Fall 2022

Features

  • A Tale of Two Treasures

    In Bozeman, as with much of the West, tension builds between competing ideals—and striking a balance is no mean feat. Like a steam locomotive screeching to a halt, my illusions of the American West came to a standstill…
  • Whose Elk Are They?

    A growing imbalance in the management of Montana's wildlife. Wildlife management in Montana is currently facing radical revision, upending a series of valued precedents: the primacy of biology in decision-making,…
  • The REM Cycle

    High in the Beartooths, two sleepy climbers make the most of a late start. On a crisp October evening, Nathaniel and I set off into the Beartooths. We had met only a year prior, while climbing with a mutual friend. We…
  • The Natural State

    Three local conservation groups fight ongoing battles to preserve fish and wildlife habitat in southwest Montana. Bozeman is surrounded by wildlife habitat. We all know this—herds of deer and elk graze the pastures off…

Departments

  • Trick & Treat

    Tying the brush-head double deceiver. There are many ways to catch trout in the fall, but stripping a big, flashy, articulated streamer might be the most fun. As the water cools and the trout prepare for winter, they…
  • Trail Cures

    Accidents happen. Whether you’re treating a blister, stomach bug, or major bleed, a thoughtfully-packed first-aid kit can make a huge difference in the outcome. Here are some essentials that won’t weigh you down too much…
  • Life on the Edge

    Life on the edge. A man without a knife is a man without a life.—Anonymous A correlation recently crept into my consciousness: my best outdoor experiences have all involved a knife. From my first elk, to running rapids,…
  • Wild-Game Meatloaf

    A western twist on a comfort classic. It’s the most delicious time of year: hunting season. Healthy, flavorful wild game starts to turn up in all sorts of meals, as people clear out their freezers and start filling tags.…
  • Face-Off: Fleece vs. Wool

    Splitting threads on outdoor insulation. Anyone who’s agonized over the purchase of an important piece of outdoor clothing—say, a warm winter coat or an all-season midlayer—the following dilemma has surely ensued: fleece…
  • Field Notes

    What's new this hunting season? Montanans are fortunate to enjoy 10 months of hunting opportunities each year, beginning with the antelope archery season in mid-August and ending with the spring black-bear season in mid-…
  • Sign Language

    Enriching your senses in the outdoors, part one. Whether you’re hunting or hiking, fall brings its own unique swath of sensory opportunities. Some, like the golden leaves of late-September aspens, are well known, but…
  • Load 'Em Up, Head 'Em Out

    Building an outdoor rig, part two. In Bozeman, equipping a vehicle for outdoor pursuits is no mean feat. There’s just so much to do: fishing, floating, biking, hunting, skiing, climbing—and about 17 other activities, each…
  • Oh-Sh*t Kit

    Planning for when it hits the fan. Spend enough time in the backcountry, and you’re likely to encounter an oh-shit moment. A proper oh-shit moment can range from gear malfunction to injury, getting lost, an unplanned night…
  • Opening Day

    Lessons from the field. Ernie’s truck rattles along the dirt road and we’re both quiet, half listening to Science Hour on NPR, the host gabbling through a bad connection as we wind our way to the outskirts of Townsend, to…
  • Boom & Bust

    The O/B outing at Gallatin Sporting Clays. On a crisp October morning with a fresh dusting of snow on the ground, we load up at the O/B office with shotguns and a half-dozen boxes of shells. We’re heading to Gallatin…
  • Riding Shotgun

    A dual-sport endeavor in the autumn woods. Damn, it’s hard to let summer go. Two, maybe three short months of warm temps and dry trails—we do our best, logging as many miles as we can, but it’s never enough. Especially for…
  • My First Time: Randy Newberg

    When it comes to hunting knowledge is the best weapon. Randy Newberg is a voice and advocate for wildlife conservation, public lands, and the self-guided sportsman. He’s a dedicated hunter and is skilled in his craft. He…
  • Baldy Bootcamp

    Banging for your buck. If you’re like me, you’re not a runner. And, you’re old. Not old in the elderly sense, but old in the sense that you turned 40 a couple years ago and your body doesn’t recover with the swiftness it…
  • Rock of Ages

    Realizing a childhood vision. On my first drive into Bozeman, over the pass from Livingston, the limestone fins rising high above transfixed my gaze. I was just a kid and knew nothing of modern rock climbing... yet. Those…
  • School of Thought

    Trout groupthink or atmospheric pressure? Over drinks, salad, baked potatoes, and big steaks, we tallied up. Fishermen do this. Who caught the first fish? The biggest? The most? The tallying-up is really no big deal.…
  • Our Wild Back Yard

    A conservation vision for the Gallatin and Madison ranges. Sally Kelsey spends her days wrangling horses, guests, and two young children on the flanks of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. As co-owner of Nine Quarter Circle Ranch…
  • Clean Kill

    Protecting raptors with non-lead ammo. They came flapping from under the drooping limbs of a large fir tree, scaring the bejesus out of a friend and me. I’d killed a mule-deer buck the previous evening; we’d pulled it…
  • Backed into a Corner

    Navigating checkerboard land ownership. Neither state nor federal law mentions the public-land controversy of corner-crossing. Yet the issue is frequenting courtrooms in western states at a growing rate. But governments…
  • Friday Night Lights

    Close-by campsites. Relief, excitement, joy—all adjectives that describe how most of us feel on a Friday afternoon after a long week. As we look forward to the weekend, we anticipate days filled with the outdoor activities…
  • Red Wedding

    Our closest celestial neighbors dance in the autumn sky. We tend to think of the night sky as a placid place, short of the sudden “shooting star” or flaming re-entry of space hardware. But the heavens can host fairly lurid…
  • RIP: Eric Love

    The Crosscut founder was a wildlife advocate, community-builder, and all-around inspiration. On July 15, Eric Love passed away in the swirl of a dust storm while driving to Vermont with his wife, Jacquie. Eric was an…
  • Price Chopper

    Breaking down the costs of an air ambulance. When an epic day turns dire, calling for backup can be a critical resource. Serious injuries in the backcountry may require an air ambulance, but very few insurance providers…
  • Zoot Scoot Riot

    Taking a stand on Bozeman's trails. Montana’s towns are known for many different things. We’ve got fishing towns, biking towns, hunting towns—heck, Missoula has even been called a surf town. But now, starting this fall,…
  • Women Wanted

    Finding lady rec partners. Everyone knows there are A LOT of dudes in outdoor sports—especially in Brozeman. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself on a trail, ski lift, or bike outnumbered at least three to one…
  • Underground Oasis

    An ode to a jumbled gear room. It’s about three feet wide and six feet long. From an outsider’s perspective, it’s clearly just a furnace room lackadaisically converted to a storage area. From my outlook, it’s an oasis, a…
  • Newbie Gaffes

    How to spot an out-of-towner in Bozeman. There’s a lot of talk around town about who belongs and who doesn’t. Who’s a local? Who’s native? Who cares? To be honest, we don’t give a damn where you’re from. So long as you’re…
  • Blend In to Stand Out

    What your camo says about you. Camouflage has been a tool of predator and prey since the dawn of time—a way to go unseen, to help obtain a meal or avoid becoming one. Well, those days of primitivity are over; we now live…
  • Pillory: Brassholes

    Taking aim at sloppy shooters. Two thousand, four hundred pounds. That’s a ton plus a motorcycle. It’s also the amount of shell casings, shotgun hulls, blown-up targets, and just plain garbage that was removed from a…
  • Bridging the Gap

    Helping hands and kindred spirits. “I want you to be concerned about your next-door neighbor. Do you know your next-door neighbor?” —Mother Teresa In Montana, the outdoors, and the people, abound with opportunities to…

Gear Reviews

  • Review: R1 Percussion Roll Recovery

    Whether it's training too hard or just the effects of aging, body soreness slows me down. The R1 Percussion from Roll Recovery is a compact muscle massager that helps work out my aches and pains. It comes with four separate…
  • Review: Garmin Dog Collar

    Bird-hunting season is here and nothing is more frustrating than my overly excited dog bounding out of range. That’s where the TT 15 Dog Collar from Garmin comes in. When paired with a Garmin handheld device, the TT 15…
  • Review: Sabre Bear Spray

    The best way to stave off a charging grizzly is pepper spray, and the Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent should be close at hand every time you head into the wilderness. Its potent formula offers maximum stopping power out…
  • Review: Adapt Hike Max Superfeet

    I’ve always used Superfeet in my ski boots, so I was curious to try the Adapt Hike Max for support on the trails. When I bought some new hiking shoes that came with a flimsy insole, I pulled it out immediately and used it…
  • Review: Patagonia Dirt Roamer

    Lightweight. Breathable. Packable. Wind- and rain-resistant. It's the Dirt Roamer Jacket from Patagonia. Designed for mountain biking, it's a great jacket for late-season rides, as temperatures start to drop a little…
  • Review: Sawyer MINI Water Filter

    Simple, compact, and versatile—the Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System is all that and more. First off, it's aptly named; the filter itself is lightweight and fits in the palm of your hand. Next, you can use it with the…
  • Review: Plano Bow Case

    From the rigors of air travel to the abuse from constant loading and unloading, a well-tuned weapon needs protection, lest it fail at the moment of truth, ruining weeks or even months of preparation. This is where a hard…
  • Review: R4 Yulex Wetsuit

    When the rivers surge, paddlers, rafters, and river-surfers take advantage of the spectacle. Spring air is sometimes warm, but runoff comes straight from the mountains, and is always cold. Made for water between 38-48…
  • Review: Zenbivy Luxe Double Bed

    Snuggling in together after a tasty meal by the fire, watching the stars, sharing pillow talk while slowly drifting off to sleep... that's the only way to camp with one's sweetie. Nope, separate bags just won't do. But…
  • Review: Front Runner Utensil Set

    When on a “Montana safari”—driving around the state’s wide-open spaces, looking for game, bedding down wherever you happen to find yourself at nightfall—gear abounds. You’ve got all the usual camping gear, plus camo,…
  • Review: Merrell Nova 2 Gore-Tex

    In my rapidly ascending age (66), I’ve become a lot less of a consumer; thus, I’ve been wearing the same pair of hiking and approach shoes for 17 years. They took me most of the way up the Grand Teton and they’ve always…
  • Review: Front Runner Prep Table

    Ain't much better than car-camping, whether it's on a warm summer night or a cool fall evening. Either way, a few luxuries go a long way—and a recent addition I made to my setup was the Pro Stainless Steel Prep Table by…
  • Review: EdgeSport Game Shears

    For years, a friend and I struggled to clean our pheasants and grouse. That joint where the wing meets the body—holy cow is it stubborn. We pulled, we twisted, we spun the wing round and round... eventually, my friend…
  • Review: PurTrek Pole-Filter

    Given the dizzying array of outdoor equipment we tend to haul around with us these days, it's easy to overlook an essential item. Even a minimalist, in a rush to get on the trail, might forget to grab an important piece of…
  • Review: Fusion 3/2 Puffy

    In Montana, I like having a heavy layer nearby for nine out of the 12 months of the year. Since I got my hands on Skwala's Fusion 3/2 Puffy, I've hardly taken it off. Made from polyester—one of my favorite types of fabrics—…
  • Review: La Sportiva Blizzard GTX

    While southwest Montana's winters are varying more every year, the La Sportiva Blizzard GTX is unmatched in performance for all conditions, and exactly what I look for in a winter running shoe.  A slick, four-way stretch…
  • Review: Grayl UltraPress

    If you need a yardstick for how much outdoor equipment has changed in the last few decades, water-purification will certainly suffice. Consider this: 25 years ago, we had two choices when drinking water from questionable…
  • Review: Point6 Hiking Socks

    In our increasingly soft and comfortable world, socks are getting, well, increasingly soft and comfortable. Which, unlike tender feelings, conflict-phobia, and a lack of grit, is a damn good thing. Take the Point6 37.5…
  • Review: Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie

    Lightweight, warm, and water-resistant—what more could one ask of an outdoor jacket? Nothing, really, but with the Ibex Wool Aire Hoodie, you can add "packable" and "wind-resistant" to the list of enticing attributes.…

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