I always enjoy turning my truck to the northeast and winding down the Powder River to Gardner Ranch Outfitters (www.groutfitters.com) near Broadus, Montana. My plan was to bowhunt whitetails at dawn and dusk, and mule deer during the midday. As always, the hunting was great and I began passing on bucks at the first whitetail stand. Halfway through the hunt my good friend Doug Gardner directed me to a remote treestand for a long shot on a big whitetail or possibly a big mule deer.
His gamble paid off and I was presented a great shot on a beautiful Montana mule deer as a dozen bucks walked within bow range of my treestand. Although the buck was an adrenaline rush, I was just as excited to spend time hunting, scouting and catching up on old times with Doug.
I've hunted with Doug since 1995. During the course of that time I've shot whitetails, mule deer, pronghorns and elk. I've guided for him, spent time at his ranch and watched his kids grow up. Going to Doug's camp is like going to visit family.
Although we reveled in my success we also joked, ribbed and reminisced about past hunts including the time where I crawled up on a buck and then crawled back to Doug to ask him one more time, "Do you think he's big enough?"
I hope your memories from hunting camp are as memorable as mine. Remember, it's not all about the hunt. Enjoy the friendships.
Mark, I forgot to tell you. I need you to guide next week.