To All My fellow Hunters,
Got this buck on the end of the Montana rifle season.  Weather has been bad here, was -10 to 10 degrees all week.  Tried a new spot, hunted it twice which was more of a scouting session.  Studied the area on Google earth and went back for one last hunt Sat eve.  Was pounding snow and very cold. Had a feeling I had picked a good funnel which is the only way I know how to hunt these Nat forest bucks that don’t feed on ag.
Sure enough I saw a doe after a couple hours and she was hot in estrus.  Few minutes later the buck appeared, slowly following her.   Had to shoot free hand and was less then a perfect shot to say the least.  Hit him way too low at about 250 yards.
With the pounding snow, decided to hit the blood trail as I didn’t have but much time until dark and the snow was not going to let up.  Tracked/pushed him for a long ways deeper and deeper into the mountain.  Hoping to get a second shot or wear him down enough to get close to him;  knowing my chances decreased with the current storm if I came back.  Got dark on me, tagged my spot and hiked out.
This is a huge grizzly area in which they trapped several bears this summer.  Thankfully with the weather it seems all the bears are up high and gone down for the year.  Went back next day with my wife, and it was her first time tracking or seeing anything like this.  Being in deep snow tracking a light blood trail and tracks under fresh snow, but she loved it.  The buck crossed 3 creeks, one in which he walked down a ways which we almost lost his tracks.  Finally found him right before dark.  Field dressed him, covered gut pile with snow, opened him up to cool and hiked out again by night fall.
Came back this morning cut him up and packed him out.  This is about as good a trophy as I could ever ask for.  Not because of the rack because there are far bigger, but it was a true hunt, in a wild place against harsh conditions where I was able to get all the meat out good and clean while sharing the experience with my wife.  He’s a cool rack, 6×6 with a small kicker in the back.  When I’m old and can’t do this anymore, I’ll always look up at this rack and have a great memory and remember what it is that makes us all love to hunt.

Hope everyone has had a safe and fun season.
Work to live… Live to hunt….