Hunting and Fishing 2018
The weekend before Thanksgiving Montana Wounded Warriors were invited to hunt on land owned by Veronica Bollick, just south of the Schuett Ranch in Dillon, MT. This land is much higher elevation than the other properties we have hunted in the Dillon area. We used a four seat UTV, provided by the Schuett family, to access our hunting destination. We were guided by Blade Schuett, who knows the owner and her property very well, and on the first night we were fortunate enough to find a herd of about 75 elk at the top of the mountain. Todd Bucher shot his first elk in one of the most beautiful settings Montana Wounded Warriors has ever hunted in at about 8000 feet elevation. The view from where we recovered the elk was spectacular. Unfortunately, those were the last elk we were close enough to shoot at during the 3 days of hunting. So we went down to the valley floor and harvested several deer. Todd was able to harvest his first buck and a doe, and Anthony Embesi shot a huge 7 by 7 whitetail. We hope to come back in the future as this was an awesome hunt. Thanks again to Ronnie (Veronica).
For the fifth year in a row, we have had the honor and distinct pleasure to hunt with the Ballard, Johnson, and Wallis ranches. Montana Wounded Warriors cannot thank them all enough and express how great of a trip this is each year. They open up their homes and hearts to us each year. Congrats to our Warriors this year on getting some beautiful deer harvested and of course we cannot forget the amazing folks at the Keating Ranch for giving the Warriors the dream opportunity of shooting a buffalo. We got caught up in all the excitement and were terrible at taking pictures so thank you to Tierany Lyn Ballard, Ross Ballard, Jim Ballard, Jim Johnson, Trent Wallis, Shelia Schenk, Travis Norby, Jory Bundy, Sam Bruner. This was a great weekend with awesome food (thanks to Shelia Schenk and her family), lots of laughs and some tears. Thank you to everyone involved and a huge thank you goes out to 4th Ave Meat Market for coming out to transport and process all the deer and buffalo.
Montana Wounded Warriors once again had the great privilege of hunting in the Missouri Breaks on Allan and Gale Peterson’s AG Ranch. We went there to hunt mule deer for the second year in a row. In addition, one of our wounded vets had drawn a ewe sheep tag, and we were hopeful we would be able to fill it there. Our friend, Lloyd Parsons met us there the first night and thought it would be a good idea to go out and hunt for the sheep first. We went several miles up the creek bottom and were fortunate enough to find a small herd of sheep. Rick Heilman, who had the tag, put a great shot on the ewe and dropped her where she stood. The trip was off to a great start. The next day we took some John Deere gators that were loaned to us by Alan’s neighbors, the Vasbodas, and were off to find mule deer. Over the next couple of days we were able to get Rick and Joe Hoerner each a mule deer. The opportunities were plentiful as the mule deer were in the rut. We hunted all of Allan and Gale’s land and then were given the opportunity to hunt the large ranch owned by the Vasboda brothers. This country is awesome. Hunting the elevated pasture land and then riding down through the breaks to the Missouri River is an experience that our wounded vets will never forget. We would like to thank Allan and Gale, and the Vasbodas, for the wonderful opportunity they presented for our vets. We would also like to thank Lloyd Parsons, who always manages to help our hunters fill their tags and who was able to thaw the frozen water pipes supplying the house. We really appreciate the fact that he came over after dark in very cold weather to get the water up and running again. Thanks again for a wonderful trip!
November 12-15 Montana Wounded Warriors had a wonderful trip during the whitetail rut on the H Double C Ranch in Silver Star, Montana. The ranch manager, Mark Hoyt, his dad David, and some great local helpers took us out and showed us some great bucks, plenty of does and lots of fun!!! We arrived Monday afternoon and sighted in rifles, confirmed zero, and got a chance to say our hellos. The hunting started out slow the first night, but increasingly we filled the gambrels with 4 nice bucks and 13 does. The Warriors had a great time and appreciated the awesome hospitality given by the Hoyt family and friends. The Warriors who were able to join us were Bronson White, Adam Bell, and Chad Grabil. The ranch bunkhouse 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. This total package fits our mission perfectly! The hospitality was greatly appreciated and we look forward to hunting there next year!
We had a great group of Montana Wounded Warriors that participated in our Mule Deer hunt at Fort Peck Hotel in November of 2018. They included William Luhrsen, Mike King, Christopher Gardella, Scott Miller and Mike Welch along with MTWW board assistant Fred Ricketts. Our Host, Carl Mann, the owner of the Fort Peck Hotel, and the 3 guides – Dylan Curry, Brooks Jessen and Dennis Deschamps – assisted our hunters on an excellent hunt. The weather was good for most of our hunt, but Monday & Tuesday the wind was in the 18 to 20 mph area. Deer were moving around fairly good, but we lacked snow for tracking. By Tuesday, our last hunting day, everyone had gotten their Deer. Carl and some of the guides took a few of our vets out for pheasant hunting. The Duck and Geese migration did not kick in until Tuesday. So, we missed out on water fowl hunting this year. Everyone had a great trip spending time with each other and enjoying the hospitality of Carl and Linda. Special thanks to Linda who was up each day at 4:00 AM cooking breakfast for the whole group. Thanks to all that participated…
Montana Wounded Warriors had the pleasure of having their first all women elk hunt this year at the NBar in Grass Range. The Wilkes Brothers once again truly blessed us with their hospitality and staff. They not only fed us extremely well, but led Kayla Olson and Bridget Bollinger in getting their first elk. Many memories were made. Thanks again to all who made this an amazing trip.
As a MTWW hunter in 2017 with Best of the Bulls outfitting, I had the privilege to return with the Best of the Bulls and lead a hunt with four MTWW’s. The year was filled with plenty of rain filling the watering holes deep into the Bull Mountains, and the burned over area of 2017 was plentiful with tall grass and more than enough feed throughout the hill country. The temperatures were mild with little precipitation. This made for a much harder hunt for the WW’s. On Oct. 31st the MTWW’s hunters filtered into the lodge leased by Bob who owns Best of the Bulls. We were all welcomed by staff, starting with the cooks who prepared a huge feast of a home cooked dinner with all the fixings, desert and an amazing cake welcoming the hunters. There was so much food we could have ate leftovers for the entire 4 day hunt. The cooks continued to spoil us at every meal from snacks early in the mornings before the hunt to a large brunch after we returned to the lodge. Dinners at the end of the day were beyond amazing every night. As the hunters were visiting and getting to know one another, those of us who served in Iraq together got caught up on the years past, remembering our time together during OIF III. Before the hunters could start their hunting the following day some gear was needed. Dean Murray who works for Scheels in Billings was able to put together a gift package for each hunter which was donated by Scheels to show their appreciation for these four guys and their sacrifices. The package included Vortex Binoculars, Binocular case, and a couple of knives for skinning/deboning, an electric sharpener and a few other smaller items for the guys to add to their packs. Day one of the hunt Josh Beckette and Justin Moschelle went with a guide Jeff to look for some cow or spike elk. I rode along with Brian Canich, Kelly Nieskins and Bob the guide/owner. We were able to spot a large herd of elk near the edge of a tree line. It was crisp this morning and multiple bull elk were bugling even though it was November and cows mewing. This was awesome for the 3 of us to hear and take in. We attempted to cut the elk off as they entered the tree line and head for property we did not have access to. We were unsuccessful at intercepting the herd and had to listen to the bugles fade away as they moved deeper into the woods. The first evening the hunters split into the same groups then were dropped off at different ground blinds in hopes that a trophy Mule Deer or Whitetail would show up. I sat with Kelly this night as we watched does and small bucks show up and feed further into the fields. We could see the ground blind Brian was in and watched a really nice whitetail buck feed toward him. Hoping he would get a shot we watched the buck as well as other deer near our blind. Kelly then spotted a Mule Deer buck, and got positioned to ensure this was a buck he wanted to harvest. Kelly took a couple shots with the 2nd dropping the buck in its tracks and the two of us laughing and in disbelief of how crazy things got for a minute. We then gathered up our gear and walked to that nice buck. We never did hear a shot from Brian and later found out he was unable to take a shot at the Whitetail due to vegetation in his way. The evening hunt also consisted of Justin being able to harvest his first whitetail ever, being a good buck and his first whitetail he was pretty happy with the outcome. Day two’s morning hunt was as day one with us looking for elk and the 3 of us hunting with guide Bubba as Bob was capping out the bucks from the previous evening. I was able to spot a loan elk over a mile away so Bubba took Brian to a good location and cow called it within shooting range. This is where we noticed that it was a small calf and Brian made the decision not to shoot. Going into the evening hunt Brian and Josh were hunting with Jeff. They were able to spot some animals but nothing they would like to take. Bubba had myself, Justine and Kelly in the hopes we could spot some elk coming out to feed and make a move on them. With about 15 minutes before the end of shooting time we spotted a loan elk near the tree line from the first day. We decided to make a move and skirted the farmland taking cover behind sporadic trees as well as some hills along the drainage. We covered 800 to 1000 yds. to get within just over 200. Justin was ready to take aim as Kelly was going to back him up. With the sun setting we determined this elk was a spike and could be taken. Unfortunately Justin took some shots and was unsuccessful at harvesting this elk. The backup plan also failed due to a juniper blocking any chance at Kelly having a clear line of site. Day 3 began on a Saturday so other hunters were headed to adjacent public land which we hoped would be good to push animals out toward us, but was also a concern that all the activity would spook the animals further away from the farms and ranches we were hunting. The groups were set up the same as the evening before as we drove up a road and bumped into some other hunters that actually had permission to where we were hunting. These individuals spotted a few head of elk and asked if we would like to join them in a stalk on them. Bubba took Kelly while Justin and I stayed in the truck as to not have too many moving parts making noise and scaring the elk away. Justin and I waited anxiously in the truck then we heard a shot then another and a couple more. We sat and waited, unable to see the elk or any of the hunters. Then over the ridge comes Kelly and Bubba, with an elk on the ground we were all jacked up on the excitement. After some pictures and getting her loaded up we returned to the lodge to find out that Josh was successful on taking a long shot on a cow Another hunter not associated with MTWW was hunting for a Bull and was successful this day as well which opened up more access for these guys to pursue deer and elk in that area. So during the evening the groups were once again the same. Brian and Josh were able to both tag out with Brian taking a nice mule deer buck and Josh taking a big unique whitetail buck. Not being with them during the hunt I don’t have the details but they were both very excited on what they got and worked together to get their deer. Day 4 began with Josh and Kelly tagged out so Brian went with Bubba as Justin and I went with Bob. We tried spotting some elk in a couple places to no success then drove up a road to another location. As Justin spotted two elk, he got out to take aim and with all of the excitement of the elk right there he saw they are both bull elk which are not legal without a special permit in this unit. Still the excitement of seeing them was great. The morning produced nothing further and we returned to the lodge and decided to call it the end of the hunt since the two remaining hunters had 4 to 6 hours of driving home in front of them. Bob with his mild manner and generosity offered Brian a chance to come back once the elk become more abundant in the area. I have not heard if he has made a trip back to get his cow or not. A huge thank you to the ladies who did the cooking, the guides of Best of the Bulls who made it all happen; Bubba and Jeff, Greg all his coordinating and owner/guide Bob. Great company from the other hunters in camp and their success of a fine bull. Also a huge thank you the Scheels of Billings and Dean Murray, Sheryl and Mike Goffena, the owners of the lodge, and a large portion of the land we hunted, as well as Sheryl’s awesome cake welcoming us. Thank you for letting me share this hunt with these guys! Jerad Werning
Once again, Montana Wounded Warriors was invited back to the Schuett Ranch in Dillon, MT. We were able to bring 5 Montana wounded vets to hunt elk. After we got settled in on Friday, October 26th, Blade Schuett took Dwayne Witaker out to get his first bull elk. In no time at all, he was able to get one down. Early Saturday, two more vets, Mike Proscia and Josh Anders were able to get their elk – both cows. Josh was also able to get a huge whitetail that day. But the day wasn’t over, as later that afternoon Pete Plaza was able to put down a beautiful bull elk. We ended the weekend on Sunday morning with Chris Gardella also getting a bull elk. On top of that, everyone was able to harvest at least two deer. A huge thank you to all who made this trip so amazing.
We had two great Montana Wounded Warriors that participated in our Mule Deer hunt at Eden, MT just south of Great Falls in October of 2018. They included Luke Thomasson and Johnny Byers along with MTWW board assistant Fred Ricketts. Our Hosts were Donna and Karl Anderson, the owners of the ranch. We cannot thank them enough for an excellent two-day mule deer hunt. The weather was great for our hunt and the ranch was beautiful. Deer were moving around the area, but it wasn’t until Sunday morning when both hunters got their opportunity to harvest a mule deer. Karl did the guiding and showed us some historic homestead buildings on the family ranch. Everyone had a great trip spending time with each other and enjoying the hospitality of Karl and Donna. Special thanks to Donna who provided the greatest home cooking for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We all were spoiled with Donna’s home baked deserts. Karl did cook breakfast on Sunday, so we don’t want to leave him out. Thanks to all that participated…
Dogs, more dogs, and even more dogs!!! This year we were extremely fortunate to have four great dogs helping us out! Mike Boosen, who is one of our Warriors, brought along two of his German Shorthaired Pointers. In addition to those two another of our Warriors, Frank Jacobs, brought his Deutsch Drahthaar. Board member for Montana Wounded Warriors, Mark Boardman, also brought along his German Wirehaired Pointer. Steve Beaty and Roger Henschel were the other two Warriors who joined us on this hunt. We had some great adventures. For the third year we stayed at a great Ranch style B&B outside of Mosby, Mt. A huge thank you to the Wellers Family for allowing us to hunt their land and for being great hosts. On Sunday we scooted down the road and linked up with a neighbor. Westly Stahl showed us around and let us find a few nice roosters! Thanks so much for allowing us the opportunity!