During the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) 10th Annual North American Rendezvous (June 3-5, 2021) in Missoula, Montana, we were reminded that BHA knows a thing or two about campfires. BHA started around a campfire in southern Oregon during 2004. In the words of BHA founder Mike Beagle (a former U.S. Army field artillery officer), “What we started around a campfire has grown into a forest fire. BHA is getting better and better. The best is yet to come!”
And this Rendezvous was one for the history books (see related press/news hits and photos link below). The first completely outdoors “Old School” Rendezvous; the first to include a “Buffalo Breakdown” butchering demonstration and bison feast; a Campfire Stories stage dive/fall (no one was injured); and it was held at historic Fort Missoula, where the first BHA Rendezvous was held (indoors) during March 2012.
The Rendezvous was also attended by hunting-angling-conservation stalwarts like Randy Newberg and Clay Hayes. “Uncle Randy” is well known for two popular TV shows, “Fresh Tracks” and “On Your Own Adventures,” accompanied by the long-standing “Hunt Talk” web forum. Now added to those platforms is the “Hunt Talk Podcast.”
Clay Hayes is a wildlife biologist and filmmaker who produced the YouTube channel “Backcountry College,” sponsored by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. He’s also the author of the Traditional Bowyer’s Handbook and is featured in Season 8 (2021) of “Alone” on the History Channel. Clay showed us the first Season 8 episode during the Rendezvous.
The Colorado BHA chapter contingent at Rendezvous included (in part): Boulder County Regional Director, Geordie Robinson, who was one of the chefs for the Field to Table Dinner; Central West Slope Assistant Regional Director, Adam Gall, who provided entertainment (i.e., played guitar) during the Field to Table Dinner and received BHA’s Jim Posewitz Award (more below and to follow); Co-Chairs Don Holmstrom and David Lien; Legislative Director Ivan James; and two Colorado BHA members, Mike and Casey Pelzl (along with their rottie pup, Gunther), who also attended our 2018 Colorado BHA Rendezvous.
In addition, Colorado was represented by three outstanding BHA staff members: BHA Program Manager, Brien Webster; BHA State Policy and Field Operations Director, Tim Brass; BHA Conservation Director, John Gale. Start making plans to attend the 2022 North American Rendezvous if possible. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget and will want to repeat! Fort Missoula will also likely be the venue in 2022.
Colorado BHA Events
Not to be outdone, here in Colorado our Southeast Group completed a Pike National Forest clean-up project on the Gold Camp Road (on June 6). See the KOAA News coverage of their excellent work (link below), including input from SE Group leaders/members Drew Trujillo and Justin Frey. Well done! We also have the Colorado BHA 12th Annual Rendezvous (July 23-25) in the pipeline (info. link below). We’re looking forward to seeing many of you there!
- “When game animals were scarce or absent … hunters … stepped forward as conservationists … When it came time to protect the fading wilderness, the idea for its preservation found its birth around the hunter’s fire.” –Jim Posewitz, Inherit The Hunt
- “All good things happen around a campfire …” –Land Tawney, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers President and CEO
- Colorado BHA Central West Slope Group ARD Adam Gall is owner of Timber to Table Guide Service (http://timbertotableguideservice.com/) and co-owner of Colorado BHA Corporate Sponsor Chrysalis Barrell Aged Beer in Paonia (https://chrysalisbeer.com/).
- Spencer Humphrey. “Group works to clean and combat dumping on national forest land: Garbage has been piling up on some national forest land sites along Old Stage Road.” KOAA News 5: 6/6/21.
- “Colorado BHA (July 23-25) 12th Annual Chapter Rendezvous.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 4/30/21.
BHA 10th Annual North American Rendezvous press hits/highlights/information:
- Backcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA) 10th Annual North American Rendezvous in Missoula, Montana (at Fort Missoula: June 3-5, 2021): https://photos.app.goo.gl/nzYAuDoS6WoGckAW8
- “On Friday [June 4], a ceremonial butchering, a ‘Buffalo Breakdown,’ by Blackfeet members was showcased to a Backcountry Hunters & Anglers crowd in Missoula. Montana House Representative and Blackfeet Tribal member Tyson Runningwolf was behind the partnership to bring the butchering to the BHA North American ‘Rendezvous’ at Fort Missoula.”
- Geneva Zoltek. “‘Buffalo Breakdown’ features traditional Blackfeet bison butchering: Backcountry Hunter & Anglers gathering hosts educational showcase.” KPAX Western Montana: 6/6/21.
- KPAX Western Montana. “‘Buffalo Breakdown’ showcases ceremonial bison butchering.” Yahoo News: 6/6/21.
- KPAX Western Montana. “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: An overview of the Backcountry Hunters & Anglers annual gathering.” Yahoo News: 6/5/21.
- KPAX Western Montana. “Backcountry Hunters & Anglers hosts 'rendezvous' at Fort Missoula: The annual event is outdoors and in-person this year.” KPAX: 6/4/21.
- Laura Lundquist. “Backcountry Hunters and Anglers holds outdoor gathering for 10th Rendezvous.” KPAX Western Montana: 6/3/21.
- NBC Montana Staff. “Backcountry Hunters and Anglers North American Rendezvous comes to Fort Missoula.” NBC Montana: 6/4/21.
 Jim Posewitz. Inherit The Hunt. Guilford, Connecticut: The Globe Pequot Press, 1999, p. 104.
 Brad Dokken. “Backcountry Hunters and Anglers chapter on tap for North Dakota.” Grand Forks Herald: 1/21/18.