2009 Hunting Journal
A great success this year was had, starting with the spring bear hunt when we took two hunters from Texas, Ed and Tracy. We hunted the last week in may and broke through the snow banks to get camp set up before the hunt. What an amazing time of the year to be in the wilderness, watching new life appear as the snow dissappears. Elk were everywhere, grazing on the young grasses. I believe we saw over a thousand head of elk over the course of the week.
In Montana, bear hunting is fair chase only, the use of dogs or baiting is prohibited. So the way we hunt is to horseback through and look at as much country as possible. At this time of year, bears also feed on the new grasses and sloots. Making them fairly easy to find in a secluded wilderness environment. This was the first outfitted bear hunt in our area since 1988. Both Ed and Tracy were successful. Ed took a beautiful chocolate, and Tracy took a big solid black boar bear.
We had the oppurtunity to take archery hunters in September and had a blast chasing some of the largest bulls I've ever seen in the Lewis and Clark forest. The Campfire Productions owner, Andy Weichers, and camera man, Nick Hopp, came out and filmed a week of archery hunting. the hunt will be aired on Television starting in Jan. 2010 on the Fox Sports Channel.
The first week of the rifle season was awesome with a midweek snow storm and colder weather, it made for an excelent hunt. One morning we got on a group of eighteen elk and they were all BULLS!! "What a sight!" The returning bear hunters, Ed and Tracy, added to their years success as Tracy shot a 4x5 bull and Ed took a nice mule deer buck.
The third week brought a couple form Minnesota, Kurt and Mary. Mary shot the biggest bull taken in our 2009 season. They were hunting together along with hunting guide, Jeff Perry. While riding horse back into a remote creek drainage they rode acrossed a burned off bench and saw the big bull. The three got off and tied up the horses. Jeff and Kurt were a bit shaken by the excitment of the moment, but Mary, was cool as a cucumber and downed the bull with one shot at 340 yards. Who said, "men make better hunters,"?
Its a great blessing to be in this business and be able to meet and get to know people like the ones we had this year in God's Amazing Creation.
Paul Ritchey and family.