Holiday traditions: Hunting mule deer in the rut

A Thanksgiving family tradition

Brady Miller

Thanksgiving week was finally here. Earlier in the year my dad, my brother Bryce, my dad’s friend Steve King and his son Bubba all drew general season buck tags for Montana. As the season progressed, I decided to give up my special draw permit in Montana to join them on the hunt. It was a tough decision since I drew one of the best tags in the state, but family hunts means a lot to me and I don’t get to hunt with my family very often.

I jumped on a plane and made my way to Montana. We arrived late in the afternoon and dropped our gear off in the hotel and headed out for a quick afternoon of glassing. With the cold wind and temperatures, we decided to stay in the vehicle and glass from a distance. The wind had the deer holding tight to cover, so we only managed to glass up a few does and some small bucks. We ended the evening by marking some waypoints on the GPS of areas to check out in the morning, and made our way back to the hotel.

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We quickly descended the hill we were glassing on, and picked our way through the junipers. As we neared the buck’s location, a doe that we didn’t see blew out of the junipers and ran over a small rise toward the buck. The herd that we found the big buck in was spooked, so we had to spend the next hour looking for the herd in a tangled mess of junipers in the coulees on the other side.

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