Summer 2020

Features

GVLT trails conservation
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Anthony Pavkovich
Thirty years in the making, Bozeman’s Main Street to the Mountains trail system is a recreation success story—and it’s just one part of GVLT’s mission to make the Gallatin Valley a better place, right now and for generations to come.Speeding along the freshly paved path between Story Mill Park and... Details
alpine fishing landscape
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Joshua Bergan
Pursuing cutthroats, goldens, and grayling in thin air.Stumbling out of my tent in the soft light of dawn, I wondered if the fish would be in a similar less-than-lucid state. At 8,400 feet, deep in the Gallatin Range, our campsite was cool. I slipped on a sweater, crept down the bank, and gazed at... Details
alpine lake montana landscape
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Maria Anderson
Five all-day adventures for the summer season.At times it feels like Bozeman residents are in some sort of arms-race to extremity. Everywhere you look, people lope or bike along, checking heart-rates and Strava times. Cars with skis on top head for the high country, even though it’s 70 degrees in... Details
Trail Running southwest Montana Bozeman Gallatin
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Andy Woodward & August Schield
Traveling fast, far, and on foot through the rugged backcountry of southwest Montana.A mix of blood, sweat, and mud soaked into the shoes of four runners as they began their descent from Hyalite Peak. It was the 25th of June, and Eric Schneider, Connor Hult, Kael Van Buskirk, and Renn Meuwissen... Details

Departments

running helmet, gear, runner
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Joe King
Running helmets hit the market.These days it’s easy to imagine that everyone in the world has suffered a major head injury. Just attend a Trump rally—it’s like being in a live-action infomercial for TBI. Ironically, our cerebrums have never been safer. We’ve got bike helmets, skateboard helmets,... Details
osprey falls yellowstone park
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Joshua Bergan
Yellowstone Park in the year of the Bug.This past spring was a rough one, but one silver lining for inhabitants of southwest Montana (along with '90s-era traffic and elbow room during the salmonfly hatch) is the opportunity to once again visit our beloved Yellowstone National Park—without the RV... Details
dutch oven, cooking, campfire
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Simon Peterson
Cast-iron cooking over the campfire.From the campfires of adventurous explorers across the Rockies to the great chuckwagon trails, cast-iron camp ovens have been an integral part of forging the American experience. Paul Revere, a blacksmith and silversmith by trade, is credited with the flanged lid... Details
photography flying raptors
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Carol Polich
Photographing birds of prey.Our Montana skies are full of raptors. red-tailed, rough-legged, sharp-shinned, Swainson’s, and Cooper’s hawks; American kestrels; bald and golden eagles; ospreys and turkey vultures; harriers and goshawks. These and dozens more are flying, diving, or perching on... Details
land ownership public private
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Whitney Tilt
The public benefits of private lands.As we extol our public lands—of which we can be justly proud—let us not overlook the importance of private working lands. For these are the most valuable lands in Montana, in terms of healthy soil and water, and in providing essential food and habitat for our... Details
paragliding unique summer activities
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Cordelia Pryor
Summertime's offbeat activities.When the long Montana spring finally gives way to summer, it feels like there’s so much to do and so little time to do it. Our exuberance drags us into a whirlwind of adventure: summit that peak, ride that trail, go farther, live harder, don’t slow down. But... Details
canoe camping montana float river
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Cordelia Pryor
Overnight canoe trips around Bozeman.In the summer, when the weather is warm and our outdoor playground abounds with opportunities for adventure, there appears a strange sense of urgency. How much can we cram in before the season passes us by? It’s an unfortunate paradox: in the rush to do and see... Details
climbing Natural Bridge boulder valley
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Maria Anderson
Liesurely climbing at Natural Bridge.On a warm and cloudy Saturday April morning, we pack up the truck and head for Natural Bridge. It’s south of Big Timber, in the Custer-Gallatin National Forest, and was named for a formation that collapsed in 1988, the year I was born. Natural Bridge is known... Details
biking stone creek bangtails
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David Tucker
A private-public partnership in the Bridgers.If you’ve visited a Bozeman-area trailhead in the last few years, you’ve probably noticed something: they’re all crowded. This past spring, when schools and workplaces were closed, they got more crowded. And as our valley continues to grow, they will get... Details
tobacco root mountains pony montana
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Amy Horner
The story of a one-horse town.They say he stood five-foot-two, based on Civil War military records, but his character and perseverance must have made up for what he lacked in height because the man called Tecumseh Smith (aka, Smith McComsey and knick-named “Pony” for his small stature) ended up... Details
magazine cover outside bozeman
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Mike England, Drew Pogge, and Simon Peterson
Time & PlaceThis much we know: all things are connected. —Chief SeattleWind whispers through the firs as I make my way up the mountain. It’s steep, with loose duff over dry, rocky earth; I use the game trails for better footing. From a ravine below comes a dull thump, first in slow staccato,... Details
rafting gallatin river access
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David Tucker
Gallatin access points get a facelift.Ever since the mid-’90s, when Paul Maclean took shadow-casting mainstream, scores of anglers have descended upon our little corner of paradise. Many set up shop along the banks of the Gallatin and other southwest Montana rivers.Over that same time period,... Details
bozeman competition face off
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the editors
Tallying the spoils of war.The quarterly face-off—it started in 2006, when Bozeman, then a smallish Montana mountain town, felt its oats and started squaring off with similar towns across the country. We came out swinging, giving Burlington, Vermont a 7-3 thumping. Emboldened by our quick success,... Details
trail diet exercise recover
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Caitlin Jones
Three tips to a faster recovery.After a long, muddy spring, it’s finally time to hit the trail. Since summer goes by in an instant, you want to make the most of it, and no one likes passing up a hike or ride from being too sore. Here are three simple ways to recover from your last adventure, and be... Details
night sky astronomy stars galaxies
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Jim Manning
What to look for this season.The Big Sky has some big players in it this summer, with the largest planets in our solar system holding court during our brief and balmier nights.After the sun goes down and it (finally) gets dark, look for the fishhook-shaped constellation of Scorpius the scorpion... Details
predator meat gun defense
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Joe King
A breakthrough for bear defense.For decades, there have been just two choices for active bear repellants: firearms and bear spray. Now, there’s a third—a compact pistol that shoots canisters of fragrant, exploding meat product. Originally developed by a postal carrier tired of being chased by... Details
adventure travel van fishing trip
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Mike England
Caving in to creature comforts.It didn’t sink in until I began to fill the cooler with ice. Wait a second. We don’t need a cooler. This thing has a fridge.And so began a series of adjustments, from our normal car-camping routine to this new paradigm: tricked-out-rental-van camping. In addition to... Details
running, training, climbing
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AJ Sobrilsky
Essential ingredients for running and climbing.As the snow melts, the trails dry, and the long summer days offer “send burns,” we can all benefit from reflecting on our upcoming goals. Whether it’s a weekend ridge traverse or open climbing projects, we owe it to ourselves—and to all our invested... Details
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Todd Davis
    The doors of the brook trout’s pink gills openand close as it wriggles in my palm, back yellow and black, variegated like coral. Light appears at the fish’s exposed sides, and the sound of water collects in backwash where the stream careensover boulders, milk-white like the edging along the... Details
running, diet, exercise, vegan
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Joe King
A new all-natural metabolic aid.With shelf-upon-shelf of nutritional health supplements to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is right for you. But what if there was an all-natural, sustainably harvested, organic, vegan probiotic rich with macronutrients, antioxidants, and customizable... Details
yellowstone river wild scenic
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David Tucker
Keeping our rivers wild and scenic.It is hard to over-exaggerate how much Montanans love rivers. From Class V rapids to 50-mile riffles, rivers are the arteries that pump life into our state’s outdoor heritage, recreation economy, and agricultural way of life.In a recent University of Montana poll... Details
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Todd Davis
     Under a Montana sky, blue-black with smoke from August fires,the weight of my line unspools, pushing away from the fly rod in cursive loops. Where the water calms, the cliffside shimmersin the creek’s mirror, looking back at itself while asking what is artifice, what is real. That’s how it... Details
skiing the great one Bridgers
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Simon Peterson
Skiing the Great One.’Tis the season for the Great Northern Couloir of Naya Nuki; aka, the Great One; aka, TGO. Where, on the 4th of July, Bozeman skiers assemble en masse, like fishermen at the Mother’s Day caddis hatch.Not only is it a rite of passage, it’s a longstanding tradition that some... Details
mountain peak summit adventure
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Dawn Brintnall
Suffering through summer.A few years ago, I rolled out of my car at 2:30am to tackle the Grand Teton in one day. After a successful jaunt up the Owen-Spalding route, I drove into Jackson to enjoy a few beers with some friends and revel in my accomplishment. My newly-minted mountain ego was slashed... Details
Hebgen fly tying fly
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Joshua Bergan
A small fly for big trout.If you’re not privy to Hebgen Lake’s chironomid (lake midge) hatches, treat yourself. Swarms of buzzing gnats entice the trout—if you listen closely, you can actually hear the hum. And Hebgen’s big browns and rainbows key in on these small insects at different points in... Details
chanterelle mushroom foraging
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Maria Anderson
Foraging while you play.Like locally sourced food? Summer’s a great time to keep an eye out for organic grub in the area to supplement camping dinners, post-hike barbecues, and fishing trips. Foraging—from the Old French fourrage, or “fodder”—helps us build knowledge of our local ecosystems and... Details
pronghorn, conservation, FWP
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Morgan Jacobsen
20 years of Fish, Wildlife & Parks.If there’s anything the year 2020 has reminded us so far, it’s that life is more complicated than it used to be. The past 20 years in southwest Montana have brought new opportunities and challenges as the pulse of a growing community continues to change how we... Details
montana fishing road trip
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the editors
A fun-filled weekend on us.Cruising the open road, windows down, lofty mountains all around… what beats a Montana road-trip in the summertime? Nothing, that’s what—except one that includes a free guided fishing trip, $500 in outdoor gear and apparel, and happens in a decked-out campervan with all... Details
clean water purification guide
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Cordelia Pryor
Water-purification options.Few things ruin the outdoor experience like intestinal parasites. Though the symptoms of Giardia often don’t set in for a while, when they do, you’ll wish to High Heaven you’d been more careful—and all your friends will, too. Remember, prevention is the best medicine—here... Details
camping Custer Gallatin recreation
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Marna Daley
Two decades with the CGNF.Over the past 20 years, the Custer-Gallatin National Forest has experienced many changes. A big one was the consolidation of the two separate forests in August 2014. The now 3.1-million-acre Custer-Gallatin stretches from the Idaho border near West Yellowstone into western... Details
dog training trail hiking
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Vicki Sielaff
Introducing your puppy to the trail. If you think about it, hiking with your dog can subject her to the same maneuvers as an agility course—jumping and weaving between obstacles, maybe even balancing on a log bridge. Agility competition with my border collie taught me the importance of slow and... Details
horseback riding Montana Absaroka Beartooth Outfitters fishing
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Jess Mcglothlin
A bucket-list fishing trip.Most anglers dream of a true backcountry fly-fishing experience. Getting away from the bumper-boats on busy rivers and the crowded roads of the summer season; climbing high into the mountains and casting flies into water that sees only a few anglers, if any, every season... Details
whitefish fish species sustainability
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Niall Clancy
In defense of trashfish.As marked by the publication of Isaak Walton’s Compleat Angler in 1653, people have been getting fishing line tangled in branches for at least three and a half centuries. Catch-and-release angling is a more recent development, not being popularized until the mid-twentieth... Details
bison rut buffalo fight
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Carol Polich
Photographing the bison rut.The bison rut, from late July through August, is an extreme and physically exhausting period for Yellowstone’s bulls, where they lose up to 10% of their bodyweight. The challenges are constant in establishing dominance and retaining their harems. It’s an awesome display... Details
storm, lightning, safety
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Julia Smit
How to avoid a lightning strike.Unfortunately, there’s no way to guarantee you won’t get struck by lightning. Every bolt of lightning contains about five billion joules of energy, which is enough to power the average home for a month—not to mention turn the average hiker into a briquette. The... Details
swimming dog pet hazards
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Dr. Julie Oghigian
Summertime hazards for dogs.With the long-awaited summer season comes sunny days, green grass, and river trips. We have the benefit of living in a beautiful area filled with outdoor activities that are fun for us all, and in which we can involve our canine companions. But there are also a number of... Details

Gear Reviews

kickback rocker camping chair
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Mike England
Nothing beats kicking back at camp after a long day on the trail. Except this: kicking back in a rocking chair, the easy undulations lulling you into a euphoric stupor. GCI’s KickBack Rocker offers just that—plus a beverage holder, phone pocket, and integrated shocks for smooth rocking on uneven... Details
patagonia wood burning stove
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Mike England
There’s something extremely satisfying about cooking over a natural fire. But when backpacking, there’s generally something extremely inconvenient, too. Not so with Patagonia’s Wood-Burning Stove, a clever, cone-shaped contraption that turns a pile of twigs into a roaring blaze in mere seconds.... Details
hiking lowa shoes
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Chris McCarthy
These are way too nice to wear on the trail. That was my first impression of the Toro Evo GTX Lo from LOWA. With a dark gray leather upper, these hikers look as nice as some of my dress shoes, but their trail performance really sets them apart. The Gore-Tex nubuck keeps my feet dry, the tread... Details
selvatica hiking shoe
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Simon Peterson
The AKU Selvatica Mid GTX boots are the most comfortable, supportive, and efficient hiking boots I’ve tried to date. Lightweight and agile, they are designed to allow a natural range of motion in the feet for maximum comfort while moving through mixed terrain in the mountains. Outfitted with Gore-... Details
hammock tent camping
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Mike England
When sleeping solo, I’ve always preferred a hammock—except when it’s raining, in which case a tent is the superior option. Crua’s Hybrid puts the best of both into a single, choose-your-own-elevation package. On the ground, it’s a one-man tent, with headroom, bug screen, rainfly, guy lines, all the... Details
ruffwear dog harness
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Mike England
We all need a leg up once in a while, especially dogs rock-hopping behind us high up in the mountains. Which is where the Flagline harness from Ruff Wear comes in. Lightweight, with a long, load-dispersing design, the Flagline allows you to give Bridger a quick boost when his canine limitations... Details
bike frame armor
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Simon Peterson
If you’re an avid mountain biker in Montana, your front tire will kick up rocks and your frame could no doubt benefit from the modular, EVA-foam-backed carbon-fiber protection provided by High Country’s Bike Frame Armor. Weighing in at virtually nothing, the HCBFA is super tough and designed to fit... Details
dry bag boating gear
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Mike England
Eventually, every canoe tips. And the unpleasantness of this eventuality is inversely related to how much you prepared for it. Meaning, stuff all your clothing and bedding in dry bags—and make ‘em good ones. SealLine’s 70L Pro duffel not only keeps your things dry, but has the added advantage of... Details
klymit fishing raft boat
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Joshua Bergan
Weight and bulk usually prohibit boats at highland lakes, but that’s not the case with the Klymit Litewater Dinghy, which weighs only 35 ounces and stuffs to the size of a water bottle. It inflates quickly with a clever pump-less system, can float 350 pounds, and its 210D polyester fabric is plenty... Details
climbing gear rope mammut
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Dawn Brintnall
I was skeptical about safety on a 9mm rope, as I’m used to thick, stiff ropes for outdoor use. However, I immediately felt confident with the Mammut Alpine Sender Dry Rope while both belaying and climbing. The dry-treated rope feels svelte and is ready to climb out of the gate without any pig-... Details
endure bike shorts
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Chris McCarthy
This is the summer I’m stepping up my mountain biking, and next to the bike, the item I needed most was padded shorts. My search ended with the Endura Hummvee II. Overbuilt, like the military vehicle with the same name, these shorts have six pockets, zippered thigh vents, and durable ripstop nylon... Details
tram bar outdoor nutrition
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Mike England
On long, arduous outings, occasional re-fuelings are essential. And while energy bars are a dime a dozen, healthy, tasty, filling bars are not. Luckily, our sister-city to the southeast, Jackson, WY, boasts one of the best: the Tram Bar by Kate’s Real Food.  Inspired by long, ravenous ski days, the... Details
hero grill outdoor cooking
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Mike England
Food cooked over charcoal tastes better—but when floating the river, or out of space in an overloaded vehicle, a gas stove is the only option, right? Wrong, says Fire & Flavor, whose HERO charcoal grill brings the best barbecue flavors to any outdoor cooksite. Compact and lightweight, with... Details
dog food bowl pet
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Mike England
Hot and dry—that’s summer in Montana. On those long hikes where water’s scarce, keep your hound hydrated with the Collaps-a-Bowl by Kurgo. Strong and sturdy, it holds a whopping 24 ounces and flattens for easy storage after the break. It comes with a carabiner, too, for clipping to your belt,... Details
low walker gtx shoe
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Simon Peterson
LOWA’s Walker GTX is a lightweight, waterproof, breathable, sneaker-inspired walking shoe that features a seamless Gore-Tex lining to reduce hot spots, and LOWA’s speedhiking sole to ensure superior traction on both trails and pavement. With a midsole that features double-injection DuraPU shock... Details
orris fishing waders
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Chris McCarthy
With the exception of July and August, if I’m fishing, I’m in waders—so having a comfortable pair is a priority. Orvis has long been my go-to brand and they’ve impressed me again with their PRO Waders. With room for gear, you can fish all day with just your rod and what you carry in the waders.... Details
GSI knife set cooking
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Melissa Doar
If you’re not a chef, you can now pretend to be, with the GSI Outdoors Santoku Knife Set. A durable organizing case secures a 6” serrated knife, 6” Santoku chef’s knife, 4” paring knife, soap-dispensing bottle, cleaning cloth, and a folding cutting board—plus additional space for packing extra... Details
dirt roamer biking shorts
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Ian Roderer
When I first tried on Patagonia’s Dirt Roamer bike shorts, they felt a bit snug—but this turned out to be an ideal fit in disguise. They accommodated my padded liner and the stretch in the fabric allowed sufficient flexibility for any ride. They’re lightweight, too, but the real bonus is water-... Details
biotite campstove cooking
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Simon Peterson
With the ability to turn fire into electricity, the super-slick Biolite Campstove 2 brings the caveman back to the future. The stove creates a vortex of smokeless flame for a portable campfire that can cook your meals and provide three watts of generated power to charge devices; it also stores... Details
lowa hiking shoes
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Chris McCarthy
LOWA’s new Innox Pro GTX Lo TF is great footwear for the lazy days of summer. With its low cut and breathable upper, my foot hasn’t overheated in this burly-looking shoe. The Gore-Tex lining repeals water on dewy morning trails and the traction is great in moderate to technical terrain. The best... Details

Book Reviews

canoe trip book cover
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Corey Hockett
Every wilderness expedition is a spiritual journey,” writes Thomas J. Elpel, after spending nearly half a year in a canoe. But Elpel’s expedition started well before his first paddlestroke. With chainsaws, axes, and the help of William Clark’s great-great-great-great grandson, he whittled a 10,000-... Details
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Ian Roderer
Most coloring books are merely filled with cartoons, but Discover Montana Treasures: Bozeman & Beyond (Sintr, $15). is not most coloring books. The older the kids are, the more they will get out of it. That being said, even my four-year-old was inspired by the outdoor-recreation-themed imagery... Details
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Joshua Bergan
Much has been said about the sport of fishing, which is why Jackie Corley arranged this 104-page compendium entitled The Angler’s Book of Favorite Fishing Quotations (Hatherleigh Press, $12.50). Both beloved and less-well-known lines from past presidents and fishing legends, along with comedians,... Details
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Dan Spur
You don’t have to be one of the 30 million people who lost their jobs last spring to contemplate vegetable gardening as an alternate—even primary—food source. Whether you want to ease up on the food bank or simply experience the incredible taste difference between home-grown tomatoes and store-... Details
saving species on private lands
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John F. Organ
In his 1930 American Game Policy, Aldo Leopold wrote that we must recognize the landowner as the custodian of wildlife, and that only the landowner can practice management efficiently. Yet, in spite of broad acceptance of this principle, there has not been a comprehensive guide as to how landowners... Details
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Holden Sieler
Montana’s alpine lakes offer some of the most scenic and rewarding fishing available on the planet, but these piscine gems often lie at the end of a day’s hike in wild, unpredictable backcountry. Luckily, Joshua Bergan’s monumental volume, Flyfisher’s Guide to Southwest Montana’s Mountain Lakes (... Details

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