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#3656394 - 04/27/14 12:35 PM Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch
10 Point

Registered: 08/25/01
Posts: 3045
Loc: Pamelot, my farm near Catoosa

The Ghost Ranch. The name is far more apt than you can imagine. My youngest son, Jordan, came up with the name. When we visited the ranch in late November of 2013 the weather was cool, windy and overcast. The white tails of the white-tailed deer bounding through the tall cover were like ghosts dancing in the wind. There you see them, now you don't. There's one, there's none. Ghosts. White ghosts. Lots of them. The name says it all. The dark Russian olive trees and twisted old cottonwoods made for a great backdrop of tawny white-tails. I bet you your last dollar if you had to walk to the ranch house on a dark fall night from the farthest reaches of the ranch without a light that two things would come to mind. One being bears, the other big cats. I bet you your last dollar. I win. Easy. Fear is a funny thing in the outdoors without light. Those white ghosts bounding away say it so.

Here is a pile of bone that died on the Ghost Ranch over the years from EHD/blue tongue. It hit Montana pretty hard in some areas last year.

Last fall when we did our due diligence on the whitetail population on this property I nearly stepped on this buck that had died just a few hours before. He had been wounded probably weeks previous and the stench of infection was heavy. He was an old brute and we took pictures of him and left. We told the owners about his location and they left him alone for the coyotes and eagles to indulge.

Four months and a tough winter later this is how I found him again.

This was all that was left of him.

My wife takes great pictures but I think she looks even better in them. Behind her, on the other side of the river is the Ghost Ranch. It is a couple miles of secluded river bottom and the fishing is excellent. This lower reach of the Yellowstone River is known for its warm water fishery which includes channel catfish, bullheads, pike, smallmouth bass, sturgeon, walleye and sauger in addition to bait fish. The river has been called a "small mouth factory" for producing small mouth bass up to 5 lbs. Trout may also be hooked on occasion but the warm water fishery dominates the system.

Our total shed count was about 35 sheds and heads on the Ghost Ranch. We also headed over to the Bull Mountains to hunt for elk sheds with friends and had more fun.

I have always considered myself a realistic optimist. I have never met a successful pessimist and coming from fairly humble beginnings I still believe that most things are possible in life if you work hard, work smart and get that modicum of luck. Yes, luck happens when you work hard. Here is a great visual of optimism. I think you will enjoy thinking about the optimism those beaver had for a winter food source!

The Yellowstone River valley is home to lots of whitetails. Here is an example of having a lot of deer around. Many hunters have never had a chance to see a fenced post rubbed down this far from buck activity.

We found probably 15-20 dead deer around the ranch. Here is one that died an unfortunate death.

One day I spotted something out of the ordinary in a beaver pond and moved closer for a better look. This is what I saw.

The water was too deep so I had to fetch my waders and fish this whitetail buck out.

Not a bad buck. I wonder what killed him? Cats? Blue tongue? EHD? Coyotes? An arrow? Old age? Gun shot wound? Horned by another buck while fighting?

Life isn't exactly easier as you get older and nature can be a cruel beast in so many forms. Thank you for coming along on a fun shed hunting trip to what I call God's Last Great Place! I hope you have enjoyed it.

#3656407 - 04/27/14 01:02 PM Re: Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch [Re: ChippewaPartners]
Split Brow
4 Point

Registered: 12/02/07
Posts: 351

Wow,thanks for sharing your experience.
#3656425 - 04/27/14 01:26 PM Re: Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch [Re: Split Brow]
RUGER Administrator
Bambi Killa

Registered: 11/19/99
Posts: 4106600
Loc: TN

Very interesting.
Youth is wasted on the young.

#3656515 - 04/27/14 04:21 PM Re: Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch [Re: RUGER]
8 Point

Registered: 08/06/09
Posts: 1246
Loc: Missouri

Awesome pics. I may have to take a trip west next year to shed hunt. Just so many more animals than this part of the country.
#3656526 - 04/27/14 04:32 PM Re: Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch [Re: nate17]
AT Hiker
6 Point

Registered: 07/03/11
Posts: 976
Loc: Clarksville, Tennessee

Nice! Im so ready to get back out West. Headed to NW Nebraska next week, its not WY or MT but its about as close as I can get right now!

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
-John Muir

#3676599 - 05/23/14 03:46 PM Re: Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch [Re: AT Hiker]
LA man
18 Point

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 20845
Loc: spencer, tn/houma, la.

Very cool pics. Dean, thanks for sharing

#3678118 - 05/26/14 09:57 PM Re: Shed Hunting the Ghost Ranch [Re: LA man]
Andy S.
TnDeer Old Timer
14 Point

Registered: 07/26/99
Posts: 8090
Loc: Atoka, TN

Looks like an awesome experience, thanks for sharing.
Andy S.

If I had saved all the money I spent on hunting, I'd spend it on hunting.

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