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Whitetail deer on private leases in southwestern Montana

Here's an affordable whitetail deer hunt on private riverbottom land near Dillon, Montana. Rich LaRocco of Hunts.Net and his cousins Bryan and C.J. Park got bucks on this hunt a few years ago, and Bryan and C.J. returned several times, usually bringing other family members. The outfitter has acquired more land and has continued to keep hunting pressure light, so trophy quality continues to rise. It's not uncommon for hunters to see several bucks that score 140 to 150 Boone and Crockett points, and there are a few bigger animals.

Since our first hunt with the outfitter, he has picked up additional land but still hunts it lightly, and he has seen antler quality increase. The later you hunt in November the more bucks you see. The buck to doe ratio is high.

You can antelope to your whitetail hunt for $1,000, but you'll need to draw an antelope tag. You must apply for an antelope tag by June. Deer permit applications are due March 15.

Hunt WD4108

Hunt type

Price per person

4 days, trophy rifle hunt $2,000
Location Not included in price
More than 11,000 acres of private land near Dillon, Montana. Most whitetails are found within a mile of the river. License, taxidermist, butcher, lodging (motel or a nice cabin with kitchen) and meals. The cabin is clean and modern with satellite TV, hot water and electricity.
Application deadline, drawing odds Outfitter pickup
You're guaranteed a deer license if you book in time for you to make the March 15 purchase deadline. Dillon, Montana. You can fly to Butte about an hour away and rent a car, or you can fly to Idaho Falls about two hours away.
Hunting methods Hunter success
The chief hunting method is from tripod and box blinds, some of them elevated. Hunters also can still hunt or spot and stalk successfully. Hunter success has varied from about 80 percent to 100 percent in recent years. Hunters who don't score usually miss shots or hold out for exceptional bucks.
Trophy size Timing
Most bucks taken score 125 to 140 B&C points.  The biggest bucks most years score in the 150s and occasionally in the 160s. Most hunters who hold out should see several bucks from 130 to 150+. Hunting is best in Nov. The rut usually starts in earnest about Nov. 13 and ends after the season finishes on Nov. 30, but weather can affect rut timing. The bigger bucks do not move much during daylight in warm weather. You can bow hunt in Sept. or late Oct.