Fall 2013

This issue is about the connections forged through our landscape and activities. The gun passed down from grandfather to father to son is more than a backcountry tool. Fly fishing is greater than the act of catching a fish. We profile an artist who seeks to connect her viewers to wildlife from a new perspective, and in "End of the Season," a local writer appreciates the bittersweet close to his backcountry cabin. We invite you to welcome the changing season by reconnecting with all things southwest Montana—the connection and pull we feel to this area is unmatched.

 

 

 

 

Features

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Slepian, Maggie
Before a hunting excursion, mountaineering expedition, or even a simple road trip, there’s a certain romance in spreading out a map and plotting your journey. There’s boundless information piled onto a single piece of paper: jagged peaks and mountain passes, stacked contour lines of steep hillsides... Details
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Hester, Charley
Over my morning coffee, I sat staring out the window at the Madison River and thinking about things that needed to be done: my job, packing, cleaning, storing things for the winter—and then it occurred to me that this would be a damn fine day to go fishing. The mid-October weather had taken a turn... Details
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Reed, Tom
Alive, the grizzly is a symbol of freedom and understanding—a sign that man can learn to conserve what is left of the earth. Extinct, it will be another fading testimony to things man should have learned more about but was too preoccupied with himself to notice. —Frank CraigheadI worried about the... Details

Departments

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Stone, Robert
Hiking distance: 10 miles round tripHiking time: 6 hoursElevation gain: 3,400 feetMaps: U.S.G.S. Dexter Point and Mount CowenPine Creek Lake is a pristine alpine lake in a huge, 9,032-foot basin high above Paradise Valley. The 31-acre lake sits in the glacial cirque on the north slope of Black... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Asking permission to hunt private property is kind of like asking someone for a first date: you don’t know what to expect, whether it’ll be worth the effort, or if the other person is going to come after you with a shotgun shouting expletives about property rights and liberal Bozeman city-folk. Man... Details
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Cureton, Caitlin
If there is a fishing trip involved, my husband can wake up at 4am without an alarm like a he’s been lying awake all night thinking of those elusive fish slithering through the river. This is not a passion we share, mostly because my kind of fishing and his kind are vastly different. He taught... Details
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Holt, John
Fly fishing and roaming around good country is what autumn was designed for, with the array of color in leaves and grasses, cool blue skies, pure waters, and trout feeding with a fervidness driven by approaching winter. I share this madness—perhaps even a form of dread of cold, snow-covered days... Details
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Walters, Lou
A friend of mine gives me a hard time for hunting deer and elk, because—unlike bears or wolves—they cannot hunt back. He says it isn’t manly if there isn’t an equal chance the prey can kill you. I always say it depends on how you cook them.Cooking venison, elk, or any meat at high temperatures... Details
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Allen, Tyler
October Chute on Hardscrabble Peak gets its name from its ideal northerly aspect that captures early snow and doesn’t release it until late the following summer. And a couple years ago, on October 25, it opened for business when a powerful snowstorm put an abrupt end to the Indian summer. Two feet... Details
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Reuss, Dave
Over the last two years, I’ve racked up around 600 miles on the trails, hundreds of dollars in debt, and bruises on every part of my body trying to become a competent mountain biker. I’m still not there, but these are all things I wish someone would’ve told me on day one.Flat or rolling ground is... Details
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Bilverstone, Bill
Aarrrooooo… Aarrrooooo…It’s 3am, late August, and I’m housesitting for friends when suddenly the dog is howling like he’s the one who spent the night shooting pool at the local saloon. “Oh please, please dog, give me a break,” I pray. But the mutt goes on howling until I climb out of bed, stumble... Details
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Drew Pogge
Lunges. Squats. Wall sits. Lateral jumps. Tuck jumps. Cardio. Plyo. Intervals.Ugh.Ski season is coming, and for many motivated souls, that means pre-season or “dry-land” training. As soon as the mountains see a dusting of snow, you’ll find them lunging, jumping, and skipping around town like a... Details
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King, Peter
I use the sparkle minnow in the fall when I commit to streamer fishing. The Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow is a baitfish/sculpin imitation so effective that it can almost feel like cheating. There’s really no wrong way to fish it—it works under an indicator as a dead-drifted streamer, banged against the... Details
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Harrison, Melynda
Aspens are turning gold and umber, nights are longer, and days feel crisper. Summer is over—but don’t put away your tent and sleeping bag just yet. The warm days and cool nights of autumn are just right for a camping trip. When you’re planning your fall outing, you have to think about who else is... Details
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Jones, Andrea
Falling leaves, shorter days, and that certain chill in the air are all signs of the seasons changing. At Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, “seasons changing” takes on a different meaning altogether.Season SettingDeciding the number of deer, elk, and antelope that can be legally harvested in a... Details
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Pogge, Drew
“If you play with fire, you’re bound to get burned.”–Some Lame-AssSometimes, you just have to howl at the moon, take a shot of Jaeger, and burn a metric ton of wood. Am I right? As the days grow shorter and the nights colder, something in the Bozeman subconscious demands flame. Maybe it’s a vestige... Details
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Saitta, Jamie
As we embrace a new season, we know that change is inevitable—and the same is true in the Bozeman Parks and Rec Department. We’d like to focus on some exciting changes that would not be possible without collaborative effort.Trail to the MThe Parks and Recreation Department was part of a dedicated... Details
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Peirce, George
Here’s a great recipe to utilize one of the most under-utilized pieces of meat on an elk: the shank. Too often, this cut is added along with the shoulders and rump roast to make burger. The shank is a very well-worked muscle—it can be tough if not prepared with care. By braising the shank at a low... Details
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Sinay, Ken
By the 1880s, irresponsible land use, over-harvesting for sport, and simple ignorance contributed to a decline in wildlife in North America. For many species, extinction was a real possibility—and for some, such as the passenger pigeon, it actually occurred. Enter the Boone & Crockett Club: our... Details
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Hammond, Jay
Until recently, scientists thought all the work Mother Nature put into creating fall’s astonishing colors served no ecological purpose—but they were wrong. As the nights grow noticeably longer and temperatures drop, the chemical that makes leaves green—chlorophyll—breaks down. This allows other... Details
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Ladzinski, R.
Many years ago on a winter drive through Yellowstone Park to Cooke City, I viewed a herd of buffalo working their way through the deep snow of the Lamar Valley. I remember thinking what a magnificent animal the buffalo was—"bison" to you biological sophisticates—that it could sustain a whole... Details
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Lee, Barbara
The open prairies and hills of southwest Montana are good areas to spot pronghorn antelope, the fastest distance runners in the world. Fans of the cheetah may argue that the African feline is faster, but they’re only correct if the distance is up to a quarter-mile or so. For any distance beyond... Details
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Reuss, Dave
We were hunting somewhere in eastern Montana, where the pulsing EKG of our state’s topography flatlines. The landscape is so flat, my dad would say, “if your dog runs away, you can still see him for a week.”With the ink still wet on our hunter’s education cards, we’d spotted a herd of mulies with a... Details
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Flannery, Joseph
Nothing deters backpackers from the Bechler more than the bugs. A handful of Deet and a quick pace might shield you along the trail from the ranger station to the edge of Bechler Meadows, but no further. Upon emergence into the open, the swarms rise from the grass and roll toward you in sickening... Details
Bridger Range
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Dr. Lou Walters
How Outside Bozeman got me to run the Ridge Run.“You have to write an essay,” said a local runner. We were talking about registering for the Ridge Run. She had been completely coherent up until this statement. I began to assess her for a stroke.After refusing to raise her arms over her head or... Details
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Funke, Don
Mostly what I hunt for is connections. I wander around the mountains, prairies, and marshes looking for something I must have lost. There are connections to the natural cycles of the seasons. There are connections to my hunter/gatherer past. There are connections to the earth that only hunting... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
It starts up in the trees: a frail rustling through the leaves brought on by a cold, bracing breeze. Sweeping down through the ground there is a change of hue—an array of a colorful display.Signs of snow land on outlying summits and with each day the encroaching accumulation alerts the trees’... Details
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Krueger, Ryan
Wilderness is big and wild—untamed earth spanning space between populations and providing a place for us to reconnect with our lost landscapes. When the time comes to retreat into to the wild and live with the twigs, berries, and bears, which area has the goods? Let’s find out as these two mammoth... Details
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Sveum, Paul
“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or,... Details
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Dr. Legrand, Alex
For many of us Bozemanites, the first snow of the year is a tease, an alluring look ahead to the oncoming season. We daydream about the incredible powder days, and gnarly runs that we weren't quite ready to tackle last year, but feel this year might be the one. There will be epic days with friends... Details
Bozeman Ice Tower
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Douglas, Jemma
The idea was fantastic, the progress has been slow, and now everyone is confused about whether it’s actually going to happen. Conrad Anker’s pet project—a proposed $1-3 million ice climbing tower—hasn’t seen much headway in the past year. The Ice Tower’s website states, “we are dedicated to... Details
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O'Neal, Meghan
Mimi Matsuda first visited Yellowstone when she was eight years old, wide-eyed at the beauty the Park had to offer. From the seemingly magic geysers to the unmatched wildlife, young Mimi drank it in. Amidst the crowds, she spotted a tan, flat-brimmed hat. The ranger under that hat provided endless... Details
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Pogge, Drew
Mine is a worthy prey. His home range is expansive, and in his element, he is King of Beasts. His numbers are large and growing. He is smart, he is elusive, and he is dangerous. In short, he is the ultimate hunt, for the ultimate hunter. He is the Touron.If you’ve never hunted during one of the... Details
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Douglas, Jemma
On the northeast side of town lies a tract of land once integral to Bozeman’s industrial development, but it has gone to seed in recent years: the buildings are rotting and prior improvements made to the land are slowly degrading. When the land recently came up for sale, the Trust for Public Land (... Details
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Chadwick, Joan
In the fall,WATCH FOR ICE ON BRIDGE.Along the highway that slamdunks, dropkicks,butts and bucks your Bronco into town,pre-war posted, shotgunned signwords warnROUGH ROAD NEXT 40 MILES.Hayhills bundled into rollsAnd breadloaves sunbake the eye.This is where the Missouri headwaters backwater,... Details
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O'Neal, Meghan
When you look at the tree-covered mountains of Montana, you can’t help but notice patches of red scarring the green hillsides: these are whitebark pines, and they’re dying at an alarming rate. Our ecosystem needs this tree; the whitebark pine provides protein-rich seeds to many birds and mammals,... Details
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Sid Gustafson
I was young once, and not briefly,When those lyric Muses tweaked me.A golden aspen day now long ago,When time drifted on, if oh so slow.We’d pack-tripped into the wild,Camping under our Great Chinese WallWhen Pegasus kicked meThat wolven wilderness Fall.Kicked as I darted to retrieve my water shoes... Details
Rocky Mountain Goat Alliance
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Meghan O'Neal
Countless conservation efforts exist for Montana’s big game: elk, deer, and sheep all have organizations devoted to their continued wellbeing and population balance. But what about the mountain goat? For years, this integral part of our wildlife has been sorely overlooked—and the new Rocky Mountain... Details
Photo by Ryan Krueger
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Krueger, Ryan
The crystal-clear water hiccups on the bottom of our canoes as we push off. At the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, we find ourselves bumping and scraping our way down the Sun River—painting rocks with our canoes as we meander through the brilliant geology of north-central Montana.Spread across... Details
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Harris, Emily
With my two dogs—Mr. Magoo, an American bulldog, and Molly, a mastiff/Catahoula mix—in the back of my hatchback, I pulled into the Dudley Creek trailhead in Gallatin Canyon. Not quite a mile down the trail, Molly wandered off in the underbrush and I had Mr. Magoo on a leash (I’d recently adopted... Details
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O’Neal, Meghan
Fall time is family time, and with a bunch of autumn-centered activities in the Bozeman area, you’ll get more family time than you can handle. Whether you’re looking for safe areas to take your kids trick-or-treating, a fun-filled day of hayrides and pumpkin patches, or to get good and scared at a... Details

Gear Reviews

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Krueger, Ryan
I never go riding without my pack: it’s a fixture out on the trail and holds every necessity for mountain travel. I therefore need a comfortable and spacious bag that won’t hold me back. The Manta 28 by Osprey is a multisport hydration pack with plenty of space for food, tools, clothing, or even a... Details
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Douglas, Jemma
When looking for sneakers, I navigate towards light and colorful—none of those awful marshmallows tourists prefer. Patagonia’s new Activist shoe fits the bill—each shoe weighs a mere 6.6 ounces and they come in fun colors from aqua to purple. With a ripstop nylon upper, this shoe is waterproof and... Details
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Lizer, Scott
When I came to the realization that my 100-pound dog was essentially a pack animal and could carry things for me with ease, I went out and found Kurgo’s Max Pack doggie backpack. While tricky to adjust at first, the pack keeps its sizing well, and can easily hold enough food for a few days out in... Details
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England, Mike
Every Montana dog owner gets a little anxious during hunting season, and for good reason—there are definitely a few dumbasses roaming the woods, loaded guns in hand. One way to protect your pooch—and calm your nerves—is with the Ruffwear Track Jacket, a super high-vis, blaze-orange vest that even a... Details
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England, Mike
If only I’d had the Ruffwear Beacon years ago, when my old dog Bear went deaf—it would’ve saved me countless hours trying to locate his jet-black body when he’d wander off at night. The lightweight Beacon clips easily on to a collar (or on the Track Jacket; see review) and flashes a high-intensity... Details
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England, Mike
Like headlamps, water bladders have become an outdoor-equipment staple—for civilians and soldiers alike. If you want a good hydration system that’s built to military specifications—meaning, it’s tough as shit—check out the CamelBak Mil Spec Antidote, made in partnership with Mystery Ranch. This... Details
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England, Mike
You don’t need to be in the military to appreciate the new Helinox Tactical Chair from Mystery Ranch—indeed, it may be better suited to outdoor recreationists than soldiers, who seldom have room in their rucksacks for such luxuries. The Helinox makes an excellent camp chair, with its combination of... Details
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Min, Dan
I like to hike and day-trip, so was looking for a medium-sized backpack that can hold enough stuff without looking too bulky—and the Eureka Wolf Jaw definitely fulfills my requirements. All the essential features are here: hydration sleeve, S-curve dual-density shoulder straps, soft-touch attic... Details
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Howlett, David
My average hot meal in the backcountry has long been limited to bratwurst on a stick, baked beans, and a few smores—all cooked (or usually burnt) over an open campfire. However, with the Trail Lite Duo System 6-piece cook set from MSR, my campsite cooking options have been expanded to anything I... Details
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Howlett, David
Let’s be honest, coffee is for weak mortals—but I gotta admit, I really enjoy it with a splash of whiskey to warm up on brisk mornings during multi-day camping, rafting, hunting, and hiking trips. Making coffee in the backcountry can be challenging, so I was excited to test the MSR Trail Lite Duo... Details
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England, Mike
Few contemporary jeans resemble their 140-year-old forbears, the legendary work pants designed in 1873 by Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis. One company that’s retained that old-school ruggedness is Arborwear—their Original Jeans are made of burly 14.5-oz pre-washed denim, have double knees, and sport a... Details
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McCarthy, Chris
Have you ever put on a boot, and knew before you even took a step that it was the boot for you? That’s how I felt when I put on the lightweight Danner High Ground hunting boot. In the field, I was able to tear up and down the mountainside. Featuring a lock-and-load lacing system, the 8” boot... Details

Book Reviews

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England, Mike
Two subjects of rightful popularity—survival and the military—come together in SAS Mountain & Arctic Survival (Skyhorse Publishing, $15) by former British Special Air Service soldier Barry Davies. This pocket-sized volume overflows with information on all types of survival skills, from fire-... Details
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England, Mike
There’s something undeniably mythical about chasing large fish—precious few anglers escape that eventual, insatiable hunger for a lunker on the end of their line. Hence John Holt’s latest book, Stalking Trophy Browns: A Fly-Fisher’s Guide to Catching the Biggest Trout of Your Life (Lyons Press, $25... Details
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Gustafson, Sid
The lovebird is a captured and marginalized African parrot that forever yearns to form a strong and monogamous pair bond with another of her feather, preferring to roost side-by-side for peaceful spells in the unbounded nascent smells of Mother Earth. In America, certain lovebirds have escaped and... Details

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