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About MT_Sourdough

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 01/16/1970

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    up the creek

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  1. MT_Sourdough

    New Pack

    I feel like I have been dumbiefied.
  2. MT_Sourdough

    horses in elk unit

    Yep. Left undisturbed on the ground in Montana. horse manure takes about 3 years before it becomes good fertilizer. When harrowing the fields, we do our best to break up all horse manure and spread it with the cow manure. Harrowing helps to diminish the negative impact. The ground under undisturbed horse manure in the first and second year when you turn it over, is dead underneath. Undisturbed, horse manure sticks to the ground and can keep the soil underneath dormant for 3 years, as a generalization. On the other hand, when left undisturbed, a cow patty will be lifted a 1/2 an inch to 2 inches by pale grasses by the month of July. The grasses are pale because no direct sunlight. The cow patty, lifted by grasses underneath will be broken up and in the fallowing year will have strong grass production where it has broken down. On top of all that, If you lack bait for fishing, kick over a cow pie and help yourself to night crawlers and worms under and in the cow patty. Not so for horse manure.
  3. MT_Sourdough

    horses in elk unit

    https://www.nps.gov/kova/blogs/ice-age-mammal-bones-of-northwest-alaska-1.htm No, horses haven't evolved much over the last 400 years, (some breeds of modern horses have disappeared.) but they have evolved over the last 12,000 years. Since the last ice age when the earth was on a different axis and you can walk across an earth bridge from what were warm grass plains of Alaska to the warm grass plains of Siberia. The ice age is gone. The land bridge is gone. Alaska grass plains have been replaced with tundra. And those early horses as a species are long gone as well.
  4. MT_Sourdough

    horses in elk unit

    While reading this, I was getting fired up to add my 2 cents, but then Koozcrazy stole some of my thunder. To expand upon his knowledge about 4 stomach chambers of a cow versus the single stomach chamber of a horse, well in the end, horse chit and cow chit are very, very different. The efficiency of a cows 4 stomach chambers produces manure that is fantastic fertilizer. Harrow cow manure into the fields every spring and yield great hay harvest. On the other hand horse manure is hot and can kill grass. Several years of my youth had a lot to do with hay. So that is one thing. As far as which is more destructive, that depends on the terrain. Cattle do more damage in high riparian areas. In the hot summer days, cattle linger in high cool moist riparian areas and ruin them. They will do big damage to ground, vegetation, and aquifer. The sediments from the muddied water sources that eventually forms creeks can do great harm to the spawning beds and water oxygen that it can ruin creeks for healthy fish populations. When elk numbers get too high, they can do the same sort of damage as cattle. On the other hand. cattle on public lands are moved around to theoretically allow an area to recover. The horses, confined to a limited area will eventually overgraze and overbrowse an area till a once fertile area eventually looks like a barren desert landscape. One more thing, to say horses that were "reintroduced" are the same species as the horses that Europeans introduced is about the same thing as saying we are all still monkeys.
  5. MT_Sourdough

    Montana General Elk Tag

    That big winter herd that hangs on the big ranch at Ennis holds 1000-2000 head of elk. You can glass them and see some 400 score bulls, but the only way to go at them is to pay the outfitter big bucks. The point is, the big bulls are in Montana, but they are scarce and very often, on private land. In my neighborhood, in the mountains north of Butte, there are some massive bulls taken over time, but most are taken by the ranchers. It's hard to beat Arizona or New Mexico for trophy bulls, but no part of either state is the equal to Western Montana for the beauty and all-around experience. That's just my opinion though. There are more bulls now that they imposed the browtine law in the state so the bulls get a chance to get educated before they get wiped out. In general, Montana is dominated by local meat hunters
  6. MT_Sourdough

    Montana General Elk Tag

    go private access and say your prayers and you may find a 375 plus bull. Many in Montana don't even know what that means. 375?
  7. MT_Sourdough

    Montana General Elk Tag

    It is true, General Elk Licences are the reason why public land hunting is tough. It's a "locals rule" state and the locals may love a big bull to show off, most prefer a freezer full of meat going into the winter. Many in Montana still rely on it. And yotebuster is right about the Big Hole. One of the primary reasons to choose the Big Hole Valley is for all the other attractions that go with the territory. You can buy a wolf tag. You can hunt grouse. Fish, I mean the area is a sportsman's paradise, but there are better places if you have your heart set on a trophy Bull. In late rifle season elk herds come over from Idaho to winter around Fleecer and some other wintering areas on the Montana side, but to get a big bull out of those herds is all about timing. Ennis area is usually a good place to fill your tag with a cow.
  8. MT_Sourdough

    Montana General Elk Tag

    Western Montana has elk everywhere. Montana'a biggest numbers for elk are in the southwest part of the state. Bigger herd size usually means more hunters. Sometimes if you are looking for less competition from other hunters you can try areas with smaller herd size. Most would hunt the areas around Yellowstone. Areas around Ennis to Gardner. Myself, I would hunt the upper Big Hole area from areas around Divide to Wisdom. A guy can have a good chance of drawing an antelope tag in that area too. I prefer the area as it is usually easier to get away from other hunters, plus there is the Big Hole River, Wise River and lots of mountain lakes. The country bars in the area can get rowdy around hunting season. 😉
  9. MT_Sourdough


    Most ma & pa ranches are long gone, especially in this state. I lived and worked on ranches growing up and I did lots of improvement to water sources and fences and such. Never was their a concept of ownership, but value is recognized by the work done and which usually covers the cost of range lease. That was 30 to 40 years ago in Western Montana so things are quite a bit different these days and here in AZ. Old 19th century water rights in the west are archaic and need to be re-visioned. Most any ranch that have changed hands over the last 50 plus years are going to millionaires who do not make money from the ranch. In many cases, they are held by holding companies of some sort and in the end are a tax right-off. The money these "new" ranch owners bring to the table make them formidable. I wish no ill will to the old family ranchers, but I have very little appreciation for the fat cat ownership that takes advantage of our romanticism about the way things once were.
  10. MT_Sourdough

    Max Bonus points

    19a is a dying unit, herd size is dwindling and the area will be developed in a big way over the next 10 years. This year, as far as I have observed, the winter herd size is way down.
  11. MT_Sourdough

    Tag in mail yesterday

    unit 8 for me. I hope the astronauts don't screw up my turkey hunt again.
  12. MT_Sourdough

    WMAT combined subjects

    Wow, that was cool. Nice buck. Thanks for sharing.
  13. MT_Sourdough

    Favorite Christmas Gift Growing Up.....

    When I was 8, my Christmas present was an Evil Knievel bicycle. It had a faux gas tank, motorcycle style handlebars. and knobby motorcycle style dirt tires. I'd ride the heck out of that bike in the rain forest that surrounded the navy base in the middle of Oahu. Later, after my Pa retired from the navy and we moved to the ranch outside of Butte, I found myself among the people who grew up with Evil Knievel and they were not all fans. In the Mountains outside of Butte I left my bicycles in pieces because at that point I was more into fishing the creek or chasing elk and deer through the hills. My guns on the ranch were family guns, though I was the one that actually used them. At that time, my model 60 Marlin and I led the crusade against those evil gophers.
  14. MT_Sourdough

    Wanna see a dead body?

    worked for me
  15. MT_Sourdough

    Ruger M77 300 Win Mag

    That's a darn good price for that rifle right there