The trees are finally turning here in Missouland. 4200 is closed, but Lolo will not be forgotten. Going out on Sunday with Bob Proffitt to flail on some choss in Granite Creek and off Fish Creek rd. Planning on bringing the .22 to slay some grouse to eat. Yes, hunting season is here, and I couldn't be more excited. Going back to Helena this weekend to attain the family heirloom .30-06, a gun my grandfather then dad, shot big game with. To say this gun has "kick" would be an understatement. I remember trembling as a kid shooting it, anxiously waiting the kick after a stiff trigger pull.
Well, certainly things have changed since I fired my first rounds out of a rifle. I grew up hunting in NE Montana, every Thanksgiving, until I came to college. My uncle would take me out in his 1988 Ford F-150, Cleatus the dog in tow, McDonalds breakfast strewn around the cab. This was hunting, this is what real men did. Glaciated plains, scab lands, sunrises, sunsets, agriculture, coulees, the arctic air, everything about this place is powerful. With that being said, I saw a lot of country as a kid hunting there. Hunting on the CMR, thousand acre farms, ten thousand acre ranches, river bottoms, and buttes, I've practically seen it all up there. My uncle wasn't much into trophy hunting, but I certainly was. But when a man who has hunted his whole life, from Alaska to Africa, Boone & Crockett measurements lose their allure. In the first 6 years of hunting, I shot multiple deer that would make grown men envious, but since then, I too, have lost that sense of bigger is better. Though I do obnoxiously show my trophies off to visitors by hanging them above our fireplace.
Yes, that is green tile.
Now, this is my first season back to hunting big game. Surely I will harvest a deer, but maybe if I'm lucky an elk. That would make me giddy like a little school girl. But obviously now it's not about the trophies. It's about nostalgia, solitude, tradition and sustainable, tasty food.
I'm not too sure why I decided to write this post, as it has nothing to do with bouldering, not even somewhat. Maybe because hunting has been such an integral part of who I am and how I was brought up. Maybe because I wanted to belittle and enrage all of the granola environmentalist climbers who don't read this blog. Probably a little of both.