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knife, hunting, sharp

A sharp knife is a safe knife. That’s definitely true and regardless of your hobbies or lifestyle there’s a solid chance you use knives on a regular basis. Whether that’s cutting meat in your kitchen, filleting a fish at the boat launch or deboning an elk deep in the wilderness. As society has adapted over the years some of the simple skills we should know have slowly eroded. Take sharpening a knife for example. Go back 20-30 years and it would have been a basic skill. Today millennials exist and we have electric sharpeners and disposable blades and a society that expects things to be done for us. I’ll be honest I’ve never been great at sharpening a knife sharp enough to shave hairs and I’ll be the first to admit it. As a hunter a sharp knife is key especially when you have an elk down and the only way it’s coming out is on your back.

elk hunting, zack boughton, idaho, elk, archery, diy, public lands

Zack beginning the process of breaking down an elk in the field

As Travis and I started hunting we used some different knives on our hunts and always wished they were built a little different in one way or another. A few years later we met James Behring, a custom knife maker based in Missoula, MT. Through our friendship we eventually came up with the idea of designing our own hunting knife. After over a year of testing we finished our design and named the knife The Outlaw. You can read more about that process HERE.

the outlaw, hunting, knife, knives, outdoors, montana, wild

One of the first few Outlaws made

That year we used the Outlaw on multiple hunts and were stoked on it with one exception. It ideally needed to be sharpened after cutting up an elk and neither myself or Travis was exceptional at the process. I purchased a Spyderco sharpener and tried that but couldn’t get a sharp edge that I was happy with. Now I’m sure that sharpener does the job just fine but I couldn’t manage to master that thing after sharpening dozens of knives. I’d often drop by James’ shop and have him sharpen it but that wasn’t always time effective with my schedule or James’.

James behring, knife maker, custom, knife, hunting, missoula, montana

James grinding and refining a blades edge

Eventually we reverted to just carrying a Havalon knife. I wasn’t a fan of disposable blades but it was sharp and light and so I conceded. Now a Havalon has it’s place. Caping an animal or any detail work needed, the knife is hard to beat. On the other hand, trying to tackle some of the meatier places on an elk resulted in broken blades, blades pulling off and if you use it long enough, some nasty cuts.

havalon, knife, elk, montana

Travis tackling trimming some blood shot meat off an elk front quarter with a Havalon

hunting knives, the outlaw, havalon

The Outlaw (fixed blade, beefy) and a Havalon (replaceable blade, fragile)

This spring I got my hands on a Worksharp Ken Onion Knife Sharpener as well as a Guided Field Sharpener. My girlfriend has been telling me how dull all my kitchen knives are for a while and so I got straight to work. The Ken Onion Sharpener was so easy to use. To get started I looked through the manual to make sure I knew how to use the sharpener properly. From there I took their guidelines on what type of belts to use and how many strokes on each side based on a style of knife and got to sharpening. The first knife off the sharpener was razor sharp. I was impressed.

Worksharp, knife, sharpener, hunting, montana, deer, elk

Sharpening a blade

Some cool features of the sharpener are the easily adjustable sharpening guide giving you a range between 15 and 30 degrees, premium belts, an adjustable speed motor, and a blade guide.

Worksharp, knife, sharpener, hunting, montana, deer, elk

LEFT) Angle adjustment CENTER) Motor speed adjustment RIGHT) Sharpening a blade

For me I have been using this sharpener to get a razor sharp edge on my main hunting knife and my kitchen knives.  The included manual goes through the process but most knives I sharpen require grinding with the three main belts.

Worksharp, knife, sharpener, hunting, montana, deer, elk

Extra belts and the manual that specifies best practices for sharping all kinds of different knives and tools.

The sequence of order is generally 6-10 strokes on one side and then the other with the X65 belt, 6-10 strokes alternating between sides with the X22 belt and then finishing with as many strokes as necessary on the X4 belt.  For me this has resulted in a razor sharp edge every single time.  I’ll be honest it has been rewarding to be able to get my knives shaving hair sharp after struggling for many years.

The other sharpener I have been using is the Guided Field Sharpener and honestly I’ve used this much more often. I have one in the door of my truck and another in my hunting gear box.

hunting, gear, box, worksharp

Having one in my hunting gear box is key so I know I can always sharpen my hunting knives and broadheads if necessary on a hunt

Using it is simple and the sharpener has a diversity of surfaces to aid in sharpening knives, tools, hooks and more.  The sharpener has four main sides.  There are two diamond plates, one course and one fine to help shape and refine the edge of your blade.  There are two ceramic rods and a leather strop.  Under the diamond plates is a broadhead sharpener for bowhunters who need to sharpen and re-tighten their broadheads.

Worksharp Guided Field Sharpener

To sharpen my knives such as my hunting knife The Outlaw, I simply just start on the smooth grit and give about 5-6 strokes on each side. From there you go to the carbide sharpener which refines the blade edge. The carbide cylinder has 3 sides to it 1) coarse grit 2) fine grit and 3) a fish hook sharpener. I generally just use the fine grit side for another 5-6 strokes on each side and from there go to the leather strop to finish.

More of a visual learner?  Watch the video we made about this same story and process.

Between these two sharpeners I know have no excuse to not have a sharp knife. You can learn more about both sharpeners as well as the Worksharp brand at www.worksharptools.com and by following them on Instagram and Facebook. Their products are very affordable and would make a great addition to anyone’s gear.

Written by: Zack Boughton

SKWALHALLA, gear giveaway, fly fishing, spring fishing, stoke, free stuff, fishing gear, outdoor gear, Good Altitude Trucker, buck nasty browns, skwala, stonefly, skwalla, dry fly hatch, stoke, fishing film, outdoor media, iTunes, Vimeo On Demand

Looking for some new gear to bring along on your next fishing trip? Look no further. As part of our launch of SKWALHALLA on iTunes, we’re giving away some of the best fishing gear that money can buy. Sounds like a pretty good deal huh? Well it gets better. For just $2.99 you can watch 21 minutes of non stop, action packed, savage dry fly eats AND be entered to win a Simms Slick Jacket ($300 value), two pairs of Smith Dockside Glasses, a Yeti Rambler, and a Good Altitude Trucker. Not a bad deal for less than the cost of a cold one if you ask us…

 


 

You’re probably thinking “Ok cool, but how do I get entered to win?”, and the answer is simple. Follow the three steps below, and tune into Montana Wild’s Instagram story on Friday March 9th to watch us pick THREE WINNERS.

Step 1: Watch SKWALHALLA on iTunes.

Step 2: Leave a review on iTunes with your thoughts on the film.

Step 3: Keep your fingers crossed, knock on wood, and patiently wait until March 9th.

Prize Packages:

Winner #1: Large Simms Slick Jacket.

Winner #2: Smith Dockside Glasses, Yeti Rambler, and a Good Altitude Trucker.

Winner #3: Smith Dockside Glasses.

Watch SKWALHALLA on iTunes

Still not fully convinced? Check out the official trailer, and get stoked on SKWALHALLA.

Our latest fly fishing film, SKWALHALLA is now available for rental on iTunes. Say whaaaaat?! Filmed over the course of three years with cutting edge camera equipment, SKWALHALLA showcases Western Montana’s first dry fly hatch of the year, big fish, and good times on the water with the boys. If you’re looking for 21 minutes of non stop stoke and dry fly action, then SKWALHALLA is for you. Still not quite convinced that SKWALHALLA is worth your time and money? Watch the official trailer below, and see for yourself.

Although the temperatures can be cold and the weather can be shifty, when timed just right, the skwala stonefly hatch can be off the charts. Below, Travis shows off one of the many big bug smashing fish featured in SKWALHALLA. Oh, did we forget to mention that the full film has a total of 78 dry fly eats? I sure wouldn’t want to miss out on something like that. Would you?

montana, spring, bitterroot river, bitterroot, skwala, skwala hatch, fishing, montana, stoke, fly fishing, Montana Wild, float fish, drift boat, river, spring

Travis showing off a skwala stonefly munching Montana rainbow trout.

Alright, after that you’re probably wondering “Where can I watch the full film?” And the answer is: HERESKWALHALLA is now available on iTunes for rental ($2.99). Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the finest spring fishing that the lower 48 has to offer. In addition to the release of SKWALHALLA on iTunes, our most popular elk hunting production The Outlier Film, will be available for purchase or rental on iTunes in the near future. 

 

Without further ado, it’s our pleasure to release our latest fly fishing film, SKWALHALLA. Filmed over the past three years, SKWALHALLA is all about big bugs, big eats, and good times on the river with the boys. Sit back, relax, and enjoy 21 minutes of some of the best spring fly fishing that the West has to offer.  Available for purchase or rental via Vimeo On Demand HERE

Still not quite convinced that SKWALHALLA is worth your time or money by now? Check out the official trailer below, and see for yourself.

Shop our selection of Hats, Tee Shirts, and Apparel HERE.

 

Hunting Gift Guide, 12 Days of Christmas, shopping, christmas, gifts

Christmas is just around the corner and to help you shop for that special someone we’ve put together a list of 12 items that we think absolutely rock and would be great presents for any outdoorsman that might make their way onto your shopping list.  We present the 2017 12 Days of Christmas Hunting Gift Guide!

#1 – FITS Socks ($23.99)

Serious hunters know that good socks are always worth having.  Keeping your feet happy makes all the difference on those tough hunts.  We have been wearing the Light Hunter this fall and they fit amazing, are durable, and have kept our feet happy on 13+ mile days in the mountains.

FIT socks, socks, hunting, light hunter

#2 – Phoneskope (~$30)

We have had a Phoneskope for years now and can’t imagine being in the field without them.  Being able to film through your spotter or binos is a great way to capture some amazing shots and memories from your time in the field.  Snaps into place easy and weighs nothing.

phoneskope, hunting, filming

#3 – Kifaru Gun Bearer ($31)

Carrying a rifle all day in the field can wear you down especially if your rifle weighs 10+ pounds.  Kifaru developed the Gun Bearer to solve having to re-sling your rifle over your shoulder 10,000 times per day and frees up both hands so you can glass with your binos or use trekking poles to navigate the sketchiest of terrain.

Kifaru, Gun Bearer, rifle, hunting, accessories

#4 – HSM Trophy Gold Ammo (~$45)

The Hunting Shack is located in Stevensville Montana and their Trophy Gold ammunition has proven to be deadly and extremely accurate.  We’ve taking plenty of big game animals over the years with this ammo and would recommend it to anyone.

hunting shack, hsm, ammo, ammunition, hunting

#5 – Outdoor Research Men’s Sequence L/S Zip Top ($69)

This is the best base layer we’ve worn, hands down.  From early season archery hunts to late season rifle missions the Sequence L/S Zip Top is the favorite.  Merging the best qualities of merino wool and the quick drying benefit of polyester this is all an exceptional hunting piece but can also be worn doing just about anything from cutting wood, smashing some powder or going out for a night on the town.

outdoor research, base layer, best, hunting, montana, elk, deer

#6 – Outdoor Research Crocodile Gaiters ($85)

Hunt long enough and you’ll need a good pair of gaiters.  The OR Crocodile Gaiters are the best in the world in our opinion and for good reason.  They work and they last.  Whether it’s deep snow, mud, creek crossings, wet underbrush, these have you covered.  Grab a pair and enjoy dry feet on the nastiest days.

Outdoor Research, gaiters, hunting, best

#7 – FHF Gear Bino Harness PRO ($105)

You have to carry your binos somehow in the field and the FHF Gear Bino Harness PRO is the best we’ve found.  Protects your glass yet makes quick and reliable access a breeze.  Grab a rangefinder pouch and you’re set for any hunt!

FHF Gear, bino, harness, hunting, hunting gift guide

#8 – Option Archery Quivalizer ($195)

We got the chance to try these on our bows this fall and both Travis and myself won’t be taking them off any time soon.  Hold on target easier with the Quivalizer.  The quiver acts as a long stabilizer and gets the weight of your bow in-line with your riser and string.  We shot better groups right away.  Multiple ways to mount the quiver to your bow makes any carry style easy.

Option Archery, quivalizer, bow stabilizer, hunting, archery

#9 – Sitka Gear Drifter Duffel ($149-229)

Hunting trips often mean bringing extra gear and storing them properly can be an issue.  The Sitka Drifter Duffel makes carrying extra layers and small items a breeze with their durable and highly water resistant bags.

Sitka Gear, drifter duffel, duffel bag, hunting

#10 – Garmin inReach ($399-449)

The ability to two-way text from anywhere in the world as well as send out a SOS that sends search and rescue to your location is a piece of gear that brings comfort to your next hunting trip and your friends and family at home who might be worried about your safety.  The Garmin inReach is a must for those who hunt solo.  We don’t leave home without this piece of gear.

Garmin inReach, Hunting Gift Guide

#11 – Kenetrek Mountain Extreme Non-Ins Boots ($455)

Known as some of the best hunting boots on the market, the Mountain Extremes  have proven to be comfortable and durable in any conditions we’ve been able to throw at them.  A good pair of boots is worth the money.

Kenetrek, mountain extreme, hunting boots

#12 – Vortex Optics Razor HD 10×50 Binoculars ($1289.99)

Without good binos your putting yourself at a disadvantage when hunting open country out West.  The quality of glass is amazing in the Razor HD 10×50’s especially in low-light and they are extremely durable.  Throw in their industry leading VIP Warranty and you might never buy another pair of binos again.

Vortex Optics, razor hd, binos, hunting

vortex optics, razor hd, binos, hunting gift guide

Thanks for reading through our 2017 Hunting Gift Guide!

Written by Zack Boughton

 

montana wild, promont outdoors, PRO, Pro montana, september calls

As of April 2017, Montana Wild has acquired a majority of the designs from the Bozeman based company Promont Outdoors. We are excited to continue producing high quality products with these awesome designs.

PRO, Pro Montana, hat, montana wild

PRO Design

september calls, montana wild, elk hunting, hat

September Calls Design

PRO, PRO hat, montana, bozeman, hunt, fish, wild, promont, archery, bowhunt, fly, snapback, flat brim, promont outdoors

Good Altitude Design

The designs PRO, September Calls, and Good Altitude will now be available through our STORE. Based off the generosity of the acquisition by the previous owner we’ve decided to help “pay it forward” by donating 3% of the sale of those products back to conservation (RMEF, BHA, TRCP).  You can read more about the 3 Percent For Conservation HERE.  As product releases to the public we will have updates on product offerings on the website and through our social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

Well life has been a bit on the crazy side around here.  Summer seems to suck up your time like none other.  A few weeks back I was able to go meet up with good friends Dan “Rooster” Leavens and Gray Edmiston for a little salmonfly fishing.  With no trips booked it was time for a couple personal days on the water.  The word was that the bugs were popping off and I quickly grabbed my fishing gear and camera and began trucking east to meet the guys.

mountains, fly fishing, montana, salmonflies, fish, trout, nikon, ford

That night I got to hear of the carnage that ensued under that day’s cloud cover.  It seemed that the fishing would be red hot, but with a week full of sun headed our way we’d see if the trout would keep up the feeding frenzy.  The next morning we were up at 5 and on the river by 7:30.  It was cool and we were the only guys on the river.  We began floating, hammering the banks and waiting for a take.  Well it wasn’t long until we had smacked up a few good browns.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster

The big bugs were out but as the day progressed it appeared the fishing was slowing down.  The main river was only giving up some of the smaller fish and we quickly pulled over for a short lunch.  Strategically, Rooster had put us right at the bottom of a usually lucrative side channel.  After hitting the main current with no luck, a slightly longer cast bounced off the far bank, and ten feet into the drift was attacked by a hungry brown.  The camera was rolling and Rooster had a great fish in hand.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster, brown trout, scott

The rest of the day was beautiful, but less productive than the previous days onslaught.  It appeared the bulk of the hatch had moved upstream.  Bugs were out but it appeared the fish were full and shy of the bright sun.

Day 2 we rose again by 5am.  Our plan was to move upstream another 10 miles and test some new waters.  Again the day started off big early with Gray hammering a nice one off the sunny side bank only 20 minutes into the float.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster, brown trout

The bugs were out thick on the bank, but seemed to be loving everything but the water.   We slowed down and hit a few side channels to let things warm up a touch.

salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster, brown trout, scott

Gray put the new Scott Radian 6wt to work and quickly fooled a brown sitting under the foam.  We got some shots and then kept the train moving.  Another rest stop showed the bugs were out in mass.  Gray decided to load up and give a Lebron chalk celebration with salmonflies in hopes that it would bring in a big one further down river.

lebron, salmon, flies, fly, fishing, madison, river, stonefly inn, montana wild, hatch, montana, rooster

Around noon the big bugs started hitting the water and the fishing quickly picked up.  Soon risers began to emerge in the deep water.  The fish were picky and didn’t want much to do with bugs that weren’t skittering on the water.  As we progressed downriver, a 20+ inch fish refused the bug and we quickly pulled over downstream.  After a dozen casts, the salmonfly finally found his feeding lane and Gray had a big boy hooked.

monster, brown, trout, fly, fishing, montana, wild, stonefly, inn

After a long run downstream he found the net and we had a hog in hand.  Everyone was stoked and life was good.

brown, trout, monster, hog, montana, wild, fly, fishing, stonefly, inn, rooster

The two days were pretty killer despite the bright sun and fishing salmonflies is always a blast.  Chucking the big bug to big trout is hard to beat.  If you want to check out the salmon fly hatch next year be sure to get in touch with Rooster at the Stonefly Inn and prepare for a lot of fun and a bunch of nice fish.  Check them out at http://www.thestoneflyinn.com/.  Both days they had zero trips booked and it turned out to be a good thing for us.  Laughs for days and plenty of nice trout.  Life is good folks.  God bless!

-Zack

brown trout, montana, wild, streamers, winter, 2013, rain

December in Montana.  The weather is unpredictable and many have put up the fly rods and rifles for the year.  It’s a risk-reward time of the year when it comes down to fishing.  Just catching fish is a success and often it’s just painfully slow on the water.  With the rain steadily falling we threw the waders in the truck and met up with Anthony from the False Casts and Flat Tires crew and hit the road.  Not surprisingly we were the first truck at the access.  We figured most would settle for a beer and some football on a cold rainy day with the mercury hovering just above 40 degrees.  Our plan was to settle for a beer and some streamers on a piece of water we hadn’t visited in a good 6 months.  It only took about 5 minutes before Anthony decided to get the ball rolling.

brown trout, montana, wild, streamer, rain, winter, outdoors, videos, 2013

We quickly moved upstream with eats in almost every hole.  I quickly was on the board when a beautiful brown hammered my fly just feet from me as I was finishing my retrieve.

brown trout, montana, wild, streamer, rain, winter, outdoors, videos, 2013

brown trout, montana, wild, streamer, rain, winter, outdoors, videos, 2013

It was almost silly the streamer bite was so good.  Any decent water seemed to hold a fiery brown willing to mount a vicious attack on any invader of its territory.  Soon Anthony had another killer fish on.  He had been holding in a very small sliver of water, and a precise cast fooled him.

brown trout, montana, wild, streamer, rain, winter, outdoors, videos, 2013

We kept skipping past each other as we fished upstream.  Soon Travis was hollering just upriver.  I looked and saw the Echo doubled over.  I quickly made it to him to help net his fish.  After a few minutes it was apparent this wasn’t just any fish.  This was a PIG!  After a couple close calls I finally slipped the net under a rainbow that could be mistaken for one straight out of Alaska.

rainbow trout, monster, montana, wild, AK, streamer, rain, winter

rainbow trout, monster, montana, wild, AK, streamer, rain, winter

We snapped a few hero photos of this stud rainbow and then let him slink back to his lair.

rainbow trout, monster, montana, wild, AK, streamer, rain, winter

After everyone’s success it was time to crack open a cold PBR and take it all in.  Laughs were had all the way around.  Despite the inclement weather it had easily turned into one of the best days on the water.  We had been fortunate enough to catch one of those moments where the fish are just eating and it doesn’t matter what you put in front of their face.  Unfortunately this brown wasn’t so fortunate.  He had seen his last Montana summer and most likely had died of old age.

brown trout, dead, winter, montana, pbr, river, 2012

Again we kept the streamer train moving.  After our early success we soon began to loose a little steam.  Multiple eats resulted in near misses and the hook just didn’t set.  The rain had subsided and the bite seemed to cool off.  I was able to trick one last brown though.

brown trout, montana, winter, wild, outdoors, streamers

He was a solid fighter as he took to the air 3 or 4 times before finally making it to the net.  It’s always fun to see the differences between every brown trout.  Some are bright and others more subdued in color.  The size, shape and type of jaw always seem to vary and are one of my favorite species of trout to catch.  It had been a stellar couple of hours, but all good things must come to an end.  As we worked back down stream we were left with nary a bite.  As quickly as it had started it had shut down.  We hit the golden hour that day and all left with smiles on our faces.  I want to thank Anthony for bringing his camera and snapping some killer photos.  I’m sure we’ll be back on the water soon.  If you haven’t fished in the winter before then get out and get after it!  You don’t catch fish on the couch.

brown trout, montana, winter, wild, outdoors, streamers, slab

-Zack