The 2019 Montana Chapter Campout was a weekend for the ages!
Montana BHA members from across the state (and even a BHA member from Canada!) convened at Upper Sure Shot Lake in the Tobacco Roots for a weekend of camaraderie, awareness building and good ol' fashion fun.
Featuring a bear safety seminar from the Montana Bear Education Working Group, a Board Meeting open to all, Backcountry Olympics, tons of wild game treats, a member-led Campfire Stories and other shenanigans, this campout will be hard to top.
Not only did we eat freshly caught trout, but BHA'ers shared wild foods from the past season including elk pastrami, venison of many varieties, wild asparagus and - the star of the show - an elk-shoulder-bacon and bear fat almond brittle served over hand-cranked maple buttermilk frozen custard and topped with rhubarb currant sauce, with a dash of cayenne for good measure.
Needless to say, we all ate well.
The return of the Backcountry Olympics proved to be an exciting bit of competition with teams competing in archery, casting, conservation trivia, a wildflower scavenger and identification contest and the fiercest of all fire-starting challenges! In the end, the coveted 'Golden Antler' trophy found a new home and will live in Miles City til 2020.
We wrapped up the weekend with a BBQ feast before all in attendance circled around the campfire to share stories from the last year. With the only parameters of the stories being a) on public lands and waters in Montana and b) within the last year, we heard a wide variety of tales ranging from folks' 'firsts' and 'biggests' to most impactful, memorable or downright hilarious. There were tears, laughter and a whole lot of appreciation for just how good we have it in public-land-rich Montana.
We look forward to seeing you all next year.
Stay tuned for dates and location.