Thank you to Trails End Ranch and Ruby Drake Lodge of Twin Bridges for their hospitality during our recent whitetail hunt. On the weekend of November 17th, 4 incredible veterans (Reo Phillips, Frank Brewer, Tim Cooper and Luke Thomasson) descended upon the Trails End Ranch and the Ruby Drake Lodge to harvest whitetail deer. 4 great management bucks were harvested as well as 4 doe per veteran filling their freezers for the winter. The hospitality and fellowship during this hunt was second to none. The guides at the Trails End Ranch put the veterans on the deer; thank you Casey, Hunter and Adam for your expertise and kindness during our hunts. The Ruby Drake Lodge could not have been any better; excellent accommodations, excellent food, and wonderful fellowship. Thank you Pete and Steve. Great hunt, great lodging.
Hunting and Fishing 2017
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Over the summer we were contacted by Alan Peterson about hunting at the AG Ranch, located east of Big Sandy. He told us there were lots of mule deer and that after our vets had filled their deer tags, they could hunt pheasants, waterfowl, coyotes and prairie dogs. It sounded like a good opportunity to get a couple of wounded vets out into some new country. So we made plans to head over to the AG Ranch just before Thanksgiving.
When we arrived, we could see immediately that the wildlife was plentiful. We were also extremely impressed with the beauty of this piece of ground along the Missouri River. The first night we were guided by Phillip Russell who took us up along Birch Creek to get the lay of the land. The two veterans we brought, Mackay Mathiason and Brandon Olsen, both from Billings, saw lots of deer, but realized they were in a special place and if they were patient, they would be rewarded with a trophy mule deer. So the first night, no shots were fired.
The next day, Alan Peterson’s friend, Lloyd Parson, gave us an even more extensive tour of the ranch where we not only saw many deer, including one our hunters wished they had gotten a shot at, but multiple herds of Missouri Breaks bighorn sheep, which was really exciting for our vets. The day ended with no deer harvested, but with high hopes for Saturday.
Early Saturday morning, Mackay shot a beautiful deer just as the sun was coming up. Then later in the day, Brandon saw the deer from the day before and was able to kill the biggest mule deer any vet has ever taken on one of our trips. This was an awesome trip for our wounded warriors, and we can’t thank Alan Peterson enough for the opportunity to hunt the AG Ranch. Alan, a veteran himself, said he was looking for a way to give back to our younger veterans, and he was very successful in the eyes of these two soldiers and Montana Wounded Warriors. Thanks to Lloyd Parsons for providing us with his camper so we had a roof over our head for the weekend, and for his extensive knowledge of the ranch and where to find the deer. Thanks also to Phillip and Laura Russell for their help and hospitality while we were at the ranch. They not only helped the guys hang their deer, but provided some beer to help with the story telling that goes along with the hunt. They also cooked our vets a nice steak dinner. We would also like to thank Bruce and Pete Vasboda for loaning us their side by side to help the guys get around the ranch and haul out their deer. It was a great trip all around, and we look forward to returning to that part of the Missouri Breaks in the future.
Montana Wounded Warriors Jake Parker, Bruce Maybon, and Larry Lumly, along with board member Bob Lilienthal were once again welcomed to the N-Bar Ranch for the opportunity to pursue elk.
The generosity, hospitality, and professionalism provided by the Wilks Brothers and family, owners of the N-Bar, and carried out by Ranch Manager Mike Sedgwick, wife Mary Beth, and guides Shawn and Dale, are second to none and provide our hunters with a truly unique experience.
All three hunters were able to harvest elk under the guidance of Mike, Shawn, and Dale, whose knowledge of the Ranch and its wildlife is truly amazing.
Our organization is truly blessed to have the opportunity to hunt this area, and Jake, Larry, and Bruce were very enthused to be able to partake of the hunt.
The Ranch also was kind enough to let Montana Wounded Warriors Raffle off cow elk hunts as a fundraiser, which was a huge success.
The accommodations, food, and hospitality were wonderful, and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Again,a huge thanks to the owners and staff of the N-Bar for their kindness, and generosity.
Once again we had the privilege of bringing five wounded veterans (Rodney Thurman, Rick Heilman, Scott Larkin, Tyler Tummons, and Johnny Biers) to hunt deer and elk in Dillon, MT. This year we had the opportunity to stay at the Expedition Lodge and the accommodations were fantastic!
On the afternoon of Friday, November 3rd, our hunt began for deer and elk on the Shuett Ranch as well as the Tash family ranch. Altogether our veterans harvested 3 bull elk, 2 cow elk, 5 bucks, and 3 does. On Sunday afternoon, 4 of the vets were also given the opportunity to hunt pheasants with Bill Kemph. Rodney, who tagged out on Saturday, spent the day on Sunday with guide Cameron Williams. He hunted ducks in the morning (joined by Ed Wilson, co-owner of Expedition Lodge) and fished on the Beaverhead River in the afternoon. The harvest was bountiful!
We’d like to thank the Shuett family as well as Tightline Adventures and Expedition Lodge, and the Tash family as well as Torry Holland, the manager of the lands just to the north of Tash’s for his help in allowing us to recover a buck shot on Tash’s, but which jumped the fence before dying. The support of this community is greatly appreciated.
On October 25th Montana Wounded Warriors had the privilege of taking three of our vets to the H Double C Ranch in Silver Star, Montana. The ranch manager, Mark Hoyt, had contacted us about coming down to hunt whitetails on their property. He said there were lots of deer, and he wasn’t kidding!!
Wednesday night, the first night of the hunt, we began the harvest and it didn’t stop til Friday night. Mark and his wife Kaitlyn and members of the local community acted as our guides to put our vets in position to harvest ten deer, three bucks and seven does. The wounded vets who were able to join us were Chris Mazur, Jon Kristjanson, and Anthony Embesi.
The ranch provided lodging in their guest house, which was an awesome place to stay. We would like to thank the entire Hoyt family and members of the community for providing such a wonderful environment for our vets to experience. The hospitality was greatly appreciated and we look forward to hunting there in the future.
This year was a couple’s trip on the Wild and Scenic South Fork of the Flathead River just north of the Bob Marshal Wilderness at the Diamond R Ranch over the Independence Day weekend! It was great to be away from the fireworks in the unplugged peace and quiet backcountry. Thanks to Lisa and Bill at the Diamond R Guest Ranch for their great hospitality and Rich McAtee of the Montana Wilderness Lodge and Outfitting for the guiding and showing us a great time! Saturday and Sundays wade fishing on the Spotted Bear River and the South Fork of the Flathead brought incredible views and an opportunity learn about fly fishing. We had some great evening time to visit and share stories too. We started off Saturday evening with a great meal prepared by the Diamond R. then went down to the river for some casting lessons, and a meet and greet. We had a great group of veterans (Chris and Jacie Enget and Scott and Katie Parsneau).
Sunday we headed up the Spotted Bear River for casting lessons and basics of the art of fly fishing.
Chris with his first fish on a fly rod.
Monday we met up with Rich McAtee and his gang of the Montana Wilderness Lodge and Outfitting. Rich and his hands were a great help and they helped us with bringing in some nice fish.
Each night ended after a great meal with some chat and fish tails around the campfire. Thank you to all our outfitters who make these trips possible.
Hunters Tim Cooper and Jon Kristjanson along with MTWW board member Bob Lilienthal were welcomed to the Spotted Bear area by our hosts at the Diamond R Guest Ranch, Lisa and Bill Paullin. Guide Jesse Shivly had Tim and Jon up early and out until dark in pursuit of the always elusive black bears. Unseasonably warm weather had the bears holed up more than usual, so a lot of hiking and spotting were required. The long hours and hard work paid off when Tim was able to harvest a very nice and beautifully colored bear. Tim was very pleased as this bear was his first, and he very much enjoyed this exciting experience. Although Jon did not have the opportunity to harvest a bear, it wasn’t for lack of effort on his part or that of guide Jesse. A 50% success rate is actually quite impressive, and that is what we have typically averaged over the last few years, so job well done! As in the past, hosts Lisa and Bill at the Diamond R provided us with superb meals, accommodations and hospitality. Truly a memorable experience. Jesse confided that he had never had a more enjoyable and agreeable set of hunters in his experience as that of Tim and Jon. Thanks so much to everyone who make these trips such a great success, from the hosts to the folks who support the MTWW’S.
Great job Tim and Jon, and here’s to future success.
Thank you all, Bob