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AMBUSH 2 – Hunting Public Land Elk

elk hunt, archery, montana, wild, rmef, sitka, sub alpine, film, bowhunt, bowhunting

FINALLY!!!! To finally be able to release this film to the public is a relief. AMBUSH 2 was shot in 2013 during September and has been sitting in our archives since then. We didn’t know what to do with the film, but have come to the conclusion that it is best to release the film to view for FREE. This archery elk hunt captures my first successful archery elk hunt and it was truly a monumental moment for myself. To wait for days, just to get one opportunity…. The encounter is pretty remarkable. We sat watching this bull wallow for 15 minutes before he stood. Watch AMBUSH 2 below and please share if you enjoyed the film.

To read the original blog post click here > FOUR YEARS IN THE MAKING

 

Travis

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BUCKNASTY BROWNS TRUCKERS – Back in Stock

bucknasty browns, brown trout, trucker, hat, montana, fishing, wild, fly fishing, streamers, mousing

Now available is the Bucknasty Browns Truckers. Available in two new colorways. These hats are limited release and will be gone forever once they are sold out.

bucknasty, trucker, browns, hat, film, brown trout, fishing,

bucknasty, browns, film, movie, hat, snapback

bucknasty, trucker, browns, hat, film, brown trout, fishing,

bucknasty, trucker, browns, hat, film, brown trout, fishing,

 

We also have a new colorway now available in the Bully Trucker

Bull, trout, hat, trucker, fishing, apparel

Bull, trout, hat, trucker, fishing, apparel

Shop our new products HERE.

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Spring Fishing 2017

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Another spring has almost flown by once again.  In a few short weeks runoff will be here and our spring fishing window will be shut down and we will be back in the mountains chasing bears and turkeys.  This spring we have gotten the privilege to wet a fly in eight different rivers here in Montana.  Although the fishing wasn’t as good as previous springs we still were able to find a healthy number of nice trout and beautiful Montana views.  Below are a few images from our spring travels around the state.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, flyfishing

Kicking off the early spring with a chucky bow.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, streamer, driftboat, green water

Pulling for pigs on a mud line.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, rainbow trout

Mean muggin for the camera

spring, fishing, montana, wild, maddie sieler

Maddie with a nice streamer fish to start off a very windy day

spring, fishing, montana, wild, streamer, brown trout

Streamers saving a very slow day of dry fly fishing

spring, fishing, montana, wild, skwala, bitterroot river

Josh with a nice fish caught while filming for an upcoming project

spring, fishing, montana, wild, drift, boat, fish

Exploring some gin clear water before the snow started melting from the mountains

spring, fishing, montana, wild, rainbow trout

This fish was a serious moral boost on a slow day.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, brown trout, simms fishing

Travis fooled this great brown out of hiding in small pocket water.

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Trout selfie

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Warmer weather means more browns on the prowl

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Travis product testing a new t-shirt. Appears to be working just fine

spring, fishing, montana, wild, sucker, fish

Josh stoked for days

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The sometimes elusive spring dry fly eat

We now have a handful of new shirts and hats in our online store.  To see more and shop click HERE.

-Zack

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FISH REEL 2017 – Fishing Cinema Reel

fish, reel, montana, wild, mousing, night, pink, mouse, yellow, brown, trout

It has been a few years since our last FISH REEL. We originally started the “Fish Reel” back in 2011 to showcase some of our favorite shots in one short video. Well we’re back and so are the Fish Reels! These were some of our favorite shots from the past couple years.

Leave us a comment, let us know what you think and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for our most recent uploads.

 

Travis

Ladies Bison Trucker – NOW AVAILABLE

ladies, bison, trucker, buffalo, fishing, hunting, archery

It has been a new goal here at Montana Wild to put out more female media content and apparel. This will hopefully be a start to offering more ladies products and showcasing more photo/video content with badass chicks in front of the lens. We are stoked on how the Ladies Bison Truckers turned out. Maddie got the chance to test the hat on a recent fishing trip. The hat proved fishy.

ladies, who, fish, women, buffalo, bison, hat, trucker, montana, wild, bozeman, fly fishing

Dropping off the drift boat.

ladies, who, fish, women, buffalo, bison, hat, trucker, montana, wild, bozeman, fly fishing

One of many trout Maddie fooled.

The Ladies Bison Trucker comes in four colorways.

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Mango Colorway

army, ladies, buffalo, trucker, buff, arrows, womens, montana, wild, hunting, fishing

Teal Colorway

 

army, ladies, buffalo, trucker, buff, arrows, womens, montana, wild, hunting, fishing

Army Colorway

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Stealth Colorway

Purchase the hat here: https://montana-wild.com/shop-montana-wild/

Please leave us a comment below to let us know what you think about the new hat or what you would like to see in future products.

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TOOTH & FANG – Discount Week

tooth, fang, coyote, hunt, hunting, montana, wild

If you haven’t seen the teaser for our 3-year coyote film project, watch below.

For this week only (1/15 – 1/22) you can rent the film for $1.99 or purchase for $7.99. That is almost 50% off the normal cost. Tooth & Fang is a 46minute film that takes a closer look at why the management of coyotes is necessary across the West. Filmed over the course of three years this film showcases some perspective as to why we hunt coyotes and why achieving a balance is important on so many levels. Purchase or rent the film HERE.

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10 Great Outdoor Instagram Accounts

Instagram is hands down our favorite social media platform.  We love photos so we inherently are drawn to it and it cuts out most of the worthless garbage you get on other platforms like Facebook.  Get on, scroll through some photos and your done, day not wasted.  With that said there are some individuals that crush it on Instagram and we thought we’d share a list of 10 Great Outdoor Instagram Accounts.  Take a look and enjoy!

#1 – Steven Drake (@stevendrakephoto)

Drake is one of the best photogs in the outdoor industry and can hang in the most remote and brutal conditions all while snapping epic photos.  He’s a force to be reckoned with and we’re stoked to see images from his next adventure.

steven drake, photo, photographer, moose, hunting, canada

#2 – Brad Christian (@bradschristian)

Brad helped lead the charge while at Mathews by utilitzing captivating, unique and beautiful images of the hunt to help shape the industry for the better.  He’s also one talented dude behind the camera himself and he now works with the fine folks at Sitka meaning you’ll be seeing more awesome work from him in the future.

brad christian, photo, photographer, mathews, sitka, bozeman, elk

#3 – Sam Averett (@samaverett)

Sam was one of our very first interns and he quickly became one of the dudes.  His solid skills with the camera have since then progressed quickly and now he’s one of our favorite guys to keep up to speed with.  He’s hard to pin down but we hope this won’t be the last time he will be showing up on our page.

sam averett, photo, photographer, elk, sheds, washington, badass

#4 – Nick Kelley (@ngkelley)

Nick works at Outside Magazine and lives up to the level of skill one would expect from an employee at such an inspiring brand.  He’s an exceptional photographer and his work takes him across the globe shooting and documenting the outdoor lifestyle.

nick kelley, outside, magazine, photographer, flyfishing, brown trout, underwater

#5 – Jordan Gill (@jordangillphotography)

Jordan is another young gun with a mean eye for sick photos.  His work has been utilized by powerhouses YETI, Sitka and Mathews to name a few.  He has a strong beard game, need we say more?

jordan gill, photo, photographer, montana, hunting, sitka

#6 – Puffin (@swishersweetswag)

Mixing it up here at #6.  We’re not even sure what this guys real name is but he’s darn fishy and doesn’t adhere to any standard fly fishing trends in the appearance department.  He’s a fresh look at fly fishing in an industry filled with old guys who think they know it all.  If you like looking at dandy fish, there is no shortage.

swishersweetswag, puffin, fly, fishing, trout, canada

#7 – Jerrin Uecker (@jerrin_uecker)

Another young guy making a name for himself is Jerrin.  His skill with the camera is beyond his years and his work is typified by great use of natural light and color.

Jerrin uecker, photo, photographer, montana, antelope, Great Outdoor Instagram Accounts

#8 – Sean Kerrick Sullivan (@sully_land)

Sean crafted a spot in the snowboard community as a talented photographer and still shoots some of the best snowboard images year in and year out.  He also has a nack at taking great fishing images and is one that will keep you on your toes as to what his next post might be.

sean kerrick sullivan, photo, photographer, snowboarding, snowmobiles, backcountry, Great Outdoor Instagram Accounts

#9 – Derek Olthuis (@derekolthuis)

Derek is one of the fishiest dudes we know, possibly only surpassed by his good friends.  Whether it’s brown trout, bull trout, brookies or any other trout species chances are he’s caught one bigger than you and had a heck of a time doing it.  He keeps things fun and isn’t afraid to share some knowledge to make your next trip on the water more enjoyable.

brown trout, derek olthuis, fishing, Great Outdoor Instagram Accounts

#10 – Chris Hood (@chrisjhood)

Last but not least is Chris Hood.  He’s just wrapping up a long, long trip around the country in his van and the images are breathtaking.  Whether it’s hunting, fishing, landscape, portrait he can crush it on all fronts.

chris hood, glacier, park, photo, photographer, montana, nps, Great Outdoor Instagram Accounts

 

Written by Zack Boughton (@zackboughton)

 

 

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Goat Country – The Epilogue

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild

It’s now been over a month since I embarked on my first ever mountain goat hunt.  Since then I’ve spent a good amount of time elk hunting and every time there is high, rocky country my eye wanders looking for those white specs.  I’ve actually spotted about a dozen goats now in areas I’d never think of looking if it hadn’t have been for this goat hunt.  Each time I watch them I’m reminded of their sheer agility and willingness to live in some truly wild places.  Back to my hunt though.  The plan was to get on the mountain a few days before season, locate a billy I’d seen during scouting and fill my tag quickly.  The plan sounded good enough.

mountain, hunting, goats, montana, wild, backpack, kifaru, bear archery

Kifaru Markhor loaded for 5 days.

With a heavy pack and fresh legs we started up the trail.  The weather was clear and warm and we made quick time en route to our first glassing location.  Cresting the ridge two hours later and glassing down into the first basin revealed a billy working across the top of some large cliffs.  So far so good.

mountain goat, montana, hunting, mountain goat hunting

A younger billy showing off in a maze of cliffs.

The next two days would be spent glassing from a large ridgeline, affording us a view into 4 different basins.  The closest basin was where I thought our target goat was living and sure enough on the first day we located him bedded under a rock edge.  Despite their white color the mountain goats were proving to be difficult to spot at times.

mountain goat, montana, hunting

Our target billy taking advantage of the topography. Well hid and shaded.

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The daily jaunt up and down the ridge to glass and then glass some more.

That night we watched him peel around the edge of the basin headed towards the easiest trail to access and hike in the unit.  With a day till season he’d surely not make such a silly decision right?

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild

The last sight of this billy. Around the bend into a bad zone for him.

The following day was one that didn’t build much confidence for the opener.  Our day began and ended the same, posted up along the ridge letting the glass do our walking.  Only a nanny and kid were spotted during the long day.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild, sitka gear, vortex optics, mountain goat hunting

Wondering where all the goats are at.

With all the nearby goats pushing further into the unit we hoped overnight we’d have a few work back into the closer basins.  The plan was to wake up first thing and look for our billy, if he didn’t show we’d make a long push along a ridge we believed was safe to travel along, leading us into a remote basin that seemed a sure bet to find a goat.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild, camping, backcountry

Camped out with the next days ridgeline looming.

The next morning broke to more beautiful weather.  As soon as we could see we were scouring hillsides looking for white specs.  Thirty minutes revealed nothing and we knew we needed to make our push towards the remote back basin.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild, sitka gear, bowhunting, mountain goat hunting

Goat country doesn’t lack in beauty.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild, hiking

The route better than anticipated. Still a “no-fall” zone.

The route proved doable and we soon crested over the top.  The basin sprawled out before us.  With game trails worn deep into the ridgeline we figured it would only be a matter of time before spotted a goat.  Unfortunately that afternoon only turned up a small group of sheep.  Disappointing but I guess that’s hunting.  We retraced our steps in time to take a last look for our same billy before we hit the tent for the night.  He was nowhere to be found and we got some needed rest before waking up hoping that the goats would reappear.  The next morning we quickly made it to our glassing point hoping a billy would be back into the nearest basin.  Nothing showed and the surrounding areas were devoid of goats as well.  Our move to test out new country in hopes of catching a billy off guard had proved futile.  We begrudgingly packed camp knowing today would be a long one.  A 1500′ drop would get us back to the trail and back up the mountain we’d go in the opposite direction.  As we crest the pass I got cell service and a text message told of a billy shot right off the trail where we now stood.  Apparently mountain goats can make easy and fatal mistakes.  With other camps on the pass we figured we’d drop elevation again to push deeper into the unit.  It wasn’t ideal but it would put us into some remote mountain goat country.  Three hours later we’d dropped to the bottom and climbed up to our next camp.  We were physically drained and took an hour to eat and take a short rest.  With rain in the forecast we knew we needed to push on and try to find a billy.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild, vortex optics, kifaru, mountain goat hunting

More wild and vast country.

A look into a vast chuck of country only revealed one goat, two miles across the basin.  He’d be safe for now.  We quickly sidehilled across the ridge to the next saddle.  Only a few seconds into glassing a goat was spotted bedded under a rim of cliffs.  The spotter revealed he was a billy and we knew a move had to be made quickly.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild

Bedded for optimal visibility. Typical goat move.

With adrenaline fueling our legs we sidehilled hoping our remote movements wouldn’t be observed by our target.  His bed afforded a perfect view of all below him and a careful stalk would be necessary to get close.  A mile out we had to begin utilizing the small amount of cover we had.  Staying behind trees and small boulders got us to 1000 yards.  He was now up and feeding.  100-200 yard openings would need to be covered as he fed up the hill and not looking in our direction.  Some patience was necessary but eventually we got to 300 yards.  He was still unaware of our presence but with a rifle built for it’s light weight and ruggedness and not it’s accuracy I knew getting closer would make this stalk into a guaranteed kill.  Another sprint in the open with the billy feeding away put us underneath him and to our last zone of cover.  As I peeked up over the boulders my rangefinder told me he was 190 yards away.  With a good rest this would be a sure shot.  I eased onto my pack and chambered a round.  The view through the riflescope was utterly clear and somewhat unreal.  The moment had come, I looked at his horns and although I knew bigger existed on the mountain this day had been an experience that embodied what I wanted the hunt to be.  It felt right and I confirmed Travis had him in the spotter.  As he stood slightly quartering away I eased into the trigger until it broke and the last thing I saw was the goat flip over and begin a short tumble down the mountain.  The next few moments were spent riding out the adrenaline high and realizing that we now were deep in the mountains with lots of work to be done and darkness quickly approaching.

mountain goat, hunting, montana, wild, wildflowers, mountain goat hunting

Life and death. A solemn and sobering moment.

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A beautiful location to end the journey.

A mountain goat tag is a very special thing to have.  That said mountain goat hunting doesn’t entitle you to a trophy or a goat, it only means you get to have an experience unlike any other and one you surely won’t forget.

Zack Boughton

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Grabbing Opportunity

black, bear, story, archery, bowhunting, bowhunt, montana, wild

Its not very often that my black bear tag makes it past the spring season. This year was different. I had limited days to spring bear hunt with my bow after preparing to move to Bozeman and had failed to get any decent opportunities to arrow a bruin. It was somewhat exciting to have a black bear tag for the fall season, and considering the locations I would be hunting elk and deer, the likelihood of seeing black bears was high. I was excited to see what opportunities would present themselves.

montana, wild, black, bear, hunt, brown, archery, sitka, gear

Chasing elk through prime bear country.

Fast forward to September. I had just finished a grueling 9 day out of state hunt. I failed to fill my tag and was now back in Montana to hopefully help call an elk in for Zack. After grinding through a couple days of work, we had just enough time to pack up the truck and head out for a 2.5 day backpack elk hunt. I must say it is nice feeling being able to enter the elk woods with a bear, wolf, and elk tag in your pocket.

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The hunt started with Zack taking the lead as we crossed creeks and finally entered a timbered stretch littered with elk sign. Zack ripped a few bugles along the way, hoping to locate a bull. With no responses, we slowly followed a game trail, still stalking the timber hoping to catch a glimpse of a bull. Magpies rang out their typical cry and Zack crept slowly in their direction. Suddenly Zack froze and waved me to creep up to his position. 130yds away was a stout black bear ripping at some sort of animal carcass.

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Just what a bear is looking for to fatten up.

With no bear tag left for Zack I was the only option for a stalk. I picked my stalk line, made sure the wind was good and proceeded to ninja to 43yards. I got ready for a shot and waited for the black bear to turn broadside. The bear was moving around the carcass eating on various pieces and occasionally moving away and then wandering back. Finally he remained in a single position on the carcass. I drew, settled and released. The bear ran 15 yards, looked around and then proceeded to come back and feed. I must have misjudged my yardage or my broadhead dove as I missed low. I crept up to 37yards from the unaware bear. I drew, really took my time to pick a small spot and released. This time I saw my arrow hit its mark as the bear whirled and took off on a death march down the mountain and out of sight.

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Good blood on an intact arrow.

Zack and I looked for my arrow and found it completely intact and covered in blood. I felt good about the shot and with light fading fast I followed the direction the bear had sprinted. The blood trail was minimal, so I made the decision to just go look for the bear. Zack and I spread out and started searching. After about two hundred yards later I heard Zack holler.

black, bear, dark, brown, arrowed, archery, bow, montana, wild

Cautiously approaching.

I crept his way arrow nocked, only to see the motionless mound of fur that lay ahead. He was done, a quick clean kill. The beautiful dark brown boar was a sight to behold as he lay in a patch of timber littered with elk rubs. The trees in the area were perfectly displaced and made for some unique photos.

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Good sized paws, but extremely stinky from the elk carcass.

This was my first time having a fall black bear tag and also my first bear with a bow. A memory that will live with me forever and an adrenaline filled stalk that I won’t soon forget.

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bloody, arrow, quartering, black, bear, brown, easton, fmj

-Travis

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Goat Country – The Beginning

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I guess I just figured I’d never get lucky drawing a Big 3 tag without a lifetime of points.  When I logged into MyFWP to check my status I stared blankly at the screen seeing a 2016 Goat License under the Successful category.  Travis was home and I quickly told him that I drew a goat tag.  He didn’t believe me, but one quick look at my computer brought him to life.  It didn’t seem real and for the next few days it still hadn’t set home that I’d be chasing mountain goats in some of the most rugged country around.  This year I would be able to say I was going mountain goat hunting!

mountain goat, montana, high country, goats, limited draw, tag, hunting

Montana’s high country. Beautiful yet rugged!

Once I started looking over Google Earth and planning my first scouting trip it started to set in.  I quickly realized I needed to get in better shape, learn more about mountain goats, and start making some phone calls.  Over the next few weeks I spent many hours dissecting my unit online and with maps.  A trip to the Forest Service office gave me the right maps that outlined open roads in the area and before I knew it I was packed up and headed for the mountains.

mountain goat, montana, high country, rough road, backcountry, 4x4, offroad

Rocking and rolling our way up to the trailhead.

As soon as we climbed up out of the valley I realized this would be an epic hunt.  Huge basins, rocky ridges, huge cliffs and wild, vast country spread all around.  My legs burned as we climbed to 10,000′ crossing over our first big pass.  It was setting in and soon we had located the first group of goats.  A set of nannies with kids and one billy scrambled through a steep face with huge boulders and loose rock and dirt.  I was quickly reminded they feel at home in some of the gnarliest country around.

mountain goat, montana, high country, wild, scouting

Climb, climb and then climb some more.

At this point I’ve spent four days scouting my unit.  Not a lot by any means but enough to start learning the lay of the country and how to navigate to each zone that holds goats.  With only a handful of days in this unit I’ve definitely learned a few things.

Google Earth Is A Liar!

I knew this but always seem to forget this when I go somewhere new.  That ridgeline you though you could hike across, Nope!  That little knob will be a ten minute hike, try 45 minutes.  If you’ve used Google Earth you know the drill.  Everything looks smaller and easier than it actually is.

mountain goat, montana, high country, scouting, hunting, wild, hiking

Frosted scree makes for an interesting morning hike to the glassing knob.

Grizzlies Abound

Only a few hours into our first day on the mountain and we turned up six grizzlies in the same basin.  A sow and three cubs roamed the head end of a grassy meadow and about a 1000 yards away two juvenile bears fed on grass and wild flowers on a long, flat bench.  Living in Missoula the last 6-7 years meant we only really dealt with black bears.  Grizzlies are on a different level and made things interesting when we decided where to camp just across the ridge.  It’s time we de-list these bears and start managing them like we should be.

grizzly bear, bears, montana, backcountry, wild

Juvenile grizzly bears roaming the vast backcountry.

Glassing Is King

Again we know this but up here it’s very, very apparent.  Perched in the right spot in the country affords you the opportunity to glass a MASSIVE amount of country.  A good pair of binoculars, a spotting scope and a good tripod are must haves.  Finding a spot with little or no wind is key and being able to mount your binos to your tripod makes picking up small details and movements much easier.

mountain goat, montana, high country, scouting, glassing, hunting

Searching and more searching on a brisk July morning.

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A few miles out a goat appears between passing clouds.

Mtn. Goat Scouting Isn’t Easy

When I first drew the tag I figured it would be real easy to locate most of the goats in my unit.  Get up high and glass the rocky open country and look for white.  We’ll it turns out they are elusive animals most of the time.  Sure sometimes they stick out like a sore thumb but during the summer when it’s hot they often bed in some shaded nook and finding them can be impossible.  They like to dip in and out of timber and if you’re not vigilant on the glass you might miss them when they hit the open areas.  I also found that they seem to move a lot.  Multiple groups have moved thousands of yards in a short period of time and a few groups moved to different basins entirely without being bumped.  Put a dirty goat on a hillside of huge tan and grey boulders and they can blend in with the best of them.

mountain goat, montana, high country, cliffs, rocks, mountain goat hunting

This billy was in a low elevation zone I wouldn’t expect to see a goat. Staying alert and having two sets of eyes paid off here.

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Getting some photo & video for later review.

Moving In This Country Takes TIME!

With camp on your back travel is slow but add in big, rocky country and it can take some time to move from area-to-area.  With so much country to glass you often find yourself stopping to take a peak into new folds of the mountain and those first trips are a bit rough after a long offseason.  Back here you can’t travel in a straight line.  Sometimes working into a specific basin means you have to loop around multiple miles just to find a route that isn’t cliffed out.  When you do find a route, the vertical is enough to wear you down quick.  2,500’+ climbs are the norm when switching basins without a ridge connecting them.  As it should be, life just happens slower back here.

backpack, hunting, scouting, kifaru, markhor, wild, montana

Loaded up and putting the test to a new pack, the Kifaru Markhor. So far so good!

mountain goat, montana, high country, summer, scouting, sitka gear, kifaru

Navigating a no-fall zone. Makes for slow going.

So far I’ve seen about 75% of my unit and found a couple billies that I’d be stoked to put my tag on come September.  Right now the plan is to make one more trip back into my unit and then pack the bow in for the opener.  It’s going to come quick and I can’t wait to be out there with the chance to get close and try to seal the deal!

Zack Boughton