Deer Lessons

I’m far, far from an expert or even good hunter, but I’m working on it. The last year has been a fantastic journey, and for folks like me who are experienced backpacker/skier/packrafter/etc types looking to get into backcountry hunting, I offer the following for consideration. First, hunting it not backpacking. You can and often need […]

A Bob Marshall buck

The whitetail I shot last November was a victory, but it was also a defeat. The victory came in learning enough about deer patterns to know where to go, and enough patience to be still enough that the deer walked right up within range. It was a failure because I had started out the season […]

Lost trails

I love the Cairn maps of the Bob, they’re a massive improvement over the old Forest Service map, very readable, and have in my experience proven to be accurate. A summer wandering around with a fancy GPS on your pack will in the end get good results. Thankfully, maps can’t show everything, and the Cairn […]


A lot of hyperbole and purposive lies have been written about the road up to Polebridge, Montana. I suppose the road is rough if you never drive on gravel, but it usually takes right around an hour to drive the 45 miles from our driveway to the Mercantile, if we don’t get stuck behind traffic. […]


“We know that America cannot be made strong by leadership which reacts only to the needs or the irritations or the frustrations of the moment. True leadership must provide for the next decade and not merely the next day.” -President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the Wilderness Act Somehow it felt appropriate to contemplate the Wilderness […]