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hunting

Oct. 18-31, 2013 29

Hunting camp By Chloe Nostrant

Explore Big Sky Contributor

At 3 a.m., it was snowing. I was cold and tired, and so was everyone else in camp. I just need to make it through breakfast, and then back to bed, I thought to myself. After three weeks working in a backcountry hunting camp, I should have been used to the early starts, but it was just getting harder.       

We cooked everything from scratch, even the bread. I somehow was able to make bread in a snowstorm in a tent, but now at my house, I can’t get the yeast to rise properly. We made crème brûlée the last night, using a propane torch made for lighting lanterns. One morning, I went out to heat up the showers before the hunters returned, only to encounter a black bear at 20 feet. That night, a pack of wolves came into the horse pasture 200 yards from our tent. As they howled under the full moon, it was terrifying and powerful – just from their calls, I could tell how big they were. Chopping wood, I’ve learned, is much harder than it looks, but I also now know that it’s kind of a science. The Lee Metcalf Wilderness’s valleys are deep, and its forests lush. In my three weeks there, I experienced more wild, untamed nature than in all of my 19 years combined. Clockwise from top:In the first snow of the season, Pepper awaits his hunter; wood-chopping victory; hunting tents framed by Sage Peak and the Lee Metcalf Wilderness Area

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