Vol. 51 #3 Spring 2024 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 The Black Bear 2024 MBA 46th Annual Convention & Banquet Diesel the Deer Tracking Dog My First Hunt The Outhouse Buck and Family Adventures Regional News! OFFICERS REGIONAL REPS DIRECTORS AT LARGE

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 kmrmt00@hotmail.com

Region 3 Liberty Brown 275 Vigilante Tr. 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 208-697-7093 cgasner1@gmail.com

Region 6 Tristan Manuel 48538 Anderson Rd, Havre, MT 59501  406-399-5114 HiLineTraditional@gmail.com

Region 7

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

Mark Schwomeyer 60 Hruska Ln, Lewistown, MT 59457 - markschwo@gmail.com


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





June LePage 2574 Divide Rd, Lewistown, MT 59457- junelepage1@gmail.com 406-366-2605

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.






MBA Officers


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


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



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 Administrator, Claudia Davis, PO Box 426, Helena MT 59624 or call 406-404-6168, or register online at www.mtba.org, or ask a member.


MBA Committees


Chair: Liberty Brown

Jerry Davis • Jeremy Harwood

Jess Wagner • Marlon Clapham

Steve LePage • Justin Doll

Stephanie Prater • Paul Kemper


Chair: Mandy Garness

Al Kelly • Jeremy Harwood

Claudia Davis


Chair: Stephanie Prater

Tristan Manuel • Jess Wagner

Rick Miller • Bob Morgan


Chair: Brian Koelzer

Stephanie Prater • Al Kelly


Chair: Cliff Garness

Marlon Clapham • Steve LePage

Brian Koelzer • Al Kelly


Chair: Stephen LePage

Mandy Garness • Nick Siebrasse

Bob Morgan • Ron Aasheim

Convention 2024 (Region 4)

Chair: Cliff Garness


Chair: Cliff Garness

Jerry Davis • Julie Jensen

Brian Koelzer • Kevin Robinson

Rick Miller • Jackie Weidow

Stephanie Prater

Carp Shoot:

Chair: Kevin Robinson

Steve LePage • Jerry Davis

Marlon Clapham


Chair: Marlon Clapham

Nick Siebrasse • Tristan Manuel

Al Kelly • Justin Doll

Stephanie Prater

Youth Membership and MBA Teen Bowhunter Camp

Chair: Marlon Clapham

Kevin Robinson • Becky Doyle

Jerry Doyle • Jackie Weidow


Chair: Jerry Davis

Jeremy Harwood • Al Kelly


Chair: Marlon Clapham

Kevin Robinson • Steve LePage


Chair: Rick Miller

Jess Wagner • Stephanie Prater

Steve LePage • Mark Schwomeyer








Greetings All,

Ihope this letter finds you in good health! We are finishing the fall and winter 2023 hunting season and I hope you made some great memories with family and friends. I’ve seen some great pics of some awesome animals and Congrats to all who were able to fill your tags. With the upcoming season, there will be some changes coming. Be sure to get your regulations early and read them thoroughly so you don’t end up with a tag that catches you by surprise. Thanks to everybody who attended the committee meetings covering the proposed changes and gave input from a hunter’s perspective. It does make a difference and the FWP is asking for our input.

This past summer, the “Big Sky Youth Event” at Blue Creek Sport Shooting Complex was a big hit. Over 100 kids attended and were able to shoot bows and rifles, climb walls, fly fish, and many other activities. This event is completely free to the attendees. The MBA donated 2 bow setups (see winners in pics below) for the occasion and had a booth at the event for kids to shoot a 3D target. Volunteers from many organizations helped at all the booths and had a great time with the kids. At the end of the day, the families were fed lunch and every young attendee won a prize to take home. Thanks to Bev Wornom and her team and all the organizations for putting this all together for our youth! What a better way to get kids outdoors!!!!!

Please note that our 46th Annual Convention is coming up very soon! It will be in Great Falls this year at the Heritage Inn. The dates are April 5th – 7th, 2024. Please plan to attend! It is a great time for all. I know there will be some great auction drawing items this year. There will be some Awesome Hunts to bid on, so don’t miss it.

I hope everyone had a great Holiday and was able to spend time with family and friends. With that, I’ll leave you with a reminder to “Shoot Straight and Always be a Straight Shooter”!




Iwant to start by saying THANK YOU to our membership and supporters!

We’ve had a busy & productive year at the MBA! We successfully fended off crossbows in our archery-only season, but in addition to that, we helped FWP with many other season-setting and wildlife and habitat issues. One of the biggest successes this year was the addition of an early archery season for those lucky enough to draw a moose or goat tag. Beginning hunting season in 2024, if you draw a moose or goat permit, you will get extra time to hunt with your archery equipment. The season aligns with other archery openers including elk, deer & sheep. This opportunity does not add extra tags or permits, but gives lucky permit holders extra time to fill their once-in-a-lifetime tag with a bow! While we have been working on this for years, Steve LePage recently spearheaded the effort and got the proposal in front of the current commission which unanimously approved it. If you see Steve, tell him ‘thank you’ for this big win. If you have a few spare moments, give your FWP commissioner a call or note of gratitude.

making some units limited draw for mule deer bucks, or even hybrid seasons in which rut hunting is by special draw only. These changes are posted online at fwp.mt.gov.

Some other exciting things that have come to fruition were the reinstatement of a field day for hunters/bowhunter education for those 12-17. MBA feels strongly that in-person training is always more effective than online, especially in the realms of safety, landowner/sportsmen relations, and ethics. We’ve also seen our commission take a turn from only focusing on elk management to seeing a critical issue coming forward on the landscape-Mule deer management. Some districts took some measures in the right direction to help our mule deer herd recover and be as bountiful as it once was for generations to come. These changes included no mule deer doe hunting on public lands in some districts,

We always want feedback and to hear your thoughts on what you, our members, see as important issues for us to work on, so please reach out to us any time.

Hope to see you all at the upcoming banquet!

Shoot straight

Ken Schultz Ken Schultz Stephanie Prater Ken Schultz Stephanie Prater


At the time of this writing, we are wrapping up the holidays. Christmas has come and gone, the New Year has arrived and I now have to remember to write 2024, a task that takes me almost an entire calendar year. Lion season has been disappointing for me so far this year. We have had one snow to date and I was on a road trip and unable to hunt. That day the male lion quota closed in the unit I hunt and half of the females were harvested. It makes it hard to justify feeding my hounds. This time of year is always difficult for us bowhunters, as many of our seasons are closed, and since I have not diversified my outdoor activities, I find myself doing dreaded Honey-Do lists. This overjoys my wife and I find her using up reams of paper to make lists of these chores. I would much rather be sitting in a tree stand or chasing cougars instead of replacing closet doors.

The election is right around the corner, so be certain to read the bios enclosed in this issue to see who is running for your MBA Board of Directors. I will not be running for the 2nd VP position and will be moving to the Past President position. I was told this is a great position where I can sit on the sidelines grumpily and tell the BOD what they are doing wrong. I am looking forward to this new role and am certain I can excel at it.

I purchased my MBA banquet tickets today and made my reservations at the Heritage Inn. I am looking forward to seeing everyone and hearing some hunting stories. I know Region Four has been working overtime to make this year’s


Aget-together a blast. I ask each member to invite a bowhunter who has not been to one of these banquets. We do not do a great job of recruiting new members, and if we can get some new blood to see what we are all about, I am certain they will join.


s I write this the temps are still in the minus 20’s. Seems the older I get the harder it is to handle the cold temperatures we see here in Montana. But that is part of the trade-off for having the great opportunities we have in this great state to hunt and fish. Many thanks to those in the sporting community who have worked untiringly to ensure we in Montana have plenty of public land and public water to recreate on and in.

As a member of the Legislative Committee, I have a request for all our members. Please let us know of Legislative issues that you would like to see the MBA weigh in on. I know that for the last several sessions, the MBA has focused on fighting those who would like to see regulations allow crossbow use in our Archery Only season. But there are a host of other issues that affect not only archery hunting but also wildlife management and conservation. Please get to know your MBA Regional Representatives and let them know what issues you would like MBA to pursue. You can find your Representative(s) along with contact information on the back side of the cover page. We are here for you.

If you have an interest in serving on the MBA Board, please let your Representative know. We always need those who would like to give back something to the sport we dearly love.

Also if you know of any archery shoots, please let us know so we can get that information on our website.

Now an update on Senator Molnar’s petition to the FW Commission “to use a crossbow during the archery season, if and only if, an applicant otherwise qualifies for and submits the PTMAE application and can further demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Department that the approved and preferred equipment modifications do not offer them a reasonable means of accommodation required under the ADA or Montana Disability Act due to their medically established physical condition.”

Many MBA Board Members testified against this petition at the October 19th FW Commission meeting. The FW Commission unanimously voted not to accept this petition. But Senator Molnar has threatened to continue his fight to get crossbows into the Archery Only Season. MBA will be diligent and will continue to oppose Senator Molnar’s efforts.

MBA’s Legislative Committee sent out a survey question earlier this fall. The question posed was “Are you satisfied with the MBA’s efforts over the past few legislative sessions?” We on the Board wanted to see how our membership felt about our lobbying efforts, all of which are voluntary. That survey resulted in close to a 20% response rate, a pretty good survey result. Of those over 95% thought we were doing a good job and even those that were negative they made good comments that will help guide us in our future efforts. We thank all of you who took the time to respond to our survey.

That is about all I have to say for now. Hope to see you at our 46th Annual Convention in Great Falls at the Heritage Inn on April 5-7th.

Stephen LePage


Ican’t wait to see you all in person at the banquet! We’ve got a fantastic lineup of speakers and are working hard on raffle items, the live auction, and some great silent auction items. Speaking of which, I have a request... Do you have a great wild game recipe, or make the BEST cookies? We are in need of donations for the Dessert Silent auction (limited refrigeration options and ideally packaged to be shared at the table during the banquet) as well as silent auction baskets featuring wild game recipes. For example, my basket includes a cookbook of elk recipes, a cutting board and knife, a bottle of dry seasoning, and a bottle of wine. Add salad and dinner’s ready! Maybe dry rub, BBQ tongs, and a six-pack?

We are also hoping to rock the trophy display but haven’t heard from many of you about the mounts you may bring. If you prefer not to travel with them, we’ll be displaying photos as well, so please send electronic photos to camoquilter@gmail.com or bring your framed photos.

The finance committee is looking into better investment options for our Lifetime Member Fund, so if you have ideas or input, we’re always looking to gather intel. Please reach out before the banquet, as we’ll discuss this at Friday’s board meeting.

Any other banquet donations are welcome and appreciated. It helps if we have a heads-up that they’re coming, so please shoot me a message with a brief description and value so that we can prepare a place in an auction or raffle. See you on April 6!

Mandy Garness
LIBBY 32032 US Highway 2 406-293-7797 LesSchwab.com Flaming Arrow Archery Nicole Tindale Flaming Arrow Archery Nicole Tindale 1282 Hwy 2 East Kalispell, MT 59901 406 - 752 - 0702 1282 Hwy 2 East, Kalispell
Mandy Garness























In thinking about what to write for this report, I went over some of my old reports. It was fun to look at who harvested what in our region and across the state, what kind of adventures we all had, as well as looking at some of the old and ongoing issues. Like crossbows. WILL THAT ISSUE EVER DIE? We can only hope, but we should prepare for the next battle in the next legislative session.

Back in 2019, the big news here in Region One was the arrival of CWD. It was horrible news then and unfortunately, it’s not much better news these days. We continue to encourage hunters to test their harvested animals for the disease and continue to aid FWP in understanding the breadth of the spread. We’ve had deer die in our front yard from the disease, but it feels like it’s just become an accepted part of the landscape here. Maybe people

aren’t as diligent in testing or disposing of carcasses so we may never see an end to it.

The convention is going to be at Great Falls this year and I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends and some new faces. The Great Falls crew has been working hard to put on an awesome convention so plan to be there on April 6th and 7th. If you haven’t been to a convention, it is great fun with awesome seminars to attend, loads of vendors, and fun for the whole family. Hope to see you there. Enjoy whatever your next season is and stay in touch.

AMarlon Clapham

nother Hunting season is drawing to a close. It is twenty below zero as I sit down to write this article for the newsletter. Merri and I hunted until the temperatures dropped out of sight, Merri filled a couple of her WT Deer tags, so we have venison in the freezer. I filled none of my tags, but I did get some video of the deer right under my stand, and to me, that was my whole season. We are already looking forward to the ice out and the Carp season.

Not much to report for Reg. 2 happenings. Kevin, Jackie, and I held two meetings in late November, one in Stevensville and the other in Missoula. We had a few members show up; it was the best turnout we’ve had for a year. For those who showed up, THANK YOU it shows us we have support.

We discussed how we will be pursuing the Crossbow threat in the upcoming Tentative meetings with the FWP Commission. We already had a lawsuit, and are trying to get it pushed through. Once again, the MBA reps who attended the meeting and testified, with the help of others, got the suit dropped. Molnar threatened us that he would have another attack in the works.

Kevin is the chair for the Carp Shoot and has secured all the necessary permits to host the shoot on Canyon Ferry once again. I do believe it will be June 8th, so plan ahead. Looking forward to a good turnout.

Great Falls is hosting the MBA Convention, and that team of volunteers always puts on a great Convention. Plan on attending the event, they have lined up several good seminar speakers, with loads of raffle items, something for everyone.

Right after the convention, the next weekend, April 13th, at the Helena Fair Grounds, the Conservation Elders will be hosting a huge Youth event. The MBA will be having a booth at the event. I’ll have the LaPort for flying disks and the indoor range for the youth. It will take several volunteers to man both booths. We will be setting up Friday afternoon April 12th. I’ll have more information at the Convention. The Conservation Elders supports our Teen Bowhunters Camp, which helps finance over 250 youths to camps all across the state. They will be hosting a dinner in Hamilton on March 14th where we will be raising all the funds for the camps. The MBA has made donations to this event since we started in 2013, so we are vested in this group. The reason we are hosting a Youth Experience in Helena is to draw more Youth into the program across the state to attend the camps.

Well, hope to see everyone at the Convention in Great Falls.

Keep-Em Sharp and Shoot-Em Straight

Marlon Clapham

As I write this it is the last day of my archery season, and a great season it was. I have a personal tradition of hunting on the opening day and again on the very last day, January 15th. It has been a frosty final week of hunting with temps well below zero. In trying to make up for the lack of elk meat in my freezer, my focus has been to harvest as many does as possible for the last 45 days. My efforts paid off, sort of. Those public land whitetails can be pretty jumpy come late December and January, but I was finally able to connect on a yearling doe last week.

Although it was a tough season of bowhunting, I am very fortunate to be in good health, have great public and private land hunting options, and live in a state with incredible opportunities for a bowhunter. I appreciate the comments the MBA members have shared about how we as the MBA board are doing and what you would like us to focus on. That input is very helpful to the board and we will continue working on your concerns. If there is ever any question or concern, please reach out to your regional representative or MBA board member to discuss.

The 24th annual Carp Safari (the first event was in 2001!) is Saturday, June 8th this year. I will have a new “rule book” drawn up for the event and some cool new trophies for the Carp slayers. I’ll also make sure there is an MBA member blast reminder of the event as we get closer. What do those carp do in the winter when trapped under the ice? Carp are interesting creatures and I’m thankful for them and their quirky habits.

Finally, the Convention is right around the corner! The Region 4 crew has a heck of a lineup for seminars and speakers, so get your banquet tickets (if they’re not sold out) and book your hotels. I’ll see you in Great Falls in April!

Greetings everyone!

Ihope everyone had a great Holiday Season! As I write this, most seasons have wrapped up and I have to say it was a rather good one for us.

After filling my tag during archery season, we waited for pheasant season to come around to get our pup out for her first pheasant hunts. It was really enjoyable watching her learn to work the different types of cover. I do have to admit, at times I wondered why she was working a certain way when it didn’t seem like that direction would hold a bird. But lo and behold, each time that scenario played out she turned up a bird. With this being my first bird dog, I was a bit hesitant and kept wondering to myself if I had given her everything she needed to succeed in the field. We have some things to work on over the next year, but overall, I have to say I am pleased.

The banquet is approaching and seems like it should be a pretty good time! I am looking forward to all the speakers we have lined up this year. I hope everyone can make it and look forward to getting to catch up with everyone!

Greetings from Region 4. It has been a mild winter so far in my area. I’m sure the critters are enjoying it, but it hasn’t been good for my ice-fishing plans! I have been doing a lot of duck hunting with my lab to pass the time. The FWP commission recently increased either-sex elk permits in Region 7 despite the bullto-cow ratio currently being below the desired range. It is discouraging that we waited so long for the release of the new Elk Management Plan, and already the commission is choosing not to follow it. I wish there was a way to hold them accountable to their constituents.

I was excited about FWP coming up with a new mule deer plan, but a new plan won’t do any good if it’s not followed. FWP is putting together a Citizens Advisory Mule Deer group and I am hoping they can come up with some good solutions to help our struggling mule deer herds. It seems every year more people are complaining about the quality of the mule deer hunting.

For some good news - the MBA was recently successful in establishing archery-only seasons for moose and mountain goats. FWP is doing away with surplus permits for “first and only choice” permit types. Also, our convention is right around the corner. If you’ve never been to an MBA convention, I recommend you go. They are a lot of fun and you don’t want to miss it!

Justin Doll

Spring 2024 7
REGIONAL REP0RTS REMINDER: Mailing Labels Show Your Membership Renewal Date
Jess Wagner Jess Wagner Justin Doll

Winter has arrived all across the state, and good ice has formed across Region 6. If there is anything that rivals bowhunting for me, it’s ice fishing. The winter months are a great time to stock up on some quality eats, particularly pike and perch. What better to make than fish tacos? For the best fish tacos, I’ve found homemade tortillas are the game changer.


2.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1.5 tsp salt

4 tbsp butter

1 cup warm water

Mix all ingredients together and let sit for 20 minutes. Divide into equal balls, roll, and cook on a hot, dry cast iron skillet.

Every taco needs a “secret sauce” and my favorite so far is very simple.

Sauce: 1 lime, 8 oz sour cream, 1 tbsp adobo sauce

That’s it. That’s the secret sauce.

For the toppings, I like Tri-colored cabbage, diced mangos, and the “secret sauce”.

Tristan Manuel

For the fish, your choice of pike, perch, or walleye, and your favorite breading. I personally like the Catch and Cook spicy piquant or beer batter mix. Any frier oil will work, but for best results, I use beef tallow heated in a cast iron pan. Heat the oil or tallow to 350 degrees, drop in your coated fish pieces, and fry until golden brown and flakey. After the fish is done, set it on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil, then add it to your taco. We love this recipe at our house, and I hope your family will enjoy it as much as ours.

Hi from Colstrip,

Hope this finds you still smiling from your 2023 bowhunting experiences!

I thought it important to briefly list some of the ongoing concerns we have as bowhunters. Some are region specific - others statewide.

These are just snippets of the various issues but do show how important it is to stay actively involved in specific conversations.

License numbers:

Forty-eight years ago (1974) the Montana Legislature approved a cap on the number of nonresident big game combination licenses. The limit was set at 17,000 licenses a year.

In 2021, the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks sold more than 66,600 nonresident deer and elk licenses, or about 17% of what resident deer and elk hunters purchased. Yet this is a 291% increase from 1974, just before nonresident licenses were supposedly capped.

New Elk Plan:

The issue of ‘inaccessible elk’ will not go away if unaddressed and is at the core of why managing elk in Montana is challenging and contentious.

Mule Deer:

Southeastern Montana’s deer population is 48% below the long-term average.

Landowner Art Hayes III – who lives along the Tongue River in Region 7 – said public lands in the region are now hunted harder and longer than in the past. As a consequence, deer have learned not to move from the protection of private lands.

Crow Tribe Unrestricted Hunting on the Custer National Forest, including the Ashland District:

Statement from Governor Mark Gordon on the decision in Herrera v. Wyoming: Today in a narrow 5-4 decision, a majority of the United States Supreme Court determined that Wyoming’s admission to the Union in 1890 did not terminate the Crow Tribe’s 1868 treaty right to hunt the “unoccupied lands of the United States.” However, the Court recognized that several issues in this case are unresolved, and the Court remanded the case back to Wyoming so the state court can consider the outstanding issues. Until these remaining issues are resolved, the State of Wyoming will continue to regulate the take of game animals in the Bighorn National Forest to ensure equal hunting opportunities for all.

With the remand, my administration will stand up for a system that preserves the decades of conservation work that has built a strong wildlife population in the Bighorns, and we will work to find solutions for all those who hunt.

In stark contrast, Montana (per MT FWP legal recommendation) has allowed full access to the Crow Tribe to take any and all big game, at any time in the Montana Custer National Forest (over 1 million acres). Moose, sheep, and goats are included.

Block Management:

Since 2011, Block Management in Montana has lost a million acres from the program, an eighth of its peak enrollment.


Currently there are 354 licensed “hunting” outfitters in Montana. Per 2018 records, they leased over 6.5 million acres of private land.

Level 2 Hunter Education (ethics update): Would include all hunters. This update is being requested by landowners statewide.

MBA Membership:

Currently there are approximately 60,000 bowhunters in Montana. MBA membership is between 1% and 2% of those enjoying the opportunity.

This will be my last article for the newsletter as Region 7 Rep. I will be stepping off the board. They say you know when it’s time, and after considerable reflection, it’s time. Lots of work ahead – especially in Region 7. Hoping a motivated someone will step up and take on the challenge.

Protecting our amazing Montana bowhunting experience takes effort and commitment. You couldn’t find an organization more dedicated to that goal than the MBA. Join the team – secure the tradition.

Best of luck to you!

Rick Miller

Blast from the Past


I have only 2 newsletters to draw from.

Our President was Jerry Taylor, and the Convention was held in Kalispell at the Outlaw Inn. They brought in Governor Stan Stephens and MR James as the guest speakers.

Jerry reported that our legislative efforts resulted in the passing of several bills signed into law. HB 17 (the bill authored by the MBA to transfer regulatory authority of archery equipment from the legislature to the FWP Commission) has been signed by the Governor, and is now law.

HB 107 (the bow ed bill) has passed the House, and we are confident of it’s future in the Senate and with the Governor.

SB 171 (the license fee increase bill) has passed the Senate largely through the efforts of the MBA’s general membership support and telephone campaign. This bill will undoubtedly face continued opposition in the House, but our lobbyist believes it has a good chance for success.


Montana Bowhunters Association Youth Bowhunting Camp



June 20-23, 2024

McCartney Creek Ranch Forest Grove, Montana



The MBA annually hosts this experiential adventure engaging Montana’s youth in the Outdoors while sharing information and experiences to help young bowhunters become great stewards of the sportsmans’ community and in seeking individual success and growth. Our goal is to simulate the hunting camp experience from beginning to end. The attendees will learn how to set-up/takedowntheir camps, prepare meals & camp chores, attend in the field seminars/activities that teach how-to hunt, calling techniques, wildlife biology, and other lessons that encourage ethical bowhunting methods.

TheMBAannuallyhoststhisexperientialadventureengagingMontana’syouthin theOutdoorswhilesharinginformationandexperiencestohelpyoungbowhunters becomegreatstewardsofthesportsmans’communityandinseekingindividual successandgrowth.Ourgoalistosimulatethehuntingcampexperiencefrom beginningtoend.Theattendeeswilllearnhowtoset-up/take-downtheircamps, preparemeals&campchores,attendinthefieldseminars/activitiesthatteachhow-to hunt,callingtechniques,wildlifebiology,andotherlessonsthatencourageethical bowhuntingmethods.

Eachteamofarcherswillexplorethesurroundingareainsearchofknowledge, adventures,andlearntohuntonthesimulatedelkhunt.Thisisaphysicallyactivecamp andattendeesandthecampsupportwillbeinthewildoutdoors.

Each team of archers will explore the surrounding area in search of knowledge, adventures, and learn to hunt on the simulated elk hunt. This is a physically active camp and attendees and the camp support will be in the wild outdoors.

Attendees13-17yearsold&preferredtohavecompletedHunter Ed/BowhunterEducation.Campersmusthavetheirownarcheryequipment(some exceptionsapply)

There were other bills that the MBA were following closely that were related to the Habitat Acquisition, but there was still a long way to go on those bills.

Well, that was about all I could dig up for 1991, and I haven’t looked at 1992 as of yet, so next newsletter maybe there will be more. If you have any information, you would like me to research just let me know I’ll do my best.

CampFee-$250.00.. ScholarshipsAvailable

Attendees 13-17 years old & preferred to have completed HunterEd/Bowhunter Education. Campers must have their own archery equipment (some exceptions apply)



Camp Fee-$250.00. Scholarships Available

JackieWeidow:406-274-3716 hukshuntin@msn.com

Contact below for information packet/application:


Beckie Doyle: 406-827-4189 bdoyle@troutcreekeagles.org

Jackie Weidow: 406-274-3716 hukshuntin@msn.com

Marlon Clapham: 406-777-2408 mbaregion2@gmail.com

Sunsets and big sky country where we hunt and fish and where it’s beautiful. Bob Morgan The Issue’s Blast From The Past comes from 1991. It will be short as










Hello everyone, and Happy New Year!

As I write this, it is more than -20 degrees outside and will be for the next day or so. There is not a better time to sit and get some banquet stuff organized, as April will be here before we know it.

Bison hunting thus far has not been worthwhile, so hopefully Mother Nature will help us out before the season closes in about a month. Meanwhile, Region 4 is busy soliciting and gathering donations. We had our first banquet meeting this week and while it did not have a large attendance (due to -30 degree temps), we had good planning and discussion. Banquet tickets are on sale on our website at http://www.mtba.org. Do not forget to reserve your rooms at the Heritage Inn. All blocks of rooms will be released on March 20th, and the rates will go up.

Please see other pages in the newsletter that will give you some live auction items, raffle items, donors, and other banquet information. Don’t forget to write up your nominations for the awards committee, which you can also do online on the website or you can email them to me at obsession_ archery@yahoo.com. Looking forward to seeing everyone in a few short months, and in the meantime, stay warm and safe!

Region 4 DAL/2024 Banquet Chairman

t’s always one amazing hunting trip that starts a train of amazing times and memories with great friends and family that never seems to end. Fall of 2023 the family decided it was time to make another trip halfway around the world to South Africa. We made reservations, arrangements for guides, and a list of animals to harvest. Well, it seemed like a long year leading up to the trip and you blinked twice and it was time. The last-minute packing. Moving archery equipment and clothes around between 7 different bowcases and backpacks. It was the final hours and got everything packed. Time to hop in the truck and drive to Bozeman where we caught our first flight.

Between the mix of flights, getting our gear from customs, and driving 14 hours to camp, we finally arrived 48 hours later. We got into camp at a decent time. I shot the bow a little bit the next morning to make sure it was shooting right. Little did I know the first week I was not going to get much time behind my bow. We were out in the badlands chasing Springbok with rifles. The first morning we went out and got familiar with the rifles we had a little friendly competition amongst the group shooting the furthest. The winner(s) got a free common springbok. My brother Kade and I won the competition so that was cool. After the shooting, we went back to the lodge and had breakfast, grabbed our packs, and we were off to find the Springbok slam.

The first day of hunting was rough figuring out how they hunt the elusive springbok and getting in the groove of things. We had a few missed shots, and it was frustrating. I finally got the first one which was my common springbok. After the next couple of days, the white and the copper then the black. Every single day it was chilly and riding in the back of the truck to the property was becoming less and less fun. With the quality of animals, this place has made it all worth it. During the first five days of hunting, we harvested two black wildebeest, one red lechwe, one blesbok, three gemsbok, one zebra, and 16 springboks with Grandpa and I both completing the springbok slam.

Now on to the best part. After a long 12-hour drive back up North we got to the bowhunting camp. The next week is all bowhunting which I had been waiting for. That night we got into camp with enough light to do a little more shooting and tuning with the bows. We were ready to go for the morning hunt. First up on the list was the amazing beautiful golden wildebeest. The guides had been doing some scouting before we arrived in South Africa, and they had found me an old, beat-up bruiser of a bull that fit everything I wanted. In the morning we had about an hour’s drive to a different camp to find this bull. We saw the bull hanging out with 4 or 5 other blue wildebeest bulls while we were still a quarter mile from the gate. It was go-time with a little spot and stalk action I had learned from antelope hunting back home. It came in handy. Within the hour we made two stalks

Cliff Garness Cliff Garness Jake Garness

on this bull but with a lack of thicker brush to hide behind we couldn’t make it happen. We let the wildebeest settle for a while, kept an eye on them, and decided to move in. We made the third and final stalk. We made our way around some brush and waited for them to turn heads or look away, and I moved within 48 yards with no room to close the distance. Everyone and everything was calm. I gave myself a little pep talk to calm down my heart rate and the jitters I had going on while waiting for the beast to turn. Seconds felt like hours, and he took that final step. I drew back and pictured the little triangle in my head, and I hit the trigger. The arrow was off, and I felt like I was watching it in slow motion. The shot was perfect; we found him about 150 yards away. For the rest of the day, we went to hunt on a couple of different properties that had a couple of big impalas running around. Later, that afternoon we decided to sit in a blind over a waterhole where Kade would soon harvest his impala.

Later that night it was back to the drawing board to get the list straightened out on what animals were next. We picked a blind to sit at for water, hoping that a group of impalas would come into later in the morning to get their morning drink, but saw nothing but a group of blue wildebeest and one sow warthog with three piglets. That night we had a few animals that we were after which you could only find at night. Kade wanted a bushbuck, which he harvested a few nights later, and was looking for a warthog and a porcupine for me. That night I shot a warthog and a few nights later a big porcupine. Back to the blind over water after only about four hours of sleep. Kade and I took turns taking naps the next few days and we weren’t too far from the lodge so we went back for lunch one day and afterwards found my impala. The stalk was on again and only about a half hour later I had harvested my impala. After lunch, we decided to hang out around the lodge and not go back to the blind. Kade and I decided to catch up on some sleep, shoot the bows, and watch the breeding pen that was only about 100 yards away from the lodge. The pen had some nyalas, warthogs, and monkeys that would come through from time to time.

On the second to last day, we decided to go back to the blind to see what would come in. After watching this group of wildebeest all week, I started to picture all these mounts in my house. A floor pedestal with not one but two wildebeest would look cool. I had a little flex in my budget because I didn’t know when my next trip back would be. I decided I wanted to harvest a blue wildebeest as well, and there was an old mean beatenup bull in the group that chased the little ones all over. I talked to my guide Geoff and he said if I was going to shoot one it was going to be that bull. I said OKAY. Time went on and the bull would never give me a shot. He was hanging out in the back of the group pushing others around and never would come in to eat or drink. He made a few rounds through but would never sit around long enough for me to get a shot. The weather was shy of 100 degrees that day and the bull had finally worn himself out. It was time for a drink. He pushed his way through the cows and calves and stood head-on with me for what seemed like hours—bow in hand and adrenaline flowing at Mach Jesus. He turned broadside several times. He made a final turn to push a younger bull away from the water and I saw a perfect shot opportunity. I drew back, Kade told me the range, and he barely got the yardage out of his mouth and the arrow headed home. Perfect pass right through the heart and he didn’t go 60 yards. My Africa trip soon came to a close with nothing but excitement, great memories, and several beautiful animals, which I will cherish for years to come.

Jake Garness

Brrrr. It’s currently -37 and I’m sitting by the fire with an enormous mug of coffee. I dearly love MT but I’d trade weather like this for a shack on a beach somewhere in a heartbeat.

Too cold to work, too cold to look for lion tracks, and too cold to bundle the kids up and let them out for more than about four minutes at a time. A long weekend at home by the fire with the fam is priceless for the time spent snuggling under a blanket and watching movies though. Big breakfasts, popcorn, and a bloody mary taste extra good in weather like this. On the flip side, my house looks like a class 5 hurricane went through it but I don’t mind. As long as the boys were having fun and weren’t terrorizing each other or their mama I’m fine dealing with the aftermath.

The ladies and gents of Region 4 have been hard at work organizing the upcoming convention in April and from the sounds of it, things are shaping up very well. I must say that the dedication, intelligence, and passion of the current Board of Directors is pretty cool to witness. The future of bowhunting in MT is in fine hands with this gang. Tip of the Camo hat to all of them.

I hope you were able to spend some quality time in the great outdoors this past fall and your freezers are full going into this chilly new year. Time was more limited than usual this fall for me but some fine adventures were still had. Raising a young family and a demanding workload certainly cuts into the time in the field, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m thankful to have a wife who not only participates (quite successfully) in archery and bowhunting but is also understanding of my need to disappear into the woods here and there for a few days at a time. Holding down the fort by herself is not an easy task and by the end of November, I know I’m tip-toeing a fine line. As the kids get older it’s getting easier, and honestly, I’m looking forward to adventures with them more than anything I’ve got cooking on my own.

The convention in Great Falls is going to be a great one and make sure to mark down Carp Safari and the summer shoot MBA is co-sponsoring with Bridger Bowmen. Both of the latter events are in June and are going to be a ton of fun! See you there!


At Carroll College, the start of the “spring” semester reminds me that the snow will eventually melt and green plants aren’t that far away. I hope that everyone else has things like greenery to look forward to and that the MBA banquet is on your calendar! Many people on the board have worked tirelessly to make sure it is the best possible event for all. I plan to bring my gaggle of college friends and hear everyone’s great stories from this hunting season!

Enjoy the snow and buy your banquet tickets now,

June LePage

Hello from Region 2. Hope everyone is making it through this crazy Montana winter.

Ihave been hitting the mountains every weekend. I have been hunting whitetail does and wolves. I have got a few late-season does. No luck with the wolves yet. I am getting very close to capitalizing. Lately, I have been thinking about what HD I will be putting in for in hopes of drawing a special tag this year. I hope whatever you put in for, you draw a tag of a lifetime!

Thinking about this past season, it was one for the books. Hoping to keep up the good luck into this coming year. Right now, I am focusing on wolf season. Then I will dive right into Spring Black Bear season with the hopes of taking my first bear with a bow this year. A black bear with my bow is a challenge but it’s one I have not and will not give up on. I WILL harvest a bear with my bow. After Spring Black Bear season, it’s hiking and shed hunting and scouting and then into Archery season. But I will hopefully see some of you at the 3D shoots throughout the Spring and Summer.

Your MBA dues at work.

Congratulations Montana bowhunters.  You now have an archery-only season for both moose and goat that will start the same weekend as elk and deer archery season and precedes the general anyweapon season.  Your MBA board of directors has been working with both the MT Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department and the Mt Fish and Wildlife Commission over the past few years to get these seasons enacted.

When the announcement was released, we had a longtime member and former board member reach out to us to let us know that these efforts have a foundation that was laid over the last several decades.  I did not realize the history and efforts expended by the MBA to realize this outcome.  We are truly standing on the shoulders of giants.

Now the specifics are fuzzy and the timelines are rough, but the MBA has been working on this for decades.  Everything from lobbying to give the commission authority to make changes to season structure to modifying the existing season structure to have an early rife/archery combination seasons, to the current structure we will now enjoy with an archery only season for all of the big three: moose, goat, and sheep.  I, for one, am eternally grateful for the opportunities that the MBA has fought to provide us.  We are the envy of the Western states to have so many wonderful bowhunting seasons without the encroachment of foreign weapons.

Your Montana Bowhunters Association has been and continues to be, an advocate for bowhunting here in the great state of Montana.  Our bowhunting seasons were never given to us.  Each one of your bowhunting seasons has been introduced through the efforts of the MBA, which is doubly impressive, as bowhunters are known less as slick, politically savvy, articulate lobbyists and more as knuckle-dragging loners who prefer the solitude of a treestand over buttoned-down meetings and hearings.

June LePage Jackie Weidow

The Black Bear

Jackie Weidow

It draws me in like the mountains draw to the sky. To say it is a passion is an understatement. They come in many colors and sizes. To see these amazing animals is an understatement.

I harvested my first bear when I was sixteen years old. I remember it like it was yesterday. I did not know it would turn into an addiction. It is my favorite animal to hunt. I have spent countless hours behind the glass watching them. Learning all their habits and traits. Learning the difference in hunting them in the Spring vs the Fall. Learning to tell the difference between a boar and a sow. Making sure that if it is a sow, she doesn’t have cubs hiding in the brush before you shoot. Sitting in the same spot on the mountain for hours at a time glassing and not seeing anything and then from out of the blue a bear pops up. I have harvested nine beautiful bears ranging in many colors. I have been trying to harvest one with my bow and I have come close but I have not fulfilled that dream of mine yet. But I will. Bear hunting drew me in. I have learned so much from these amazing animals. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and time to become a good bear hunter. I am learning more and more about bears.

Apart from your average bear hunter, I feel like I am blessed with the gift of seeing bears. When I am in the mountains, nine out of ten times, I will see a bear. The second to last day of the general rifle season, a great friend of mine and I were elk hunting. We were glassing across this open valley to the other mountainside looking for elk. Well, he was, I was looking for bears—let’s be honest I am always looking for bears! I was glassing this rock shelf-faced hill when I noticed something a little out of place. I looked at it for about five minutes and then said, “No way, it can’t be.” My friend said, “No way what?” I said, “I think it’s a BEAR!” He says, “You think everything is a BEAR!” We both laughed, and then it MOVED!! I said, “IT IS A BEAR!!!” He said, “No, way.” Then I said, “WAIT!! It’s not one, not two, but three BIG BEARS!” My friend looked through the spotter at the mountain. He couldn’t believe it. He looked at me and then said, “This only happens to you! You’re the only person I know who could glass up three bears together.” I just smiled. I was so excited. I had never glassed three bears together before. Let alone three big bears all together. They were all different colors, also—chocolate, black, and gray. I sat and watched those bears until the last one rested over the rocky hill top. I could have watched them for hours. I did manage to glass up some elk but it was too late to go after them.

Hiking endless mountain miles and glassing until my eyes hurt. There is no other way I want to spend my time. Spring bear season is my favorite. I love hunting bears in the spring. Glassing avalanche shoots, the snow line, rocks where the green grass is shooting up. Watching baby bears frolic and play while their mother forages for food and protects them with her life. Watching big boars tear apart stumps and in the late spring season preying on the fawns and calves that are hitting the ground. It is all a rush to me. Finding bear tracks after hiking endless miles or driving the dirt road. It still gives me the same rush. I can sit on one spot on the mountain and glass from dawn to dusk and not lay eyes on a bear and still be as happy if I saw one. When I decided I was going to dedicate my time to bear hunting, I didn’t know it would consume my soul. In becoming a dedicated bear hunter, I have learned many things that have helped me become the hunter I am today. If I had to hunt one animal for the rest of my life it would be bears. I have dreamed about hunting Big Kodiak Bears on Kodiak Island for a long time. It is my dream hunt that I hope becomes a reality before I am six feet under the ground. So, if you need me, you know where to find me. On the mountain

Spring 2024 13 MEMBER STORY

MBA 46th Convention

April 5-7, 2024



10am – 4pm MBA Board Meeting

9am – Noon Manufacturer’s Row Setup

Noon – 6pm Registration and Manufacturer’s Row Opens

7pm Social hour Begins


8am – 9:30am General Membership Meeting

9 am – 4pm Registration and Manufacturer’s Row, Silent Auction Open

9:30 – 10:30 am

11 – 12:30 pm

Seminar – FWP – Chad White, Grizzly Bears and Conflict Prevention

Seminar – Troy Pottenger, Hunting Mountain Whitetails

1:30 – 2:30 pm Seminar – Aron Snyder, B ackpack Hunting

3-4 pm Seminar – Brian B arney, Spot and Stalk Bear Hunting

4:30 – 5:30pm Pre-Banquet Social

5:30 pm B anquet Seating Begins

6 pm Silent Auction Closes

6:15 pm Honor Guard Presentation

6:30 pm Dinner Served

7:30 – 9 pm Live Auction & Raffle Drawings

9 – 10 pm Checkout


8am – 9:30am Bowhunter Education Breakfast/Meeting

9am – Manufacturer’s Row tear down trophy pick up



Your membership status must be active to vote. Family members receive two ballots. Submit this ballot in the secret ballot envelope. Please vote only for the Representative in the region that you reside.

Candidates Seeking Election


Ken Schultz

Write-in__________________ 2nd Vice President

Jess Wagner



Mandy Garness


Region 1 Representative (Region 1 members only – vote for two candidates or write-in)

Mike Iten


Region 2 Representative (Region 2 members only – vote for two candidates or write-in)

Kevin Robinson


Region 4 Representative (Region 4 members only – vote for two candidates or write-in)

Justin Doll

Mark Schwomeyer

Write-in __________________

Region 6 Representative (Region 6 members only – vote for two candidates or write-in)

Tristen Manuel


Directors-At-Large – Even Year

(All members vote for candidates and/or write-in – total of 4 DAL positions)

Cliff Garness

Jake Garness

Guy Stickney



Please place marked ballot in the small blank envelope. Then place in the larger envelope addressed to MBA, sign and print name on envelope as directed. (Name should match membership name.) Mail to MBA. Must be postmarked by March 15, 2024.

Spring 2024 15 2024 MBA CONVENTION


Greetings Team MBA,

My name is Ken Schultz and I have been a resident of Montana for the past 30+ years. I live in Billings, Montana with my lovely wife. I have been the Region 5 representative for the past 7 years and President for past 2 years. I have been and avid archery hunter for the past 30 years. I have been blessed with the opportunity to harvest several big game animals over the past 20+ years with my bow. I truly have a passion for bow hunting and have encouraged many friends over the years to take up the sport. I have been a member of the MBA for the 15+ years.

I was born and raised in Central North Dakota. I relocated to Wyoming in 1983 for my job and lived there for about 10 years until moving to Montana. I was the Director of Operations for Hardee’s restaurants until my retirement. After 35 years, I felt it was time to do something different. I have been working in the agriculture industry over the past 8 years and have really enjoyed working with growers and ranchers in the tri-state area.

My wife and I have 5 beautiful daughters and 4 wonderful sons-inlaw. Along with that, we have 17 beautiful grandchildren from the ages of 22 years to 1 year old. We are truly blessed!!!

When I was approached concerning this adventure, I thought about the opportunity to impact the bow hunting industry as well as meet many fellow archers who share the same Passion. I feel as President, I have had a positive impact as well as share some knowledge gained over the past 20+ years. I am honored to be a part of Leadership in an organization that I have respected for some time.


I was born and raised in Glendive. My early bow hunting years were spent hunting whitetails on the Yellowstone and mule deer in the hills of eastern Montana. I moved to Lewistown in 2014, and since then I have become obsessed with elk hunting.

I have served on the MBA board as a Region 4 representative for the last four years and am interested in stepping into a new role on the board as second vice president. I would like to continue to fight to keep crossbows out of our archery season, as well as work to maintain the quality of archery hunting that we currently enjoy.

In addition to the crossbow battle, I would like to help the MBA get more involved with fighting bad legislation that has the potential to negatively impact the average Montana hunter, as well as providing more of a voice in wildlife management.


My name is Mandy Garness and I am the current Treasurer for the Montana Bowhunters Association. I was born and raised in Great Falls and have previously served as a Region 4 Director At Large. I am passionate about bowhunting, building memories with family and friends all over Montana as well as in Canada, Hawaii and South Africa. It is important that we continue to engage and encourage new hunters. I’d like to offer my time and experience to serve the bowhunters of Montana to preserve, promote and protect our opportunities.


My name is Mike Iten, and I would like to run for the Region 1 Representative position, but I would like to inquire about it. I currently live in Kalispell and spoke to my wife about applying for this position as I’m interested in it.

After reading your email regarding some of the requirements, I noticed that each representative is required to have three meetings per year and report back to the board. What are these meetings and who are they with? What information is required to report to the board?

A little bit about myself, I’m a fourth generation Montanan and I have hunted since it was legal for me to do so. However, I didn’t start archery hunting until I was 36 when my wife told me I needed more hobbies! I have twin daughters, one of whom is attending college in Dillon. The

other is taking a gap year and plans on attending MT Tech this coming fall. I’ve been married to my bride for 21 years. I enjoy bow hunting, rifle hunting, fly fishing, hiking, camping, snowboarding, and most things that get me outdoors. I have hunted all over the state, but do the majority of my archery elk hunting in Region 2. There were two years where I hunted HD 410 / 417 when those two units were combined. I’ve harvested all OTC species in Montana with archery tackle with the exception of a wolf (which I harvested with a rifle). When I first began bow hunting I only hunted with my bow. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that I just enjoy hunting and don’t put myself into any one category. I’m interested in this position as I’d like to give back to MBA and the archery community. I’m a member of RMEF, Sportsman’s Alliance, Mule Deer Foundation, American Bear Foundation, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. I’ve been a member of MTBA for over a decade.

Thank you for considering me for this position as I’d like to give back to the archery community as well as MBA.

Mike Iten



I hope I have served you well and you will vote for me again as your Region 2 Representative.

Techno Metal Post of Western Montana



My name is Justin Doll and I am seeking re-election as a Region 4 Representative. My wife, myself, and our WPG Jo currently are in Great Falls. I have lived in Montana my entire life and hunted in Montana since I was 12. I started bowhunting roughly 15 years ago and since getting into bowhunting my interest in all aspects of the sport has only grown. I tend to do most of my hunting with archery gear.

Over the last two years I have served as a Regional Representative for Region 4. Being more involved with MBA, I have come to see how important it is to preserve the sport of bowhunting in our great state for future generations. If re-elected as Regional Representative for Region 4, I plan to continue to advocate for the preservation and promotion of bowhunting while representing the bowhunters who reside in Region 4.


My name is Tristan Manuel, and I was born and raised south of Havre, MT. Ever since I was a young kid I’ve had a bow in my hand, and love spending the fall chasing game across our great state. For the last several years I have been blessed with the opportunity to teach bowhunters education in Havre alongside my mentors that have taught me so much over the years, and I look forward to teaching the same things I have learned to my children. Fair chase and ethical hunting practices are of the utmost importance to me, and I am honored to be considered for the Region 6 Representative position.


My name is Cliff Garness and I reside in Region 4. I have been a lifetime member of the MBA for over 10 years and I have served as your Region 4 Rep in prior years, as well as a Region 4 DAL, which I am currently. I have been bowhunting for over 35 years and enjoy the outdoors and pursuing Montana’s wildlife, but have also travelled to bowhunt other states in the US as well as overseas. I am again running for your Region 4 Rep and appreciate your support.



Hello all! My Name is Jake Garness, I am an avid bowhunter and sportsman from Great Falls Montana running for Region 4 Director At Large. In my spare time I like traveling Montana scouting areas and setting trail cameras to hunt for the upcoming season, fly fishing small creeks and streams, camping, riding four-wheelers, doing a little snowmobiling in the wintertime and spending time with family in the great outdoors. Hope to see lots of new faces joining the MBA!


My name is Mark Schwomeyer. I have been on the board before, and I’d like to come back as a DAL. For those that don’t know me, I have been bowhunting for most of my life and for the last 13 years I’ve been on some sort of bowhunting organization board of directors. I’d like to serve a couple more years for the MBA.


My name is Guy Stickney. I am an avid sportsman who resides in Miles City, Montana with my wife (Sarah) and my son (Vaughn). I am a lifelong Montanan who grew up on a family ranch in Ismay, Montana. I am currently employed with a Federal Land Management Agency (BLM) as a civil engineer.

I began bowhunting while in college in 1999, so I guess that means I have been a bowhunter for almost 24 years (time flies). It stuck with me and is unquestionably my favorite hunting method and means. In discussing MTBA with Jess Wagner, he mentioned that Region 7 doesn’t have a lot of representation in the organization. That is why I would like to run for the open Director at Large position. I have hunted in Region 7 avidly for over 30 years.

I know that I could provide good perspective and feedback to the MBA on relevant issues and concerns and their effects or lack thereof in Region 7. I have been actively engaged in the FWP public process including proposed new regulations and season settings for over 2 decades. I have a good understanding of the current Montana hunting seasons and regulations, and through my participation with MTBA, this experience would be an asset to the organization.



Martin Archery HTR 32 bow

- 32” axle to axle

- 7.4” brace height

- 30# - 70# draw weight

- 19” - 31” draw length

- 320 fps IBO Speed

- 80% letoff

Smith and Wesson Pistol

Comes with ivory Holser in Coyote Brown, Right Handed, 3” Molle Clips as well as Adjustable Pack Clips

Xpedition RAX bow

Pacific Steel 4’ +/- Diameter Fire Ring with cutouts of Bull Elk, Bear, Deer and bull elk fighting

Kifaru Hellbender Bag and Kifaru Duplex Tactical 24” Frame

Stone Glacier Sky Archer 6400 Pack


1. $1200 Gift Certificate for Schafer Silvertip Custom Bows

2. $500 Gift Certificate for Yellowstone Custom Bows

3. Xpedition Archery RAX 33 70# compound Bow

4. Martin Archery HTR 32, 25#-70# compound bow

5. TBD

Spring 2024 17 2024 MBA CONVENTION


When and how did you get into archery hunting?

Brian: I first got into archery at 13. When I was introduced to rifle hunting and bowhunting, it just sounded cool. I worked construction all summer for my dad to save up enough to buy my first bow. That was my introduction to bowhunting, but I got bit by the bug after I finished high school sports and needed a place for my passion. Bowhunting fit the bill and I put everything into it.

What is it about archery hunting that has made it your life passion?

Brian: It’s tough to put into words what bowhunting means to me, but I will try my best to outline what I love about it. Bowhunting is difficult and challenging, so it requires me to work hard towards my goals year-round. Bowhunting challenges me both mentally and physically, and allows me to find my true human potential. It takes a multitude of different skill sets including fitness, mental strength, and the ability to be clutch in big moments. It requires intelligence, problem-solving, and planning. Along with that, it puts me into the natural world in the most intimate experience of predator versus prey. These adventures matching wits with mature animals in the wildest, most remote places on earth are what keep me coming back.

I understand you are from Washington. What brought you to Montana, and how long have you lived here?

Brian: I moved to Montana for a better way of life and more hunting opportunities. I moved at 19 in 1999 and haven’t looked back since. What is your favorite animal to hunt and why?

Brian: I love chasing anything they will let me hunt with my bow, but back against the wall I am a Muley guy. I love hunting Muleys because of the wild places it takes me to. The big mountains and high country are my favorite, but I love the desert, breaks, and badlands as well. Also, a big mature muley has such keen instincts and is difficult to outwit with a bow in my hands. What hunts are on your bucket list?

Brian: You know I am fortunate I get to do a lot of my bucket list hunts. I mean mule deer and elk are the most fun hunts out there. Then I got to hunt bears and antelope. I have had the chance to hunt mountain goats, moose, and caribou. I got to hunt in Hawaii for axis deer and Mouflon sheep. I have traveled to Australia and hunted Red deer and Sambar. I have been to New Zealand and hunted Tahr in the southern Alps. I guess if I had to answer it would be a sheep. It’s just out of my tax bracket, but I do play every state draw to try and get a tag. I need a bit of luck, but I have always said that if I never draw a sheep tag, I will be a happy man chasing big old Muley bucks. If you were king for a day, would you make any changes to Montana’s hunting regulations or management?

Brian: Montana is an opportunity state, but I would manage our mule deer populations better. I mean if I am king and I have the power, I would close the rut to rifle and open it to bow. I know that’s a bit self-serving, but I am the king. Has Montana’s hunting changed at all since you first moved here? If so, what has changed?

Brian: Yeah, Montana has changed. I think all hunting has changed in the last 24 years. There are more technological advancements, more hunters out going hard, and more information out there. It’s tougher to find good hunting and get away from the pressure. That being said, there are still great opportunities in Montana and across the West. We just have to work harder to find it and separate ourselves from the competition. I am not a doom or gloom guy but am a realist. It’s tough out there, but if a guy is willing to put in the work, there is next-level success waiting for him. What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self as far as bowhunting goes?

Brian: Man, good question and tough as 20-year-old me was kind of like a 2-point buck. I would tell myself to embrace the hard work and continue to put everything into my love and passion. You will fail, you will succeed, but you will be able to apply the lessons learned to life’s endeavors to find success and happiness.

What skills do you think a lot of bow hunters could get better at or often get overlooked?

Brian: I think bowhunters could see the greatest benefits from honing one’s hunting instincts. It’s the decision-making of when to move, when to stalk, and when to hold still. The ability to know what you can get away with and what you can’t. It’s the discipline to stay calm, cool, and collected in the moment of truth. The best way to shape and hone instincts is to get out and bowhunt as much as possible and learn from our mistakes.

What do you see as the biggest threats to bow hunting?

Brian: I think the biggest threat to bowhunting is mismanagement of all weapons. Bowhunting public land is a renewable resource, but if we don’t manage populations and objectives, it can quickly turn into very limited opportunities for the blue-collar bowhunter. I think we need to manage healthy populations and quality game management to keep the dream of public land bowhunting alive.

What is your opinion on crossbows in archery seasons?

Brian: I am against crossbows during archery seasons. It’s a hybrid weapon that is a cross between a rifle and a bow. It’s an advantage that crossbows can get a rest and also don’t have the movement of getting drawn. I also don’t think crossbow hunters need to shoot as much or have as much commitment to getting good with their weapon. I think this leads to more unethical shots taken and more wounded game. A crossbow is not a bow and therefore should not be allowed during the archery-only seasons.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. We look forward to having you at the convention!


When and how did you get into archery hunting?

Troy: As a kid probably 4 or 5 years old, with my father. Recurve and original Allen compound bow. Dad was an elk and mule deer hunter. Dad died young when I was 17 in a logging accident, so after that, I taught myself using the foundation he instilled in me.

What is it about archery hunting that has made it your life passion?

Troy: The proximity of it. Getting close, inside an animal’s comfort zone undetected is an incredible natural high. Those 5, 10, 15 and 20-yard slam dunk shots are incredible to experience! Making a quick, lethal, ethical kill. The year-round work that goes into making this happen year after year on mature mountain bucks is a priceless lifetime experience and is just simply who I am. There is nothing I enjoy more besides the successes of my sons’ lives than bowhunting big mature mountain whitetails. Nothing.

I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that whitetails are your favorite animal to hunt. What is it that draws you to whitetail hunting?

Troy: There is nothing on this planet tougher to consistently kill than an old mature top-end mountain whitetail with a bow and arrow.

Do you have any bucket list hunts?

Troy: Just Canadian/Midwest whitetails annually once I retire from my day job.

What would you say is the average home range for a mature mountain whitetail? What is the biggest range that you have observed?

Troy: 5- to 20-mile migrations. If snow doesn’t move them much, i.e., lower elevations often produce 2–5-mile ranges. Mountain whitetail ranges vary due to situational environmental variables.

You often target bucks that you have known about for several years. What is the longest you have known about a buck before finally getting it killed?

Troy: 5 years

How long had you known about this year’s buck?

Troy: Four plus years for sure because at 1.5 years old, it’s harder to tell, than say a 2.5-year-old when they start to show what they are and what they will become genetically. I had this year’s buck on cam or sheds from him for 4 plus years.

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self as far as bowhunting goes?

Troy: Do it exactly how I had to do it. I had to figure it out on my own. Go figure it out with max effort and time. Make sacrifices. Don’t ever listen to conventional wisdom, go figure it all out on your own, put in the time, and let the DEER teach you. Be extremely detailed and disciplined, and never allow emotion or fatigue to break you. Enjoy the work, scouting, prep, setting up, and time spent in the magnificent outdoors. The clean air and obstacles the mountains throw at you are priceless. The hunting part is the icing on the cake. The kills are the reward. Eat what you kill and be grateful for it all. Respect the animal always, only take and make shots you’re capable of. You owe that to the animal. If you don’t respect the animal enough to do so, you should not hunt them. Keep a cool head and make and take quality shots. and happiness.


What skills do you think a lot of bow hunters could get better at or often get overlooked?

Troy: Woodsmanship and shooting under adrenaline overload. Most people these days do not want to put in the work and time. It’s human nature to want to get there the fastest, easiest way possible. Instant gratification. Play the long game instead, and never stop learning or think you know it all. In life and especially with mountain whitetails on public lands, work pays big dividends. Hunt smarter and harder and prepare year-round if you truly want to be in the game with any given states that have top-end mountain bucks. What do you see as the biggest threats to bow hunting?

Troy: Anti-hunting political organizations that are trying to eliminate freedoms from society. Hunting is an American heritage, right, and freedom of choice to decide what we want to ingest daily. America was founded on the freedom to choose how we want to live and eat. Our world food systems are full of chemical-laden foods that are geared to make us sick and force us to rely on medications and pharmaceuticals our entire lives while padding the pockets of billion-dollar companies and keeping control of society. It’s a disgusting system. All hunting, including bowhunting, is a great way to practice selfreliance. Any organization against self-reliance is a threat to hunting, period. What is your opinion on crossbows in archery seasons?

Troy: There is no place for them unless you have a legitimate injury that incapacitates you from drawing a bow. They are a bow gun, period. I personally have a 20% disability (past/injury) and I could legally hunt with a bow gun/ crossbow if I chose to. No thanks, it’s not bowhunting. They shoot 100 yards and need no movement or draw cycle. They should only be allowed during rifle seasons and/or short-range seasons possibly, but not during bow-only seasons. The argument of guys taking 100-yard shots with compounds will be brought up. In my opinion, that’s not bowhunting either. Bowhunting is a game of how close you can get, not how far. There are too many outside variables when it comes to the physics of arrow flight at longer ranges.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. We look forward to having you at the convention!

Spring 2024 19 2024 MBA CONVENTION
Black Eagle Arrows


This donation can be

to accommodate more hunters, non-hunters, individual guides, and/or additional days. Species including big game as per our price list. See our website for more information www.numzaan.com



Spring 2024 21
By Numzaan Safaris John
US Rep. Montana, Washington, and Oregon (425) 870 5269 johnc@numzaan.com
Airfare to and from South Africa The daily rate for day of arrival and day of departure Trophy shipping fees to the United States Trophy dip and pack fees Trophy documentation fees Trophy taxidermy fees $1000.00 deposit to reserve your selected dates Please note this deposit may be used towards your additional animals or days OR may be refunded at the conclusion of your hunt Donation does NOT include Donation Value $9050.00 5 Hunting Days 4 Hunters (2x1: 2 Hunters 1 Professional Hunter) Full Accommodation ALL Food and beverages including wine $500 Towards Trophy Fees per Hunter 25% Discount on Daily Rates towards additional Hunting Days This Donation Includes: DONATED HUNT
once in a lifetime opportunity is for four (4) rifle/bow/muzzle loader hunters and will take place in the picturesque Limpopo Province of South Africa. The hunt can take place on any available dates in 2024/2025 The hunting concession is about three (3) hours north of Johannesburg OR Tabmbo International Airport.

Diesel the Deer Tracking Dog

This past November I had the pleasure of meeting Diesel the Tracking Dog and his owner Gary Blessing during my annual Illinois whitetail hunt. It was an awesome week with perfect weather conditions and great big buck rutting action. You can probably guess how and why I met Diesel and Gary. Fortunately for us he was willing to share his knowledge and experience of tracking deer and answer some of my questions about his craft and his bowhunting background.

K: How old were you when you first picked up archery and who introduced you to it?

G: I remember driving to the bow shop to buy my first bow the day after I got my driver’s license 36 years ago. My older brother introduced me to deer hunting years before that although that was during our firearm seasons. Nobody in my family was a bowhunter. It was just something that called to me after watching the old hunting shows on TV. My earliest memory was watching Fred Bear shoot a grizzly on the beach with his bow. I was hooked immediately.

K: Do you remember your first bowhunting success? What bow, arrow, quiver etc combo were you using.

G: My first bow as a PSE compound paired with 2217 Easton aluminum arrows, an old TM hunter style rest and a fixed pin site. My first success came the following year on a mature doe that gave me a shot opportunity at 17 yards. Lucky for me, the shot was good and she didn’t go far. If I wasn’t hooked before, I sure was after that.

K: How did you get started in the deer tracking world?

G: After almost 30 years of hunting deer with my bow and trying to chase mature bucks, hunting for me became more like work than a sport I once enjoyed beyond measure. I was feeling pressure every year to kill the buck or two I was after, and it was started to eat away at my level of enjoyment. At the same time, my wife was just getting started in bowhunting. I was in the tree with her when she got an arrow into her first deer—a big mature Illinois whitetail. The hit was a little high and a bit back. I suspected liver was involved and there was likely little blood to be found since she didn’t get an exit. We waited 6 hours to track that night and only found 150 yards of blood and it was tough going. I tried calling for a tracking team, but nobody was available. Out of options, we grid searched all of the next 2 days with no luck. We actually found the deer the next spring within 400 yards of the hit site buried in the thickest cover you could imagine.

I vowed that day that I’d never let that happen again and the hunt for my own tracking dog started. By tracking for the public, I could stay involved in the hunting game and be around the excitement of recovering deer for hunters much more than I could supply myself with. It was exactly the change I needed. I quickly fell in love with following my dog to others people game ever since.

K: Can you describe the help you and Diesel provide for hunters, mainly the process from first phone call.

G: The process generally goes something like this. I get a call from a hunter through various channels. I maintained a large following on Facebook which produces a lot of calls for me. I also belong to the United Blood Trackers Organization who provides a list of hunters across the US that hunters can be referred to. After years of tracking for the public, the overwhelming majority of my calls are repeats and referrals from hunters who have used me in the past.

I ask the hunter a series of questions about the weapon used, the shot, what the arrow might look like, what the animal’s reaction was after the shot, etc. I want enough information from them to put myself at the moment the animal was shot. I then ask how far they tracked, whether they grid searched, etc. All of this information allows me to know what I’m walking into and most importantly, gives me an idea on the proper time to wait before tracking. The biggest mistake I see hunters make is tracking far too soon and pushing a fatally hit animal that’s still alive. I then answer any question they have and set up a time and place to meet. In addition, the United Blood Trackers organization, hunters looking for a tracking team can contact the Rocky Mountain Big Game Recovery network via their website or Facebook page. (MBA member and 2023 Bowhunter of the Year Chris Blaskowski is a registered member of the United Blood Trackers Organization in region 2.)

K: What do you charge for your services? Is this your full-time job?

G: I do not charge a fee for my services. I ask hunters to pay me what they think my services are worth. I don’t want hunters to not call me because they think they can’t afford me. I don’t track for the money. But, at the same time, I can’t travel around the country tracking for free because I have expenses on the road— gas, tires, wear and tear, gear, vet bills, etc. Besides the time we dedicate to our craft in the off season, I also bring 40 years of deer hunting experience and a veteran tracking dog that has over 250 recoveries all coming to bear in an effort to find a downed game animal for a hunter. We take our work very seriously and we are dedicated to being the best team we can be. The majority of the time, I’m good with what hunters choose is acceptable payment for our work.

I own a custom woodworking business which makes my schedule as flexible as I want it to be. This freedom allows me to track full time from September to January.

K: In 2023 deer season how many deer did Diesel track?

G: Our 2023 tracking season is still underway, but we are on pace to track about 150 whitetails.

K: Longest track that led to a dead deer?

G: Our longest track that led to a recovery was a couple seasons ago when Diesel drug me 3.25 miles to a gut shot deer that was pushed by the hunter when he tracked to soon after the shot.

K: Number of tracks that led to a deer still alive?

G: Wait times are critical and I want to track to a dead deer whenever possible, but we do find a small percentage of deer still alive. I’d say we jump or find deer that are unable to get out of a wound bed roughly 5-10% of the time.

K: I’m sure you get this question a lot, biggest buck ever recovered?

G: The biggest buck we’ve recovered was this year for a 17-year-old archery hunter who shot his very first buck with a bow. The buck green scored 223 5/8”. It was also the largest whitetail I’ve ever seen in person. I felt honored to be trusted to track this deer.

K: How many miles did you put on your truck this year driving to track jobs?

G: I have over 18,000 miles on my truck this year and more than 160 miles on my feet.

K: I gathered quite a bit of knowledge during the short time I spent with you and Diesel on my track.

How has Diesel and the knowledge you’ve gained tracking so many deer changed the way you hunt?

G: My tracking experience has really taught me the importance of being far more conservative after the shot than I was before. A conservative tracker will find and recovery far more animals than an aggressive one will. I’m a far better student of analyzing the data available to me and making better decisions on when to track. The deer’s reaction, if the blood matches that reaction, what is the arrow telling me and if that physical evidence matches what I think I saw. Hunters are often wrong about what they see at the shot and analyzing the available physical evidence really helps me make better decisions.


K: Have you tracked any other animals besides deer intentionally?

G: I spent some time in South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana last September in hopes of tracking elk and mule deer. We tracked a few whitetails, but never could find any elk or mule deer hunters who wanted to use services. I’m headed back there next year with a new strategy and hoping to get Diesel on a few elk and helping to show hunters how a trained, veteran tracking dog can be of tremendous help to them.

K: Montana has allowed the use of blood tracking dogs a few years back, what advice can you give someone wanting to get started with a tracking dog?

G: If you want to get started in tracking, the first thing i always tell people is that you have to be in it for the long haul and be willing to put in the work to making a good dog. The process isn’t difficult, but it takes a lot of effort and work to get the results you expect. Veteran dogs capable of making difficult recoveries just don’t happen by accident. They are made through a lot of training and hundreds of actual tracks. Get in touch with a tracker near you or contact a veteran tracker and ask a lot of questions.

K: What is the worst-case scenario for you and Diesel when you met up with a hunter who needs your help?

G: The worst-case scenario for us is when I find out that hunters haven’t been truthful to me about what they have done after the shot. Not knowing an area was grid searched doesn’t allow me to work the dog as effectively as I could if I knew that information going into the track.

K: Tell us about Diesel. Did you seek out his breed? Did you look for something specific in him as a pup? In your opinion what type of breed works best?

G: Diesel is a Bavarian Mountain Hound. They are a European breed who have been used exclusively to track wounded game. They are very talented dogs with excellent noses capable of following cold lines days after the animal was shot. Their stubbornness and excessive energy levels generally are not a good match for a lot of people and their lifestyles. It takes a special person to get the most out of them and they certainly aren’t a good fit for every home. The best breed of tracking dog is the one that fits your lifestyle the best. Tracking seasons are only 3 months long for most people which means the dog you choose has to live with you the other 9 months of the year. This can be troublesome if you can’t satisfy the dog’s desire to work or match their overwhelming energy levels. The dog ends up paying the price in the end when owners find out they may have not made the best decision when purchasing a dog to track with.

K: How old is Diesel?

G: Diesel is 5.5 and I would think is approaching his prime.

K: Could you train another pup alongside Diesel, or would that confuse the puppy? I’m thinking lion hounds and bird dogs can typically train alongside more experienced dogs.

G: Training a pup on the same line as an adult generally doesn’t work too well. There certainly is knowledge transfer being done from adult to pup as the pup is being trained, but it’s almost never done on the same line at the same time. This is especially true in states where the law says the dog must be on a lead at all times. Having two dogs on lead in front of you would not be a fun exercise.

K: From what I’ve learned Diesel is a tracking dog and not necessarily a blood trailing dog. Can you explain what Diesel is looking for, or smelling?

G: Blood tracking is a misnomer. We don’t necessarily track blood and we do not need blood to track an animal. Blood can be part of a scent cocktail that is coming off of a wounded game animal, but hair, dander, saliva, body fluids, blood, glandular scent, breath, broken or crushed vegetation, pain, adrenaline and many more things we don’t don’t know about are all used by the dog to follow the target animal. Whitetails, mule deer and other game animals have an interdigital glad on the bottom of their feet. We feel this plays a big part of the scent profile the dogs are tracking. However, elk and bears do not have an interdigital glad and the dogs transition from one to another with relative ease. There is a tremendous amount of information that we don’t know and couldn’t possibly understand when it comes to determining how dogs actually track. One of the most interesting parts of tracking is how most veteran dogs teach themselves over time what a dead animal smells like compared to one that is just wounded. They act differently on the line and their behavior and body language is different. Some dogs are less focused and not as determined if they feel the animal isn’t dead

and they are not going to get their reward at the end of the track. There are many times I would be able to turn around and tell the hunter that my dog doesn’t think your deer is dead. How exactly they do that is something we could only speculate about.

K: I feel that I haven’t really heard of too many hunters using tracking dog services here in Montana. Do you feel that tracking dogs are underutilized in Western States?

G: The western hunting community as a whole needs to be awakened when it comes to what a tracking dog can do for them. Trained dogs are an incredibly valuable tool for a hunter who is genuinely concerned about making sure he or she hasn’t left an animal to rot in the woods. I think a responsible hunter has the duty and responsibility to do whatever is necessary to recover an animal they have chosen to shoot at. Dogs are responsible for putting hundreds of thousands of whitetails in the freezers of hunters every year. When I was out west this year, I called around to about 20 outfitters in the area telling them of my service and what I could do for them. They were all full of hunters and I know there were bad shots made and animals that they couldn’t find. Many of them told me they had no intention of calling me, some even questioned its legality, while others said they will keep me in mind. One outfitter used me - 7J Outfitters in South Dakota. When I was done tracking two deer for them, recovering one at 1.25 miles and showing them a drop of blood on the other at over 2 miles, both guides looked at me and said this was the most amazing thing they have ever seen. They were amazed at what they watched. They looked at each other in amazement and started to recount how many times we could have put that client’s deer or elk in their truck instead of being left for the wolves and coyotes. It’s like that when hunters see the benefit of a trained dog. They think it’s magic. The west really is very far behind in learning how dogs can be an invaluable tool that they need to have at their disposal. Having spent some time out west tracking last fall, I can tell you that there needs to be far more education and information passed to hunters on how to use a trained tracking dog properly. Once they see the process and a recovery, they would truly understand what they have at their disposal. Now, dogs are used as a last resort, after teams of people have grid searched day after day. The dog is called as a last resort. Once they understand that a dog is their very best first option and a poor last resort, the benefits would become extraordinarily obvious to them. I appreciate the exposure and the chance to educate hunters on the benefits of using dogs to recover game.

K: One last bonus question. Being an Illinois resident how has the crossbow changed the archery season in your opinion?

G: Crossbows are certainly a controversial topic where I live among the hunting community. For the state of Illinois and the IDNR, I believe they are just another vehicle used to control deer numbers for the purpose of satisfying the Auto Insurance Lobbyists. Reduce the population at all costs seems to be their approach. This philosophy can be seen with the introduction of straight wall rifle cartridges this year, as well as extended firearm season dates in many counties. I’d prefer not to see crossbows allowed to be used in the regular archery season, but I believe they are here to stay. One benefit I do see with crossbows is they do allow older or handicapped hunters still be able to enjoy the sport and get in the woods more often that just firearm season.

K: The afternoon before I contacted Gary for help, I was sitting twelve feet up in a hedge tree on a cut corn field edge. The big buck appeared over 200 yards across the field and made up that distance directly to me in no time. As he walked by at 5 yards I drew and released with what looked like a perfect quartering away entrance. Although surprised at the lack of penetration, I was still confident the shot was lethal. Knowing of Gary and Diesel’s services I decided to back off the track after finding the arrow and minimal blood within 40 yards of the shot and a big river ahead of the track. Diesel picked up the track the next morning and sure enough, that buck swam the river onto an area we were not allowed to track. After Gary left to pursue another track that morning, I gained permission to grid search across the river where the buck was headed. I scoured the river-bottom thickets for hours with no luck. That night while lying in bed thinking of big bucks and mistakes made, my trail camera snapped three photos of that buck not twenty yards from last blood.

And now you know… the rest of the story.

Spring 2024 23

MBA board member chosen to serve on Private Land/ Public Wildlife committee

Taken from a Lewistown News Argus

Lewistown bowhunter and MBA vice president, Stephanie Prater is hoping she can help address some of the less desirable changes she’s seen since she started hunting: problems such as the closure of private lands to hunting or crowded conditions on public lands. To do that, Prater threw her name in the hat for a position on the Private Land/Public Wildlife Advisory Committee, and in October learned she had been appointed by the Governor. Her first meeting with the group was on Tuesday.

“The former Fish, Wildlife, and Parks director encouraged me to apply after I served on the elk advisory committee,” Prater said. “I believe strongly in access and wildlife habitat improvement, but mostly I just want to speak for the average Joe hunter, especially native Montanans like me who have seen the decline in private land access.”

Prater said there are many factors that have led to these issues, including poor hunter behavior and new landowners who see things differently. Although the issue is complex, she hopes her time on the PL/ PW committee will lead to a better result for hunters and landowners.

“I was appointed to represent sportsmen but I’m really hoping to help bridge the gap between landowners and sportsmen,” she said.

The PL/PW committee has been in existence since 1995, although it has not always been filled or active.

Other members of the committee represent private landowners, outfitters and guides, and outdoor enthusiasts.

“We are not lawmakers, we make recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the legislature,” Prater said. “No one’s going to get 100% of what they want, because these issues are complicated. I think if we leave at the end of the term and we are all about 80% happy with the work we’ve done, we will have done our job.”

Programs the PL/PW committee might work on include Public Access Land Agreements, where private land owners agree to let the public cross their land to get to public lands, and the 454 program, named after the 2001 bill that sought to incentivize landowners to allow free public hunting on private land by providing elk hunting permits to the landowners.

“There’s a hunter stewardship program we are trying to revitalize to deal with poor hunter ethics,” Prater said. “I’d love to see more landowners enroll in Block Management, but I’d also like to reward the landowners who provide a quality, more managed hunt, rather than just “hunter days” and the quantity of hunters on the property within the pay structure.”

Prater said her love of hunting comes from time spent with both her father and grandfathers when she was growing up in the Helena area.

She sees the time she’ll spend attending PL/PW committee meetings as a way to bring back some of the exceptional experiences she remembers from her youth.

The PL/PW advisory committee meets three to four times a year, for a full day each time or two half-days back-to-back. The work is volunteer, which Prater knows means she’ll use up paid vacation days from her job at the Central Montana Medical Center.

“I see this as a public service,” she said.

Prater said she’d love to hear from Montanans, whether landowners, hunters, or outfitters, regarding their thoughts on improving hunting on private lands. Prater can be reached by email at  mthuntress406@gmail.com or by cell phone at (406)-461-6949


Brian Koelzer’s (Once Secret) Wild Critter Marinade Recipe

½ C Soy Sauce

½ C Avocado Oil

2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

1 Teaspoon Honey

½ Teaspoon Oregano

1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic

1 Teaspoon Finely chopped Green Onion or chives

1 Sprig Fresh Rosemary

Thaw and dry with a paper towel your favorite cut of critter.

Combine ingredients for marinade. Put meat and marinade in a Ziplock bag and refrigerate overnight.

Remove sealed bag from fridge and let it come to room temperature.

Remove meat from bag, placing it directly on a preheated grill. (450)

Turn every minute or two so all sides are seared.

Do not cook past medium rare!

Montana Bowhunter Education Foundation


I thought it would be a good idea today to reach out to our friend AL KELLY and the MBA crew about the Montana Bowhunter Education Foundation. We held a video conference meeting for the MBEF, which several people attended, (named below), including Paul Martin.

These are the newly elected Directors and Officers of the MBEF:

DIRECTOR: Craig M. Jore P.O. 88, Kila, MT 59920

DIRECTOR: Sarah Yerkes 147 South Cedar Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901

DIRECTOR: Jeffrey A. Noble P.O. Box 32, Broadus, MT 59317

PRESIDENT: Sarah Yerkes 147 South Cedar Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901

VICE-PRESIDENT Jeffrey A. Noble P.O. Box 32, Broadus, MT 59317

SECRETARY: Jeffrey G. Yerkes 147 South Cedar Drive, Kalispell, MT 59901

TREASURER: Craig M. Jore P.O. 88, Kila, MT 59920.

I am happy to report that the MBEF is moving forward at this time and making plans for 2024.

I hope that some of us will be able to attend the MBA CONVENTION IN GREAT FALLS ON APRIL 5TH to give the MBA members an update on the MBEF and its activities in Kalispell.

In the past, Paul, Diann, and I have set up a MBEF TABLE at the conventions, to visit with MBA members.

Now, I am personally a member of the MBA, and a former MBA Board Member.

Jeff Noble Broadus, MT Cell 406 853 3153.



Happy New Year to all our members! It seems winter has finally arrived and has been well below zero for the past few days. Hopefully, our wildlife can make it through this cold snap without too many casualties. Last fall the Legislative team voted to poll our membership. We discussed that we wanted to find out how the membership felt we were doing. We sent out a simple poll and the number of responses was great! We received some great feedback and that is what we were looking for. Other comments provided insight in areas that may need to be brushed up on. Overall, I would say the membership feels the legislative team has been doing good work over the past few legislative sessions, season-setting meetings, and other public comment periods. Hope to see everyone at the upcoming banquet.

Justin Doll

Jess Wagner


Hello, MBA membership,

The MBA Membership Committee has some interesting ideas that we have been working on. Two of the ideas are going to happen at the banquet this year April 5th-7th at the Heritage Inn in Great Falls.

First, we are going to have our membership booth and we will be asking everyone in attendance at the banquet to please join our great club. We do appreciate the support given to the MBA by attending the banquet, but for $25 you can take part in all our surveys and give your feedback to the club. Take a more active role in the future in bowhunting here in Montana and join the MBA.

Also, we will be saying thank you to our Life Members. We will be having a special raffle for a great prize available only to our Life Members who are in attendance at the banquet. A life membership is a bargain at $500 and it is worth not having to remember to pay your yearly dues. So please consider upgrading your membership level by making a stop at the membership table.

Thank you for your continued support of the Montana Bowhunters Association.


Spring 2024 25 MEMBER STORY

My First Hunt

I’ve been hunting a lot in my life.

Since the age of around eight, I’ve been tagging along with my dad. Ever since I first went hunting with him, I couldn’t wait to start hunting. In February of 2023, I finally turned old enough to hunt. Once I finished the Hunter Ed book, I was insanely happy. I sort of had a personal deadline and that was to get my license before Spring turkey season. I finished the book a couple weeks before the season started and couldn’t wait for my first hunt. We headed over to a private property around Lewistown. Our goal was to get a turkey, and once we arrived, I was super excited. On the drive there, we saw a bunch of turkeys in the Lewistown area. We drove one of the ranch roads to a little opening in some trees by a field, and I noticed a tree stand in one of the trees by our camp spot. We woke up early the next morning and got ready. I got my .410 shotgun, my specific turkey shells, and got my warm clothes on. We started walking down a ridge through a section of trees since grandpa Dick said that there were turkeys in that area, but our walking and calling was to no avail and I got nothing. We got back to camp, and I told my Dad I wanted to try shooting out of the tree stand, so I got my bow and my dad got some cans as targets. I climbed up into the tree stand and my dad got arrows and a safety harness. I liked it so much that I shot away most of the afternoon and occasionally even hit a can. We went turkey hunting later that night, and I got a nice gobbler. It weighed 18 pounds undressed.  We stayed for a couple more days, and I shot out of that tree stand A LOT and I thought this quite a lot: “I should hunt deer with my bow”. I asked my dad if I could try to hunt deer with my bow during deer season, and he said “Sure, if you want to, but you need to practice a lot”. Once I got and ate my turkey, I couldn’t wait for deer season. I practiced all summer and as summer passed it was time to try some arrows with broadheads. As I was starting to get ready for the season, my dad found me some heavy wooden arrows that were a good weight for my bow. We attached some single bevel broadheads to the arrows, and I started to practice with them A LOT, so that once deer season came around, I was ready. We headed up to the same piece of land and got settled in. The owner, Dick Robertson, makes bows and made my bow that I use and hunt with. It was a Runt Recurve.  On the morning of November 3rd, I had been waiting in the tree stand for a couple hours before some does started to walk around my tree stand, and eventually one started walking closer and closer to where I had a good shot at 10 yards. Would I get it? Would I miss it like what happened two weeks prior? These were the questions that were racing through my mind when I took my shot. I was so anxious and even more nervous after I shot because I wasn’t sure if I had made a good shot or not. When I shot it, it had a

decent amount of blood come out. We waited for an hour or so before we got down. We looked for my arrow first, and we found it by a tree and we started looking for the deer. It took a few minutes, but we found it right away about 75 yards from where I shot it. I was absolutely stoked. We gutted it and loaded it onto the truck. Later that night, we climbed back into a different stand which we knew was a great spot for deer. It only took around 15 minutes for the deer to start appearing. There were about 20 deer around the stand that were too far away to take a shot. Eventually, the deer started to get closer to the stand. A decent sized doe came close enough for a shot. Thwack! I shot, but my arrow went under the deer. My dad says he generally doesn’t ask two favors from one arrow, but when he handed me another arrow from the quiver without looking, it turned out to be the same arrow I killed my first deer with only hours before. As another doe came by, I got to full draw with the arrow and shot it almost perfectly, hitting it in both lungs. Knowing that it was fatal, we only waited about 30 minutes before looking for the deer. There was a decent blood trail that we followed, and we quickly found my second deer of the day. I was almost as stoked as the first time. We took pictures and gutted it. We then drove back to the house with the deer in tow and excitement in our hearts. Sadly, the arrow broke in the deer. After that amazing day, I wanted to try to get a buck with my bow. We still had two days left in the trip to hunt, so I knew I had a chance. The next morning, we sat in a completely different stand and tried getting a buck, but no deer walked by. Later that evening we took a completely different approach. We tried walking and rattling, but after a couple hours and a lot of walking. this was also to no avail.  On the last and final day, we went to a tree stand that was in the same area as the stand I shot my first deer out of. It was around 8:00 AM when deer started to show up. There was a bunch of does and a spiker walking my way. I started to slowly get ready. It weaved its way around the trees and got sort of close before it kind of scared off. Later, a younger two by two walked close behind us but I couldn’t get a shot. About 30 minutes later, that same spiker walked by and finally offered a shot. The buck was about 10 yards away and jumped a little as I shot him and he ran away. We got down and started looking for it with our binocs. Dad said we needed to wait awhile before we took up the trail. Later that day, we had to search for a couple hours but we finally found the deer about 1/4 mile from where I shot it. We got it out and gutted it and packed it onto the truck. We headed back home after one of the most exciting and fun weekends in my LIFE. In total, I had got three deer in three days with two arrows with my Robertson Runt Recurve. It was such a successful season, and it was hard for me to comprehend how fortunate I had been. The meat has been very good so far and Thank You to Dick and The Deer.

Spring 2024 27 2024 CARP SAFARI


, do you know where that old outhouse is down in the woods about 50 yards off the river?”, asked my friend Trevor as we were discussing the best way to hunt a long stretch of timber on an inside corner of the river.  Trevor had taken a great buck in those woods 4 years prior and knew that patch much better than I did.  He went on to tell me about a couple good stand spots he’d found while hunting his big buck with his favorite being not too far from the outhouse on a berm that ran along a little meadow.

The Outhouse Buck and Family Adventures

around like a bird dog the night before.  I knew my morning was shot as deer typically vacate an area when a bear moves in.  I spent a few chilly hours in my stand with only a couple of spotted deer in the distance and, thankfully, no bear. After my sit, I checked a few more places for tracks and then had to hit the road for home.

Early season can be hit-or-miss on the property we hunt depending on what is planted for crops and where the hot spots are.  This year was a bit of a miss.  A lot of the fields were planted in corn and the deer were living in the fields and not the timber.  We knew our efforts would likely be futile until the corn was cut, so we both chose to pursue other critters until then.

Late October rolled around and finally it was harvest time.  Over the course of a week, all the corn was cut and deer started showing up in the timber where we could hunt them.  The next thing we had to figure out is where the deer would be feeding now that the corn was cut.  There were a couple cut barley and alfalfa fields we knew would be getting some attention, so I made plans to go up to scout and hunt the weekend before Halloween.

A nasty snow storm blew through a couple days before I got there and made the scouting a little easier.  Tracks in the snow will usually tell you what you need to know about travel patterns.  My first night up I spent glassing some fields and getting a game plan together.    I saw several good bucks with one being an exceptionally wide old 5x5 with a huge body and short tines.  He was about 600 yards away on the edge of a field posturing at a couple young bucks who had no interest in challenging his authority.  The next morning was bitter cold and in the grey light I hiked along the edge of a dry river channel to the back side of the field, I saw the wide buck in the night before.  There is a small patch of timber that connects the field to the big woods the deer prefer to bed in.  I had two stands already in place in that patch and as I neared my favored tree, I noticed huge tracks in the snow zig zagging all through the woods.  Grizzly bears are quite common in the river bottoms, and unfortunately

The following weekend of November 4th brought warmer temps and high winds.  Deer movement was not so hot with the high winds but I still had several encounters with some nice young bucks.  I did note a handful of fresh scrapes in several of the buck corridors.  Cattle had been moved into several of the alfalfa fields and the deer that had been feeding in them had moved along.  There was no sign of that big wide old buck.

It was my wife’s turn to hunt the next weekend.  We’d had “Family Adventure Weekend” planned for quite a while and we were all excited to play in the woods.  The truck was loaded like the Beverly Hillbillies and we were headed north!  Kara had permission to hunt a property near where I was hunting and the deer numbers were quite good.  We unloaded into our motel room then headed out for the evening hunt.  Arriving at the property it was no surprise the wind was ripping pretty good but from the SW so perfect for her tree.  Kara got changed while our young boys, Bo and Schafer, played in the long grass.  Her stand location was on a creek crossing with a well-used trail going by.  The lock on stand was no more than 6 feet off the ground but buried in an old willow tree with brush all around it and one shooting lane out front.  There was also an old cedar fencepost close to the crossing that the bucks had been working over pretty good.

After Mama got in her tree, the boys and I headed for a fishing access down the road a few miles and spent the afternoon throwing rocks in the river and having snacks.  When the sun started to touch the mountains, I loaded up the kids and headed back towards the property. The county road borders one edge and parking on the side of the road up on a bluff I could look with my binoculars down into where Kara was hunting. I could see several deer near her in a meadow but it looked like they had swung wide around her.  I


did see a couple bucks deeper in the timber pushing a doe around and that gave hope she may still have something walk by her perch.  The boys and I decided to take a drive down the road a few miles then come back to pick up Mama.  With 10 minutes of shooting light remaining, she texted saying she hadn’t seen anything for quite a while and asked me to pick her up.  I turned the truck around and started heading back down the road and all of a sudden my phone rang and it was Kara.  “I just shot a buck!”  She whispered excitedly.  Seconds after sending the text saying her night was over, a nice buck snuck in behind her and walked almost right underneath her stand over to the old cedar fencepost.  In the last minute of shooting light, he paused and offered a quartering away shot at about 15 yards.  She said her arrow looked perfect and passed completely through the buck, burying in the ground near the post.  He took off like a rocket and her last glimpse of him was about 80 yards away heading into the river bottom.  After giving him a little time, I loaded up Schafer into his backpack and the 4 of us went to check the blood with flashlights.  The blood was a little darker than we would have liked and with the blowing wind and long grass it proved to be a tricky trail.  With the abundance of griz in the area we decided to back out and wait till morning.

At first light we were back at last blood and it wasn’t long until we saw a white belly in the long grass in front of us.  Kara had Schafer in the backpack and with Bo holding her hand I got a great video of them walking up on her buck.  When Schafer saw the buck, he started yelling “Deer!  Deer!!” And bouncing in his stirrups.  The buck was a handsome 4x4 and Kara’s arrow had been perfect taking out liver and lung.  Everyone was very excited and after field dressing and dragging chores were done, we headed back to town for a lunchtime celebration!

Fast forward to November 17 and it was my turn again.  I oozed out of bed at 3:30 AM and silently making a cup of coffee and was out the door and driving by 4.  I had three full days to hunt and this was going to be my last weekend of the year to bother whitetails.  I knew the rut was in full swing and I was praying that the “lockdown” window would be breaking.  The weekend before Thanksgiving through the weekend after has always been my favorite time to catch a big buck on the move.  I’ve found this time to be the best for rattling and calling mature deer as well.

I arrived at the property at 7:00 AM and quickly got dressed as a grey light was approaching.  My plan was to get into some deep woods on the edge of a big willow flat.  I had good visibility from that spot and if I saw a buck cruising, I was confident I could probably call him in.  I was in my tree for a half hour and saw a grey body moving through the willows.  I picked up my rattling horns and tickled them together.  Not one, but three bucks came charging my way from different patches of willow.  After some posturing and stiff leg walking around my tree, they all melted away back into the willows.  It was on for sure!  I spent until noon in that tree and saw 11 different bucks but all small to medium models. The wind started to switch and I needed to eject and find a different spot for the the evening hunt.  I drove around for a bit and noted that a couple fields I had wanted to hunt had been disced up during the last week and were nothing but black dirt.  I knew this would congregate deer into the last remaining food sources but I was back at square one looking for a mature buck.

That evening, I tried a spot I hadn’t been to yet.  The sign in the woods was good and I set a short ladder stand at the intersection of a few trails.  I saw a handful of deer moving deep in the woods and as prime time started to approach, a dozen or so came running past me like their butts were on fire.  Generally, this means there is a griz around and I went on red alert.  About 100 yards away I saw a big black body pass through an opening followed by a small black body.  Sow and cub, I thought to myself as I grabbed my stuff to make a speedy exit.  I caught another glimpse and the legs on the black bodies seemed awfully long.  A quick peek with my binos revealed that it was a cow and calf moose, not bears walking though the river bottom.  They ended up feeding in a grassy flat about 60 yards from me for the last hour of light.  They were enjoyable to watch, but unfortunately, my experience with moose in the deer woods is that the deer dislike them as much as they dislike the bears.

This brings me back to the beginning of this story.  Trevor and I were chatting on the phone discussing options when he told me about the outhouse.  I had taken two bucks over the years on the edge of those woods but had never dived deep into them before.  The edge that I had hunted in the past was the end that was easier to access, but the field had been disced so the deer were going to be at the far end going into a cut barley field.  Mature bucks like to rut in the outhouse patch and I felt like this was one of my best chances to find an old brute even though I was unfamiliar with the spot.

The next morning, I started my trek through the freshly turned over field in the dark.  I arrived at the edge of the timber in grey light.  My plan was to retrieve a short ladder stand just inside the edge of the timber, then angle back towards the river and go up the backside until I found the outhouse.  Crossing the fence from the field to the timber I noted that the woods had not been grazed by cattle yet this year and the swamp grass was easily four feet tall.  Crossing a small creek just before my old stand site I was shocked to see a beaten trail along the bank.  The trail was too wide to be deer and there were no cows in the bottom.  A quick inspection at a muddy spot in the trail revealed big griz tracks going back and forth.  An uneasy feely crept up my spine as I realized I was standing on a bear highway!  I quickly made my way to my short ladder 30 yards distant and climbed up.  I sat there in the pre-dawn light asking myself just how deep into these woods I really wanted to go?  Throwing caution to the wind I undid my ratchet strap and eased the continued on page 30

Spring 2024 29 MEMBER STORY

The OuthouseBuck and Family Adventures continued on page 29

8-foot stand back from the tree.  I chose a fairly open lane back towards the river and started to ease along.  After about 300 yards I saw the old outhouse in front of me and angled to it.  I saw a good deer sign crossing the river at a riffle, just like Trevor said and I angled deeper into the woods.  100 yards from the outhouse I found another trail and set my ladder in a good tree at the intersection of the two trails.  The sun was almost up by the time I was set but I wasn’t too bothered by this fact as I was still well back from the barley field the deer were feeding in and I was planning to sit here most of the day if the wind allowed.   Half an hour after sunup, two does and a fawn slowly made their way past me from the direction of the field.  My hopes were high but the next hour was very slow.  Suddenly I caught a movement to my left.  I slowly turned my head and saw three coyotes trotting my way.  I was out of position to shoot and as they got behind me, they caught my wind and took off towards the west.  My heart sank and I had a bad feeling the coyotes were going to stir up any deer that might be that direction.  A couple minutes later a small 4x4 and a doe came bounding my way, obviously spooked by the pack of coyotes.  They got about 50 yards off to my side and the doe settled down and decided to bed.  The buck bedded right next to her and for the next half hour they didn’t move.

The wind was rustling peacefully through the trees and I was enjoying the morning even though there wasn’t much deer activity.  Snow geese were flying overhead by the thousands and their goofy high-pitched honk was lulling me into a trance.  I slowly glanced over my shoulder towards the bedded deer and about dropped my bow when I saw wide and heavy antlers topping the riverbank behind them by the outhouse.  A quick look with my binos confirmed it was the big old deer I had seen earlier in the month.  I grabbed my rattling horns and ground them together.  The small buck and doe jumped up and the big guy’s head whirled and he started stomping my way.  The swaying grass and

scattered brush provided just enough sound and visual cover that he couldn’t pinpoint exactly where I was or the fact that there were not two deer actually fighting.  I rattled until he was about 50 yards out and closing.  He held up as soon as I stopped and after a moment acted like he was going to walk away.  One more tickle of the tines and he turned and charged my way all bristled up and looking to lay down the law.  He entered my shooting lane quartering towards me then turned hard away.  I had to make a quick shot at about 18 yards and I hit him farther back than I wanted.  My arrow zipped through him like he wasn’t even there and after a couple short bounds he whirled and squared off with his unseen tormenter.  I realized he thought he’d been poked by another buck and he was still looking for a fight.  He stood facing me for just a moment and then I saw his demeanor start to change.  He slowly started to turn away from me and I quickly nocked another arrow and looked for an opening.  As his head went behind a tree I leaned down and drew my Schafer take down longbow.  Finding my anchor, I held as his body appeared and when I had a good look at his chest, I picked my spot and released.  The distance was 30 yards and it felt like slow motion watching my arrow arc towards him and disappear in his chest.  Another total pass through.  He took a couple bounds towards me and stopping behind the trunk of a big tree, he slowly tipped over with barely a shudder.  I’m convinced that he never knew he’d been shot.

Giving myself several minutes to regain control of my liquified knees, I slowly climbed down and sat beside the fallen brute.  I gave my silent thanks and admired the heavy horns and thick scarred up neck.  With an inside spread of 22 3/4” he is the widest whitetail I have ever taken.  After some pics and field dressing, I contemplated the best way to get him out of the woods.  I decided my easiest route would be back towards the outhouse and across the river where I could get my truck down to the edge of a field on a little used two-track.  My safety harness has a loop on the back to drag deer with and I tied my tree strap around his neck and started the pull out.  I caught my breath around the outhouse and snapped a few pics before crossing the river with him.  I managed to get rather wet but made it to the other side and up to the field edge.  I crossed back through the river feeling as light as a feather and sloshed my way back to my truck.  Changing into dry clothes I made the short drive to retrieve him.  Trevor was kind enough to let me hang the buck in his shop to skin and let cool overnight.   That evening after a beer and burger at the local tavern I slept like a baby. I woke early to load up, head home to my family, and start planning our next adventure!


Region 1


(406) 438-1714

Whitefish, Montana

Region 2

Jeff Burrows

CommissionerRegion2@mtfwp.org (406) 438-1148

Hamilton, Montana

Region 3

Susan Kirby Brooke CommissionerRegion3@mtfwp.org (406) 438-0460

Bozeman, Montana

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Brian Cebull

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Billings, Montana

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Lesley Robinson

Commission Chair CommissionerRegion6@mtfwp.org (406) 301-0787

Dodson, Montana

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William Lane

CommissionerRegion7@mtfwp.org (406) 438-0143

Ismay, Montana

Region 4

KC Walsh

CommissionerRegion4@mtfwp.org (406) 438-3625

Martinsdale, Montana

Spring 2024 31 CONTACT NUMBERS BUSINESS & CLUB MEMBERS Become a Business Member of the MBA and be listed on this page every issue! For membership visit www.mtba.org. Active as of February 2024 Big Sky State Games Liana Susott Box 7136 Billings MT 59103 406-254-7426 Blue Creek Outdoors Joe Bartlett 1902 Woodbine Way Polson MT 59860 307-851-4883 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 Hamilton Advanced Dentistry Daniel Wharton 129 Copper King Ct Hamilton MT 59840 JB’S Les Schwab Tire Kellen MacDonald PO Box 744 Libby MT 59923 406-293-7797 Kutawagan Outfitters/ Bearpaw Lodge Jeff and Annette Smith Box 70 Choiceland SK S0J 0M0 306-428-2032 Matablas Game Hunters Willem Frost PO Box 1559 Lephalale Limpopo 0555 27116794664 Montana Veterinary Hospital Dennis Moylan 1455 Hidden Valley Rd Bozeman MT 59718 406-580-2019 Mountain Copper Creations Jim Clapham 4085 Old Marshall Grade Road East Missoula MT 59802 406-880-9411 Philipsburg Coffee Roasters, LLC Kevin Lorensen 100 Stevie Lane, #767 Philipsburg MT 59858 406-317-3026 Pronghorn Custom Bows Herb Meland 2491 W 42nd St Casper WY 82604 307-234-1824 Schafer Silvertip Custom Bows Dave Windauer 357 Roberts Rd Columbia Falls MT 59912 406-892-0580 The Footed Shaft Codi Hanson 44 Shaffer Lane Toston MT 59643 406-616-3200 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 Yellowstone Longbow Rich Wormington 280 HWY 14A E Lovell WY 82431 307-548-6292 Zinks Big Sky Archery Targets Terry L & Dylan Zink PO Box 1272 Marion MT 59925 406-253-4670
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