Katelyn and I are back from a Montana Thanksgiving that will be hard to top. The weather was welcoming, Gardner Ranch Outfitters didn't disappoint, and we even spent Thanksgiving with some good friends.
Of course, the real enjoyment took place along the Powder River. Deer were still rutting hard and the crisp mornings spurred the action. Our first morning out could have been our last. We rattled in several ambitious bucks, but I told Katelyn to hold off and shop a bit for a nice one. That evening we sat in a bale blind and another bruiser showed up. I was being patient, looking for an even better buck, when a bull roundup interrupted our hunt and cleared the field. Katelyn was bummed, but she knew there were more bucks around to target.
On Thanksgiving morning we hit the woods again and weren't disappointed. As we slipped into the back of an oxbow, bucks were rutting, does were running and fawns were playing. Finally in place, we set up to rattle. The first buck to show up was a nice 4X4, but I had seen an even better buck earlier as we slipped into position. The 4X4 buck left and we rattled again. Sure enough, the bigger buck showed up and marched in to challenge the prize fighters.
At 60 yards the buck stopped and Katelyn whispered, "I want to shoot this buck." I nodded and she dropped the buck in his tracks. She was shooting a T/C Icon in the .30 T/C caliber loaded with Hornady 165-grain SST bullets. A Nikon BDC reticle provided a clear path to the target. I couldn't have been more proud of my daughter.
We spent the rest of the weekend wrapping filming for an episode of "North American Hunter-TV," hunting some for myself, eating pizza and even taking in a movie. It's been a long fall, and I still have more than a month of deer hunting left, but this was a well-timed break to recharge my batteries and
reconnect with family. It was simply "the best"!