“You got a beer?” Grady asked quizzically as he nibbled a fry. I nodded, taking a sip of a cold Rainier. “I didn’t know they had beer here,” he responded, genuinely surprised. The flicker of a neon Miller Lite sign illuminated our table. Three truckers sat at the bar. One had just picked up a load, Read More

By Kirk Billings We had discussed it and we’d agreed. We were upland hunting and not waterfowling. Besides, we had never seen ducks in the area, so why would I spring for an out of state license to play to an outside chance? We were looking for pheasant and the birds already knew it., Read More

By Garrett Munson When your primary job each fall is to fill the freezer with wild game meat for your family to eat for the coming year, you know you live a good life – a life many fellow Montanans cherish. My young kids are not too interested in hunting stories – they want results – so the job pressure is, Read More

A blood red sun is about to dip below the horizon.  Dogs are in their kennels, collars off.  We head down the dirt road, about to put a great trip in the rearview mirror.  It takes a couple of minutes but I notice my old man, riding shotgun, still has his vest on and, Read More

It stayed packed for five months, always in the truck or near the front door, usually with a dog curled next to it. Carried through lush bottoms full of wild roosters, and over high sagebrush plains in search of sage grouse, it acquired blood stains from chukar, and the unmistakeable smell of scotch from a leaky flask. The, Read More

It isn’t South Dakota. Grease wood at eye level impedes all progress. Russian olives pierce through layers of clothing, and they are out for blood. It’s tough country not traditionally suited for pheasants. Roosters take on the character of their surroundings – tough, wily, birds with well developed legs, that loathe to fly. They relish in mocking, Read More

Summer is in full swing. Runoff is over and water is shaping up in most parts of the country. Early morning tricos, attractor dries and hoppers will be the name of the game for the rest of the season. In short it’s a good time to be fishing. But something else is afoot. I stopped, Read More

“Daaaaadaaaa,” calls the three year old over a barely repressed giggle, “it’s baaaaack.” He’s spotted the pheasant again. That used to be reward enough for him, but now he’s grown to expect a show too – the Keystone Kops routine of his father trying to snap a half-decent photo. I’m pretty sure he’s rooting, Read More

The old lady gets all the ink. See here, here, here and here. But I actually do have two dogs. My 5 year old male, while lacking the flair for the ridiculous and the dramatic of his counterpart, has been consistently retrieving birds like a laser guided missile since he was a pup. At, Read More

“Dada, Dada I called the pheasant!” came the voice from the yard. I can’t call anything. To a passing flock of mallards, I’m as persuasive as a hitchhiker with a chainsaw. The most effective thing I can do with an elk bugle is leave it in the truck. I have my strengths, but imitating, Read More