Fall 2016

Features

  • Song of the Lamar

    Tuning in to Yellowstone’s wolves.The alarm shrills in the frigid morning air. I work my way, hands first like a mole, from the synthetic tunnel of my sleeping bag, and poke my head out of the tent. The moon has vanished,…
  • Busted on the Bear Trap

    Trophy trout, heavy-handed cops, and small-town hospitality. A Madison River fishing story. Kind of. I leave early on this particular Friday, bumping into Boston Steve, whom I’d recently met. Steve’s a maniacal fly…
  • What Did I Do Wrong?

    A fishing guide's dilemma.It’s a fairly typical fall day on the Yellowstone River. We’d managed a few whitefish, a few trout. I’d told my one and only joke and it had gotten mixed reviews. We saw a bald eagle. We saw some…

Departments

  • Joust Do It

    Winning honor (if not companionship). It’s Saturday night, late, dark, and chilly, with dry leaves rustling on creaking tree branches. And as the reality of the season sets in, single people everywhere begin the annual…
  • Bear With Us

    Montana FWP explains the delisting.“We didn’t work on this for over 30 years to see the bear disappear.”That was the initial response from our regional bear expert Kevin Frey when asked what he wanted people to understand…
  • Montana Wackos

    A field guide.Montana attracts eccentrics like Wall Street attracts crooks. We have a long and storied tradition of weirdos, wackos, and wankers: the Unabomber, the Church Universal Triumphant (still waiting on that…
  • Get Ice Fit

    Guarantee a better pump.Ice climbing is super fun—at least, that’s what ice climbers will tell you. Of course, those of us who choose to spend hours in the mountains post-holing through snow, dangling from an ethereal…
  • Deer vs. Elk

    Comparing Montana's big game species.Here in Montana, majestic ungulates occupy our imaginations—not to mention our freezers—year-round. We scour the hillsides for them while hiking, dodge them on the roads, and sometimes…
  • Cat-Like Climbing

    All about the Sphinx.By the time the first storms hit and the elk begin to bugle, Sphinx Mountain is sporting the first ice of the season. In a good season, there are a multitude of excellent, three-star pitches scattered…
  • Get Lifted

    When Big Sky opens for another winter season in November, veterans of the ski area will hardly recognize the place, due in large part to the resort’s major lift expansion that took place this past summer. Two new lifts, one…
  • Officially Outdoors

    Bullock invests in outdoor economy.This past summer, Montana Governor Steve Bullock announced his plans to create a new Office of Outdoor Recreation, to be housed in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. The new…
  • Neofeudal Montana

    A land and people being conquered by money.When driving the backroads of Montana, opulence is not a word that comes to mind to describe pastoral scenes of hayfields, barbed-wire fences, and black Angus grazing in grassy…
  • Off-Limits

    Montana's inaccessible public land.Montanans are the proud owners of millions of acres of public land, but some tracts are less accessible than you might think. Patchworks of public and private land, and illegally blocked…
  • Flashy Fish

    Fall's prismatic brook trout.Come early autumn, I reflexively turn to streamer fishing, but as the season moves along, hunting large, secretive, predatory browns somehow gives way to searching out brook trout. Brookies are…
  • Out of a Pickle

    Tips for backcountry emergencies.In the woods, there are many ways to get in trouble. But if we let fear of the unknown dictate our lives, we’d miss out on all the excitement and adventure that fall has to offer—like…
  • Fashion vs. Function

    Exposing camophiles.Hunting is one of the most basic and elemental activities that we engage in as humans, so why is it that we’re continually trying to complicate things? Take, for example, hunting clothing—specifically…
  • Access Obstacles

    Saving a Montana ethic. You may not know it, but your rights are being eroded.We visually understand ground erosion, the damage to the land and water. Yet how many people perceive access erosion when fishing or floating a…
  • Fleet-Footed Fall

    Autumn trail runs.For many Americans, the term “fall foliage” induces thoughts of an endless sea of red, orange, and yellow throughout the mountains of the Northeast. Montana’s deciduous plants, like many of its people, are…
  • Turkey-Day Charity

    Ten years of Huffing for Stuffing.For the past nine years, the Gallatin Valley Food Bank (GVFB) has been getting Bozeman folks to put down their forks and lace up their running shoes on Thanksgiving Day. Huffing for…
  • Stand-Up Cast & Blast

    Fishing and hunting by paddleboard.Canoes, kayaks, and rafts are all time-tested crafts for fishing and hunting the various waterbodies around Bozeman. But we like trying new things, so we rigged up a paddleboard—and it…
  • Drinking, Distilled

    A guide to local liquor.Maybe you’re just getting off of your bike after an early-fall ride, or you’re inviting your bird-dog into the cab of your truck after a day of grouse hunting in a secret cover. It could be you’re…
  • The Last Ride

    Making autumn count.“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.” ― Joni MitchellThere is an urgency to autumn, as the vast, bright horizon of summer narrows and dims, and it becomes…
  • Ski-Season Psyche

    Getting your fall fill.Ski season is right around the corner, and that means excitement is high. But if you want to get after it this winter, you can’t just pull your junk out of the closet and hit the hill. Here are a few…
  • Go Deep

    Caving, Montana-style. Crazed subsets of people will always seek Earth’s most inhospitable environments: the jagged, ice-covered, oxygen-starved heights of the Himalaya; the terrifyingly sheer granite walls of El Capitan;…
  • Pack Light

    A beginner-friendly bikepack.Fall is a great time for mountain biking in the Bozeman area; riders are in shape, temperatures are milder, and the trails are dry. These conditions are ideal for a quick bikepacking trip on…
  • M Trail Update

    In 2013, the Gallatin Valley Land Trust led an effort to obtain funding for a paved, multi-use pathway along Bridger Dr. to the M and Drinking Horse Mountain trailheads. GVLT partnered with the City of Bozeman, the Forest…
  • Hit the Road

    Out-of-town fall trips.For most Montana residents, Labor Day to Thanksgiving is truly the best time of the year. With the bulk of the tourists gone, and the general hubbub of summer fading into another memory, we’re once…
  • R.I.P. Fido

    Bozeman dog mortality.Like car crashes and cardiovascular disease for humans, pets have their own unique mortality statistics. While no actual data has been compiled, our field research shows the leading causes of death for…
  • Canine Courtesies

    Well-behaved humans make well-behaved dogs.Humans and dogs have been rolling together for centuries. Cultures all over the world utilize dogs for work, protection, and companionship, and dogs are the only species that…
  • Keep Your Rod Up

    Preventing fly-fishing shoulder injuries.For folks who find solace at the edge of deep pools, fooling fish with chicken feathers and squirrel tails, southwest Montana is heaven. I’ve met “honest” aficionados, heard…
  • Ullr-ly Training

    Getting ski-fit.Soon, Ullr—a Norse god associated with snow and skiing—will be visiting our beautiful mountains, covering them with snowy goodness. This means that it’s almost time for skiing. At Swiss Fit Montana, we train…
  • Down to the Bone

    DIY European mounts.There comes a time in almost every hunter’s life when he or she harvests something that is considered a trophy. While this critter’s measurements may fall well short of any record books, to the hunter it…
  • Story in Stone

    Madison River geology.A hike, run, or climb in the crisp autumn air is something we all enjoy, along with the inevitable moments when we stop to take in the surroundings. As a geologist, I do this all the time. However,…
  • Doing Time

    Impactful fall photography.Montana—we’re lucky to live where we do. With snow-capped mountaintops, alpine lakes, dense forests, and all four seasons, it’s one hell of a place to be a photographer. Although, it seems that…
  • Calamity Jane in the Sky

    Fall stargazing.One of the most iconic figures of the Old West, who spent time in Livingston and Bozeman during her notorious life, is Calamity Jane. How Martha Jane Canary acquired her provocative nickname is a matter of…
  • Banned Furever?

    Respecting a Montana tradition.With time, comes change, and with change, comes conflict. Some conflict is small and manageable, like installing a new stop light; and some conflict is cumbersome and dynamic, such as…
  • Hunting the Hunter

    Opinions on the grizzly delisting.Grizzly-bear recovery is one of the great success stories from the conservation movement. On the brink of extinction in the 1970s, the species now thrives in the Greater Yellowstone…
  • Outlook - Fall 2016

    Fall camping trips to the river offer an opportunity for quiet reflection before the storms of winter. In the high country, snow begins to pile up, but down in the valley, the fire keeps us warm for one more night…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: K2 Snowboard Package

    After renting equipment last winter, I was determined to spring for a full setup for the upcoming season. Luckily, K2’s products integrate seamlessly, making for a killer set-up perfect for beginners. Their BOA dials make…
  • Review: Icemule Pro Cooler

    High-end coolers may be all the rage, but they come at a cost—in both price and portability. The IceMule Pro soft cooler, on the other hand, is lightweight, roomy (the 20-liter model accommodates 18 cans plus ice), and…
  • Review: RockyMounts TomaHawk

    If you’re like me and you drive a small car but love to ride, then you’ve probably been faced with the dilemma of what to do with your bike when it’s time to load the car. There are lots of bike-carrying racks out there,…
  • Review: Nanuk 933

    If you shoot photos in the outdoors, there will come a time when a protective case is a necessity. When that time comes, reach for the Nanuk 933. It’s impact-resistant, lightweight, and rugged. It’s got a PowerClaw latching…
  • Review: Brinno BCC 100

    The lightweight and compact Brinno BCC100 time-lapse camera captures and converts thousands of photos into a time-lapse video immediately. Along with a host of time-interval options, the BCC100 comes equipped with a F1.2…
  • Review: Sol Escape Bivvy

    When you’re deep in the backcountry chasing game, the possibility of an unexpected bivouac is ever-present. Maybe you followed a big bull all day, only to find yourself 10 miles from camp at dusk. Or maybe a lightning storm…
  • Review: Kammok Roo Hammock

    Built for adventure, the Roo Hammock is ideal for anyone who wants a hammock but doesn’t want to deal with the fuss of setting up and taking down. The Roo’s easily compressible, water-resistant sack is lightweight, making…
  • Review: Sauce Swift Toque

    Fall is difficult, from a headwear standpoint. One day it’s warm and sunny, the next cold and windy. That’s why I love the Holy Swift Toque from Sauce. It’s lightweight with a hole in the back for my ponytail, which means I…

Additional Articles

  • There Once Was Sky

    there once was a cowboy named Stu who traded his horse (as you do) when the big sky was tamed he couldn’t be blamed for riding a red Subaru  there once was a rancher named Ben who divided his spread into ten as the masses…
  • Viral

    Fall. Frosts at night. Days, unseasonable warmth suffuses willow, aspens, brush: saffron, ocher, gold. Foothills loom and swarm, scat steams. And in the high school, kids on cells are joined by tall, black, pungent, furry,…
  • Big Open

    I pregnacy test 1,000 mother cows under a warm, sweet wind. Spilt milk clouds. Green grass in November. Ring-tailed hawks perch over the emptiness on the cottonwoods of Little McGinnis Creek, waiting for death that will not…

Book Reviews

  • Book: Toward a Natural Forest

    Over time, people change, and after reading Toward a Natural Forest (Oregon State University Press, $20), it’s clear government agencies do too. In Jim Furnish’s memoir about the United States Forest Service, we’re treated…
  • Book: Birds of Montana

    If you find yourself searching for a comprehensive guide to local birds, there’s no doubt Birds of Montana (Buteo Books, $79) should be in your reference library. This book is a grander compilation of exactly what you might…
  • Book: Mountain States Foraging

    Briana Wile’s Mountain States Foraging (Timber Press, $30) is the only guide I’d want in my pack on a backcountry trip; the author’s colorful run-down of local wild, edible plants is refreshingly accessible and detailed.…
  • Book: Help Yourself

    The best defense, as the old adage goes, is a good offense. In the backcountry, that means preparing for emergencies before they happen—and there’s no faster path to preparedness than Rod Alne’s new guide, Help Yourself: A…
  • Book: Yellowstone Ranger

    Interested in reading more about the Park? Pick up Yellowstone Ranger (Riverbend Publishing, $23). This captivating memoir of Bozeman resident and longtime Yellowstone Park ranger Jerry Mernin is an exciting new addition to…
  • Book: The Imperiled Cutthroat

    Australian writer and legendary fisherman Greg French lays it all out for us in his new book The Imperiled Cutthroat (Patagonia, $25), where he spins an enchanting narrative of a trip to the U.S. and his first exploration…

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