Lots of good friends, of which are apparently good hunters had success this hunting season. Western Montana as always is one of the best places to take in Gods endless beauty. And while you are at it, you can chase around some of the most wild creatures out there. I was lucky enough to take part in a couple of these adventures. Take a look at the full album at the bottom and let me know if you have one to add!
Unfortunately I'm not wrapping anything up, as in meat, after this hunting season. In one of my slowest hunting season's in my short career, I failed to bring home the bacon so to speak. I have been lucky in the previous 7 seasons to put some meat in the freezer come Fall. Whether it was antelope, elk or deer, one of those varieties has become a regular in my freezer in the garage. As I eat the remaining packages of game, it will likely only see the graces of Otter Pops and corn dogs until next fall.
Here's a recent article from the Missoulian about the hunting season. Seems they are citing weather as one of the big factors. Not too much mention of predation, more to come on that I'm sure.
Tis the season to think of meat. As has become part of my ritual I expend calories in order to locate wild game. With about a week under my belt in the woods, I should theoretically be getting closer to filling the freezer.
Hormone free, organic, grass fed, what ever you want to call it. It's good for you and I hop to stock up soon. Cervus elaphus is the preferred variety.
Steve Rinella takes the love of meat to another level. His show Meat Eater is great and he's an inspirational hunter. Some interesting commentary and debate below:
On a related note, Ari LeVaux a columnist for the Missoula Independent always puts out some good wild-game related thoughts. Sometimes recipes, sometimes meat philosphy. This article Hunting Vs Shooting was good.
So there I was, no shit, just looking for the perfect backpack. Scouring the internet in search of the a backpack that would fit my every need. Are you still reading this? Crickets? Anyway I'm just kidding. I have been seriously domesticated, but I'm not that bad yet. Really I'm not.
Our hunting plans festered all winter long. Then finally my hunting partner and I hatched them this late October. Much planning preceeded the trip as usual. Interestingly I seem to enjoy the logistical side of the extended hunts much more than I used to (see old and lame). As a result of the busy family schedule, work and life in general, I literally started packing for this hunt 2 weeks in advance.
I spread out the known necessities on the bed in the basement and then filled in the gaps with all too many trips to the sporting goods and grocery stores. Between a solid list and just one more double check, I only managed to forget 2 things: the gourmet salami and cheese in the fridge & dental floss.
We put up a respectable distance and set up camp at about 8000 feet. The valley floor still had the brilliant yellows clinging to the trees. The high country was ripe for some snow. One day prior to the opener we glassed our quarry. We hoped to find them in the right spots in the morning.
Hunting grounds all fogged in
We split up opening morning and as luck would usually have it, one of had more than the other. RS had the opportunity to pass on two bulls. I saw lot of squirrels and also snuck in to 20 yards of a decent mule deer buck. I watched as he lounged in his bed chewing grass, nonchalantly looking at me over his shoulder for a minute.
Through the rest of our hunt we shared much time around the campfire, telling half truths and discussing life in general. We heard wolves howl, but did not cut their tracks. We watched as our perfect setup on a mature bull was blown by sloppy ethics and bad shooting. Our freeze dried meals were complimented by Glenlivet, warming our bellies after our long days afield. The adjacent camps which were living high on the hog (with horses and wall tents), marveled at our dedication (or stupidity?). We watched 6 inches of October snow fall out of skies. A large grizzly bear followed us as we left the area.
The only things we brought out were memories, motivation and sore legs. Thanks for reading. Leave a comment if you feel so inclined?
Last year a particular area that I hunted seems to be overflowing with mountain lions. For those of you following along, you may remember the post here. It was also interesting that this summer, not too far from that very same area another mountain lion was seen stalking campers. It was later dispatched by MT FWP and most people were better off for it.
The big game opener also was no stranger to seemingly the same mountion population. A friend hunting in that area ran into a hunter who ended up shooting a mountain lion at "6 steps". My buddy described him as shaking and bone white. Below is the excerpt from the news clip:
Much of western Montana tied an unfortunate record at midnight
Tuesday, when we tallied 42 consecutive days with no measurable
The period ended with a gutter-rattling rain and
snow flurry about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Missoula Valley. But a mark
that’s stood for more than a century has now been equaled.
matched the all-time record that was recorded between September and
October of 1896,” National Weather Service meteorologist Corby Dickerson
said Wednesday morning. While an earlier records search cast doubt on
measurements prior to 1948, a re-check found good data from weather
stations at Fort Missoula and in the downtown area covering the city’s
We all know it's been dry and smoky. Today when I peered out the window onto the hills that surround Missoula, I could hardly believe me eyes. As usual the weather forecast had been wrong, stating that we wouldn't see a trace. Instead the surrounding hills picked up a couple inches of the white stuff. Unfortunately our Idaho brethren seem to have missed the boat on precip.
It was a busy summer for me. Spending lots of time behind the driver's seat of a water tender both in Western Montana and also Idaho. I shared just about the same days out on fires at this rainless stretch here in Missoula. I've not been that busy on fires since I worked for the hotshots.Good to be home.
Thanks to the Powder magazine's facebook page we now have an accurate forecast for this winter. Stay tuned.
The Campbell clan has been busy, summer is nearing an end all to quickly. Smoke has become more common place in the valley, but at least it hasn't reached hazardous levels (yet). I got in on a few fires over in SE Montana the last couple weeks, man it's good to be home though.
A German tourist died at a Billings hospital Monday after
suffering a head injury when he was thrown from a horse near Tower
Junction in Yellowstone National Park.
Two other park visitors were seriously injured Monday in unrelated accidents.
Dullmaier, 56, of Gernsheim, Germany, was helicoptered to Billings
after the fall. He was on a guided horseback ride near Yancey’s Hole
when the accident occurred.
“The word we got was that the horses were spooked, possibly by some birds,” said Dan Hottle, park public affairs officer.
10-year-old boy on the same outing was also thrown and was taken to the
park clinic in Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyo., before continuing on to
Livingston for further care, Hottle said.
He did not know if
Dullmaier was alone or with family at the time of the accident. Rangers
had to carry him to a helicopter landing area so he could be flown to
Billings. Dullmaier was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m., Hottle said.
Yellowstone rangers also responded to help two other injured tourists on Monday.
37-year-old man from Provo, Utah, suffered thermal burns on the
Solitary Geyser Trail in the Upper Geyser Basin. He was transported by
ambulance to West Yellowstone and from there by airplane to the Salt
Lake City burn center.
A 65-year-old British national from
Bangkok, Thailand, was thrown into the air by a bull bison at Mammoth
Hot Springs. He was transported to Memorial Hospital in Livingston.
is typically the busiest month of the year in Yellowstone. Yellowstone
officials respond to an average of 700 emergency medical calls each
Visitors are reminded when they enter the park and by signs
throughout to stay on boardwalks and designated trails while viewing
thermal features that are near or above boiling. They are also
constantly reminded to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and
wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other animals, including elk
It feels like we are finally approaching summer, last year of course summer never really came. This year a lot of the SW US has been in drought conditions and fires are busting loose and burning structures left and right it seems. Western Montana is pretty wet and we've been sitting below normal temps for the most part. The teaser 80 degree temps we had a couple month ago have not returned, but they'll pop soon.
We'll have some much anticipated visitors in a few week from California and the cousins will be going beserk in the backyard. We're planning to get out camping with the 6 kids for a few nights and enjoy some pyrotechnics in the Missoula valley. We can't wait Horans!
Mountain biking and riding the KLR have been great this spring, lots of loamy soil to be shredded. And our little man has been great, he is very pleasant and so far is a mellow little baby. Our girls have took to him like fish in water, even showing interest in changing some diapers. My goal by the time they are 5 = change a diaper :-). I celebrated a new year with some great friends and a bbq.
New tire for the KLR, sweet traction!
My birthday cake from my funny wife, I'm really not that anti-wolf
The kids rocking out to Alma Desnuda at a private jam party.
A generous Bitterrooter friend of ours invited us down to enjoy some music last Sunday. The band is a San Francisco based group called Alma Desnuda. The herd of kids each grabbed an instrument (tamborines, rattles and maracas) and played the opening song. The rest of the energized adults rocked out to some great music and enjoyed some excellent Bitterrroot Brews (Single Hop and Nut brown). Thanks Goeltz's!
We've had some very nice weather this month in Western Montana and the family and I tried to get out as much as possible to enjoy it. The little one is doing well and we think we will probably keep him. The motorcycle is in full use and a new beefy knobby was installed this week. Lots of fun coming up in June and July.
For any of you out there that enjoy Montana's elk population, please read this and consider action now. You may not personally want to shoot a wolf, but you will want to support those that do if you want to keep Montana elk hunting the way it was. The decline in elk population has been too drastic to not take note of the wolves implications. I don't believe that they are solely responsible, but I do believe they are a big contributor. Please read on
Keith Kubista, The President of Montana Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, is looking for your support on the new wolf hunting proposal. The choice is yours, if you support it or are against it, FWP would like to hear your opinion. Below is Kubista’s Call to Action:
There is going to be a lot opposition to the proposed FWP wolf
hunting season for this year. From what I am hearing if a lot public
comment doesn’t come forward the FWP Commission might vote to alter or
change the proposal. We need get everyone we know to support the
proposal, if not we stand the chance of losing our ability to bring wolf
numbers into a balance or lose our wolf hunting season all together. If
you can attend any of the following meetings great, but at the very
least you and everyone you know need to submit either a written comment
or online comment. Don’t count on someone else to carry the water on
this important issue!
We need you to do two things with respect to WOLVES:
Attend the meetings scheduled by FWP and voice your support for wolf hunting, trapping and snaring in Montana, and
Send in comments to the Commission regarding the proposed wolf season.
FWP wants to reduce the wolf population however; their current
tentative proposal is not aggressive enough to realistically or
significantly bring down wolf numbers. We need you to deliver a simple
consistent message at all FWP meetings and in your written comments to
the Commission stating the following:
I support the MFWP wolf season tentative proposal with the following changes:
Delete the 425 minimum target/objective
Include snaring for general trapping season and set season to run January 1, 2013 – March 31, 2013.
General gun season to end March 31, 2013.
Reduce the cost of non-resident license to $50.
Eliminate the five-day waiting period between license purchase and start of hunt.
Public information meetings are set for 7-9 p.m. at these locations:
May 22—Missoula—Holiday Inn Missoula Downtown at the Park
May 22—Bozeman—Holiday Inn; 5 E Baxter Ln.
May 22—Great Falls—FWP Region 4 Office; 4600 Giant Springs Rd.
May 22—Billings—FWP Region 5 Office; 2300 Lake Elmo Dr.
June 13—Kalispell—Flathead Valley Community College; 777 Grandview Dr.
Not really, but they are threatening to burn our forests. An article in today's Missoulian gave me a couple chuckles. For some reason I don't think terrorists would want to come to Montana.
Maybe they ought to take a look at how some of the folks around here deal with the wolf situation. Bring it.
So it turns out this isn't the first time we seen such thing in the media about the threat of attack on our forests. The above image was printed by US Forest Service in 1943. Anybody seen any suspicious activity lately?
It's not every child that can say they saw their first music show at 8 days old. Some generous friends of ours invited to their house to watch two excellent musicians, Keegan Smith and David Gerow. They proceeded to light the small crowd on fire in the basement. Everyone appreciated the unique lyrics and good beats to the tune of several types of beer from Bitterroot and Tamarack.
Oh and sorry, it's not that we want to you think our child is better than yours. But he actually is. Any way we were joking today about how advanced our son's neck strength was. He really is advanced, isn't he? I love hearing parents talk about their children.
What are you bragging about your kids?Come on, I know you're not mute.....click that little 0 comment below and let it flow.
Our little man was born on the 5th of April, healthy and full of life. The family is doing well. Thanks to everyone, we really appreciate all the help and kind wishes. Words can't describe the whole experience. But I say it was amazing.
Get ready for a laugh headache. This shit is funny. That is if you like seeing people get worked. This cracks me up even more because that song is what was used in my high school football highlights video. Thanks to Unofficial Networks for pointing this beauty out. Like they said, if you can't laugh at this, well......
If you are wondering about Matthew Wilder, look no further. Holy crap that is hard core 80s.
Well I'm sure by now you are tired of reading about snow and weather in Western Montana. I don't know maybe you're not? Anyway, there are sure to be less powder posts from here on out as the snowpack is shrinking. While many areas south of Montana didn't quite have average snow, W. Montana faired okay. Snowbowl hit a 100" base on the summit (50" at base) just a week or so ago. Since then we've been losing an inch or two a day. I suspect we'll see a big drop after today's downpour and warm temps.
Our interests are slowly shifting towards the spring duties. Cleaning up the backyard and prepping the garden today in between rain showers. Small signs of life, mostly bulbs are emerging. The maple in front has popped its buds and looks to be ready to leave out. The household is anxiously awaiting the next joy to be born.
On Feb. 1, the weather was so bad in King Cove, Alaska, that the Alaska Commercial store closed about a half-hour earlier than usual.
Lucky thing. The last employee left that night about 7:30, a half-hour before the normal closing time. At 7:48 p.m., according to store manager Jeff Watt, an avalanche hit the warehouse behind the store -- an area employees typically would move in and out of at the end of the day. It pounded down a slope on the western side of the city where the store is located.
Three videos uploaded to YouTube captured the avalanche from various angles inside and outside of the warehouse:
Garage doors blown off
We're entering a little heat wave in Missoula. The snowbanks have shrank to meaningless dirty humps. It's the time of year when every time you look out the window the weather is doing something different. I personally favor the snowing and sunny types of days.
The sun looks to be pushing into the 60's this weekend. Gone are the chances of having any really cold snaps. The winter has been mild as far as harsh low temperatures in the valley. In the higher elevations the winter has been good to us, Snowbowl has 66" at the base and 92" on top.
I think most of us can agree that success can be gauged in many ways. I am going to count some success from last week at the local ski hills tow rope. The first time they were barely 2.5 years old and it was quite a chore to keep them out there for longer than 10 minutes. Fast forward 2 winters and we've got smiles and progress. We heard cheers of excitement and saw proud smiles. They have even began to do the tow rope SOLO. For anyone that has rode Snowbowl's tow rope, you know how big of an accomplishment that is. Granted the first attempt was not pretty, although very amusing, her grip and horizontal body was a sight to see.
I have continued to stuff copious amounts of sugar laden treats into their mouth at the top of each run. Some may call it cheating but I call it effective. Each girl now skis solo down the short hill and can make turns in and out of the cones. Anyway enough doting on my girls. Thanks for reading whoever you might be. I hope you enjoy some of these pics from the last few weeks. Album over here>>> https://plus.google.com/photos/100316566231417237314/albums/5711358169842705617