Montana 2018!!

Beniciahd

New member
Sooo, my buddy and I have decided to make a trip to Montana for a theee day hunt. Since time is limited we aren’t going to South Dakota. We are also not going to go to NE Montana because it’s another 400 miles or so. So we’ve settled near Shelby in Ponderosa county. Starting the journey on October 15th. I’ll take lots of pictures and share the time!!
 

quail hound

Moderator
I drove through Shelby on my way home from my MT trip and it looked real good from what I remember. That's not a hot spot either so you should have a lot of room to roam. Good luck, I look forward to the reports!
 
I drove through Shelby on my way home from my MT trip and it looked real good from what I remember. That's not a hot spot either so you should have a lot of room to roam. Good luck, I look forward to the reports!
Lots of space. Hunted there several years ago. Mostly huns and sharptails to the north and some pheasants to the south. Way less pressure than the northeast or Lewistown area.
 

Beniciahd

New member
Lots of space. Hunted there several years ago. Mostly huns and sharptails to the north and some pheasants to the south. Way less pressure than the northeast or Lewistown area.
Good to hear! Thank you for more information. We are looking forward to it. I’ve heard to be on the lookout for the bears!
 

calamari

New member
Play your cards right and you might run into David Letterman. His estancia is in that neck of the woods near Choteau. Freezeout Res. has birds some years but it's close to Great Falls and gets shot off quickly. I think that Great Falls may provide more competition than is thought. Eat a Sharptail before you shoot a bushel. It's an acquired taste that requires cooking skill. No reason to kill something you don't like to eat or have to submerge in BBQ sauce to stifle the gag reflex. Huns are a treat.
 

calamari

New member
Another thing to remember is that you have to declare your birds when you enter Calif. at Truckee. You can download the form but you'll be shunted into an inspection area where wardens will go over your forms and birds. It takes a few minutes and serves no real purpose since it's big game that has the pest/disease issues but I almost got a citation for Morgan's last pheasant when I came back in. I thought I could mail the form in. Nope!
Best to just submit instead of trying to finesse it by telling them you were just visiting Reno. Anyone with a hunting dog, camo clothes, visible ice chest or camping gear or a road dirty truck will get shunted.
 

Beniciahd

New member
Great information! I appreciate all the information. What do sharptails taste close to? Anything similar? Yeah, that would be a treat running into him.
 

calamari

New member
I like all waterfowl and most dark meat birds but to my taste, Sharptails have too strong a blood taste. They regularly fly long distances every day and live at relatively high altitudes so their meat is very dark red due to a large amount of hemoglobin to carry oxygen is my guess. As dark as the darkest duck meat without the tasty fat.
Personally, I never found a recipe that resulted in a dish I liked with one exception. A guy back there had his possession limit and wanted to hunt more but couldn't gag down another piece of Sharptail. He had some teriyaki breasts that he'd fried the day before and asked a friend and I to take as much as we wanted so he could hunt again the next day. We each took 1/2 of a breast with my friend unable to eat more than one bite of his so I ate the rest so the animal wouldn't be wasted. I thought it was only OK. Another hunter who used to post here would shoot several for his mom who grew up eating them and she'd stew them. If it's a taste from your childhood you'll like them. I've shot them in Idaho and Montana and they tasted the same. Wonderful to watch with their rapid wing beat and glide manner of flying and easy to get right up on if they haven't been hunted yet. If they have, again in my experience, they are very difficult to get close to and will flush hundreds of yards away before you get to the bunch and then fly away over the horizon.
Like I said shoot one and see how you like it before you shoot more.
 

Beniciahd

New member
I like all waterfowl and most dark meat birds but to my taste, Sharptails have too strong a blood taste. They regularly fly long distances every day and live at relatively high altitudes so their meat is very dark red due to a large amount of hemoglobin to carry oxygen is my guess. As dark as the darkest duck meat without the tasty fat.
Personally, I never found a recipe that resulted in a dish I liked with one exception. A guy back there had his possession limit and wanted to hunt more but couldn't gag down another piece of Sharptail. He had some teriyaki breasts that he'd fried the day before and asked a friend and I to take as much as we wanted so he could hunt again the next day. We each took 1/2 of a breast with my friend unable to eat more than one bite of his so I ate the rest so the animal wouldn't be wasted. I thought it was only OK. Another hunter who used to post here would shoot several for his mom who grew up eating them and she'd stew them. If it's a taste from your childhood you'll like them. I've shot them in Idaho and Montana and they tasted the same. Wonderful to watch with their rapid wing beat and glide manner of flying and easy to get right up on if they haven't been hunted yet. If they have, again in my experience, they are very difficult to get close to and will flush hundreds of yards away before you get to the bunch and then fly away over the horizon.
Like I said shoot one and see how you like it before you shoot more.
Yeah, that sealed the deal. Thank you for that. I’ll shoot one if I’m lucky, just for the experience and to give it a shot. At least I can inform the other guys. I looked up a recipe and this guy went all out to mask the taste, cooking it sous vide. Will be hard to do that in the field! Usually I smoke most of my Pheasants because my wife and daughter will eat it up. Snow’s I’ll make tacos using the pressure cooker and they’ll eat it. They dislike dove unless it’s stewed, so I highly doubt they’ll eat sharpies.
 

calamari

New member
cooking it sous vide

You could always put some Sharptail in a small plastic garbage bag, submerge it in your truck's radiator's tank and then drive around looking for David Letterman. The upside with that method is that if the bag leaks, it won't affect the taste.
Good luck and expect the first trip there to be mostly a learning experience. Sign in at every BMA box you come to to help the land owners feel good about being in the program. They get/got $10/hunter day for being in the program.
 

Beniciahd

New member
cooking it sous vide

You could always put some Sharptail in a small plastic garbage bag, submerge it in your truck's radiator's tank and then drive around looking for David Letterman. The upside with that method is that if the bag leaks, it won't affect the taste.
Good luck and expect the first trip there to be mostly a learning experience. Sign in at every BMA box you come to to help the land owners feel good about being in the program. They get/got $10/hunter day for being in the program.
That there was the post of the year!
 

Beniciahd

New member
We leave Monday. Hunting Wednesday-Friday. Weather looks like it’s going to be perfect. Hoping it’ll be productive. Pictures forthcoming!
 

calamari

New member
Somebody else on the forum from Calif. is there now for his first trip. I'll let him describe his experience. I hope he does.
Diet coke and books on tape. They help.
 

Beniciahd

New member
Somebody else on the forum from Calif. is there now for his first trip. I'll let him describe his experience. I hope he does.
Diet coke and books on tape. They help.
I look forward to reading it. We are heading to northern Utah to meet up with my buddies dad and brother. Then heading up the hill early Tuesday. Hopefully a little scouting to pick the best looking spot to start the adventure.

Success will be measured in the experience, not bird count!
 

calamari

New member
Sharptails are good. You have to know how to cook them.
Share the recipe. I love Snow breasts sliced, pounded, chicken fried and then a cream pan gravy on mashed potatoes. Pressure cook the legs and thighs for 18 minutes and then toss with Buffalo wings sauce and watch football. Sharptails, I'll need to see the recipe.
 

calamari

New member
I look forward to reading it. We are heading to northern Utah to meet up with my buddies dad and brother. Then heading up the hill early Tuesday. Hopefully a little scouting to pick the best looking spot to start the adventure.

Success will be measured in the experience, not bird count!
He's in Great Falls now. Snowing and 25 degrees today and the places he's gone to were crowded and pounded. He's not in grain country yet.
 

quail hound

Moderator
I just drove from West Yellowstone to Miles City today and it snowed all the way to Billings. Good luck to those of you hunting Montana this year!
 
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