My bowhunting brother, Zeke Pipher, came out to Montana last week to hunt with mutual friend, Lance Johnson. Lance and his wife Nicole run one of the most game-rich hunting outfits in the state. Lance helped Zeke pull double duty on two fine Montana trophy animals.
Here’s Zeke’s update…
The amount of fun I had last week should almost be illegal. I took off from Nebraska for Montana about 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon. After getting lost in Billings at 3:00 in the morning (twice!), I finally arrived at Lance & Nicole Johnson’s ranch at 5:45 am. Nicole put a cup of charcoal-black coffee in my hands, and Lance and I changed clothes and went hunting. (Something tells me that ranchers in the middle of Montana don’t know the words “nap” or “rest”.)
Lance and I crept into the first gigantic meadow and parked the truck. I’m almost without words to describe what I saw. I glassed several herds of antelope, a group of sixteen elk with a nice herd bull (350”+), and several clusters of mule deer. All. In. One. Place. I’ve seen good numbers of antelope, elk, and mule deer before… but never in such concentrations.
We started walking and checking canyons for mule deer. We got on a great bachelor group early, but they bedded down and didn’t give us the chance to get close. We drove to another area of Lance’s ranch and spotted several nice groups of antelope. One canyon had a lone buck bedded down facing away from us. We decided to hunt it, so we crept to the top of the opposite hill, Lance popped up the Montana antelope decoy, and we watched for 45 minutes as this buck inched his way closer and closer. Finally, at 75 yards, he started to act spooky. When he turned his head away, I ranged him—70.0 yards on the nose—and then drew back and released. My arrow hit him right behind the front leg and he dropped in his tracks. I was ecstatic! This was my first antelope with a bow and it was in open country.
The next afternoon we spotted the same bachelor group of mule deer and we devised a plan. I took off my boots, crept to the top of the hill behind them, and then popped up and went to full draw. I put my pin on the big buck we’d been watching for two days, released my arrow, and watched as it zipped through his torso. He was 60 yards straight down the hill and my 40-yard pin was the right choice. He ran about 70 yards before crumpling up on the side of a hill. I can still feel the adrenalin!
Brodie has been telling me for years about how great Montana is for hunting. You could say that I’m now a believer! If you’re looking for an amazing place to hunt, contact Lance & Nicole Johnson. They live near Lewistown, Montana in one of the most amazing, game-packed locations I’ve ever seen. You can bet that I’m going back! (Lance & Nicole Johnson’s phone number: 406.788.0124)
Some of Zeke’s gear included:
Badlands 2200 pack – http://badlandspacks.com
Mathews eZ7 Bow - http://mathewsinc.com
Black Gold Sight – http://blackgoldsights.com
Montana Antelope Decoy - http://montanadecoy.com
S4Gear – http://s4gear.com
Rage Broadheads – http://ragebroadheads.com