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Old 03-06-2010, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,693 posts, read 7,303,422 times
Reputation: 3454
I've got some fine scatterguns, and every time I'm around a skeet range I knock those clays pretty well, but I've never been much of a birdman. I've got a Savage over/under .22mag-.20ga gun I normally hunt squirrel with and I've hit a grouse or two (only because they scared the tar out of me while walking in the woods).

Maybe I need to broaden my horizons!
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:49 AM
 
Location: MT/35 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
1,367 posts, read 1,463,544 times
Reputation: 1699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Threerun View Post
I've got some fine scatterguns, and every time I'm around a skeet range I knock those clays pretty well, but I've never been much of a birdman. I've got a Savage over/under .22mag-.20ga gun I normally hunt squirrel with and I've hit a grouse or two (only because they scared the tar out of me while walking in the woods).

Maybe I need to broaden my horizons!
....Threerun.....

I've read your previous posts re hunting in WV and how you hope to hunt various species here in MT. Although you haven't specifically asked about guns, calibers, bullets, foot pounds of energy at 100 yrd etc,etc,etc,.......I am going to "stick my neck out" and offer "my humble opinions" after having hunted big game in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska since 1960. (Species involved: WT Deer; Mule Deer; Elk; Moose; Caribou; Antelope; Black Bear; Kodiak (Grizzly) Bear and Canadian Wolf). I am offering these "opinions".......not to brag....not to impress, but to hopefully lessen your chances of making some erroneous decisions after you begin your hunting adventures here in MT......which I think will be vastly different from what you have experienced in WV....(no derogatory implication intended).

Rifles: A good quality Bolt Action with a "hinged floor plate" for it's magazine.
Calibers: Deer, Antelope and Black Bear: an Absolute Mimimum of .243 caliber......preferrably a .25/06 or 7mm Mag would be better (don't forget, you want a high velocity, flat shooting load that will enable you to achieve "one-shot kills" out to 350 to 400 yards --if necessary.....!
Bullets for the above: in .243--either 100 or 105 gr Premium (controled expansion) type bullets: i.e. Nosler Partition Etc, Etc ....................
In the .25/06, 120 gr............and in the 7mm mag, 140 gr (again and always use a PREMIUM Type Bullet).............................. Please don't consider using calibers such as: .223; .220 swift; .22/250 etc, etc,(these calibers and their respective bullets are intented for varmint/target type use....not for game where you need penetration with controlled expansion)................and (never) a .30 cal M1 CARBINE with Military Hard Ball Ammo. Also, I think MT F&G statutes require a minimum of 900 ft pounds of energy at 100 yards and an expansion type bullet..no full metal jacket.

For Elk & Moose: I would choose one of the .338 caliber cartridges with 250 gr Premium bullets..................Remember, there is nothing more satisfying than a "one shot (virtually) instantenous kill.......No tracking, no 'pumping of hot blood through the animal's system, before he finally falls over several minutes later); no lingering death for the animal etc. To achieve this type of kill I (personally), if at all possible, aim to place the bullet: "one third of the way down from the top line of the neck,,,at a point where the neck begins to broaden out and begin to form the front of the shoulder...........At this point of impact, you put the bullet within 1 to 2 inches of the spine (and many times right into the spine), this almost always drops the animal 'In-his-tracks'. And, a much easier and cleaner job for 'field-dressing'.

Scopes: A great many choices here: I personally like Burris Scopes because of the STEEL tubes (not Aluminum) and I prefer WARNE mount bases and rings....again because they are Steel, use (4) allen head screws (not 2) per ring and hold a scope tighter in the rings than any others that I know of. (Again, these are just my opinions, formed over many years)...............
Power choice(s): again a great many choices......I prefer a '4 to 16' variable for the deer/antelope rifle (due to the possible shots out to 400), and a '2 to 7', or '3 to 9' for the elk rifle. (don't forget....the larger the scope (in size)....the greater the chance you will bang it up against something while hunting in MT type enviroment(s).

Most important: by target shooting, get to know where your choosen "load" impacts at 100, 200, 300, & 400 yards.....as related to your point of aim.
And do this with your "hunting loads".....not some cheap, bargain type ammo.
For most rifles in a high velociety range of 3000 fps, I sight in to be (3" inches high at 100 yards).........this will minimumize your aiming point considerations......................But, you still have to ckeck out your bullet impact points at 100, 200, 300, & 400 yards.

Hope this info helps. Again, these are just my opinions (and I know, others out there will take issue with me......however this is what has worked for me.................and I have never lost a big game animal.......of that, I am quite proud.

CARPE DIEM!
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Old 03-06-2010, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,693 posts, read 7,303,422 times
Reputation: 3454
Thanks, appreciate the info. I tend to mostly bow hunt for big game. Only lost one in the last, oh, 7 years or so? My bow sight got buggered and I hit one in the 'void' far up the shoulder.

Heck last year I bagged some nice bushy tails with my bow too. All in all I take most my game that way nowadays.

I own two centerfire rifles, my father in-laws old Rem bolt .257 bob and Thompsons Encore. I've got a .30-06 rifle barrel and a .257 pistol barrel. I'd more than likely get another barrel for hunting out west.

Here's a fox I bagged while target shooting. Turned out to be rabid.
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
3,169 posts, read 1,909,870 times
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I have hunted for years in Montana and Wyoming, with a Remington 30-06 in either pump gun or semi-auto. IMO, that ol '06 is hard to beat, and the Remington rifles do the job just fine. I use a plain old duplex cross hair 4 power Leupold scope.
I have taken a LOT of deer and a few antelope with that combo, usually shooting 165 grain silvertip ammunition.
For a couple years I used a 45-70 lever action Marlin rifle, with 405 gr. hollow points.
It was fun to shoot!
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Old 03-06-2010, 07:52 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,693 posts, read 7,303,422 times
Reputation: 3454
I just sold my Encore .45-70 barrel. That is a fun round to shoot.

My .257 has been my go to white-tail gun for years. Before that I had a Rem gamemaster pump in .30-06. Darn good rifles. But I have to say, the Encore I have has some really good trigger work and with the Thompson factory .30-06 barrel it's a great shooter. I forked out some bucks last year and bought a Leupold VX3 50mm scope and boy is that a dandy too. Puts my Nikon to shame. Hopefully that's the last scope I'll ever buy.

I only shot one doe with that set-up this year- the rest of my bags were with my bow.
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:21 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
6,432 posts, read 7,317,554 times
Reputation: 1964
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
I've read your previous posts re hunting in WV and how you hope to hunt various species here in MT. Although you haven't specifically asked about guns, calibers, bullets, foot pounds of energy at 100 yrd etc,etc,etc,.......I am going to "stick my neck out" and offer "my humble opinions" after having hunted big game in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, and Alaska since 1960.
Wow, that's a lot of good info. My brain hurts.

One other thing I'd expect is that you might have to adjust slightly for the thinner air at MT's higher altitude. It's significant for aircraft, so I expect it also makes a difference for shooting -- being there's less air resistance.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:30 AM
 
1 posts, read 179 times
Reputation: 10
The hunting here gets worse every year. The outfitters have locked up a bunch of the land that we used to be able to hunt on block management is a joke there's so much private property that everyone has to use block management and the land owner can still tell you no If you own land or know someone with land then the hunting is ok that is if there is any deer or elk left after the wolves get done. If you're a bird hunter. Good luck getting permission to hunt on anyone's land. Get a map that shows private and open land. You will be superseded how much of Montana is private
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:05 PM
 
659 posts, read 548,057 times
Reputation: 478
Montana has 30 million acres of public lands.
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