John's Journal...

You Won’t Strike Out When Hunting With Central Montana Outfitters

The Whitetail Adventure Begins

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I love to do any type of hunting. I’ve learned many years ago that some of the biggest white-tailed deer in the nation live in the Northwest. And, although I love to hunt mule deer, I truly enjoy hunting big whitetails.

I’d always had so much fun hunting with Chad Schearer in years past, that I hardly could wait to get to camp in the fall of 2006. His camp consists of sheepherders’ tents, but instead of being the usual type of sheepherders’ tents that get blown around due to the winds of 50-60 miles per hour or more up in that high country, Schearer has stabilized his tents with heavy log braces to make them much more solid and durable. Schearer also has wooden floors in his tents to increase their comfort and warmth. We had some 50 mph winds while we were hunting in 2006, and I really saw the advantage of the log braces and the wooden floors. Inside each tent was a small sheepherder’s wooden Click to enlarge stove. Each night and every morning, we added wood to the stove. Although the temperatures dipped way below freezing at times, we stayed toasty-warm. Every year Schearer upgraded his camp. In the fall of 2006, I couldn’t believe what he’d done. Schearer’s number-one guide, Dale Yonkin, built lodge-pole wooden beds and put mattresses on them. When we climbed inside our sleeping bags on the mattresses each night, we were as warm and comfortable as we would have been at home. Yet, we still enjoyed the adventure of sleeping out in a tent. Schearer didn’t out more than two men in each tent, although each had plenty of room for four people. However, if you were like me, once you unpacked all your junk, you would be glad of the eClick to enlargextra room.

On my first morning’s hunt, I was in a small thicket on the edge of a wooded bottom adjacent to an alfalfa field. I spotted several deer that morning, but most of them were 110-120 B&C bucks. I also saw more pheasants than I’d ever seen even at a pheasant farm. “Here I am, wrong-gunned, hunting the wrong species in the wrong place,” I told myself. I was convinced that if I’d had a .22 with a scope on it, I could have shot a limit of pheasants the first morning of hunting. For a fellow from Alabama like me, pheasants were a novelty. Although I was hunting deer, those pheasants continued to grab my attention. However, my attention’s being focused on the pheasants changed just before dark when I spotted a monster-sized whitetail, 358 yards from my stand. I knew the distance to the whitetail, because I had a BusClick to enlargehnell range finder and a quality pair of Alpen binoculars that I kept glued on that buck. Finally the buck moved to within 325 yards of me. Perhaps I could have made the shot, and maybe I couldn’t. I bet on “maybe I couldn’t.” I hated to wound or spook a nice buck like that, when I still had four days left to hunt. Although this buck was the size I’d come to Montana to take, I didn’t want to push my luck.

To learn more about CVA’s top-quality black-powder guns, click on

For more information on Central Montana Outfitters, call or email Chad Schearer,;; (406) 727-4478

You can go to to learn more about Alpen’s top-quality binoculars and to for more information on Bushnell’s fine products.

Tomorrow: Take a Break And Hunt Pheasants And Partridges

Check back each day this week for more about "You Won’t Strike Out When Hunting With Central Montana Outfitters"

Day 1: I Found a Couple of Them
Day 2: Tomorrow: The Adventure Begins
Day 3: Take a Break And Hunt Pheasants And Partridges
Day 4: Change Terrain, and Hunt Another Big White-Tailed Buck
Day 5: The Final Decision About Mule Deer



Entry 385, Day 2