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GREAT NEW PRODUCT

I'm impressed with a new product that I highly recommend to hunters. Called PhoneSkope, it's a way to attach your cell phone to your binoculars or spotting scope. I had the company make me a PhoneSkope that allows me to connect my Galaxy Note II to a unique spotting scope that I use, consisting of a Nikon Scope Adapter paired with a Nikkor 300mm F4 lens. Through it I can see and photograph or video tape bucks more than four miles from my house. It's unbelievable. To contact the company check out www.phoneskope.com.

Unguided hunts on private ranch in Montana for elk, mule deer, whitetail deer and pronghorn antelope

Here's a chance to hunt a large private ranch in Montana on your own without a guide. This ranch has been managed for quality trophies for 15 years. Typically these types fo ranches are leased to outfitters, but Montana has made it so difficult to get an outfitter's license as well as tags under the outfitter allotment that this rancher has decided to book hunters who want self-guided trips.

The ranch covers 20,000 private acres in southcentral MT. It is extremely difficult to obtain a rifle tag for elk in this area, but bow tags are much easier to obtain. The ranch accommodates just four elk bowhunters per year along with six mule deer, seven pronghorn antelope and four whitetail deer. You also can add bird hunting to your trip along with trout fishing in a pond or a stream.

The ranchers are experienced hunters and know the terrain and can tell you where they typically see game.

"You usually see six to 10 bull elk a day up to the 350 class or so," the hunt provider said. "Usually you see 30 to 60 deer a day, and sometimes you'll see more than 100. Good hunters should have a excellent chance of taking a 24 to 31-inch buck in the 160 to 190 B&C class. You see 100 to 200 antelope a day with 14 to 16-inch bucks the norm. Whitetails average 130 to 160 Boone and Crockett."

Hunting is by stalking, still hunting, tree stand hunting, and glassing from vantage points overlooking hay fields and other good spots. You can hike into isolated parts of the property. The hunt provider does not guarantee a shot or a harvest but will guarantee that a excellent place to hunt with excellent game numbers.

Hunt EK4940MT
Self-guided hunts Price per person
Elk rifle or bow $2,500, 5 days
Deer rifle or bow $2,000, 5 days
Pronghorn antelope rifle or bow $1,400, 5 days
Elk/deer combo, rifle or bow $3,000, 5 days
Deer/antelope combo, rifle or bow $2,500, 5 days
Elk/deer/antelope combo $3,500, 7 days
Prairie dog shooting $370, 3 days
Preserve game bird hunting $22.50 per pheasant, $17.50 per chukar or Hungarian partridge
Travel Season
You must provide your own vehicle transportation to and on the ranch. Bow seasons in September. Rifle seasons begin in October. Deer season runs through November. Antelope season ends in early to mid-November in most of Montana.
Lodging License

Bunkhouse lodging and two meals per day (breakfast and supper) are included. You must provide your own lunches.

Hunting licenses or tags are not included in the price of the hunt. Updated prices.

Trophy size Hunter success

Because bull elk rifle permits are limited in this zone and because the ranch is lightly hunted, the bulls are big with animals in the 300 to 350-plus class seen most days. Mule deer hunters can expect to see bucks in the 160s to 190s. Most mature whitetails score in the 130s to 160s. Pronghorn are 12-16", and selective hunters should take bucks 14-16".

2005: Four hunters who had never hunted killed four mule deer and four antelope in two days. Both elk hunters killed bulls.

Rifle hunters should all have shooting opportunities at good heads; bowhunters typically see plenty of game but sometimes can't get good shots at the bigger animals.