No TAG SOUP for the Kamp Cook Kitchen. After a season full of adventure, Katie Johnson bagged her first deer. And it is going to be a tough one to beat.

Katie took advantage of Governor Bullock's COVID 19 restrictions. Which allowed all hunters education courses to be conducted, with no charge, online. The pandemic allowed potential hunters to complete their education online, minus the in person field course. Over the course of a month, Katie studied and completed both her hunters ed and bowhunters education curriculum. This opened the doors to a bunch of opportunities for adventure this fall in Montana.

Katie drew an antelope tag in region 5. That resulted in her first big game hunting experience, trying to survive 100 degree temperatures sitting on a water hole with archery equipment. After that failed attempt, Katie tried her luck at hunting the elk rut in western Montana. Katie was the first to spot elk, even after more seasoned hunters failed to find them. With no luck bagging a bull, Katie turned to rifle hunting her antelope. "Buck fever" was the culprit for a handful of near misses on that trip, but definitely an exciting and memory filled hunt. Soon, after that, Katie tried her luck at bowhunting river bottom whitetail in the Bitterroot. After yet another near miss on a doe with archery equipment, it was clear that she was determined to bag a critter before the end of the 2020 big game season.

Katie made the trip to region 4, in the heart of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. Her goal was to fill either her elk tag or her general deer tag. She was not going to be picky on either. As long as it was legal and resulted in putting meat on the table. After searching for days for a legal buck, she stumbled upon a mature mule deer with his heart and mind on more important things than survival.

Katie was not going to let buck fever get the best of her this time. Her fails leading up to this moment had taught her a lot about big game hunting. She knew she needed to stay calm and focus on making an ethical kill. Her first shot fell 5 inches back from her mark, and though fatal required another shot. She placed a perfectly placed shot, tucked in behind the buck's shoulder. After a tear filled celebration, Katie truly earned her first kill with a short pack out.

Here is to all the successful hunters and huntresses of the 2020 season.

Successful Montana Elk Hunts