in southwest Montana
is the quintessential
western whitetail hunt,
and there is no better time to be
there than during the late November
rut. A drop in temperature and
a dusting of snow the night before
will set the big boys to searching for
does in estrus, caution be damned.
So let that little guy walk, and his
older brother might soon follow.
A hot summer of target
arrows, and tweaking
gear comes down
to one moment, when a single
shot at the pump house is all that’s
offered—and all it takes. Sixty yards
of blood trailing is pretty much a
foregone conclusion in fresh snow.
And if relations with the landowner
are solid, it won’t be that much
farther to the truck.
Last November we found photographer Mark Johnson perched in a Montana riverbottom treestand as his friend and fellow Gray’s contributor, Denver Bryan, closed the deal on a beautiful 10-point buck in full rut.