ minutes of calling.  We used 2 distress calls, howls, barks, and pup distress.  She even ate a field mouse seconds before Travis dropped her.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

A 4th yote

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

With 4 coyotes on the day we decided to wrap it up with one last stand.  We were able to spot 2 coyotes out at 800 yards, but they just wouldn’t cooperate.  We think they had spotted us walking in.  We were able to coerce one into starting to circle downwind, but with light fading we couldn’t bring him in close enough.  We had an awesome day though.  Overall we saw 15 coyotes that day.  We called 7 into range and killed 4.  At the end of it all it turned into a very worthwhile trip.  I was able to capture Tyler and Travis over the course of those 3 days and get all 4 kills on film so throw on the headphones, make sure it’s in HD and enjoy!!!

I hope you guys enjoyed the video and we look forward to creating more soon.

coyote hunting, Montana, Montana Wild, predator hunting, MT, calling, howling, distress calls, Primos, Nikon, Remington, Sitka

Sunset on the last stand

Peace!

-Zack