Spring 2020

Features

skiing, backcountry, hunting, spring
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Simon Peterson
Making the most of spring. Spring means many things: migrating birds, swelling rivers, the emergence of wild fungus, green valleys lined with white-capped peaks, dry(ish) trails, and the appearance of antlers dropped by elk, deer, and moose. Among Bozeman’s outdoor crowd, spring also means multi-... Details
bison ranching, conservation, advocacy
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Anthony Pavkovich
From veteran environmental advocate to greenhorn bison rancher. Brow furrowed and jaw set, Matt Skoglund, 41, slams his black F-150 into reverse and digs the tires deeper into the snow. His truck sits high-centered in a snowdrift in the windswept plains spreading east from the Bridger Mountains.... Details
adventure-mobile, camping, buggies
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Joshua Bergan
Soon after we’d discovered that the rooftop “emergency exit” on our truck camper was actually a hatch to the party roof, the landscape stopped me in my tracks. Drinking a cold beer and watching the clouds shift as the brook trout and rare fluvial grayling rose in a nearby stream was all part of a... Details
Armstrong Spring Creek, spring fishing, spring runoff
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the editors
Where to fish during spring runoff. At long last, spring is here. Those bright, clear days, the warm sun on your vitamin D-deprived skin, finally exposed to light and air after a lengthy sequestration under layers of wool and fleece. You feel a pull, strong, familiar, inexorable, to the river… you... Details
running, marathon, ennis
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Travis Wilson
Lessons from a mountain marathon. Twelve years ago, when Sam Korsmoe was brainstorming ways to bring people to Ennis, a “crazy idea” entered his head: to hold an annual road marathon above 9,000 feet. He immediately wondered if he might be losing his mind. Marathon tourism was popular enough, but... Details
Caroline Byrd, recreation, conservation
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Anthony Pavkovich
As the final segment of our four-part series, Outside Bozeman caught up with Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s former executive director, Caroline Byrd, for a conversation exploring the intersection of recreation and conservation—and how the former nurtured her passion for the latter. When not... Details

Departments

hot springs, medicine, medical
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Dr. Lou Walters
The medical benefits of hot springs. Montana has 61 known hot springs with more just across the Idaho border. Soaking in hot springs is fun but there are also health benefits. The hot mineral-rich water alters our physiology while we soak. It increases oxygen absorption, which is used to make... Details
weekender, trips, Gardiner, Livingston
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David Tucker
A world away, close to home. Fifty-four miles: that’s the distance between Gardiner and Livingston—and that short distance holds limitless adventure. But how do you distill all those options into a single weekend? I’m glad you asked.Southern ExposureThe best way to manage the valley’s variety is to... Details
paragliding, bozeman
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Drew Pogge
Dealing with the changing face of Bozeman.“Wisdom begins in wonder.” —SocratesI recently saw a bumper sticker that read “Make Bozeman Montana Again,” and I laughed. Bozeman will never be Montana again, I thought. And my bare cynicism was upsetting.In a place like this, it’s hard not to become... Details
dogs, dog training, Svalinn
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Mike England
Building a better outdoor companion. The wall is narrow, and high: six, maybe seven feet tall. A cat might leap onto it without hesitation, but for a dog, it’s a daunting proposition: a scant four inches upon which to balance his entire body, while pondering a long fall to the ground.So it’s no... Details
crossbiking, biking, Bozeman
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Mike England
Exploring Bozeman by bike. Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,Healthy, free, the world before me,The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.—Walt WhitmanWe all strive to recapture our lost youth—parts of it, anyway. And why not? The exuberance, the curiosity, the wide-eyed... Details
birds, waterfowl, migration
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Carol Polich
The Freezeout Lake waterfowl migration. Whooooshhh… the sound was deep, like a muffled explosion. I looked up into the sky’s soft palette for the source of the sound, but saw no plane above me. My eyes dropped to ground level and there it was: thousands of snow geese lifting off. Display and sound... Details
climbing, bouldering
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Dawn Brintnall
Spring climbing day-trips. You couldn't make your annual pilgrimage to Moab for the spring-break climbing extravaganza. Dreams of sunny desert sendage are floating through your mind, and you need to scratch that itch one way or another. Look no further—here are a few day-trip options from Bozeman... Details
mental health, exercise, health, fitness
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Ann Thomas, MD and Nikki Kimball, PT
Improving mental health through exercise. We are lucky to live in and around Bozeman. We have seemingly infinite access to opportunities for outdoor adventure and physical fitness. However, our state consistently has one of the highest suicide rates in the nation. Many Montanans have limited access... Details
simulation, trail running, interactive running simulation
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Joe King
Simulated trail running takes stride.Montana trail runners get a pretty raw deal: after months of slipping around on icy, snow-packed roads and town trails, or suffering through endless miles on a treadmill listening to Joe Rogan podcasts (both of which have been known to cause side effects like... Details
illustrations, artwork
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Holden Sieler
Bryan Schaeffer uses illustration to get people outdoors.Sintering is the process of bonding different particles into a solid mass by heat or pressure without melting to the point of liquefaction. Most of us in southwest Montana encounter sintering every winter below our skis: disparate snow types... Details
electric bike, e-bike, e-MTB
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David Tucker
Where can you ride your electric bike? Late last summer, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt released a controversial Secretarial Order regarding electric mountain bikes (e-MTBs). Bernhardt’s order advised land managers within the Department of the Interior (DOI) to allow e-MTBs access to non... Details
boat ramp, rivers, floating, fishing, whitewater
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the editors
Don't be that guy. When the ice melts and the rivers open up after a long winter, everyone’s itching to get on the water. First, it’s anglers and recreational floaters; then, once runoff ramps up, it’s whitewater rafters and paddlers. But they all have one thing in common: they use access points... Details
fish, illustration
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Ashley Nelson
The sky pledged its justice to vastness and distant mountains remained unable to reveal their rugged nature against such a force. The scene was magnified tenfold by the unbroken surrounding water reflecting everything essential back into the ether. Two earths existed. Twins. All of humanity’s... Details
skiing, backcountry skiing, Sphinx
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Ann Vinciguerra
Solving the riddle of the Sphinx. According to Greek legend, the Sphinx is a mythological creature guarding the city of Thebes. Travelers desiring entrance must solve its riddle and those answering incorrectly are devoured. For skiers, the Sphinx is a 10,876-foot peak in Montana’s Madison range. In... Details
fitbits, mountains, running, jogging, gym
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C. Rusty Lokal
Gymnification of the outdoors. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?It’s an old and wonderful thought experiment: can something exist without being perceived by consciousness? But today there is a new, even more perplexing metaphysical question popping... Details
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Dan Spurr
Hey you!With the stick in your hand!That your dog?Wanna hear something?In the hour betweenthe wolf and the dogwhen the earth opensthe brothers howland people diehe follows me up the mountain trailYou must be sleepingor fixing breakfastor taking a shitWhy you don’t know where’s he at, man?Your... Details
dogs, dirt, cleaning, washing
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Dawn Brintnall
How to avoid murdering your dog. It’s that time of year: the birds have returned, the animals are twitterpated, and the first green tendrils have emerged from the fresh bare soil. In Montana, this is where the resemblance to a Disney movie ends. Otherwise, spring means mud, and we’re more than a... Details
nature, education, outdoor school, wilderness school
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Dawn Brintnall
Getting educated in nature. Here in Bozeman, we are incredibly fortunate to have abundant outdoor recreation in every direction. With this good fortune comes a responsibility: to educate ourselves, so that we can stay safe, help others who get in trouble, and connect more deeply to the natural... Details
goose, recipe, food, hunting
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Zach Mills
After a good waterfowl season, my and many other Montana hunters’ freezers brim with one of nature’s most versatile foods: the Canada goose. A goose breast is trophy piece of meat, weighing up to a kilogram, with a rich mahogany color. Breasting a goose is easy enough; an experienced hunter can... Details
hiking, dogs, spring
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Dr. Julie Oghigian
Tips and guidelines for hiking with a dog. With spring comes more opportunity to comfortably and safely get outdoors for some fun with your dog. It’s a perfect time to start planning trips and organizing equipment, and to get both yourself and your dog into shape for those long summer hikes and... Details
river, conservation, natural resources
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Emily O'Connor
Landscaping as an act of conservation. As individuals concerned with the continuous depletion of our natural resources, we’re often asked to conserve in ways that seem ineffective. What difference does a recycled sheet of paper make when timber companies are clear-cutting old growth? And fuel-... Details
stars, astronomy, Venus, spring, sky
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Jim Manning
Bright shiny things in spring's night sky. Spring in Montana can be a sometimes thing. But whether we’re looking up from snow or flood or mud or some other sketchy transition from skis to mosquito repellant, we always have the steadfast sky—right? Except when it changes from time to time.This... Details
streamboarding, paddleboarding, Bozeman
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Mike England
Streamboarding Bozeman. I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. —Hunter S. ThompsonSlowly, the waters rise. Inconspicuous at first, then gradually more apparent: the current speeds up and color seeps in, swallowing boulders along the... Details
hiking, bear trap canyon
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Robert Stone
Hiking in Bear Trap Canyon. Bear Trap Canyon is a spectacular drainage encompassing 6,000 acres in the Lee Metcalf Wilderness within the Madison Range. The Madison River, its headwaters in Yellowstone Park, rages through the remote, roadless canyon for nine miles, from Ennis Lake to the Madison... Details
rattler, rattlesnake, bitten, bite
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the editors
What to do when the rattler strikes. Spring is when the snakes come out—or rather, slither out, from their cold, stygian dens, creeping downslope in search of insects, small rodents, and other unsuspecting ophidian treats. None of these cold-blooded belly-crawlers want trouble with humans,... Details
gear, giveaway, contest
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the editors
Search the world over and you’ll find few places more dog-friendly (read: saturated) than Bozeman. From climbing companions to paddling pals, fishing friends to backcountry buddies, dogs provide incomparable companionship on all our outdoor adventures. Which is why a whole pack of pet-related... Details
camping, Gallatin Range, Hoodoos, superstition
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Vicki Sielaff
Out in the wild woods, reality and myth come together. Anyone who spends time hiking, hunting, or camping in Montana has experienced the howl or screech that stops you in your tracks, the animal track that doesn’t make sense, or the snuffling noise right outside of your tent at night. But what... Details
whitewater, rivers, bozeman
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the editors
3 popular whitewater rivers:YellowstoneMadisonGallatin3 popular whitewater streams:Hyalite CreekWest Fork of the GallatinBig Timber Creek6 popular stretches:Yellowstone: Gardiner Town Stretch, Yankee Jim, Lower Yellowstone (Springdale Wave, Mrs. Bubbles, 4Banger, etc.)Madison: Bear Trap... Details
whitewater, safety, rafting, river
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the editors
Tips & tricks for whitewater safety."Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide." —John Muir As spring temperatures rise, snow melts and rivers roar. If you’re planning to float during runoff—with a raft,... Details
turkey hunting, hunting
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E. Donnall Thomas Jr.
There's no better motivation than spring turkey season. When T. S. Eliot declared April the cruelest month, he couldn’t have been living in Montana. As dawn broke that April morning, the sounds of courting snipe and northbound geese filled the sky, and pasqueflowers appeared along the old snow.... Details
whitewater kayaking, kayakers, Mad Mile
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the editors
Imagination and actuality rarely align.Who hasn’t dreamed of whitewater kayaking? The speed, the grace, the adrenaline—what more elemental way to experience Montana’s famous rivers? Plus, kayakers are just so cool. The coolest! These are people who harness and control the power of rivers, and make... Details
hip, orthopedic surgery, hip injuries
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John Sveen
All about hip impingement. The fastest-growing orthopedic surgery in the U.S. over the last ten years has been arthroscopic surgery of the hip. One reason for the spike is that improved imaging and research have given us more information. Another reason is that people have become more active and... Details
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John Murie
Exercises to improve your cycling season.I’ve recently gotten back into mountain biking. I’m pretty fit, but very few things have worked me as much as a long climb in the saddle. As a strength-and-conditioning coach, my mind naturally starts to wander during some of these climbs, thinking up ways... Details

Gear Reviews

boot, wading, fishing, Orvis
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David Tucker
The Pro wading boots from Orvis live up to and surpass the high standards set by their name. While my skills are far from “pro” level, my clumsiness along southwest Montana’s river bottoms is expert, indeed. The Pros have bailed me out more than once, with their stiff ankle support and ultra-grippy... Details
camp stove, stove, burner, cookware
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Melissa Doar
On a recent cold and windy day, we set up MSR’s WindBurner Stove System Combo on our truck tailgate. The anti-topple stove lit easily in the less-than-desirable conditions, and cooled down quickly for easy packing. The system is perfect for small groups, yet light enough to haul into the... Details
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Simon Peterson
Looking to shed weight on longer approaches? The Mountain Equipment Kaniq 33 is a sturdy, lightweight, and weather-resistant option for any ski-alpinist. Its double-ripstop construction maintains durability while weighing in at only 2 pounds 1 ounce. Additional features include a water-impermeable... Details
apparel, hunting, pullover, shirt
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Mike England
Warm, form-fitting, and extremely well-made, Voormi’s Access NXT Pullover is a wool-based overshirt that comes in three different concealment patterns—not your conventional camouflage, but definitely designed to blend in. I chose Harvest, a cool design that resembles the tawny reeds and grasses of... Details
headlamp, light
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Mike England
A far cry from its ponderous forbears, the BioLite HeadLamp 200 weighs a scant 50 grams—that’s under two ounces for us Americans, or about the weight of a golf ball. Throw in a wide, comfy headband and low-profile design, and you’ll wonder if this thing could light up a drawer. But light up it does... Details
apparel, shorts
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Travis Wilson
Lightweight yet durable, Sitka’s Territory Shorts kept me cozy on sunny days from April to June. Rugged hikes were more comfortable thanks to the nylon-spandex stretch around the waist. The DWR finish held up against wet brush and light precipitation. The Territory has three zip pockets, two on the... Details
vest, apparel, running, gear
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Simon Peterson
I’ve always struggled with efficiency and comfort on longer runs in the mountains, which naturally led to diminished motivation—enter the Nathan VaporKrar 2.0 12-Liter race vest. Lightweight, with an apparel-like fit and internal compression system designed to tighten loads to the body, the... Details
water, water filter, gear, hydration
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Simon Peterson
Instead of stopping to filter water, stay on the go with the MSR Thru-Link Inline Water Filter. Taking up minimal space in your pack, it’s compatible with any hydration reservoir, so just fill your bladder in the creek and let the Thru-Link filter water as you drink. Two-stage filtration means that... Details
tumbler, mug, gear
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Travis Wilson
Bevanda’s triple-insulated stainless-steel Tumbler caters to those who need a longer-lasting cup of hot coffee. A shatterproof lid keeps liquids secure, and a trendy push tab keeps them accessible. The Tumbler feels great in your hand, fits in any cup holder, and will handle your coffee in the... Details
dog, vest, gear, life vest
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Mike England
When running rapids or initiating a young pup, Ruffwear’s Float Coat puts the mind at ease—even as it disquiets the dog, at least the first time you slip it on. But with timid youngsters, the confidence boost is invaluable for a long, happy life on the water. In addition to the hi-vis color and... Details
camping, hiking, fire, stove
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Mike England
Backpack weight matters in the spring, when you’re not quite in shape and slippery rocks threaten to send you sprawling—and the MSR PocketRocket 2 helps keep your pack light and your spirits high. This tiny burner weighs a scant 2.6 ounces, folds up to the size of a salt shaker, and boils a liter... Details
bear spray, biking, pack, gear
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David Tucker
I’ve long searched for a good place to keep my bear spray while biking. Hip belts retard deployment, sternum straps flop around, and water-bottle cages are too big. Recently I found the Chuckbucket from Oveja Negra, an all-purpose stash bag that mounts tight to the handlebars and keeps a canister... Details
biking, glove, gear
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David Tucker
Recently, I’ve gone without mountain-biking gloves. The palms wear out and I’m still left with blisters and calluses. When I started volunteering for trail-work days, gloves became a necessity once again, so I was glad to see Pearl Izumi’s Pulaski model. The palms are synthetic leather, keeping the... Details
socks, gear, hiking
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David Tucker
Socks are a passion of mine. When I get a pair I like, I obsess. If the model is discontinued or updated, I panic. One such pair is the aptly named Bozeman from Farm to Feet. This 3/4-crew is as simple as a sock should be, and their plush soles cushion footfalls on rocky trail. Added bonus: the... Details
stove, cooking, cooktop, stovetop
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Cordelia Pryor
The Selkirk 460 portable cookstove rom GSI is compact, light, and durable, yet big enough for multi-tasking in two pans at once: the perfect base-camp stove. With the easy set-up, I spent way less time fiddling with canisters and wind screens, and way more time cooking up grilled cheese and tomato... Details
boots, shoes, hiking, gear
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Andra Spurr
No break-in required: the Renegade GTX from LOWA is comfortable and blister-free from the first wearing. These pups have great ankle and arch support, and I love the color and ease of lacing. My feet and toes stay toasty on bitter cold days, and the Vibram Evo sole make for great traction on icy... Details
hoody, sweatshirt, Voormi
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Simon Peterson
It only took one outing for the Voormi River Run Hoody to vault to number one in my base-layer hierarchy—which is saying a lot, as over the years I’ve stockpiled a plethora of Merino wool shirts. The River Run is a versatile piece of clothing and easily the lightest and comfiest performance apparel... Details
keg, growler, camping, gear
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Cordelia Pryor
Beer: after a long day in the outdoors, nothing’s better—and TrailKeg’s Half-Gallon pressurized growler is here to keep your brew cold and carbonated wherever you take it. Lightweight and easy to use, the TrailKeg is the fun item you never knew you needed. I’m not sure I trust it to be leak-proof,... Details
boot, winter boot, Oboz
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Stephanie Schmeiding
I don’t think my feet had ever gotten a hug before I slipped on the Bridger 7” boot from Oboz—they formed to my feet immediately, keeping them warm and cozy in the nastiest conditions. Snow, ice, mud… through it all, the 200g Thinsulate and waterproof nubuck kept out the cold and wet, while the... Details
sunglasses, gear
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David Tucker
The next step in Smith’s interchangeable-lenses progression is the Caravan MAG, a medium-coverage shade that comes stock with two sets of lenses for bright and low light. A simple hinge-and-pop system blends seamlessly into the frame design, and transitioning lenses is a snap, literally. The dark... Details
pants, outerwear, Mountain Equipment
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Chris McCarthy
I needed some light pants for going off-trail in heavy brush, looking for turkeys and shed antlers in the spring, and scouting for deer and elk in the summer. Despite its seeming vulnerabilities, the Mountain Equipment Comici Pant pulled through—the Exolite fabric provided great abrasion resistance... Details

Book Reviews

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Travis Wilson
Wild and free—that's the creed of those seeking liberation from the soul-stifling constraints of society. While civilization tends to cookie-cut human identity into subservient models, outdoor enthusiasts find ways to stay connected to nature, and thus retain their individual spirits. Thank... Details
American Buffalo
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Joshua Bergan
Few people know the comprehensive history and biology of our national mammal as well Bozeman’s favorite carnivore, Steven Rinella. While on an elk hunt in Montana’s Madison Range years ago, he stumbled upon a bison skull—an event that sparked years of travel and research into this species. The... Details
Essential Yellowstone
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Will Shepard
In Essential Yellowstone: A Landscape of Memory and Wonder (Riverbend Publishing, $20), Michael Yachim imparts insight and passion about some of our last great wilderness, which serves to ignite the fervor for adventure of anyone who flips through the book’s pages. His treks through Yellowstone... Details

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