Fall 2020

Features

wolves, yellowstone, wolf pack
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Jane McGuire
Following Yellowstone's wolves.Fall’s pre-dawn chill saturates the frosty stillness of Yellowstone Park’s northeast corner. Lizzie Cato, petite, freckled, and bundled in many layers and textures of purple, leaps into the driver’s seat of her government-issued Dodge Durango. Her gloved hand fumbles... Details
Training, fitness, health
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Maria Anderson
Training tips from local pros.As autumn takes hold in southwest Montana, our motivation for training in the mountains tends to match the season: shorter days, shorter runs and rides; less warm air and sunshine, less fire in the belly for those big, long objectives. The world seems to slow down a... Details
hunting, public land, stewardship
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John Cataldo
Taking care of the Great Public Estate.Of all the questions which can come before this nation… there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.—Theodore RooseveltHere in southwest Montana, we are... Details
camping, campground tour, fall camping
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the editors
There’s a sweet spot in the fall, unfolding as subtly as a turning leaf. Seasonal crowds dwindle, but the days are still pleasant. Weather starts to change, but cool nights under a sleeping bag offer some of the best sleep of the year. Mornings yield crisp air, and light fog lingers without a... Details
fall color, yellowstone, hiking
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Cordelia Pryor
None can ignore autumn, when the world explodes in dazzling displays of color. Amid Montana's dispersed evergreen hillsides, chokecherry and aspen commence a fireworks show of reds and yellows. Along the streams and rivers, cottonwoods glow a loud and brilliant orange. And as chlorophyll drains... Details
bikepacking, expedition, camping, biking, backcountry travel
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Traute Parrie
Pedaling a lifelong dream.As free-range children, my brother and I grew up riding ten miles to Ryan Park for an ice-cream bar. Then, for my 14th birthday, my realm of adventure amplified with a bike ride through Scotland, pedaling each day to an unknown bed-and-breakfast, often storing our bikes in... Details

Departments

hunting, prairie, eastern montana
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E. Donnall Thomas Jr.
Hunting Montana's eastern prairies.I’d spent an hour sitting motionless in the sage while I observed the pronghorn herd. Running through September, Montana’s archery antelope season includes the heart of the annual rut, and the non-stop interaction between bucks and does provides a fascinating... Details
astronomy, mars, the red planet
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Jim Manning
The red planet lives.It’s the color. Lurid, baleful red, blazing unblinking in the night sky. Like a burning ember, or a drop of blood. No wonder this “wandering star” in the realm of the gods was associated with grisly characters.And now it’s back, as it is every two years and two months, shining... Details
taxidermy bars, restaurants, food
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Cordelia Pryor
Top taxidermy bars.After a long hunt, we know where you’re headed: the bar. Gathering around a table with full brews and buddies by your side, recounting triumphs and blunders, is a tradition of its own. And no bar is better suited to this autumnal ritual than one lined with impressive mounts—yes,... Details
mountain goat, conservation. wildlife
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Morgan Jacobsen
Respect in goat country.Mountain goats live in some of the most remote and precipitous terrain in North America. The challenge and beauty of these places also draw recreationists, who often encounter goats along the way. What people do in these encounters matters, not only for their own safety, but... Details
hiking, paradise valley, national forest
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Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan
Revisions to the Custer Gallatin management plan.Wow, that was a commitment, wasn’t it? Over 100 public meetings and webinars, massive documents, technical details, recommended Wilderness areas, recreational emphasis areas, backcountry areas, key linkage areas, inventoried roadless areas,... Details
Painting, art, poetry
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Alan J. Couture
Gatlin’ Dave stared at his quarrywith eyes of burning ice—Raised the rifle to his cheekand fired once. Then twice!The shots rang out loud and fierceon that crisp Montana day.But the huge deer heeded not Dave’s tries, just munched forbs while looking his way.Shots three, four, and five did followas... Details
hyalite reservoir, water, lake, watershed
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Becky Edwards
All about the Bozeman Municipal Watershed Project.Over the next few months, the City of Bozeman and the Custer Gallatin National Forest will begin forest-fuels-reduction work in the northern part of the Gallatin Range, where many Bozemanites love to sneak away for evening and weekend bike rides,... Details
history rock, hyalite, geology
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Patti Albrecht
Early inscribers at History Rock.When we explore or travel we want to share the experience with others and remember it for years to come. We tag, post, tweet, or twitch (yeah... I'm not social-media savvy). The early settlers of our valley had the same desires. They had a need to leave behind... Details
hiking, stone creek, fall
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Robert Stone
Hiking the Stone Creek trail.Starting at the southern end of the Bangtail Divide and heading east, the Stone Creek Trail climbs to the crest of the Bangtail Range and weaves through evergreen forests and open, rolling meadows. Throughout the hike are great views of the Bridger Mountains and the... Details
elk hunting, glassing, scouting
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Stan Spoharski
Pro tips to fill your elk tag.Elk season is upon us and greetings at the local bar have changed from "How's the fishin' been?" to "Get yer elk yet?" Make this year the one when you proudly answer, "Damn straight!" Here are a few ideas to increase your odds this season.Make a PlanThis may sound... Details
climbing, humbug spires, granite, rock climbing
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Jack Taylor
Climbing clean granite south of Butte.No, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you—that is indeed clean white granite, in a bevy of prominent bulges, just two hours from Bozeman. Nestled in a beautiful subalpine setting, the Humbug Spires symbolize the adventurous character of Montana’s climbing... Details
felling a tree, cutting wood, firewood
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Corey Hockett
How to properly fell a tree.Winter is coming, and so are those cozy nights nestled up next to the fireplace—sipping a hot drink, watching it snow, and listening to the wood you cut crack like popcorn as you throw another log on. But first, there's work to be done—that heat's gotta be gathered.... Details
chores, exercise, fall fitness
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Nick Bechtold
Turning chores into exercise.Fall in Bozeman brings cooler temperatures, shorter days, and extra time spent working in the yard. This usually means less opportunity to hit the trails and more time spent raking leaves or chopping wood. Luckily, yard work can double as a great form of exercise while... Details
grizzly bear, bear safety, yellowstone
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Sierra Larson
Staying safe in bear country.Bears are often depicted as savage man-eaters in the media, likely due to the tendency to sensationalize individual incidents for the sake of ratings. Others view them as cuddly animals akin to playful depictions in children's toys, books, and TV shows. Both... Details
hunting, bowhunting, national forest, public land
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Sarah Keller
Hunting and freedom in the national forest.The evening before bow season opened, I loaded up a bike-trailer with camping gear and pedaled into a heavily timbered drainage outside Bozeman. Arriving at a Douglas fir–cloaked hillside well past dark, I hastily made camp as irrational fears of lurking... Details
running, hunting, runting, bird dog
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Chris McCarthy
Strengthening the canine-human bond.Necessity may be the mother of invention, but compulsion is the captain of creativity. At least that’s what I told myself, as I packed a pistol into my chest-pack, laced up my running shoes, and set out for a ten-mile run-hunt on the west side of the Bridgers one... Details
hunting insurance, elk hunter, drew pogo
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Joe King
Hunting insurance gains traction.These days, the world is full of uncertainty, and no one has enough time. If you're a hunter, you know this all too well—who doesn't wish they could hunt dawn to dusk all season long, and reliably find trophy animals? But most of us are lucky if we can dedicate a... Details
Elk, steak, cooking
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Joe Romano
Charcoaled elk steak with spiced honey.Ask hunters—or hunters’ friends and families—about their favorite cuts of meat, and the word “backstrap” will invariably be spoken, in reverential tones and amid sighs of gustatory delight. Ask any beef or pork aficionado the same question, and he or she will... Details
horseback riding, horses, hunting
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Vicki Sielaff
When horse and hunter meet.I was probably humming “Don’t Fence Me In,” an old cowboy song that ricochets around my mind when I’m on my horse. Fall was in the air, and the horses were fresh. I remember the mare in front of us was acting up, jigging around. I probably patted my horse’s neck, “Good... Details
hiking, yellowstone park, river, forest
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Mike England
Nature welcomes everyone.There’s much talk these days of inclusivity, a word that makes me think of all the high-end real-estate ads trumpeting the exact opposite: “Exclusive property in the woods!” “Enjoy exclusive access!” “View our exclusive listings!”That pitch always bothered me—it feeds the... Details
landscape, montana, fall, prairie, red barn
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Cordelia Pryor
Autumn's uncommon activites.Summer may have wrapped up, but there’s still plenty of time to spend outdoors before the snow falls. While the tried and true autumn activities are always a good bet, there are plenty of less common ways to enjoy Montana’s outdoor playground, so long as you’re willing... Details
music blasters, pillory, acoustic invaders
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the editors
Calling out trailside music-blasters.Bozeman is a great place to live. With mountains to climb, trout to catch, and wilderness to explore, there’s a reason so many people are moving here. Even on the bad days, when work sucks and the weather’s crap, nothing can dampen the sheer, unadulterated joy... Details
hunting dogs, bird hunting, pointer
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E. Donnall Thomas Jr.
The best part of bird hunting.I’ll never forget Maggie’s first point. Barely six months old, she was still just a floppy-eared puppy, a German wirehair pointer that for some reason looked like a German shorthair. All I knew by then was that she was smart, possessed a good nose, and had bonded to me... Details
Hyalite Canyon, Fly Fishing Bozeman
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Jessica Rounds
How a Valley Girl landed in Bozeman. After a decade of swimming through the dating pool of self-absorbed almost-working actors in Los Angeles, I took up with a Montana man. “Do you want to go on a fun little outing?” Henry asked me our first week of dating, roughly four years ago. Obviously I said... Details
whitetail, cwd, chronic wasting disease
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Corey Hockett
Bracing for a wildlife pandemic.Humans aren’t the only ones who could take a few notes on disease transmission this year; it’d behoove Montana ungulates to spread the word as well. That’s right, there’s another pandemic on the way, and it’s coming quicker than we think. In 2017, we saw its first... Details
climbing dog, etiquette, crag, dos and don't
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Jack Taylor
Dog-owner etiquette while climbing.Your dog is an extension of yourself. You take her everywhere, she picks you up when you’re feeling down, and to the dismay of your significant other, she enjoys prime real estate in your bed. When you’re making plans for a day of climbing, you imagine her... Details
mule deer, wildlife, whitetail
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Corey Hockett
A grim future for the big-eared ungulate.In his 1990 publication Mule Deer Country, Valerius Geist writes, “For all its current abundance, the mule deer, so different, so uniquely American, so young and promising, is nevertheless a species marked for extinction.”  Geist, a Canadian biologist, has... Details
pallet fire, bonfire, stewardship
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Mira Brody
Keeping Bozeman's water clean.Every winter, piles of pallets slowly make their pilgrimage up Hyalite Canyon Road and into the canyon’s many fire pits, providing fuel for bonfires and winter cheer. Long after the revelers have left, hundreds of nails and staples are left behind to puncture tires,... Details
hunting hipster, camouflage, outdoor hipsters
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the editors
A guide to outdoor hipsters, part one.As the seasons change, so do the outdoor activities that come with them. Each one brings with it a unique band of fanatics—people who talk, dress, and act as if their entire lives revolve around that one specific thing. And they want you to know about it. To... Details
california migration, californication, paul revere
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Chuck Camps
Bracing for the migration.The Californians are coming and you are unfortunately going to need to prepare for it. It’s actually in some ways your own fault. The people in Montana are way too nice and helpful. There is breathtaking beauty everywhere, and folks are more than happy to share it. The ski... Details
hiking, sauntering, sunset
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Dennis Glick
The forgotten value of sauntering.Saunter: To wander or walk about idly in a leisurely manner. —Webster's Dictionary, 1913Full disclosure: I admit to the following (anyone who knows me will read this with a jaundiced eye): 1. I have a basement filled with outdoor gear. Some have described it as "... Details
Art, poetry, painting
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Audrey Steinfeldt
If I could pick a place to dieI wouldn’t think on itI’d lay me under this big skyOf sun and clouds and gritI’d sing a mournful lullabyBut hold back many tearAnd save ‘em for the sorry soulsWho never wandered hereHer wind-scraped land is in my bonesHer rivers made me freeAnd all the times I walked... Details
romance, dating, bozinder
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Dawn Brintnall
A new dating app for Bozeman.An indelible part of the Bozeman ethos is to ditch the 9-to-5 and spend more time in the mountains and on the rivers. We’ve rejected the big-city mentality of working ourselves into happiness, and we place a higher value on our hobbies. So, why do we think the standard... Details

Gear Reviews

bike shorts, liners, athletic shorts
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Simon Peterson
The Patagonia Dirt Craft Bike Shorts with chamois liner combine a casual look with enhanced accouterments for a most comfortable riding experience. The plush chamois fits snugly and offers premium padding, while the two-way stretch nylon shell makes for a uniquely versatile bike short... Details
hunting boot, windrose, lacrosse
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David Howlett
Hunting the rugged backcountry of Montana requires high-performance footwear with great support. The Lacrosse Windrose 8" is a tough, athletic boot that features a durable leather and textile upper; a lightweight, comfortable EVA midsole; and a DuraFit heel cup to lock your foot in place. Not only... Details
pets, dog treats, treat pouch
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Mike England
Hands-on training requires, well, hands, and cumbersome plastic packages can get in the way. To keep tasty treats handy, try the West Paw Outings Treat Pouch. Fill it up with puppy snacks, clip it to your belt or loop it around your waist, and train your mutt with your mitts free. The mouth... Details
vest, voormi, clothing, apparel
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Mike England
Comfort is a commodity during hunting season, with wild swings in ambient temperature and exertion level. Which is where a good vest comes in, and the VOORMI Access NXT is the best I’ve found for everything from cool September mornings sitting still, to frigid November days ascending a steep slope... Details
boot, hiking, exploring, lowa
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Dawn Brintnall
The LOWA Explorer GTX Mid is a workhorse of a hiking boot that feels light and agile. Meant to tackle rough terrain and long miles, these boots are great for exploring Montana’s wild places in the warmer months. The sticky Vibram soles provide traction on steep, rocky surfaces, and the GoreTex... Details
approach shoe, tennis shoe, la sportiva
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Jack Taylor
La Sportiva designed the TX Guide to bridge the gap between trail runners and approach shoes. A sticky rubber outsole with a smooth toe lends confidence when edging and smearing. The dual-density foam midsole lends a cushy yet supportive ride when racking up miles on the trail, and a durable,... Details
waders, fishing, hunting, water, lacrosse
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David Howlett
I gained admiration for the Lacrosse Insulated Alpha Swampfox waders on frigid winter and spring days fishing fast-moving, waist-high water. These waders boast all-day warmth with 1000g Thinsulate insulation wrapped in waterproof nylon. The boots provide a secure fit, coming on and off with ease.... Details
hiking shoe, oboz, arete mid
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Kate Beaudoin
The new Oboz Arete Mid Waterproof are some seriously comfortable boots, probably because they feature Oboz’ O FIT Insole. They’ve got a reasonable amount of cushion while still offering lightweight support. They’re mid-rise, with a small, perfectly-placed dip on the rear lip that saves my Achilles... Details
moonshade, camping, shade, glamping
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Mike England
On multi-day hunts in low-elevation, treeless terrain, one must be creative to keep animals cool—jury-rigged tarps, suspended in the shade beneath bridges, etc.—but nothing quite eases the meat-conscious mind. Unless you splurge for a MoonShade portable awning, that is. Attach it to your vehicle,... Details
rangefinder, optics, Bushnell
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Chris McCarthy
I’ve often considered "gadgets" for hunting unnecessary. If I need devices to tell me how far away animals are, I’m too far away. Over the last couple seasons, however, I’ve discovered that a reliable rangefinder ensures a good shot. Bushnell’s Prime 1300 does exactly that. The 1300 is simple to... Details
shirt, icebreaker, flannel
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Simon Peterson
Combining classic style with modern fabric, the Icebreaker Cool-Lite Compass shirt is the future of flannel. The Compass uses silky soft merino and Tencel—a wood fiber that is derived from sustainably sourced eucalyptus trees—to create a deluxe Cool-Lite fabric that wicks moisture rapidly and... Details
boot, hunting boots, kenetrek
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Corey Hockett
I’d been without a good hunting boot for a long time without realizing it. But after I picked up the Mountain Extreme Non-Insulated from Kenetrek, it became clear that my feet were missing out. This 10-inch-tall, full-grain-leather boot is not only durable, but unexpectedly light, too. With a... Details
rip ruck, backpack, computer work bag
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Chris McCarthy
My computer workbag is a black hole—whenever I put something in there, I have to pull everything else out to get it. The Rip Ruck 24 from Mystery Ranch is just the opposite. The main storage area opens from the top, holding my computer and documents; another, accessed from the front, is great for... Details
hoody, sweater, patagonia, r1
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Dawn Brintnall
Patagonia’s legendary fleece, the R1, has dominated the midlayer game since 1999, and now is warmer than ever with the updated R1 Air Hoody. It boasts a zig-zag design meant to hold in heat while remaining breathable; this garment holds its own while backcountry skiing, climbing, and on chilly... Details
socks, ultralight, swiftwick
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Jack Taylor
Not all socks are created equal, and a great pair can make all the difference. Enter the new Pursuit Ultralight from Swiftwick. These socks employ both hydrophobic Olefin synthetic fibers to keep you dry and soft Merino wool fibers with natural wicking and antimicrobial properties, assuring your... Details
bike shorts, athletic shorts, liners
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Mike England
Riding my hardtail was hard on my tail until I picked up a pair of Patagonia’s Endless Ride Liner Shorts. These mountain-bike-specific liners are aptly named—I ride more, and go farther, now that my crotch isn’t beaten to oblivion. The protective chamois pad is thick, spongy, and malleable, saving... Details

Book Reviews

Cookbook, sausage, cooking
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Chris McCarthy
For the last several years, I’ve dabbled in making my own wild-game sausage. It’s turned out well, but in the back of my mind, I know it can be better. Sausage Season (Deep Creek Press, $28) by Eileen Clarke is going to take my process from good to “wildly amazing.” The first third of this book is... Details
Cookbook, local, cooking
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Jack Taylor
Combining a foundation of local ingredients with zesty elements from the kitchen of her Chinese-immigrant parents, Stella Fong provides an eclectic assortment of recipes in Flavors under the Big Sky (Arcadia, $27). Stella moved to Montana in 2000, and after discovering a bounty of meats, herbs, and... Details
Cooking, poultry, cookbook
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Cordelia Pryor
When you work hard for your game, there’s nothing quite as disappointing as botching the meal. This is where a good cookbook comes in. Townsend resident Eileen Clarke’s Upland Game Bird Cookery (Ducks Unlimited, $20), has all the tools to set you up for success after a hunt. Whether you’re after... Details
Cookbook, cooking, game
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Mike England
Unlike backstraps, which require only salt and pepper to make a person sigh with sensory bliss, some wild-game cuts need more love. Even elk, if not shot cleanly or taken care of properly in field, can lose its luster. To ensure maximum delight at the dinner table, pick up a copy of Townsend... Details

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