Vol. 50 #4 Summer 2023 Issue

Page 1

Montana Bowhunters Association PO Box 426 Helena MT 59624 Return service requested Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # 120 Bozeman, MT 59718 Regional News! OFFICERS REGIONAL REPS DIRECTORS AT LARGE An Archer’s Viewpoint The Progression of Distance The Mission Whitetail Hunt Chasing Ghosts Hunting Tradition in a Technological World PAGE - 12 PAGE - 13 CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS PAGE 15

MBA Regional Representatives

Region 1 Al Kelly 163 Scenery Rd Libby MT 59923 406-293-2900 griffguyal@gmail.com

Region 2 Marlon Clapham 4455 Hoover Lane, Stevensville, MT 59870

406-777-2408 mbaregion2@gmail.com

Kevin Robinson 2110 Wylie Ave, Missoula, MT 59802

406-531-8243 kevin.robinson@technometalpost.com

Region 3 Liberty Brown 275 Vigilante Trl. Bozeman, MT 59718

406-581-7216 mbareg3@gmail.com

Robin Mestdagh 1150 Vega Rd, Helena, MT 59602

406-839-6371 mestdagh.montana@gmail.com

Region 4 Justin Doll 1311 15th St S, Great Falls, MT 59405

406-939-0804 j.doll6190@gmail.com

Jess Wagner 201 Big Sky Lane, Lewistown, MT 59457

406-939-3458 jess_wagner2@hotmail.com

Region 5 Ben Buller 4143 King Ave East, Billings, MT 59101

406-672-5616 buller_ben@yahoo.com

Chris Gasner 4717 Cheyenne Trail, Billings, MT 59106 cgasner1@gmail.com

Region 6 Tristan Manuel 48538 Anderson Rd, Havre, MT 59501

Region 7


406-399-5114 HiLineTraditional@gmail.com

Nick Siebrasse 4996 Bullhook Rd., Havre, MT 59501 ....................................

406-390-0402 bowdude@mtintouch.net

Rick Miller PO Box 2336 Colstrip, MT 59323

406-749-0292 grrizzz@q.com

Bob Morgan PO Box 1995, Colstrip, MT 59323

406-749-0706 robertredface@gmail.com


Cliff Garness 5901 Western Drive, Great Falls MT 59404 - obsession_archery@yahoo.com

Jake Garness 5901 Western Drive, Great Falls MT 59404 - powderslayer22@gmail.com

Alishia Zemlicka 283 Upper Violet Road, Bozeman, MT 59718 - massagebyalishia@hotmail.com


Brian Koelzer 80 Jansma Lane, Manhattan, MT 59741- Rocknrollbowhunter3@yahoo.com

June LePage 2574 Divide Rd, Lewistown, MT 59457- junelepage1@gmail.com

Mike Shepard 251 7th Ave E N, Columbia Falls, MT 59912 - michaelshepard7@gmail.com

Jackie Weidow 116 Bear Creek Rd Unit B, Victor, MT 59875- jackieweidow92@gmail.com


The MBA Magazine is a quarterly publication of the MBA and is intended to inform, entertain and educate its members on happenings within the organization and to bowhunting in general.







Ken Schultz

302 Wyoming Ave • Billings, MT 59101 schultzy@iwks.net • 406-598-8550


Stephanie Prater 416 Entrance Ave • Lewistown, MT 59457 mthuntress406@gmail.com • 406-461-6949


Stephen LePage 2574 Divide Rd • Lewistown, MT 59457 mbaregion4@yahoo • 406-535-5636


Mandy Garness 5901 Western Dr • Great Falls, MT 59404 camoquilter@gmail.com • 406-750-9953


Jerry Davis

725 Middlemas Road • Helena, MT  59602 pipelinejerry@gmail.com • 406-475-2226

Jeremy Harwood

1047 Cheyenne Rd • Helena, MT 59602 jeremyharwood86@gmail.com • 406-579-0678







Stories, photos, or cartoons should be sent to Julie Jensen at 391 Coral Drive, Belgrade, MT 59714 or email jjensen44@mac.com. All materials are the opinion of the author unless otherwise stated, and are subject to being edited. All submitted or published photos may be used by the MBA in the newsletter, and MBA Photo Album and/or on Facebook. Any questions as to policies of MBA please contact the President.


Please send new memberships or renewal memberships to MBA Tresurer, PO Box 426, Helena MT 59624 or call 406-404-6168, register online at www.mtba.org or ask a member.


Stephen LePage 2574 Divide Rd • Lewistown, MT 59457 mbaregion4@yahoo • 406-535-5636


Julie Jensen 391 Coral Drive • Belgrade, MT 59714 jjensen44@mac.com • 701-361-9197

Summer 2023 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS VOL. 50 #4 Summer 2023 3 PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Ken Schultz 1ST VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Stephanie Prater 4 2ND VICE PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE Stephen LePage SECRETARY’S MESSAGE Jerry Davis 5 TREASURER’S MESSAGE Mandy Garness 6 REGIONAL REPORTS 12 MBA TEEN BOWHUNTER CAMP 14 BLAST FROM THE PAST Marlon Clapham 15 MBA CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS 20 AN ARCHER’S VIEWPOINT Brayden Reum THE PROGRESSION OF DISTANCE Steve Schindler 21 THE MISSION Beckie Doyle 22 WHITETAIL HUNT Derrick Hucke 23 BRIDGER BOWMEN 3D ARCHERY SHOOT 24 CHASING GHOSTS Ellis Parrott 25 2023 CARP SAFARI 26 HUNTING TRADITION IN A TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD Stephanie Prater 27 BUSINESS & CLUB MEMBERS FWP COMMISSIONER CONTACTS 28 MBA MEMBERSHIP FORM 29 MEMBER GALLERY Montana Bowhunters Association PO Box 426 Helena MT 59624 Returnservicerequested Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit # MT120Bozeman, 59718 RegionalNews! REGIONALOFFICERS REPS DIRECTORS AT LARGEAnArcher’sViewpoint TheProgressionofDistance The WhitetailMission HuntHuntingChasingGhosts TechnologicalTraditionina World PAGE - 12 PAGE - 13 CONVENTION HIGHLIGHTS PAGE 15 On the Cover Michael Prater Archery Boone & Crockett mountain lion, 14 7/8”

MBA Committees


Chair: Jerry Davis

Jess Wagner • Stephen LePage


Chair: Mandy Garness

Al Kelly • Jeremy Harwood


Chair: Stephanie Prater

Tristan Manuel • Jess Wagner

Rick Miller


Chair: Stephen LePage

Stephanie Prater


Chair: Cliff Garness

Stephen LePage


Chair: Stephen LePage

Mandy Garness • Nick Siebrasse

Convention 2023 (Region 2)

Chair: Kevin Robinson

Marlon Clapham • Mandy Garness


Chair: Jerry Davis

Cliff Garness • Stephanie Prater

Carp Shoot:

Chair: Kevin Robinson

Stephen LePage • Jerry Davis

Marlon Clapham • Claudia Davis


Chair: Marlon Clapham

Nick Siebrasse • Tristan Manuel

Al Kelly

Youth Membership and MBA Teen Bowhunter Camp

Chair: Marlon Clapham

Kevin Robinson • The Doyles


Jerry Davis • Al Kelly


Chair: Marlon Clapham

Stephen LePage


Chair: Rick Miller

Stephen LePage • Jess Wagner







President’s Message

Greetings All,

Hope this letter finds everyone in good spirits! Over the past couple of months, we have been in quite a battle over the Crossbow bill. It’s been a roller coaster ride of emotion. Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in this battle. Our Legislative Team has been putting in countless hours of phone and Zoom calls planning strategies along with other organizations that have partnered with us to fight this Battle. We need you! Something as small as an email, phone call, or text to your legislator can make a huge impact on decisions made. As I’ve learned, many of the legislators get overwhelmed with the number of bills they have to read and react to, and that they can’t read them all. So, your feedback and updates building awareness of concerns do make a difference. Keep up the Great Work!

We finished up the MBA Convention in Fairmont Hot Springs over April Fools’ weekend and had a great time. Region “2” was the host this year and they did a fantastic job. Hats off to the Team in Region “2”! We had some great seminars, awesome raffles, and most importantly, a great meal and banquet. Can’t wait till next year. Make sure you don’t miss it!

We announced the election of several new board members during the Convention. Congrats to all and I know they are going to be a tremendous asset to our Team!

1. Stephanie Prater – New Vice President.

2. Secretary (Transition) – Jerry Davis to Jeremy Harwood

3. Brian Koelzer will stay on and become a DAL (Director at Large)

4. June LePage – DAL

5. Mike Shepard – DAL

6. Jackie Weidow – DAL

7. Al Kelly – Re-elect (Region 1)

8. Liberty Brown – Re-elect (Region 3)

9. Robin Mestdagh – Region 3

10. Chris Gasner – Region 5

11. Rick Miller – Re-elect (Region 7)

12. Bob Morgan – Re-elect (Region 7)?

Looking forward to having them all on Board! (No pun intended) LOL!

I want to talk about the opportunity we have with helping our Veterans and Disabled in Montana. We as an organization have many ways to help get these folks back into the hunting fields. Many of our board members and members who are veterans have been out there looking for folks who we could help. Folks like Michael Shepard, Marlon Clapham, Jerry Davis, and many more have been contacting organizations looking to help. If you have anybody that wants to get back into the field hunting with a bow or rifle, please contact us and we’ll get in touch with them ASAP.

The first round of tags for the new year has come and gone and I hope everyone got their tag choices in. If you did, my hope is that you draw what you put in for. Round “2” of tags are due by May 1st for Moose, Goat, and Sheep. Don’t miss it!

With that, I’ll leave you with a reminder to “Shoot Straight and Always be a Straight Shooter”!

First Vice President’sReport

Iwant to start off by saying it is an absolute honor to your First Vice President. Brian Koelzer has some big (but very quiet and sneaky-more on that later) shoes to fill but luckily is still serving our MBA membership by being on the board as a Director at Large.

We just wrapped up our convention and what a great weekend it was. It’s always great to get together and talk about what we love- bowhunting. We have some great new board members and some great ideas that came out of our meeting on Friday. All day Saturday were four wonderful seminars about the teen camp, the new study being done in regions 1 & 2 on the relationship between predator and ungulate populations, Steve Felix who brought his world record archery elk and told the story, and my personal favorite, Brian Koelzer’s spot and stalk mule deer tips. I’ve chased mule deer for years with a bow but learned so much from his presentation. Of course, the weekend concluded with our always-a-fun-time banquet. I highly recommend you consider attending next year in Great Falls.

Of course, the crossbow bill is still moving its way like a snake during the legislative session. Just when we think we’ve cut the head off the bad bill, it somehow resurrects and slithers on, passing through by a razor’s edge. It’s headed to the House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Committee. Our MBA team is working hard to get it killed once and for all. Bottom line, if crossbows are ever

legalized during our archery-only season, this bill is not the right way to do it, it’s poorly and loosely written, and will only open the floodgates for abuse.

On a good note, the drawing for elk and deer is any day now, and who doesn’t love opening MyFWP to see what the drawing brings? It’s like Christmas morning. Also, a positive, turkey and bear are about to get underway and finally, spring has started to appear.

Good luck this spring with all your adventures!

Stephanie Prater
Ken Schultz Stephanie Prater

Second Vice President’sReport Secretary’sMessage

That was one heck of a banquet and I want to thank the people who donated their time and efforts to pull it all together. I also want to thank all attendees who showed up to enjoy the banquet and donate hardearned money to support the MBA. Those dollars will be put to good use with conservation efforts and the promotion and protection of bowhunting in Montana.

Speaking of protecting bowhunting in the State of Montana. As I write this, we are in the middle of the legislative session and I want to give a tip of the hat to those hardworking members of your Board of Directors and the legislative committee that are working on defeating the crossbow bill as well as strengthening bowhunter education in Montana. I wish you could see how much time and personal effort go into one of these legislative sessions. And although none of these citizen lobbyists get paid, you are lucky to be represented by the most dedicated, hardworking, intelligent people that I have ever met. I am guessing that while you are reading this article, we will already know the outcome of this session and I hope your legislative team has made you proud.

Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page as we have some very exciting events coming up this year. We have teamed up with the Bridger Bowmen to help sponsor a 3-D shoot, and of course, we will be having the Carp Safari this June.

I wish you all luck in drawing tags this year.


Musings from an old bowhunter and an old MBA Board Member

Here we are heading into spring. It has been a long winter and I am looking forward to once again pursuing those things I enjoy doing during the spring, summer and fall.

As we get older, we often become aware of the limitations our body places on us. I for one had spinal surgery to remediate stenosis in my L3 through L5 vertebrae. Fortunately, I am lucky as it has only been a week and I feel the surgery was a success. However, I am keenly aware this may place some limits on what activities I can physically pursue in the future.

Hopefully after a 6-week recovery along with physical therapy I will once again be able to draw a bow and walk in the woods, but that is not a given.

Therefore, I have been ruminating on what I would do if I could no longer draw a bow. I do know that if I am thusly disabled, I can fall back and use the Permit to Modify Archery Equipment thanks to past Board Members work with the FWP. I am very thankful for that option, and I would most likely use it.

But regardless of my physical limitations I just want to be in the field to experience Montana’s great outdoors. That does not necessarily mean I have to be the bowhunter, I would be more than happy to provide support such as camp cook, etc. for those in my circle of friends and family that wish to bow hunt.

To me bowhunting has never about the harvest, I left guaranteed harvests to my rifle hunts. I have harvested deer, elk, and moose, with a rifle and the goal of those hunts was always to put food on the table while giving myself a reprieve from some of the high stress work environments I’ve spent most of my professional carrier in.

But when I decided to start bowhunting later in my life my goals changed from harvesting to just having the heart pounding experiences of being close to my quarry, experiences that are somewhat addictive. Yes, it would have been nice to have been able to harvest an animal, but it was not essential for my own success and enjoyment. When I realized harvest was not required, it took a lot of the stress away from the actual hunt, and I found how much I enjoyed the surroundings of Montana’s outdoors. How much I enjoyed being close to the animals I pursued multiple times a season. That is why I selflessly say I bow hunt for myself.

And I realize that as I age, my ability to bow hunt will degrade, if it hasn’t already. But I for one am not willing to allow a significantly more lethal weapon into Montana’s Archery Only just so I can continue hunting a few more years during archery season.

It is in the last 10 years that it seems I and many others spend an inordinate amount of time and passion to preserve both our great Archery Only season and our access to public lands. Why is that?

To me, as a 3th generation Montanan (Dutton 1917), maintaining the integrity of our Archery Only Season and maintaining and increasing access to our public lands should be a no brainer. Preserving and enhancing Archery hunting and access to public lands is important not so much for myself but for my children and grandchildren and for future generations. Many native cultures in the west often explain we occupants of Mother Earth must look at the consequences of our actions, not just in the short term but we also should look at potential consequences 7 generations in the future. To give you an idea of how long 7 generations is, I have a 1st cousin 7 times removed who died in the Revolutionary War. That is 7 generations back. If crossbows are allowed into the Archery Only season now, what will the season look like in just 1 generation let alone 7 generations.

If we limit the citizens of Montana access to their public lands how many of your future generations will choose to stay in this beautiful state if they would only have limited access to those lands the public owns.

We all have an obligation to protect and enhance those opportunities that are now afforded in this state. We need to ask those that would like to represent us if they will stand in support of Montana’s Archery Only season and will work to increase access to our public lands. If they do not support or are uncommitted to those views to preserve our way of life then you should not vote for them.

All I ask is that you know your candidates’ stances before you put the X by their name. To not do this possibly jeopardizes everything we hold dear as bowhunters and Montanans.

Before I close I also wish to thank our Legislative Committee. It is because of their team work and person to person communications with both Senators and Representatives that MBA has forged a reputation of great credibility with our Legislature. So, to Ken, Liberty, Steve, Stephanie, Jess, Jeremy Justin, and Paul, thanks for your hard work and thanks to our great Board for supporting our efforts. Thanks to everyone for the Richard Conklin Award, actually I think there are more deserving, but I do appreciate it.



Hello! Is winter finally over? I’m writing this with the sun peeking through, but still snow on the ground. By publication time, the short days of winter will be long gone! If you haven’t dusted off your bow yet, now is the time! There are lots of 3-D shoot opportunities to get out and fling some arrows and shoot the breeze with fellow hunters. This includes the Carp Safari as well as a new opportunity with the Bridger Bowmen. If you’re in the Great Falls area, join us for the King’s Hill shoot on July 15 & 16 in the Little Belts. We hope to see many of you in person. While we love to see harvest photos in the magazine, we’re also happy to see your smiling faces year-round! Please submit photos of practicing, scouting, and camping. Trail camera photos always get us motivated as well.

It’s also a good time to dump out the backpacks and get rid of the old snacks and renew the first aid supplies. I’ll remind a few of you that you’re not as young or spry as you used to be, and that bandage elastic dries out and aspirin expires! Please renew your supplies and get a tech lesson from the grandkids to learn how to send a pin for help if needed, or to make sure they know how as they join you on an adventure outdoors.

We had a great time at the banquet and are working to get reports together and begin the budget for next year. (Thank you to Claudia Davis for all you do!) Please reach out if you have input for the Finance Committee (camoquilter@gmail.com). Great job, Kevin, Jackie, Marlon, and crew! We learned about Teen Camp, mule deer hunting, bear awareness, and dart throwing (thanks Bob Morgan). Congratulations to our award winners…pictured in a few pages. My reign as bowhunter of the year has ended, but there was plenty of competition for my successor. Every day in the woods is better than a day in the office!

Great Falls will be hosting the next banquet, so mark your calendars for April 5-7, 2024. We’re looking for ideas for seminars as well as donations. Be on the lookout for some raffle prizes for trophy and photo entries, too. If you have an idea, request or interest in helping, please let me know. Have

Summer 2023 5
an epic summer!
Mandy Garness
Matt Seibert, CLCS Sales Executive, Commercial Lines 406-321-0700 matt.seibert@hubinternational.com Helena 406-449-3111 buffalojumparchery.com Located in the historic Kessler B est end ARCHERY SEASON is just around the corner...GET READY NOW!
Mandy Garness























The 2023 Convention has come and gone. Region 2 had the lead for this Convention and Kevin Robinson took the Chair position. This was his first involvement in setting up and running the convention, keeping his committee members focused and on task. Kevin did a fantastic job. Jacklin Weidow started putting together raffle and door prizes and auction items two weeks after the 2022 convention. I wouldn’t even try to guess how many hours she spent on the phone and computer working contacts. Claudia Davis and Mandy Garness took charge of the registration desk, checking everybody in and selling raffle tickets. Paul Gierach helped with the planning and brought ideas to the committee and gathered raffle prizes. We cannot forget the folks that helped all during the three days of the Convention. Jason Weidow, Wyatt Doyle, and Bill McCormick ran the archery lanes and shoot-off., helping the young kids to shoot bows and arrows for the first time. And of course, Merri Clapham chasing all over helping with the setup, keeping table cloths on the extra tables, and keeping track of me when I was needed elsewhere. I’m sure Kevin and Jackie will have more on the Convention in this newsletter.

The Crossbow rages on. It was moved to the House from the Senate and we had the first hearing on April 13th. So, it was back Helena to testify once again. The MBA are very professional in the way we all work together so there is no repeating, and we keep everything to the point and factual. Other organizations, like Traditional Bowhunters of Montana were there with good testimony. The Sportsman’s Alliance sent Greg Munther, a longtime MBA Life Member, to testify on our behalf. The Pope and Young Club had Stephen LePage

testify on our behalf. After the hearing, talking with the Representatives on the crossbow, I think we have a good chance to get SB 298 tabled.

On another note, HB 243, a bill to get the Hunter and Bowhunter Education Field Day reinstated for all classes is still in the fight. The hold-up seems to be that FWP wants to hire 7 administrators, one for each region to set up classes, recruit, and train new instructors. Before covid, we had field days without paying administrators.

Region 2 will be involved in the Montana Matters Youth Outdoors Experience on May 6th at the Hamilton Fair Grounds. This used to be the Youth Expo, but now we have a bigger facility with better parking and more room. Merri, Jackie, Jason, Wyatt, Kevin, and I will be needing help on that day as we will be running the La Port disk thrower and it takes several folks to run the booth and help the young kids with the shooting. Also in May, we will be setting up at the Western Montana Fish & Game Association Youth Shooting Expo. The MBA has been at this event from the very beginning and is one of the most popular booths.

Then comes the 2023 Carp Safari on Canyon Ferry on June 10th at the Hellgate Camp Ground. We’re hoping to have a record amount of folks turning up, good weather, loads of sunshine, and more Carp than you can shake a stick at. We are looking forward to loads of campfire stories and good times. Get your reservations as the camping will fill up fast. Hope to see everyone there.

Get signed up to become a Bowhunter Education Instructor, we can always use your help. Get a youth into archery; they are our future.

Stay healthy. Hope to see you at the Carp Safari!

Spring is finally here! I write this on the eve of the spring turkey and bear opener, hallelujah! I’m headed out in the morning with my son to hopefully squawk in a gobbler. Well, after a long winter and a drawn-out battle with the crossbow bill it was great to have our annual convention celebration. You will probably read my convention recap and thank you in this addition of the newsletter but thank you again to all that participated!

The Carp Safari is June 10th at Canyon Ferry, remember to book your campsite ASAP as they go quick. Good luck in the special draws and we’ll see you at the Carp Safari!

Hello Region 3 Bowhunters,

It was great seeing everyone at the MBA Convention a few weeks ago. I hope everyone had a great time. It takes a lot of work to put on the Convention each year. Thanks to the crew from Region 2 who busted their humps to put on a great event! We are nearing the end of another legislative session. Your Legislative Committee and I have spent A LOT of time and effort in fighting SB 298, the crossbow bill that Senator Molnar introduced. At the moment, the bill was tabled by the House Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Committee, where we hope it remains. Thank you to those who have reached out to your elected officials and asked them to oppose SB 298. It’s so important that we as bowhunters contact our legislators regarding legislation that will affect our hunting heritage here in Montana.

As we head into the Spring and Summer months, there are a couple of events that we recommend adding to your calendar. The first is our co-sponsored 2-day 3D shoot with the Bridger Bowmen. That shoot will take place June 3rd and 4th. Then we have the annual Carp Safari on June 10th. Tickets for the Carp Safari can be purchased on the MBA website. Info for both shoots can be found on our Facebook page as well as in this issue.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions. Thanks for your support!

Sincerely, Liberty Brown

406-570-4280 | mbareg3@gmail.com

Marlon Clapham
Kevin Robinson

Greetings everyone!

Thank you to everyone who attended the convention; it was great getting to catch up with you all. I want to give a big thanks to everyone who helped put the convention on and made it run so smoothly. I am looking forward to next year when the convention is here in Great Falls. I hope many of you can make it to the various shoots throughout the spring and summer to prepare for the upcoming fall. I always enjoy the practice I get from these shoots as it seems to be the best opportunity to challenge myself and be better prepared for hunting season.

Lastly, I hope that the draws went in your favor, and you were able to get the permit you wanted!

Justin Doll

“I just finished testifying against the crossbow bill along with some of the other board members. Hopefully, when you are reading this, we will still find ourselves with an archery season that doesn’t include crossbows. I have been taking the dog out shed hunting every chance I get. We have had a few good days and a few days where we didn’t have much luck. If nothing else, I’m getting rid of some of the fat I acquired over the long winter.

The MBA will be sponsoring the Bridger Bowmen shoot on June 3rd and 4th. I plan to have a booth set up at the shoot in Lewistown and will have a raffle for a big prize for people who sign up for an MBA membership. Bring a friend to one of these events and encourage them to sign up for membership too.

Good luck in the draws!”

Jess Wagner

Another great MBA banquet was held, was attended, and will be missed. Kevin and the crew did a great job, things ran well, and we will put some money in the bank, sign some new members, and look forward to next year in Great Falls.

As I patch up my blinds and tree stands, sharpen broad heads, and remove empty Granola bar wrappers and Jerky packs from my pack in anticipation of the upcoming bow seasons, I am always thinking of those who paved the way before me.

Up in my country, I am thankful for guys like Greg Durward, Ron Cortese, Tom Brady, and Steve Schindler to name a few. I remember the first bow elk hunt I went on with a guy I hardly knew at the time

but would turn out to be a great, lifelong friend–a Brother of the Bow. Every aspiring young bow hunter on the hi-line had heard of the local Bow Hunting legend Greg Durward in the late 70s early 80s. I knew Greg in a passing kind of way but didn’t have the nerve to ask him if I could tag along on one of his many hunts. One day I was driving my UPS truck down the road and he waved me over and said, “Hey I am headed elk hunting in the breaks this weekend and I thought I would see if you want to go along”. By the time Friday rolled around I had packed everything I learned I needed in Bow -Ed class (that he taught for over 30 years) into my daypack and was ready and raring to go! Many years, hunts and bow shoots later I still thank Greg for helping create and fostering a lifelong passion for all things outdoors but mostly for the Bow Hunt Bug. Through Greg, I met other bowhunting enthusiasts, Cortese, Brady, Schindler, and others.

One thing I noticed about these men is their passion for the Bow Hunting lifestyle and their willingness and desire to give back to the “sport” that gives us so much. All the guys I looked up to in my learning days (and still look up to) are members of the MBA, taught Bowhunters education, and got blisters on their fingers sending letters, calling, and later when the “interweb” arrived, used email as a way to contact legislators to help stave off bad legislation or encourage good bills that affected what we love. They are mentors to many and friends to all who seek Bowhunting wisdom.

I’m thankful for the long seasons we enjoy in Montana, archery antelope season, and that so far, we have kept the archery season for archers. I am thankful that my “Brothers of the Bow” care about our passion and have instilled that in me and others.

Brothers and Sisters of the Bow, let’s pass it on!

Nick Siebrasse

continued on page 8

Jess Wagner Nick Siebrasse

As you should be aware, the 2023 Legislative session has been the controlling conversation in the MBA. Lots of impacting FWP bills were introduced, with the latest “zombie” crossbow bow bill (SB-298) resurfacing again. Obsessed primary sponsor Senator Brad Molnar (R) SD-28 (Laurel) has taken a mean-spirited position this go-round, hoping to intimidate supporting votes. Good legislation does not need unprofessionalism to gain favor. As I write this message, the fight continues with the MBA legislative team doing all they can to stop this unwarranted expansion.

I wrote more SB-298 opposing emails to our legislators than I have on any other single bill (hoping you did as well). These attempts were to

help explain our concerns and turn the direction, but with the bill currently approved in the Senate and passed onto the House, apparently, they have not? I’ve run out of traditional approaches to this challenge, so have resorted to the internet for guidance.

How to kill a zombie (bill).

It appears there are numerous ways to kill a zombie (SB-298), with only one I see that might be applicable. Keep in mind, I’m after the physical game-changing bill, not any flesh and blood.

The Woodchipper method:

If you can somehow get your hands on the zombie bill and incapacitate it, you can cram it (sponsor end first) into a woodchipper or document shredder–whichever is more available. You should get a like-thinking friend to help, as bills (like SB298) can be a bit heavy due to all the BS packed inside them. Make sure to stand away from the exit chute as zombie bill leavings can permanently stain your clothes and your faith in the legislative process. Despite all this, you may not put an end to the bill, but at least you’ll have a productive way to pass the time during those tedious hearings while waiting for common sense to reclaim the floor.

The 2023 session will be over by the time you receive this newsletter and I hope we find crossbows

Wow, what a great time we had at the MBA convention this year. I want to thank Kevin and the crew again for all the hard work they put in. I haven’t attended for the last two years.

Thanks to all the vendors that made it happen also and the donations for the auctions. Everybody had fun throwing the stony birds and all the other games that were being played during happy hour. Thanks to Steve Wilson for donating that beautiful elk picture for the auction. What a great picture.

still not legal during the archery season. Whatever the outcome, we all need to personally thank the MBA legislative team (Jerry Davis, Liberty Brown, Steve LePage, Stephanie Prater, Ken Schultz, and Jeremy Harwood) for the outstanding effort to defeat SB-298. If you’ve ever wondered why you should continue to be an MBA member, that allstar lineup who represented us in Helena is a prime example. Passionate, dedicated, confident, and professional define each of those fellow bowhunters. Basically, it’s a matter of supporting those who are actively supporting you.

Folks, we have amazing bowhunting opportunities in Montana. Statewide, bowhunters have worked tirelessly to keep all aspects at a high level, despite the constant threat of money-driven change. The MBA is the primary mover in retaining this awesomeness, so please do what you can to promote membership and involvement.

Hoping you draw that permit you’ve been dreaming about!

We’ve had a lot of snow down here in our area. I went out shed hunting, but there was too much snow to get around. Actually, I saw more mule deer down in the forest this year than I have for quite a while. I’m going to have to find antlers while I’m turkey hunting this year. Good luck turkey hunting everybody. Let’s enjoy God’s country while we’re out there, and take some youngsters hunting also. Let’s take some good shots guys and girls.

May God bless y’all.


www.pronghornbows.com 307-234-1824 evenings 2491 West 42nd Street Casper, WY 82604 REMINDER: Mailing Labels Show Your Membership Renewal Date
Bob Morgan







DirectorsAt Large

Another banquet has come and gone, and it was great to see everyone again this year. It is unfortunate that sometimes we only see each other 1x a year, but my liver does need a rest!! It was great to hear stories from the Wensel brothers, as well as friends not seen in the last year. Region 2 folks deserve a shout-out for a damn good job at hosting, and thanks to the seminar speakers for a job well done! Next year, we are hosting again at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls on Saturday, April 6th, so please make plans to attend.

By now you should have put in for your buck and bull tags, or most of the tags available to put in for (some may be having regrets because they let the deadline slip by). Another legislative session is almost over as well. While we don’t have all of the results and what is coming out of the legislative session yet, we have a good idea of what is or isn’t possible, and by the time this article is in print, we will know even more. Please pay attention to legislative emails when they come out (even though sometimes it is many times per week), as it is for good reason and to fight bills that protect our archery season.

My photo in this issue is a trail cam favorite of mine. While an amazing typical 6-point bull is awesome, sometimes the NON-TYPICAL are way more awesome??!! No two non-typicals are exactly the same and are true trophies. My challenge to each of you is to please send in your favorite trail cam photo(s), off-season photo, or article about an excursion, hike, horn hunting, or other experience you have had during the year.

I look forward to seeing you at the carp safari in June at Canyon Ferry, as well as the various archery shoots around the state this summer. Good luck to everyone with drawing permits. Have a great spring and catch you in the next issue.

Heat Of the Moment

My love for hunting with archery equipment all started when I was a kid. I remember when my dad used to carry me around the mountains in a backpack to archery shoots with my family. I’ve always enjoyed the great outdoors. whether I was camping with my family or out hiking through the mountains hunting for big game. My all-time favorite animal to hunt is the screaming rocky mountain elk. I’ve hunted elk for 12 years with archery equipment and never could connect for one reason or another.

Well, it was spring of 2022 and time to put in for elk permits. I worked on a ranch in central Montana during the summers throughout middle school and high school. Working anywhere from 10-14 hours a day in the summer heat was not easy, but it all paid off in the end with trust, dedication, respect, and permission to hunt. This year I decided I was going to take a couple of days off to go hunting. Needless to say, I couldn’t wait for September to get here. I took Friday off to drive down and get the camper set up for the weekend hunt.

Opening day, we got up and heard a few bugles, but everything went silent right after daylight, so we struggled to locate elk and get a shot at one. For the afternoon hunt, we finally heard about ten bugles in different directions in about an hour’s time. The level of excitement had gone up and I was waiting for one of the screaming bulls to appear.

Around 6:45 the first bull, a 4-point showed up staying at about 80 yards with no shot. He milled around and went on his way. At about 7:15 a decent rag horn 5-point showed up. I promised myself that I wasn’t going to shoot a bull smaller than the one I shot last year which was a 5-point. Around 7:45 I had a bull come from behind me that was bigger only catching glimpses of him at 40 yards as he circled around me with no shot. I had been looking at a couple of whitetail bucks that were off to my left, I turned back towards the center, and there he was–a big 6-point at 60 yards. He finally showed himself feeding his way across and it was like he was on a string line coming right to me.

It was getting close to dark, and he was standing there at 40 yards. I am now at full draw and all I needed him to do was turn. He took a couple more steps and he picked his head up. The wind switched and he walked straight away from me. My heart sank as I let down my bow.

The next afternoon I decided to go back to the same spot because I knew there were elk in that area, and I knew they were active. When I got there, I heard a couple of cow calls, which were odd for that early in the day, and spooked some whitetails out of the food plot. At about 6:00 that afternoon, I had a spike come in for about an hour. The wind switched and he was gone. Before he left, he had been acting weird the continued on page 10

Cliff Garness Region 4, Great Falls
Cliff Garness

Jake Garness continued from page 9

entire time looking over his shoulder back to my left. I never could see anything through the opening that I had until about 20 minutes later. Lo and behold he must’ve been in a fight and kicked out of the herd, and here comes a group of 25 cows and calves and a huge bull. The bull was pushing the cows and they were coming in a hurry. I have my bow in my hand repositioning my body for where they are going to come in. A handful of cows and calves jump the fence, and the bull comes in. The wind starts to pick up and every single one picks their heads up and runs out.

I had an opening in the ridge where there were patchy parts of timber. I watched this bull walk across the opening and bed down about 250 yards away. While the group of elk to my left were moving out, I glanced over at the bull bedded down and he had disappeared. It is patchy timber in a shallow draw and not a whole lot of places for him to hide. I got my breathing under control and reorganized myself. I looked over to glass the draw, and saw a tan body on the other side of the trees he was bedding by. I’m watching him and he walks into a finger of timber and disappears again. I’m glassing back and forth between ridges; I look down in front of me and all I see are the tops of horns coming through some short junipers. It’s him, the big guy walking straight to me.

In the heat of the moment, I thought I should get everything ready right now, so he doesn’t hear me. I tell myself no, stay calm and watch the bull until he gets closer. He jumps the fence at 80 yards and feeds around for what seems like an hour. He lifts his head looks around and makes a straight line for the water right in front of me. He breaks 40 yards and I grab my bow to get ready. There is a tree in front of me and to my right. Instead of walking in front of the tree, he walks behind it and is facing me head-on, so no broadside shot is possible. The bull is at 30 yards, and I draw. He takes a couple of drinks, moves his head around with no shot, and looks to my left making me think he is going to leave. At 18 yards and my arrow flying at over 300 feet a second, this bull doesn’t have much time to do anything while he is completely calm and drinking. I tell myself in the heat of the moment “You are steady, mid-body, in front of his shoulder, whack him”. I release the arrow, burying it in his chest all the way up to the fletches. He immediately starts pumping blood and takes off. I watch him run across the food plot about 120 yards and jump the fence. The bull runs about 10 yards, does the funky wobble, and tips over. The game is over. I gathered my stuff and walked to the top of the ridge where I had cell service to call my dad. I picked up the chunk of my arrow that the bull had broken off while running. I have never shot a bull over 300 inches with archery equipment, so it was a big life accomplishment for me. I set my bow, pack, and binoculars down and my emotions changed. I turn away from the bull, take a couple of steps, and drop down to my knees. I start crying out of pure joy knowing that I accomplished something that a lot of people will never experience in their life.

Shortly after, we took some pictures and my friends and family showed up to help me dress out this beautiful animal. The years of perseverance, dedication, and hundreds of failed attempts have taught me how to be a better hunter. This is why hunters pursue these smart, beautiful animals to one day get this opportunity and get to share it with loved ones. A true hunter hunts, a true hunter’s goal is not the prize. A true hunter’s goal is to hunt, that’s what we live for. We don’t live to catch it, it’s the whole process and the memories. When you are a true hunter, you don’t go by the time, you go by the animal. These moments like this are what I live for.

Areport from the legislative seat: The MBA supported a couple significant bills this session, including HB 243 which will reinstate the field day for hunter’s education. Additionally, MBA partnered with several other NGOs in the Sportsmen’s Coalition and sponsored an evening reception with legislators at the start and end of the session. Through the Sporting Coalition, MBA joined in support of full-funding for Habitat Montana (HM). HM funding was threatened by several bills before the prior-established sunrise of funding (July 1st 2023). At the time of writing this, the fate of funding by excise tax is unclear.

At the home front, I met a great person while traveling home from a work trip this fall. A recognizable hat and carry-on items led me to initiating a conversation with Clay. He was enroute to elk camp - my kind of camp - a simple one of two close friends. I kept in touch with Clay, was impressed with their success, and want to share their story, Chasing Ghosts. [See Page 24]

See you at the Bridger Bowmen/MBA shoot on June 3-4th, Jeremy Harwood

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for allowing me to represent you as first vice president during the past 4 years. It has been a very rewarding experience and I have learned a lot. I would like to congratulate Stephanie on her successful run as your new First VP. We are in excellent hands with Ken, Stephanie, and Steve at the wheel of this organization!

A big tip of the camo hat to Kevin, Marlon, and Jackie as well for putting on an outstanding convention. This was Kevin’s first round running one of these and he did a great job. There is an enormous amount of work that goes into putting one of these on, and those who undertake the task are often underappreciated for their efforts. If you see them around, be sure to thank them for their time and commitment.

The icy clutches of winter are finally releasing their grip on us now that Easter egg hunting is over. I had not seen my yard since early November and was starting to wonder if springtime had forgotten about us here in the southwest corner. This has been a tough winter for us all but more importantly, it’s been a tough winter for the critters. I expect higher-thanusual winter kill numbers will be reported as more info comes in. I received an email from the Wyoming Game and Fish Department stating that due to heavy winter kill, they will be reducing tag numbers in many units for deer and antelope by about 25% for the upcoming season. It’s nice to see an agency that’s willing to take executive action for the critters when the need arises.

I’m excited to announce that the Bridger Bowmen have asked the MBA to co-sponsor their summer shoot this year and it’s going to be a ton of fun! The shoot will take place east of Bozeman on the Morton family ranch out by Jackson Creek in early June. It will be a two-day event with onsite camping, food, and two courses. I guarantee it to be a great time and if you’ve never been to a shoot like this you should put it on your calendar!

Bear hunting is only a couple of days away and I’m ready to take the stickbow for a hike or two. Next to fall, springtime is my favorite time of the year. Watching the landscape come to life while searching the hills for bears, shedhorns, and mushrooms is magical. What a great state to call home!

Good luck out there and be safe!

Jeremy Harwood

Iam so grateful to be elected as a Director at Large and look forward to working with the board and membership. A little bit about me: I am a student at Carroll College, so I’m conveniently close to the capital for legislative hearings when I’m not in a class or lab. I grew up in Lewistown, MT, and enjoy bowhunting there during school breaks.

The Montana Bowhunters Association has played a large role in supporting me as I have grown up. Before I could hunt in Montana, I was wading through the shallows of Canyon Ferry, bow in hand, at the Carp Safari. Each year we returned to the same Hellgate campground and rebuilt the same epic fort made of sticks. The annual MBA banquet was a chance to meet up with my fellow feral children who would help me sneak extra desserts at the banquet dinner.

But the Montana Bowhunters Association plays a different role in my life now. It is an opportunity to promote and preserve bowhunting, an activity I recognize as such a privilege in Montana. Bowhunting is also something I have been proud to share with new people. I’ve now brought six of my closest college friends, most of whom have never hunted, to the annual MBA banquet. They got to enjoy the hunting stories, fundraising events, and community spirit I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy for so long. I’m excited to be a member of the board and hope to see everybody at shoots this summer!

June LePage

So, we have a 13 to 6 vote in House to kill SB298, which is from a very selfish person. I want to clarify something. Crossguns shoot BOLTS. The first bolts were found in China circa 650 BC, and due to trade with the then-growing Europe countries, finally made their way to Italy, France, and England. The Pics of Scotland have crude images of them between the 6th to 9th Centuries AD. The French word was quarrel, which was a bastard word from carre’, which meant a squareheaded point made to penetrate chain mail.

So, Mr. Molnar is wrong as he corrected me. The 2 things that got to me are here. Number 1. NO COMPANION–so if you hit an animal, and as usual it runs off, requiring blood trailing, how in the heck do you recover? The statement came back, if it is wasted and found, just pay your fine! That is pretty hard to do if you are nonambulatory. Number 2 is the dirty little secret. Since Cabelas opened, untold crossguns have been sold to HEALTHY hunters, who use them the 10 months they can as a GUN!

If legalized, how many will rush to their provider, whining about ailments, paying, and getting the excuse to use in Bowhunting seasons? I bet it will be like the disaster with Med mary jane. The vast majority did so just to smoke to get high. I know one person among a whole group of probables who lacks any ethics. And you cannot teach bowhunting ethics with a question on the computer. FWP has ruined our original course. Stay safe, and hunt ethically.


Hello fellow Bowhunters,

My name is Jackie Weidow, and I am a new Director at Large for the Montana Bowhunters Association. I am in the beautiful Bitterroot Valley, located in region 2. I am very excited to be here representing all my fellow bowhunters. and I wanted to say thank you for the opportunity to be a DAL for the MBA.

I dedicate a lot of my time to going to youth outdoor sporting events. I have also been teaching Bowhunter Education since 2012. Teaching the next generation is very important to me. I look at it like I am the keeper of the flame that has the responsibility to keep passing it on to the next generation. Taking what I have learned and continuing to learn and passing it on to the next generation is what it is all about. They are the next generation of up-and-coming Archers and Bowhunters. That is why it is very important to me that we keep passing on our knowledge and gaining it. Not only can we teach them, they can also teach us something.

I believe teaching everyone who wants to learn is key to our future, whether it be a young child or a retired veteran. That is why everyone should take a bowhunter education course in person. If we want to keep our heritage of bowhunting alive we need more instructors to help teach and pass on wisdom, ethics, knowledge, and the love of our heritage. So, if you’re interested in becoming a junior bowhunting apprentice or an instructor, please reach out to your local Fish Wildlife and Parks office and let them know you want to become an instructor.

There is a wonderful event on May 6th at the Ravalli County Fair Grounds in Hamilton for the youth. 100% FREE for all who attend. I will have a booth for the MBA there along with the genesis and targets for the kids to shoot. If you would like to bring your kids that would be great! I am also looking for members of the MBA to come and help at the event. There are hundreds of kids that come to this event. We need helpers

to set up and take down, collect arrows, set up balloons, help kids shoot, and talk about the MBA. This is a great way to meet lots of people, sign up new members of the MBA, and have a wonderful time.

I wish you all the best in drawing special tags this year and the best of luck hunting!

Mike Shepard

MBA’s Teen Bowhunter Camp

June 22-25, 2023

Moon Eagle River Ranch

Sula, Montana

Camp Attendee

Checklist-Mandatory Items

Sleeping bag & pillow mat or cot

Hiking boots & Tennis shoes or Sandals

—No open toed shoes

Personal hygiene items-deodorant, toothbrush/paste etc.

Camo Hunting clothes mostly for pictures/camp clothes/sleeping clothes/ rain gear/ swimming gear for in the creek

Personal Bow/release/quiver (preferably in a case)

A minimum of 6 arrows with field tips only and 2 bird tips Rubberblunts

Hunting pack or backpack with gear (as approved by parents

Camp chair

Personal medications

Optional Gear



Sunscreen, bug repellent

Fishing gear with basic tackle


No Cell Phones/Pads/Tablets preferred, we do not have service there There will be phones available to attendees to stay in touch with parents. Please have name attached to all items.


MBA Teen Bowhunter Camp Health Data


MBA Teen Bowhunters Camp Guidelines

It is the vision of the Teen Bowhunter Camp to provide an experiential education that is filled with learning by doing, ownership of the camp and projects, making new partnerships, and BEING in the outdoors. WE, as volunteers, strive to share our combined knowledge of archery hunting tactics, woodsman ship and survival skills, as well as our love and enjoyment for the outdoors to the next generation of sportsmen and women. The Montana Bowhunters Association and our Camp Sponsors are honored to host this event up Bass Creek on the Ruffatto Ranch between Florence and Stevensville west of highway 93.


AGE:__________ DOB:_________________________

Emergency Contact Name:______________________

Relation to Camper____________________________


Mandatory Health Ins.



Known or expected allergies to:

(please circle and provide description)


If your child will be requiring medications at camp please list:





ALL MEDICATIONS LISTED ACCOMPANYING THIS CAMPER, MUST BE GIVEN TO THE CAMP MEDICAL STAFF AND BE ADMINISTERED BY SAID STAFF AS PRESCRIBED. It is mandatory that the medication accompany the camper even if not given daily. The proper medication may need to be administered. Substitutes are not recommended as they may not work for the camper.

What kind of situation may cause the camper Stress?




Do the camper/campers’ family has a history of the following: (please circle and provide description)


In case of a medical emergency, I hereby give permission to the physician selected by the camp director to secure/transport to proper treatment for my child as named above. In case of minor emergency, I hereby give permission for the camp medical; staff to administer first aid/cpr, and simple medications such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, pepto bismal, cough syrup, etc. to my child.

Landowner/Hunter Relations will play a large role throughout the camp and the final day of camp will begin with a work project that will benefit not only the Landowners but the Wildlife and Block Management users as well.

Hunting Camp has many varied traditions, expectations, and responsibilities. Our goal is to simulate the Hunting Camp experience from beginning to end. The campers will be responsible for setting up/take down their provided lodging, preparing their meals as teams, and doing needed cleanup and camp chores. They will get to scout for their intended quarry, practice vital shot placement, and learn calling techniques among other skills and lessons. Each team will go on a simulated hunt for one of Montana’s wild game animals and retrieve the harvest back to camp. This is a physically active camp and attendees and their guides will be in the woods.

To help make this event a GREAT experience, everyone should be considerate of others, take part fully in the event, and observe the rules below. The rules are intended to assist in providing for the health, safety, and social well-being of everyone at camp. If a situation or question arises which is not clearly covered by this list, ask your team Guide before acting.

1. Attendees must be 14-17 at the time of registration.

2. Attendees must have completed Hunter Education and Bowhunter Education prior to registration.

3. Attendees must bring their own archery equipment and hunting gear (see Camper Checklist)

4. Be pleasant and cooperative: all participants will enjoy themselves more.

5. Be prepared to hike, walk, be in the elements of weather, use your hands and minds, and do camp chores, as well as participate during the work part of camp.

6. Respect supervision at all times. You are accountable to all adults connected with this camp.

7. Broadheads (except as provided for learning) fireworks, cell phones/pads/laptops, firearms, illegal drugs, tobacco and intoxicants of any kind are not permitted (there will be phones available for the campers to use if needed)

8. Use of pocket knives/hunting knives with a 4” or longer blade are allowed with parent/ guardian signature below. (Permission required by MT State Law for minors under 18)

9. Attendees will participate as team members and have Adult Guides, and obtain permission from your Guide before leaving your team for ANY reason.

10. Respect your surroundings and lodging. Portable Outhouses and Portable Shower facilities will be on site as well as potable water for drinking and cooking. Leave No Trace and Be Bear Aware Guidelines will be taught and enforced throughout camp. This is a privilege to be here.

11. Respect others privacy. Campers will be using Wall Tents and are expected to only go into their assigned tents. Girls will have separate tents than boys. Girls will have a female guide and boys will have a male guide.

12. Attendance at instructional sessions and scheduled activities is required, unless excused by your guide. Show respect for the volunteers, be prompt or ahead of schedule.

13. The camp directors, along with the committee, will set any guidelines not addressed as needed.

14. Violation of any of these rules is grounds for dismissal of individuals and forfeiture of all fees. Parents will promptly be notified of any issues and any individual dismissed from camp must call parent/legal guardian to arrange transportation home at their own expense.

15. This experience is designed for the attendees. Parents are encouraged to participate on Sunday for the work day. There are nearby campgrounds on the Bitterroot National Forest with great hiking, scouting, and fishing opportunities.

16. I understand that there may be a need to transport the campers to the stream for fishing, swimming and the work day via pickup truck. YES____ NO____

17. We provide a bow tech. to check camper’s bow and will make minor adjustments if needed. May we make these adjustments? YES___ NO___

I have read the MBA Teen Bowhunter Camp Guidelines and agree to the expectations as noted above:

Participant’s signature


Adult Signature of Parent or Legal Guardian of Camper


As the parent or legal guardian of ____________________________________________

I have read and support the guidelines. I give permission for the camp director in charge to administer the guidelines. Participant’s signature Date

Forms continued on page 14

Parent/Guardian home phone______________________
Address:_____________________________________ City/State/Zip________________________________

Please fill out this form and submit with your registration paperwork.

Name:_______________________________________ Age___________

The M.B.A.’s Teen Bowhunter Camp has come up with these questions to help the camp understand your skill level and interests so we can better serve you. If you need more room for your answers, you can use the back of this form.

1. How many years have you been bowhunting? _____________

2. Did you hunt last year? ___________

3. How many times have you attended a camp previously? __________

4. What kind of animals have you hunted? ________________________

Blast from the Past


This issue of the Blast From The Past comes from the 1989 Newsletters.

5. What kind of animals do you want to learn how to hunt?

6. When looking at places to hunt, what are things you must consider prior to your hunt?

7. What kind of hunting equipment have you used previously?

Buddy Lundstrom was our President. There was no update on the membership drive, but we were around 1600 members. It proved o be one of the best drives we had. There were 35 Life Members in our books. We were coming out of the Legislative Scission where we were fighting the Either-Or bill HB 246. This bill was defeated in Committee. The second bill HB 379 was to regulate Archery equipment. It also was killed in Committee. Part of that bill had to do with the definition of Archery Equipment, Fair Chase Restrictions. The MBA was in support of 1- Minimum arrow weight of 400 grains. Minimum arrow length of 28 inches. Minimum draw weight of 40 lbs. at 28 inches. Broadhead width of a minimum of 7/8ths of an inch. Purchase the bow tag by June 1st. MBA opposed, but stood behind the purchase of the bow tag by opening day. This all died in Committee.

8. What skills would you like to learn about or improve upon?

Also brought up was Mandatory Bowhunter Education for all first time Bowhunters, but there was no mention if it was passed at that time or not.

9. I understand that this camp will be a physically challenging camp. We will be hiking in the mountains, along the creeks and ridges. We are in the wilderness under primitive conditions. We expect each and every camper to participate. If someone is physically challenged, we will make arrangements for them.

I have read and understand these conditins.

Camper sign here _______________________________________________


Name of attendee:_____________________________ Age_________


Phone#:________________ Parents ame:________________________

Mail application to: MBA

Marlon Clapham

4455 Hoover Lane Stevensville, MT. 59870

The MBA Convention was to be held in Missoula for the first time. It was held at the Holiday Inn Parkside. They could not seat our crowd of 450, so the dinner was moved up to the University. The seminar speakers were Judd Cooney, Gene Wensel, and Dwight Schuh. The Guest Speaker was Grits Gresham. The Convention was to be hosted in Billings in 1990.

The Great Falls Archery Club put on the first ever Broadhead 3D Shoot. It was very well attended, and everybody had a great time. The Malta Bowhunters hosted a Carp Shoot on the Nelson Reservoir. There were only a little over forty shooters but they hulled in over 4000 pounds of carp for the day, the carp averaged 20 lbs. and the largest was over 30 lbs.

Well, that’s all for the 1989 issues, not sure but it looks like the MBA went to just four newsletters a year. Hope you enjoy.



2023 Convention Summary and Highlights

The 2023

convention is a wrap! Thank you to all the folks who attended, members and non-members alike. It was an honor to be the Convention Committee chair and MC for the event. Organizing and planning the event is a handful. Luckily, I had help from Marlon, Jackie, and a tremendous MBA board that all contributed to pulling it off. I now know how much effort it really takes to make our only fundraiser a success, something I didn’t appreciate while drinking beer and socializing at my previous conventions. One person that works her tail off for us not only at the convention, but year-round is the “Guardian of the Gate”, the “Queen of the Cash”, the “Ruler of Receipts”, and the one and only Claudia Davis! Thank you, Claudia!

We had a ton of donors step up and help out with all the raffle prizes, silent auction items, live auction items, and hunt auctions. A big thank you to members who brought donated items for the silent auction. It made a big difference and the silent auction winners were stoked! RJs engraving helped us out with not only their silent auction items but a fantastic booth as well. Steve Wilson’s live artwork was amazing–what a great addition to the live auction, personalizing the painting for the winner was so cool. Thank you to Peter Ryman of Montana Plaques for his bronzed steel skull plaques and Dave Ruana for his custom Damascus knife donation. Well, I did my best to thank all the donors at the banquet dinner but I know I missed a few.

To all the bowyers that donated their bows for our raffles, I give a huge thank you! The Windauers of Schafer Silvertip Custom bows–thank you for your donations every year and for bringing the entire Windauer clan to the convention. To Herb Meland of Pronghorn custom bows, we thank you for your many years of custom bow donations. A big thanks to Rich and Blake of Yellowstone Custom Bows for coming up from Wyoming to set up your booth and bow donation, it’s very much appreciated. Dan and Jared Toelke weren’t able to make this year’s convention but like every other year, they donated a Whip for the bow raffle, thank you, guys!

I own a small business and when scheduling with clients I often will say “My team will be there on Monday” or “We will install next week” and so on. Well, that team is me. I don’t have employees (unless you consider thunder and lightning my two employees) and I run a small operation. It’s the same for quite a few companies we get donations from. Davis Tent has donated for many years a 100% donation. A lot of people put in their own time and effort sewing and manufacturing that one single tent. It’s not donated for publicity, they do it for us, the MBA. Terry Zink of Zink’s Big Sky Archery Targets builds those targets with the help of his son Dylan right here in Montana. They donate thousands of dollars in targets to archery clubs, conservation and public lands organizations, and our organization, not for recognition, but to give back to the next generations of sportsmen

and sportswomen. Those bowyers like Windauer, Toelke, Herb Meland, and Rich Wormington? Well, they don’t press those bows out of a machine or make them magically on a 3D printer. They make them one at a time and by hand. So many donations we get from Montana folks like Mystery Ranch packs, Stone Glacier packs, The Footed Shaft, and Buffalo Jump Archery, all these businesses choose to donate to support our cause. It’s pretty awesome!

We had four great seminars on Saturday including Dr. Kelley Proffit, a researcher working with FWP, our very own Brian Koelzer and Jackie Weidow, and Steve Felix with his Pope and Young World Record Typical Bull. A huge thanks to you for taking the time to put your seminars together. We assembled and disassembled Steve’s big bull pedestal mount a handful of times just to get it in and out of the rooms. That bull is impressive!

Thank you, Cookie! Thank you, Ralph Villa and the American Legion Post 21 for the Honor Guard Presentation. Thanks to Paul Gierach aka Tall Paul for all the pre-convention planning. Thanks to Al and Teri Kelly, we missed your spirit! Thank you, Brian Koelzer, for your wisdom and your band! Thank you to Bill McCormick, Justin Weidow, and Wyatt Doyle for all your help setting up, taking down, helping the kids, holding the bowl, and laughing at my jokes even when they weren’t funny. Thank you to the Garness family. Thank you, Fairmont Hot Springs and your hardworking staff for putting up with us, we tried hard not to leave a mess like the Rainbow Gathering (apparently they leave quite a mess).

A mega huge thanks to Barry and Gene Wensel and their families. It’s a lot of work for those two old codgers to make it out to see us and tell their tales. Thanks for keeping it relatively P.G., my son was thoroughly impressed! The Q&A session on Friday was awesome as well. Thank you, Barry and Gene!

Finally, I’d like to recognize and thank the original founders of the MBA, most of them I have never met. This organization is special and it serves an important role in keeping what we have as Bowhunters in Montana. Who knows where we’d be without the early work done by the MBA founding fathers. I have great respect for those folks who started it all. At the time of conception, there was no internet, social media didn’t exist, and there were pay phones and no cell phones. It doesn’t take much effort these days to get our ideas, opinions, and news out to thousands in an instant. In the early days, they wrote letters, made phone calls, knocked on doors, and drove all over the state to educate and inform the uninformed. They hustled! They hustled for us, they hustled for our kids, and they hustled for our grandkids. The early MBA board and members hustled to get to where we are today and we are forever grateful for your efforts.

Thank You!

For all those who purchase the plate, the MBEF would like to invite you to send us a photo of your plate on your vehicle. Be creative, include yourself, pets, family, trophies of all sorts, etc. Photos

will be posted on the website. www.mtbowhuntermuseum.org


Chris Blaskowski (long time member of the MBA) has had a year that is nothing short of incredible. Between February 2022 and February 2023

Chris shot two mountain lions that were treed by his Drahthaar Cain and hound Cruz, two Asiatic Water Buffalo in Australia, a bull elk, a mountain goat, a whitetail buck, multiple whitetail does and three Texas hogs all with longbows. If the Asiatic Water Buffalo and mountain goat was not impressive enough on their own, Chris only had one day to hunt elk In between his Australian adventure and southern Montana mountain goat hunt and managed to call in a lone 5x5 bull with his dog Cain by his side. Chris sent perfectly placed arrow through the bulls lungs within a few hours of leaving the truck. Chris Blaskowski is our 2023 Bowhunter of the Year! I thought I’d ask Chris a few questions about his epic season and share a little bit about Chris for all of you.

10 Questions with the Bowhunter of the Year, Chris Blaskowski

1. Bowhunting success can be defined by many ways and you just had one heck of a season. Besides the sheer amount of successfu l kills you made in 2022, how do you define your bowhunting succes s?

Ironically I consider any time away from work and in the woods a success  Harvesting an animal is great but if that’s how I measured success I wouldn’t be using a longbow or recurve that’s for sure. All those close encounters and time alone in the field are victories in my book!

2. Many bowhunters were essentially born into the bowhunting lifestyle with families and friends starting them shooting and hunting at a young age. Some bowhunters are self taught and fumbled their way to eventual success. What did your introduction into archery and bowhunting look like?

My father has always been a bowhunter. As well as my Aunt and Uncle and various family friends. I grew up with Bowhunter magazines laying on the end table and read them constantly. I still remember when Traditional Bowhunter magazine came out and looked forward to my Dad bringing each issue home. Bows were always available to us kids and I spent countless hours shooting ( and developing bad habits!) My firsts hunts were for neighborhood carp close to home and snowshoe hares in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

3. Can you briefly describe the most difficult hunt of 2022?

That’s easy! My Montana mountain goat hunt saw me go from sea level in Australia to 10000 feet in the Absarokas in a matter of days. My buddy Jake and I did a ten day backpack trip in. The constant grind was

wearing my feet down a bit but the real difficulty started when I made a steep down hill shot and ended up with a single lung hit. The emotional roller coaster until I sealed the deal the next day provided the difficult part. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. It made the success that much sweeter!

4. How would that difficult hunt have changed if you were using a modern crossbow with a 4 power scope?

Ha! Good one! I probably would have been pissed the whole time trying to lug that ugly thing around! I don’t think on that hunt it would have helped me any but I can’t even imagine hunting whitetails with one. Lame

5. I shoot a handful of bows throughout the year but I prefer to hunt with one bow, with the same arrow and broadhead combination for the entire season. What is your current bow setup and did you change throughout the season to adjust to the species you were hunting?

Currently I’m shooting a 56” Big Stick Gremlin at 60#s. Mainly because it’s my newest bow and I’m getting ready for spring bear and turkey.  I used a total of 4 different bows throughout the year. I started with a 56” Timberghost recurve for lion, than to a 65# Centaur longbow for water buff, than to a 62” RER longbow I won at a MBA convention for elk, goat, and deer. Finally I ended up with that Gremlin hunting lions and hogs. All my hunting is usually done with Easton Axis shafts and Simmons shark broadheads. For Buff I had to get creative to get a 1050 grain arrow dialed in.

6. I was lucky enough to kill an “El Gigante” whitetail buck in 20 22 but I also shaved hair of his brisket a few days before at 22 yards. Tell us about any miss or misses from your 2022 epic season, even the Bowhunter of the Year misses right?

You bet they do. I actually screwed up a shot on a rutting whitetail in November. It was single digit cold and the buck came in chasing a doe. I had


to slip out of my heater body suit and twist left to shoot. Something happened and my arrow ended up about 18”s left and I hit him in the hip. Even with great snow and trying to do everything right I was unable to seal the deal.  Oh and then there was this big boar hog….

7. In your opinion, what is the biggest threat to our coveted archery only season?

High success rates which are elevated through technology

8. If you could magically draw any Montana hunt and any species, w hat would that be?

That includes any special tag you’ve already drawn.

That would have to be Mountain Goat again! I have been privileged to hunt them twice and it leaves me wanting more. Of course I wouldn’t mind a Bear Paws elk tag again either…

9. Reflecting on your entire bowhunting history do you have a story of the “one that got away”?

Unfortunately I have quite a few.

My hunt years ago for a giant bull in the breaks. I hunted like 17 days with the longbow screwing up a couple shots and having a couple massive bulls in close with no shot.  With only one weekend left to hunt I dug my compound out from the closet just sure I would kill a massive bull easy. On Friday after work I drove til midnight to get there   The next morning after making a huge loop I was headed back to camp when a bull responded. I screamed back at him and he walked right in. At 18 yards he went behind a tree and I came to full draw. He turned to walk away and at 25 yards broadside I let it rip. I saw my fletches heading right for the money when my arrow deflected straight up and off his antlers.  I was sure he blocked my arrow with his antlers until I found a rubbed off sapling 5 feet from where he was standing with a 2 blade hole right through it! A one inch sapling. Oh well he was maybe only 360 or 370… Tag soup

Whoa! Back up there buddy. You’ve drawn two goat tags and a Bears Paw tag in your short life on this planet? I should end this interview there but I have one more, it’s kinda weird.

One goat hunt was actually a guided hunt up in BC years ago. Ok then, last question

You have a choice:

A. You go back in the past to the time of dinosaurs (the landscape crawling with killers) for one day

B. You go 100 years into the future ( the landscape crawling with who knows what) for one day

You can bring your bow and a quiver full of arrows for self defense for self defense of course, probably gonna need that in both scenarios.

Would it be A, Dinosaurs or B, Future Humanoids?

A - I’d head back to the time of the dinosaurs and pack my buffalo setup! Would be interesting to see what that era would have actually looked like.

I don’t believe 100 years from now will be to my liking!

I agree with you on that one!

Thank you for sharing your photos and bowhunting exploits with us, It was my pleasure to interview another exceptional Montana Bowhunter of the Yea r!


The Footed Shaft Youth Recurve Wyatt Doyle

Bottomless Beer Bill McCormick

Wine Glass Raffle Merri Clapham

Matthew’s Bow Raffle Beckett Schneider

Scheels Youth Bear Bow Lawson Schneider

Teen Camp Youth Bow Package Lawson Schneider

Engel Cooler Raffle Ed Evans

Springfield Pistol Raffle June LaPage

Rose Raffle Carol Lansrud

Toelke Bill McCormick

Schafer Silvertip Bow Raffle Judy Adams

Yellowstone Jake Young

Convention Raffle Ticket Results AWARDS

Zink’s Archery Target Sarah Simenson -Pfiste

Bowhunter of the Year Chris Blaskowski Left: Archer Schwomeyer, Schafer Award Winner Middle: Jerry Davis Conklin Award Right: Stephanie Prater Literature Award from Ken Schultz Beckett Schneider with Matthew’s bow Raffle and Lawson Schneider youth Bear bow from Scheels and Teen Camp youth bow package with Grandpa Cookie with a Rose Winners of stone knives from Bob Morgan Third Maddie, Second, Justin, First Josh Raffle Table
Bob Morgan Dart Raffle
Hopeful Dart Raffle Winner


Montana Bowhunter Convention Business Donations

Bob Wards

Buffalo Jump Archery

Davis Tents

The Footed Shaft

Gator Glades

Kutuwagon Outfitters

Ace Hardware-Libby


Meat Palace

Numzaan Safari


Pronghorn Bows


Schafer Silvertip Bows

Stone Glacier

Toelke Bows


Zink’s Big Sky Archery


Magnus Broadheads

Montana Knife Company

The Push Archery


Blackfoot River Outfitters

Schnees Boots


Engel Coolers


R.H.R. Grand Custom Knives

Let it Fly Outfitters

Catena Safaris Argentina

Mathews Archery

RJs Engraving & Design

R&D Custom Leather

The Meateater

Steve Wilson Artwork

Kurt Kohn Taxidermy

Mystery Ranch


Camp Sula

Montana Silversmith

Outdoors Network


Kim Blaskowski Glassware

Blue Creek Outdoors

K Design Marketing

Mountain House

Shiver Shield

Badger Archery

Born and Raised Outdoors

FHF Gear

Great Falls Archery Club

Montana Plaques-Peter


Philipsburg Brewing Co

Born and Raised Outdoors

FHF Gear

Great Falls Archery Club

Personal Donations

Josh Lauer

Claudia Davis

Brian Koelzer

Dan Violett

Bill Briggs

Al & Teri Kelly

Bob Windauer

Cliff &Mandy Garness

Gene & Barry Wensel

Jerry McPherson

Ken Schultz

Liberty Brown

Marlon &Meri Clapham

Rich Wormington

Kelly Proffit

Steve Felix

Jackie Weidow

Jerry & Beckie Doyle

Mike Price

Pictures from top down:

Bow Shoot and Bow Shoot Guidance

Brian Koelzer Spot and Stalk Mule Deer

FWP Speaker

Steve Felix World Record Elk

Steve Wilson Painting

Barry and Gene Wensel Keynote Speakers

Brothers of the Bow


An Archer’s Viewpoint

My name is Brayden Reum, and I have been in the National Archery Schools Program, NASP, for two school years. I am eleven years old and in the fifth grade. I enjoy the archery program because it is fun. I like to have something after school to do with my friends. We learn safety rules and when we compete, we can win trophies. My school, Trout Creek Eagles, won first place for middle school at the NASP State Tournament in Helena.

We prepared for this tournament by practicing almost every day, Monday through Friday, for two hours. Our coaches taught us to shoot better by teaching us good form. For example, when I pull back my string before releasing my arrow, I was taught to rest my nose on the string, so I could shoot accurately in the ten. The ten is the inner yellow ring on the target, or the bullseye.  The points go down the further away from the center you hit. At tournaments, we shoot six rounds with five arrows each. Three rounds at 15 meters and three rounds at 10 meters. If you hit all tens in a round, you earn 50 points. A perfect score for six rounds is 300 points.

Even though the state tournament is over, we are still practicing because we have a National Tournament in Sandy, Utah in April.  We will work hard, have fun, and stay safe as we prepare. I can’t wait for the shoot!

The Progression of Distance

Anybody who has been involved in Bowhunting or Archery for the past 30 years has seen the shot distance grow and to some of us, an unhealthy distance. In order to understand this dilemma, we have to go back in time and see how things started and progressed. Of course, Archery itself started eons ago but for the sake of this article I am talking about Bowhunting. It started gaining popularity in the 1960’s, and the bows at that time were either recurves or longbows and the lions’ share would have been recurves. Anyone hunting at that time that had any experience was shooting deer at 30 yards and under. And yes, there was an occasional longer shot, due to the Archery tournament influence. But let’s take a look at the time frame and what has influenced the longer shot distance. When the compound bow hit the scene in the early 70’s people discovered the compound was a flatter shooting bow and the distance started growing. Then, sometime in the 80’s sights and releases became popular and with practice, the shot distances grew even more. At the recent Legislative session, the crossbow was being discussed. During this discussion a legislator told us that the compound bow was more accurate than the crossbow. Well, that’s a big statement and in some very small instances it could be true to say they are AS accurate. But there are very few compound shooters who can attain that accuracy, and if they do, they have years of practice under their belt. Anybody who is somewhat familiar with shooting a rifle can reach pin point accuracy as with the crossbow in a few hours of practice as opposed to a few years of practice with the compound. What do we expect to happen if the crossbow were to become legal archery equipment? I would guarantee you our shot distance would move into a new frontier, and move into this frontier with a greater amount of accuracy than we’ve ever seen happen.

Archery success rates over the past 40 years have remained pretty much the same, somewhere between 10-12% and this is pretty much with accuracy distances for most bowhunters that remain under 40 yards.

Now let’s look into the future a bit, not without any un-substantiated information, but what has happened in the past will only continue to happen.

When the compound bow first hit the scene in the early 70’s Montana was selling about 2000 archery stamps per year, and 10 years later we were topping 30 thousand archery stamps. Now add the advanced sights and releases available in

the 90’s, and the next 10 years brought another 10 thousand new bowhunters into the fold. Without having to put a lot of strain on our brains we can say that if the crossbow were to become legal during archery season, how many more new bowhunters would we see? Because of its ease of use and better accuracy, we would see a tenfold increase in the numbers of bowhunters. Now all we have to do is look at the other western states that have elk and see what happens when you have a dramatic increase in bowhunter numbers, pick the week you want to hunt. Let’s say the success rates jump from 10-12%. The crossbow success rates jump up to 40%. Why 40% you ask, well I am just guessing, but to anyone who has done much bowhunting knows it’s not that big of a challenge to get within or under 75-100 yards of an elk during the elk rut. Mostly, because you can hear the bugles and you know approximately where they are. Now add in the fact that you do have pin point accuracy and you don’t have to draw your bow but all you have to do is lean up against a tree and the only movement you have is you squeezing the trigger. Yes, you may have to lean against that tree for a while but you are nocked, cocked and ready to rock. I suggest you get on board and try and save our archery season.

This crossbow issue should never be in our legislative sessions at all. During the legislative sessions we have people who know absolutely nothing about bowhunting determining our future, all by listening to opponents and proponents for one hour, as each side gets 30 minutes.

If these decisions were to be made with our FWP Commission, at least the topic would be discussed statewide, with its scoping sessions and public comment. The commissioners themselves may not know any more about bowhunting than a run of the mill State Legislator, but the topic does get evaluated and discussed quite a bit more. The chances of the legislators relinquishing their power to the States FWP Commission probably has two chances, and yes that would be slim to none. So, it’s very important to send legislators to Helena that would vote in your favor. We have the voting records of those who voted against us. Look them over and don’t send them back to Helena. This is not an R vs D issue. Some R’s voted yes, and some voted No–same goes with D’s. Do some homework, it’s important we have people in Helena that want to protect our bowhunting seasons.


August 2022 found Jerry and me searching for something that was missing from our lives. Having moved to our new property three hours away from the kids and grandkids, I thought that must be what we missed most. We also missed friends, family, and the familiarity of the place we left behind. We soon came to realize we also had left something behind, back in the Bitterroot. Along with Jackie, Justin, and Landen, along with Wyatt, Samantha, and Hayden, we left Marlon and Mary, and The Mission.

The Mission started in 2001 at a small place called Flying Arrows Archery in Victor, Montana. Owned by Ronni Edens with help from her husband Dan, they welcomed families into their new archery shop. Here we met Ken Loucks who was starting up 4H Shooting Sports-Archery. We excitedly volunteered to be coaches and get our children involved. We were already a bowhunting family and the opportunity to have other families to do it with was fantastic! At the same time, we met the Ekins who still own Howard Hill Archery in Hamilton. As we developed lifelong friends, knowledge increased in our bowhunting endeavors. Jerry learned to be a master bow mechanic while I learned the ins and outs of the archery world; coaching soon became a passion. Igniting a love for archery in youth and sharing our excitement brought us both a sense of fulfillment that is still driving us. We spent years in 4-H Archery, coaching, training, and taking the kids across the state, meeting new friends, winning some competitions, and cleaning up some tears. It was some of the best family times. We didn’t realize how lucky we were. We watch now as that generation of young archers gives back to their communities. We are so proud and blessed to be amongst them. Jackie and Wyatt, Sarah and Alex, Hunter, and many more are continuing the legacy, The Mission.

If I think back in time, The Mission perhaps started when I was a very young archer. My father belonged to the Fresno Field Archers and my first set of arrows came from my dad’s friend, John Gandera. Red cedar shafts with yellow cresting and bright red turkey feathers and 32 brass for blunts, flung from my yellow fiberglass bow made me feel so lucky! Randy Ramirez made me arrows from his blue crested broken shafts, cut down for me with new field points glued on, and the same as my dad’s. What a time I had at 7 years old going to The Safari Shoot; there were over a thousand traditional shooters and very few kids at that time. Men like Richard Kiel (yes Jaws from James Bond movies) let me shoot with him and helped me retrieve my arrows from the huge new 3D Elephant. Mentors, on their own missions, helped the next generation of archers and I guess that was the inner layer that started it.

I signed up to become a Bowhunter Ed Instructor in 2009 and soon with Jerry “voluntold” beside me, we met Marlon and Mary. As mentors, they quickly became friends and to this day are part of our family. Marlon encouraged us to host many Bow Ed classes with them. He taught us about the Montana Bowhunters Association, and most years paid our family membership for us. He encouraged our children Jackie and Wyatt, and to this day maintains an amazing relationship with Wyatt and especially Jackie, almost like another set of parents. Archery and family, its themes bind us all.

Marlon had us volunteer at all the youth events he could possibly get us into, as well as encouraging our young hunters to go to FWP Commission meetings at early ages and advocating for youth opportunities in the hunting world in Montana. The MBA banner was always there and supporting youth archery experiences. I approached him one day after helping with local youth camps about creating a camp for teens. There were lots of younger kid camps, but the older kids’ options faded as they grew. As parents, we had taken our kids’ friends with us to hunting camp and taught them all we could share for quite a few years. I missed being in camp with all those crazy teenagers and being a part of their excitement in their new archery adventures. I also needed a program to give Jerry purpose after an accident changed our lives in 2014. Thus, the MBA’s Teen Bowhunter Camp was founded and we have had amazing times at amazing places and with even better people. The program continues to have interest and support from folks far and wide and we look forward to June 2023 and having Jackie in the leadership position on the board. There are definitely some proud parenting moments happening in this household.

In June of 2022, we had some youth from Trout Creek attend the MBA Camp in Libby. Jerry and I, Wyatt and family, along with new friends, attended a fundraiser in Trout Creek for those same kids and their teammates of the newly formed Trout Creek School National Archery in the Schools Program. By August we answered the school principals’ public call for volunteers for the program. That’s what was missing! Coaching young archers was something we thought we left behind, with the exception of the MBA Camp. We were searching for our Mission. Soon I was approached about heading up the coaching staff and with Jerry again “voluntold” beside me, we again found ourselves neck deep in The Mission and thrilled! I was also offered a job at the school along with coaching. We quickly went from two empty nesters to a very blessed couple with new friends and new kids to share our archery passion with. Seven months after becoming a Trout Creek Eagle, we were able to experience the win, but more importantly the reason for The Mission. Yes, the middle school team is State Champs. We also have the HS Girls State Champ, along with some other impressive wins and now we are headed to Nationals at the end of April. This will be the experience of a lifetime for many of our young archers. Let me take a moment though and let me describe the win for Jerry and me, the success of The Mission.

How do you define success when you are a coach of young minds? I describe it with awe and admiration for the achievements of our students through their actions and their mannerisms. They represented themselves and their teammates, their coaches and families, their school, and their community with outstanding sportsmanship along with their improved shooting skills. Twentyone kids, most of whom had never been away from home overnight before, overcame their fear and anxieties of a new challenge. Going to Helena on an overnight trip to compete in the first Montana State NASP Tournament was a BIG deal! These kids, their parents, and the community fundraised for months to raise the monies to travel to Helena. They did that while also playing other sports, some days with two practices a day to fit in archery. They did it willingly and some days even under duress but they didn’t give up.

Jerry and I were in the coaches’ line while our 4th and 5th graders started us off at the tournament. The new competitors quickly let the others know they were there for business. The kids on the line from Trout Creek showed safety, and proper shooting etiquette, and represented themselves and their team with a dignity we hadn’t seen before as a unit, as a team. Meanwhile, the rest of the team was altogether in the stands, noting safety mistakes being made on the line by others. Infractions can be overlooked when you have a group of volunteers helping, but our kids knew the rules and regulations and they were proud of themselves that they knew them! They were never disrespectful, in fact, we received many compliments on the team from folks who’ve been in the coaching game far longer than us. We had so many invisible wins that day, it’s hard to pick ones to share. We saw young archers on our team overcome their fears and stand tall on the line, performing the 11 Steps and doing it willingly and with joy.

Archery is not only a physical sport but a mental one as well. One thing I see in some of our team members is overcoming mental illness. The focus, the willingness to be coached, and the self-discipline needed to accurately shoot a bow can be tough for some folks. Watching team members overcome their inner struggles and stand on the line amongst people they’ve never met, and safely and accurately hit that target at 10 & 15 meters is truly one of the most humbling things I’ve been blessed to be a part of.

We head off soon to the NASP Western Nationals in Utah for what to many, will be a trip of a lifetime. I look forward to this trip for many reasons. My number one reason is to watch how archery affects these youngsters in so many positive ways. Personal development, self-discipline and self-confidence, patience, and friendships built along the way will carry these young archers to places they’ve not yet dreamed of and I am truly thankful to be a step in their process. I am humbled and incredibly thankful to be allowed to continue The Mission.

Summer 2023 21

Ican be happy with that deer, I told myself as I glassed the ridge beyond. He was a slightly larger 3x3 mule deer. The light was just cresting over the small valley I had snuck into a couple of hours earlier. It was time to make a game plan. If I crawl up this long ridge, I might be able to tuck up somewhere and make an ambush. It was a 600 yd long crawl to the top, where the 3x3 was feeding along with a couple of smaller bucks and does. I took my pack and boots off to begin my adventure.

Every now and then I would poke my head up to keep track of him, and an hour later I found myself tucked up behind what had to be the smallest sagebrush a guy could find. I had a trail to my right well within shooting distance. The herd was working their way down at a snail’s pace. All I had to do was wait for five does to walk past me and bring the buck to follow. I had a great setup, arrow nocked, waiting patiently trying to pass the time. I started to glass around the valley, waiting for my chance. Luck was on my side today, I thought to myself.

As I glassed, I spotted a group of whitetail bucks topping the hill where I had first begun my hunt. A forky, a nice looking 3x3 and the biggest 4x4 I had ever seen, sat atop the ridge looking into the valley. Now I am not the person to complain when a plan is working out the way I want it to, but something told me I needed to change my plans and go for the big whitetail.

Ditching my plans for the 3x3, I began another hour-long crawl back down the ridge. Passing my pack, I downed some water, not knowing how long the new goal was going to take me.

Okay, time to see what I can make out of this situation, my hope was not to screw this up. As quietly as I could, I slid along the base of the ridge towards the whitetail. Finding the best opportunity to have with only a few shooting lanes, I ranged the trails and surrounding rocks in anticipation of where the 4x4 would walk out.

I’m glassing everything I can see, looking for any movement that would hint for this big buck to walk into my ambush. A slight movement on my left draws my attention, and it’s him! His rack was the first thing I see peeking from the brush, which is not exactly the best first scenario when bowhunting. My heart rate is increasing. He is on the closest trail I had ranged earlier. Perfect. This is going to happen right now. He takes one more step forward and I can now see his neck, head, and those antlers that we try so hard not to pay attention to when thinking about making a good shot.

Old deer are smart. They have a sense they are given after years of predators trying to kill them. To watch a smart deer, paying attention to every little detail is one of the coolest things I have experienced in the wild. This buck scanned the adjacent hill like a robot. I could watch his eyes move from the bottom to the top looking for any details that might be not natural. Moving his head slowly, scanning, taking in every detail. His eyes caught mine.

My heart was racing. I could hear it in my chest. I could feel my pulse in every finger and every toe. Adrenaline, so intense it made my eyes water and my head on fire from the ringing in my ears. Not being able to break his gaze, I felt like he was looking into my soul. I was frozen. He stepped backward disappearing into the bush.

Crushed at what just took place. My mind raced at the blown opportunity, trying to calm myself down. Questioning all the things I could have just

Whitetail hunt

done differently. Thinking I had sat down in the wrong spot or maybe I shouldn’t have held eye contact. I just blew this.

“Be patient” I kept telling myself.

The other two bucks were feeding to the left of the bush, still completely unaware. I sat there for another 10 minutes, collecting myself. My ears had finally stopped ringing from the rush, and I could breathe. This was the experience of a lifetime.

He crested the hill about 15 yards from where he had previously been. Looking in my direction, we locked eyes again, but this time I was calm. I ranged him. Set my sight. Ranged him again. Doublechecked my sight and as cool as a cucumber I drew my bow back. I settled into the pin, executed my shot sequence, and released the arrow.

He ran back down into the brush. His pals were still feeding, and had not a clue of what just happened. As he slowly expired, they noticed something was out of place and began to walk up the hill where they originally started earlier in the day. They merged with the 3x3 mule deer I had been chasing at the beginning of this adventure and disappeared over the hill.

Beyond myself at what just happened the emotions of the hunt began to take hold. With tears in my eyes, I was so thankful for the opportunity, not only for the buck I harvested but for the lessons this hunt had taught me. Hunting will teach you more patience in 10 minutes than life will in 10 years. In this case, moving a few seconds later would have blown my hunt.

Walking up to him, emotions taking control again, I pulled him from the brush to admire what I had accomplished. A perfectly symmetrical rack, a healthy body, and a very fine creature of nature. I grieved and paid my respects, thankful for another successful harvest.

I made my way to the top of the hill and called a friend to help pack it out. Luckily for me, he also had some slick camera angle skills, so I got some great pictures. This is a hunt that repeats in my mind day after day, and I hope it will for many years to come.

Summer 2023 23 3D ARCHERY SHOOT

Chasing Ghosts

To begin with, I would like to give a little bit of the backstory of Clay and I. Clay and I met in college about 8 years ago and immediately kicked it off with each other. We both love to hunt, which is what brought us together. Once we got to know each other, we realized we had a lot more in common than we thought. We are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve our goals; whether it is trying to beat someone in a foot race or kill a bull elk in an unknown mountain. We are both “extremists”, as some would describe us, and will not stop until our goal is achieved. We realized a unique drive within each other and that is why we are such close friends.

This was Clay’s first western hunt, so in the early days, I was teaching and guiding him through the preparation and planning (e-scouting, gear list, learning access, logistics, etc.). Strangely, this made it feel like it was my first western hunt again, which I found so much enjoyment in. We spent hundreds of hours prepping gear and learning the lay of the land through onX and GOHUNT maps. After determining the mountain range that we wanted to tackle, we picked a smaller area and started dissecting it with these tools. We seemed to do that between sets; the amount of physical prep that we put into this hunt would make most gym teachers proud. We did not skip leg day, nor any other day of working out and preparing for the Montana mountains. The last thing we wanted was to succumb to the hill, to meet our fate in the mountains, and fill our tag at the bar.

Clay was flying from Louisiana, and I was flying from Texas. Once arriving in Bozeman, we got the rental truck, ran a couple errands in town, and headed to the mountains. We confirmed access at trailheads and wanted to get a feel for it in the couple hours of remaining daylight. On our way up, about ¾ of the way to the top, we stopped at an overlook at this beautiful drainage to admire the sunset. It was roughly 6:30 pm and I told clay “Lets rip a bugle just for the hell of it”. I squelched off and as the rut would have it, a bull fired back about 500yds down the drainage. We were so excited. We had a bull to chase in the morning. As we sat and watched the sun fade, the bull continued to bugle on his own, and soon after we realized the bull was closing in on us.

Stealthily, we backed out to the truck, got our gear, frantically threw our boots and packs on. Clay grabbed his bow, I got my calls, and we advanced on the bull. The thermals were pushing the scent down, so we tried to backtrack and make a big loop down to come up from the bottom. As we were running down the mountain, the bull cut us off. We ended up 15 yards from the bull in some thick brush. He busted but didn’t go far as he did not know what we were. A few cow calls and we had him back to 30 yards. The brush was too thick for a clear shot. Eventually, the bull stepped out to 63 yards. With good range, Clay drew back and let one fly. The arrow looked great until it deflected off a branch and soared right over the bull’s back. He was out of there. Gone. As bummed as we were to miss this bull, we had so much confidence and anticipation to see what would ensue over the next 8 days.

Morning one - On our way up the mountain we saw a giant 350s bull in the headlights at the bottom on private land. At this point we knew we were in good elk country and we were optimistic. We tried to locate the bull from the previous evening and continued to hunt the rest of that general area while hearing everything but elk; simply dirt bike riders and calling in another hunter. Boy, were we wrong. We misjudged what the week had in store for us. We were ghosted.

Day two - We hunted a different area and followed a distant bugle way off in the distance. We were almost certain it was on private land, but the sweet song of a siren lured us in. We decided to make a play on it anyway and see if we could return the allure and bring him onto public. With the bull not budging and only letting out one more bugle, we hiked, and hiked.

Day three - We were in desperate need for water. Every creek that we were expecting to find water was dry. We ended up meeting a few locals at a cabin and received permission to use their water faucet in their yard for the week. With everything full of water and a dependable water source, we were revived and returned to the top of the world. We went into another area with recent burns and sought sign. The area looked great; we saw a ton of signs, though it seemed that we were a day behind. Again, another silent day. Are they real, or are they ghosts?

Day Four – With no activity in the burn area, we moved to another spot and spotted a bull with three cows going up the far hillside. Again, they were teasing the public/private border but we weren’t going to let

them walk off. I went in solo and Clay stayed at the bottom to spot. Well. They. Just. Walked. Off. and disappeared. They went onto private, disappeared to a nice bed, and never made a sound. We kept moving - onto our next spot with a stubborn rag horn comfortably feeding on private.

Day Five – With water being scarce, we hunted an area where elk had been visiting a developed spring. As with the security, apparently, the water troughs on private land were more appealing. We finished the day pursuing signs and searching for elk. On the way out we met up with a couple of local ranch hands who were also hunting. Kyle introduced us to Montana hospitality with an offering of beer from a bar at the bottom of the mountain. We drank a beer and ate what seemed to be the best pizza in the world (especially after a week of freeze-dried meals). We shared stories, tips, and Kyle pointed us in a good direction. Kyle was kind enough to offer us a place to sleep on his couch, so of course we accepted this offer and had a good night of much needed sleep. A random guy, first time meeting him, and he let us sleep at his house.

Day Six - We followed the tips and got into a brand-new area; roughly 8 miles deep into a hell hole (at this point we have put in over 65 miles on foot in the 5 previous days of hunting). We started to find signs, fresh signs, not like the day-old signs we had been finding. Letting out a couple cow calls, we hear something coming through the brush, hearts pounding, and out pops an angus. We just looked at each other and laughed. At this point, you guessed it, we were on the border of private and we slowly hunted our way back toward the freshest sign. When we got there, there was a new sign, as if a ghost had been there dropping pellets and raking trees. “This is where we need to be” I thought. Finally, we caught up with the elk. I fired off and immediately got a response from an old growler. We set up and continued to work the calls. We played the thermals and were in the perfect position. Out pops a spike bull, then we hear the big one sound off again. The spike felt uncomfortable and began to bark. I wanted to get up the mountain to the big one and cut him off before he got on top of us. As I turn, Clay says, “Ellis, Ellis, Ellis, there’s a big bull coming down the trail right there”. I nocked an arrow and readied. The big one is coming downhill for the spike that is barking at us from below. Clay and I were between them. Big One slowly works towards us with branches stuck in his antlers – was he was the bull that had just raked the tree? Slowly he moved towards us, Clay is ranging for me, “65, 60, 55, 50, 43” and he stops. I settled my pin for a 43-yard shot and let it fly. The arrow sailed and passed through the lungs. When he took off, I let out a cow call and he turned around and stared at us. He had only run 37 yards from the spot that I shot him from. By the time I nocked my second arrow he had already tipped over right in front of us. The emotions that came from Clay and I are something that I had never felt. We had put in so much work for this moment that I cannot put the emotions to words. It was one of the purest moments of my life. We celebrated and honored this big herd bull, then began to break down the animal. At this point we were over 7 miles back into this hell hole. So, we deboned the bull for a one-trip pack out. We began this pack out in the daylight, but as soon as the sun went down, a surprise and terrible storm hit us and made things ten times worse. The face of the mountain turned into a slip-n-slide. Mustering all out efforts, we got back to the truck about 8 hours after the kill.


Day seven - We spent half of this day cleaning/ cutting meat and getting it to the processor. Then we regrouped for Clay’s tag and headed right back into the mountains. This time to a new area we had been wanting to get to in the daylight.

Day eight – In the new spot we immediately get on a bull at, you guessed it, the border of public and private. The bull was initially on public but as we put our move on him, he retreated to private and tried and get down wind of us. We get within 30yards of this bull but he does not want to cross the fence back onto public so we watch him walk away. With confidence in this new area, we head deeper into public. Soon after the first encounter, we got a surprise encounter from a good 330 bull at 15 yards. We had been walking up the mountain throwing out a couple cow calls periodically. This bull quietly moved in on us and we never realized it.

When we saw him, it was too late and he busted out, never to be seen again. At this point with all our trials and tribulations, Clay was super frustrated. I tried to keep him within himself and reminded him that the only way we will achieve this is to keep pushing forward. And we did. We pushed. We continued to hunt all day and did not hear or see an elk until a cow/calf pair at last light.

Day nine - We continued to hunt, putting our boots to the ground, calling, glassing, and searching to no avail.

We put in 90 miles on foot over 8 days of hunting. It was physically challenging, mentally demanding, and required immense persistence. I had one of my best buds there with me and there weren’t many, if any others, people I trusted enough to endure the things we went through together. Things seem to become easier whenever you know the person next

to you will not quit under any circumstances. We pushed ourselves through trials to achieve success. This whole week it just seemed as if we were a step behind these elk, chasing dreams. It seemed like we were chasing something that we could never see. Like we were chasing ghosts.

All in all, our success came from the amount of time we spent preparing for this hunt away from the mountains. The endless hours we spent shooting our bows, learning our gear, learning the maps, making plans, and the physical training that we put into it. Out of all of these, being familiar with the area and having multiple plans were the top successes that go without mentioning being in great physical shape for us to cover this amount of ground.

Summer 2023 25 MEMBER STORY

Hunting Tradition in a Technological World byStephanie Prater

Hunting has changed drastically since the Hunter-gather culture 11,00012,000 years ago. The lifestyle then was for survival and tools were primitive. A look at modern hunting shows how much technology in the last 50 to 100 years, even more so in recent times, has forever changed the face of hunting, and pleads the question…at what point is it no longer fair chase?

D ecoys and tactics

We can’t rule out that previous cultures did not use decoys to help trick game, but one can look at the market now and see how wildly effective new decoys can be. They look and move realistically. They are very portable and can offer concealment during the shot. Certain animals respond better to decoys, such as turkeys. A popular but widely controversial tactic deployed now is fanning or “reaping.” You use a highly realistic photo fan and/or decoy or a real fan from a turkey to trigger the turkey to run into close range. It’s effective in putting the odds in your favor of harvesting a turkey (It’s estimated that using a fan can take you up to a 70% success rate versus a 20% rate using calling alone) but can be very unsafe, especially on public land and is illegal in many states. One popular argument against fanning is “It’s okay to let the bird win.” Montana does not ban the fan or other decoys during archery season.

Trail Cams

Trail cams are super effective in learning animal patterns and the use of a particular area. A newer technology, but one advancing rapidly, as now cameras can send real-time images to your cell phone using cellular data. They are capable of high-quality videos and photos. Again, many states have outlawed the use of cameras, especially during hunting seasons. Montana prohibits the use of cellular trail cams during hunting seasons.


Range-finding technology has been around since 1769 to survey canals, but the laser rangefinders we know and use today were really introduced in the early 90s. It used to be a standalone tool but now it is incorporated into scopes and even archery sights allowing for instant range-finding capabilities. One could easily argue that knowing the range allows for more ethical shot placement, but in the field, it is also important to practice guessing distance as well. Montana has outlawed electronics attached to bows, with the exception of a video camera and lighted nocks, this includes a ban on range-finding sights.


We all know the mapping technology that came out in 2009 that forever changed the game. It helped find accessible land without getting out the big cumbersome map and having satellite accurate technology on your hand-held GPS. Since then, other mapping tools have become available and even more accessible, available as an app on your cell phone. These can show topography and 3D mapping, land ownership, weather, waypoints, districts, and even animal distribution and success rates. Other hunting apps can provide electronic calls, drawing odds in your state or others, moon phases, wind, peak season activity, and more. Some drawbacks besides the obvious that this has helped make spots easier to find and no doubt has some part in overcrowding, they can be off or inaccurate and you could find yourself trespassing. They also work on cellular data, so often service is needed. Montana does not ban apps, but you cannot use electronic sounds or calls for anything but non-game predator hunting such as coyotes and most recently wolves. Montana also released an FWP app for holding onto your licenses on your phone and even “validating” your tags which is very convenient.


Drones are a relatively new technology that can allow for finding animals in the air. There are a lot of opponents to their use during hunting season as they can be extremely effective in locating animals and even concentrating or moving them. In Montana, it is unlawful to hunt or fish from a drone, drive, rally, pursue or harass game animals with a drone or locate animals and use the information to hunt from or share with someone who will be hunting the same day, similarly to not being able to hunt the same day as flying in a helicopter or airplane. Montana legislature is currently working on more bills regarding drones and hunting currently.

Personally, I go to the woods to escape our busy world and connect with nature, but I can’t help but grab my cell phone and check the weather or where I am at. One thing for sure is technological advances aren’t stopping. It certainly can help us be better and more successful hunters, but we need to ask ourselves, where is the line where it is so tipped in the hunters’ favor that fair chase is out the window?

*Always remember to check Montana or your state’s hunting regulations regarding technology. It is a constantly changing area in regulations, so make sure you know the laws and how it applies to you.

Pictures: My husband, Michael, and his antelope from a few years ago he decoyed in. My FWP app on my cell phone


as of February 2023

Spring 2023 27 CONTACT NUMBERS
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Buffalo Jump Archery Judy Adams P.O. Box 5581 Helena MT 59604 406-539-3936 Elk Creek Family Outfitters David Hein 1021 Toole Circle Billings MT 59105 406-670-4366 Flaming Arrow Archery Nicole Tindale 1282 Hwy 2 East Kalispell MT 59901 406-752-0702 Hub International Matt Seibert 1041 Strawberry Avenue Billings MT 59105 406-321-0700 Hurst Bows Coltin Hurst 3368 MT Hwy 5 W Plentywood MT 59254 406-765-7580 JB’S Les Schwab Tire Kellen MacDonald PO Box 744 Libby MT 59923 406-293-7797 Kimzey Knifeworks Dan Kimzey 134 Blue Heron Dr Hamilton MT 59840 406-361-5863 Kutawagan Outfitters/ Bearpaw Lodge Jeff and Annette Smith Box 70 Choiceland SK S0J 0M0 306-428-2032 Libby Archery Club PO Box 755 Libby MT 59923 406-293-7174 Libby Sports Center 204 West 9th St Libby MT 59923 406-293-4641 Matablas Game Hunters Willem Frost PO Box 1559 Lephalale Limpopo 0555 27116794664 Montana Historical Society Research Center Roberta Gebhardt 225 N Roberts Helena MT 59620 406-444-4702 Mountain Copper Creations Jim Clapham 4085 Old Marshall Grade Road East Missoula MT 59802 406-880-9411 Pronghorn Custom Bows Herb Meland 2491 W 42nd St Casper WY 82604 307-234-1824 Sage Game Calls Cody Moulton 9 Dale Rd Broken Bow OK 74728-6704 435-640-8041 Schafer Silvertip Custom Bows Dave Windauer 357 Roberts Rd Columbia Falls MT 59912 406-892-0580 She Hunts Montana Megan Thrash 75 Three Corners Road S Trout Creek MT 59874 406-595-0092 Skyblade Knives Todd Orr 321 Valley Grove Dr Bozeman MT 59718 406-539-4909 The Footed Shaft John Hanson 44 Shaffer Lane Toston MT 59643 406-616-3200 The Push Archery Tim Nebel 70659 Murphy Road Flushing OH 43977 The Stickbow Chronicles Rob Patuto 821 West Shinglemill Rd Sandpoint ID 83864 208-610-3795 Toelke Traditional Archery Dan & Jared Toelke 31345 Lost Creek Ln Ronan MT 59864 406-253-4949 Trophy Blends Scents Bruce Hoyer PO Box 466 Belt MT 59412 406-403-2231 Twite Realty Mark Twite 8015 Indreland Road Missoula MT 59808 406-880-1956 Zinks Big Sky Archery Targets Terry L & Dylan Zink PO Box 1272 Marion MT 59925 406-253-4670 Region 1 Pat Tabor Vice Chair  CommissionerRegion1@mtfwp.org (406) 250-2899 Whitefish, Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission Members fwpwld@mt.gov/aboutfwm/commission Region 3 Susan Kirby Brooke CommissionerRegion3@mtfwp.org Bozeman, Montana Region 4 KC Walsh CommissionerRegion4@mtfwp.org (406) 599-9556 Martinsdale, Montana Region 6 Lesley Robinson Commission Chair CommissionerRegion6@mtfwp.org (406) 301-0787 Dodson, Montana Region 5
Region 2 Jeff Burrows CommissionerRegion2@mtfwp.org Hamilton,
Region 7 William Lane CommissionerRegion7@mtfwp.org
Brian Cebull
(406) 860-7416
(406) 981-0048 Ismay, Montana

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Do you enjoy bowhunting and our bowhunting seasons in Montana? Join the MBA to preserve, promote and protect bowhunting! Join Today! Visit the MBA website at: www.mtba.org What the MBA of fers you:
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Summer 2023 29
AUDREE shooting her bow in Bob’s bow ed class in colstrip BILL SIEBRASSE sneaks on a spike elk in upper right corner GREG BAILEY Havre Camp Meat NICK SIEBRASSE JAMIE ANDERSON Whitefish DRAKE JAMES pointing out his shot at Barber Ranch Shoot Havre ADRU HOLLINS antler hunt FIRST MBA YOUTH CAMP
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MIKE SHEPARD Elk Camp la casa de Siebrasse BILL MCCONNELL hunting deer
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Old house along the Yellowstone


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• Worked to get the first archery season started in Montana. Along the way, we’ve increased the seasons to what you enjoy today.

• Worked to establish archery bear, lion and sheep seasons.

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• Worked to establish archery only areas and hunting districts.

• Proposed a special archery wolf season and endorsed the highest quota of wolf harvest possible.

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• Defended our archery seasons against the “Crossbows & Muzzleloaders” threats throughout the years.

• Created the Modified Archer’s permit that now allows those with handicaps to use modified archery equipment to hunt; which kept any need for crossbows out of Montana and defended our archery seasons against other crossbow threats throughout the years.

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Photos by Denver Bryan / Images on the Wildside