September may be the best allaround month in Central Montana. The fishing is still good, the elk are bugling, and the first upland seasons get under way for Huns and sharptails. Both species are often found in the same terrain here—a unique blend of prairie habitat and “island” mountain ranges. Although snow can fly any day, on these earliest hunts, it’s more common to need a midday break to get out of the heat and do a little bit of wirehaired maintenance.

When this mix of public and private land is your backyard, the golden days of early autumn pass by like seasons themselves. Memories of one hunt drift dreamlike into the reality of the next. A veteran wirehaired, Maggie, passes her magic on to the novice, Max, making his first points. We all know another September is coming, but it can’t get here soon enough.

Don and Lori Thomas hunt a mixture of private and public land out their back door in Central Montana, where they split time between there and Arizona. For more of Don’s work, visit www.donthomasbooks.com

Created By
Gray's Sporting journal MMN


Photography by Don Thomas

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