Manages Parisian Family Office. Began Wall Street, 82. Founded investment firm, Native American Advisors. Member, White Earth Chippewa Tribe. Was NYSE/FINRA arb. Conservative. Raised on Native reservations. Pureblood, clot-shot free. In a world elevated on a tech-driven dopamine binge, he trades from Ghost Ranch on the Yellowstone River in MT, his TN farm, Pamelot or CASA TULE', his winter camp in Los Cabos, Mexico. Always been, and will always be, an optimist.

Friday, December 09, 2016


It's been 50 years since this deer hunting bug started for me. That's alot of cold weather, misses, sun rises, great shots, laughter, dreams, snow, heartache, worry, camp fires and dead deer. The great man in my life who made it all possible isn't with me any more and the longer time goes on the more I'd like to have a last conversation with him. I owe so much of my hunting career to my Dad who seemed to always be there with encouragement and his time. There wasn't much money growing up but we never felt poor and rich was a state of mind. 


I turned 62 this year and yes, I started taking out some of what I had paid in over 45 years, give or take. Better now than never I thought. If there is one thing to take away from this story I would say enjoy each and every day and do your best until the sun goes down and you lay your eyes to rest. God willing you will rise up in the morning and have the opportunity to do it all over again while believing that the best is yet to come. I wish I still had the spring and the youth in my legs to hit the hills as hard as I once did.

My hunt for a buck this fall in Montana actually started a year ago. It started in a place where whitetail deer hadn't been seen in a long time and where if somebody were to tell me there is a real bomber whitey in that drainage I wouldn't have believed them. But, seeing is believing, well in the case of black panthers that isn't necessarily true but I'll leave that for another narrative. I saw a bomber buck and his buddy at the end of October in 2015 that really got my attention. He was a TOP FIVER in my book. One of the top 5 whitetail bucks I had ever seen in the wild. He was on property that I didn't know the landowner and via the rumor mill probably would not be able to gain permission to hunt. So what was a guy to do other than stew on it? Stewing is good. It's better than taking action sometimes. Many times before I put on a trade in my work I will go for a walk. Walking helps me stew, maybe it does for you too. If you haven't tried it, stewing is good. It might even keep a person out of trouble!

After one of the easiest winters on record in Montana last year, we headed back to the Ghost Ranch, property we purchased in April of 2014 on the Yellowstone River for some shed hunting. We had good friends visit, good weather and a lot of fun. Found plenty of sheds but nothing to write home about and none even close to the size of the rack I saw atop that bomber about 8 miles back up in the hills off the river just a few months prior.

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As the locals in the Yellowstone River bottoms like to say, they don't know where those big whitetails go to shed their antlers. They never seem to find them with regularity. They sure don't seem to get shot, they sometimes show on trail cams in late summer, it's just the nocturnal elusive nature of old whitetail bucks everyone says. I don't have any definitive theory on where those old bucks go to shed but I am sure coming up with far more questions than answers. In a bit I will give you my take. Granted I have only owned this property for 3 falls and yes I abide by Montana regulations and do NOT run trail camera's during any hunting season. This summer we never took a single picture on a trail cam. How dumb is that? Well, I had a busy year and can't be everywhere at once and it didn't get done. That is the simple answer. Hopefully it won't happen again. You can't catch coyotes with traps in the shed and you can't get great photo's with trail cams in the drawer and you can't kill great bucks from the couch. Life doesn't have to be hard. 

I had a good friend come with me to Montana in late September to put up some deer stands. He has never killed a deer in his life and plans on hunting a good buck in 2017. So, how can a guy ever have too many deer stands? I use the Rivers Edge ladder/platform stands and the Summit climbers. Yes, the Rivers Edge stands are a pain to assemble but you only need to do it once. I never want to be the guy you read about getting banged up falling from a deer stand. At my ranch NO ONE goes up into a ladder stand without a safety harness. No harness, no hunt. Simple. A friend of mine was seriously hurt in 2015 when bow hunting out of a wooden ladder stand. Life is short, no need to take chances with safety. I encourage everyone to go over their gear, straps, climbers, safety harnesses PRIOR to the season. When my sons were young we always practiced in the summer running climbers up and down pine trees during daylight and dark. They were proficient at it and that is one less thing to worry about as a Dad when the boys are headed up a tree in the pre-dawn.

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In September when I first pulled in to the ranch I saw vultures. Indeed my fears were immediately confirmed. The warm weather across Montana and the nation made for a late frost. When you have warm weather and a late frost in Montana it is ideal to have an outbreak of blue tongue. This is the first deer I found near water after I got to my ranch. It sure wasn't the last. Vulture food, nature is deadly. 

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Blue tongue kills deer fairly fast. The stench of deer killed by the disease is unique. Vultures were plentiful. The number of dead deer on my two miles of river bottom were not nearly as bad as in the fall of 2013 when carcasses were found everywhere in the spring of 2014. Other ranchers said they had not found any evidence of blue tongue this past fall. My ranch has a lot of stagnant water, prime breeding ground for the female midges that can ravage deer, antelope and sheep. I have some serious study ahead of me on this disease. I had big bucks that disappeared from summer to fall every year. Huge bucks. Top Fivers. Gone. My place has tremendous deer density and for the blood sucking parasites that bite it looks to be ground zero. Ask any outfitter in the Milk River country of Montana why their deer all but disappeared and blue tongue will be the first words out of their mouth. Some people say there are too many does and that the big bucks are so weakened by the fall rut that they die in early winter. Others say those big boys head off to the hill country in bachelor groups and are most susceptible to being killed by lions. I do know this. A lot of great bucks are seen in late summer, never to be seen again. They don't get shot. The sheds aren't found. The county where my ranch is located has a year round predator control effort going and there is no shortage of trappers, snare men and aerial hunting but it is still loaded with coyotes. Bobcat and lions I haven't seen any tracks on the river but am sure they come through. If i were a mountain lion in Montana I would live on the river. Awful easy chewing no doubt.

Hunting season was approaching in early October and after all my stewing I decided to write a letter to the property owner where I had saw that monster. No harm in a letter, just throw out a request for permission and see what happens I thought. So off went the letter and off I went to Montana for the hunting season. And then one day, my cell phone rang. I made arrangements to go to the property and meet the land owner on a bright Sunday afternoon. Excitement was running high. I had visions of that magnificent deer being even bigger this year and having the privilege and opportunity to hang a tag on that buck! 

Life has a way of changing. Some times the biggest changes in life come extremely fast. About 5 minutes after I got to the property and exchanging pleasantries, the owner wanted to show me something that may change my mind about hunting that ranch. It was a rack of a deer found a couple weeks prior. A deer that had died near stagnant water. A deer that had a carcass that smelled of death by blue tongue. It was the buck I had a year to dream about. No doubt about that, I simply couldn't believe it. Here is the deer that dreams are made of!

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Indeed he looked better the year before, running with a pal in the morning sun, heavy body weight prior to the rut. Hard to put into perspective what all this big boy had to endure to get to this age before being taken down by a midge! He isn't a long main-beamed deer, he wasn't that wide, he was just a great buck with good mass that I sure wanted to tag! With Dean Parisian we don't do scores. Scores aren't my thing. Great bucks are great bucks. It's about the hunt, the memories, the fun. Scores don't cut it at the Ghost Ranch. To each his own. This rack is now mine and will take a prominent place among a few other great bucks on a wall full of great memories, not scores. It will never be scored. Do hunters actually sit around for a year and think about a great buck being 152 or 164 or 176 scorable inches? Is life that competitive? What do those score whores compete against? Age, nutrition or genetics? Enjoy the time afield. What else do you need?

We had some fine bucks on the Ghost Ranch this fall but none of the deer I had taken photo’s of last year after the season were around. Like the previous year. And the year before that. All the biggest bucks that we had seen over the last 3 hunting seasons had made it through without getting shot and none showed up the following year. Anyone care to explain that to me? Here are some bucks that I thought I would share with you.

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Here is a couple of younger bucks doing the circle dance. Like teens at a concert!

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This youngster had just finished a pornographic act with his young lady friend. I was a tad late in getting the picture. What was funny is this appeared to be the same doe and the same buck at the same time facing the same direction one day apart doing what deer do in the rut!

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One of my best hunting pals from south Georgia showed up during the rut and decided he wanted to shoot this deer! Congratulations Ron! 

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The rut was in full swing and a Texan who I had the pleasure to hunt with last year came to Montana to get another muley. He shot a fine buck on the dead run! 


One of the more unusual occurrences in my hunting career took place with this buck. We drug the buck up out of a steep cut after applying the tag and were standing there contemplating taking a picture or two. I happened to look down on the ground and there, on top of a gopher mound, sat the bullet (30-06) that had just killed the deer! It had apparently gone thru the deer and when the beast hit the ground at full tilt it must have dropped out of the off-side of the deer! Think about those odds! So my pal recovered the deer, the shell casing AND the bullet that drilled the deer!

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We all have that certain friend who has a friend who killed a whopper. You know what I am talking about. There is always a toad somewhere killed by a friend of a friend. Well, here is a buck that was killed by a friend of a good friend of mine in Montana. First shot from the .270 was at 455 yards after a 1.5 mile stalk. Second shot hit him at 480 yards. Yes, the guy shoots year around and is very proficient. Yes, the final kill shot came at 20 yards. They got up to the beast and up it came. The big boy took some lead! What a tremendous buck and the trophy of a lifetime! Don’t ask me what it scored. I don’t know and care less. I should put a plug in here for my friend who got his pal on this great deer. He is a guide in Montana and knows his stuff! (

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Montana is a pretty cool place. Millions of acres of public land. If you hunt smart you have an opportunity to kill a good buck on public land. Year after year. You also get to see some pretty interesting things. Here is an owl that died an unusual death. 

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Here is a buck that was found last summer on the Mispah River bottom. Pretty cool bone eh? A real stag! Makes the term beer can bases look rather small!

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Hunting at my stage of this game is a lot about family. My wife and I dreamed about having a place for our sons to hunt together. A place where we could gather and spend time away from it all and do what we all enjoy doing, watching wildlife and putting some organic meat on the table. The Ghost Ranch has exceeded our expectations after a couple of years of work. Our oldest son has a job with the military. He sits at a console that launches ICBM’s. Smart, bright and motivated. An officer and a gentleman. Cool under pressure. He tagged another fine buck this year. Do I sound like a proud Dad? I know his grandfathers are.

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My youngest son didn’t kill a deer this year and it wasn’t because he didn’t put in the time and effort. He bow hunted all fall. He is a HOYT hunter and is a bow hunter for life. He missed a coyote with his bow and never drew a drop of blood on a deer in any state. He had the best fall of his life. I am going to share his Facebook commentary, it says it best……..
“Regardless of the outcome, I feel blessed to have such an appreciation and respect for the opportunities I am given any time I get to hunt. The experiences I had this past week in Montana were incomparable to any before and as I get older I only cherish them more. Since Freshman year of high school I have hunted in Montana over thanksgiving break and filled my tag every year. This was the first year not filling my tag and I'm just, if not more, proud of my hunt and efforts. While bow hunting certainly raises the bar on killing a mature buck, I still had numerous opportunities on good deer but not the one I was waiting for. Im thankful for the opportunity to do it all again for years to come, and for the good health that allows me to do the things I love. #keephammering”

He is the President of the Bass Fishing team at the University of Georgia and had some ups and downs this year. 

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He had his talons stolen off his bass boat from scum that inhabit the world and that was a wake up call to always do your best to protect your gear.

The years are coming at me faster. Probably the same for you. My boys are growing up. These pictures seem just like yesterday!

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As for me, it was the best year hunting in 50 years. How could it get any better? I hadn’t planned on killing a deer unless it was an absolute monarch. Things change fast. With the season about over I took my bride to a platform stand so she could take pictures and watch some deer and turkey and I headed off down into the thick stuff. I crawled up in a platform stand for all of 3 minutes, for sure less than 5 and had a doe coming full tilt with some bone behind her. In the late afternoon sun it just looked sweet. I pulled up my .243 and started to BURP the ole boy to a halt which wasn’t working and I finally just hollered real loud, “HEY” which slowed him down enough to take a Hornady through the slats and ventilate him nicely as he piled into some cottonwood limbs before expiring. I love the sound of a big buck crashing into downed timber! Wouldn't you agree it has a good sound to it? Yes, things happened fast. The immediate text from my bride was “that was quick”. The sun was setting, I snapped this picture after tagging him, gutted him and took off for my wife who was ready to head back and get dinner ready. Zoom in (real dimensions: 1024 x 768)Image
What a fall it was. I passed on some great muleys, got plenty of miles on my boots with family and friends, ate like a champ, cheered for Trump, stayed healthy and every day found it nearly impossible to thank my Creator enough for what I got to see and experience. To kill big bucks and to grow big bucks a person needs three things on those deer; age, genetics and nutrition. I have the nutrition and cover components figured out. I wish I had better genetics. I really want to figure out how to get these old Yellowstone River bucks longer age. I hope I can someday figure it out and God willing, I hope the next 25 years are just as good with family in the field. 

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From our home to yours, Merry Christmas!

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