Montana BHA Student Chapters Host Annual “Brawl of the Wild on Ice”

On February 24th, club members from the University of Montana, Montana State and Montana Tech BHA Student Chapters joined at Georgetown Lake near Philipsburg, Montana for their fourth annual ice fishing event, “The Brawl of the Wild on Ice.”

During the Winter months, when the rivers are icy and we not-so-patiently await spring fishing, Montana anglers beat cabin fever by jigging through the ice and closely monitoring tip-ups. The “Brawl of the Wild on Ice” was created to introduce new anglers to their winter opportunities and give students from each school a chance to gather and build community.

Historically, the University of Montana and Montana State student chapters have gone head-to-head, but this year was different. In their first semester as a new student chapter, members from Montana Tech’s BHA club hit the ice with the Grizzlies and the Cats.

Together the clubs fish, learn about regulations and ethics, and grill out on the ice. This year, nearly 40 students from the three university clubs attended, both experienced anglers and first-timers. Through club-provided gear and mentorship, student anglers have the chance to try their hand at ice fishing without the barrier of investing in gear and the daunting task of learning on their own.

At the end of the day, the club with the highest number of fish caught is named that year’s winner. No buy-in, no prize, just the legendary rivalry between Montana universities to spark excitement.

For the majority of the Brawl, the University of Montana anglers and Montana State anglers were neck and neck, but ultimately, Montana State surged forward, catching the most number of fish of the day-- a mixed bag of rainbow trout, brook trout, and kokanee salmon.

Follow the Montana clubs on Instagram: @umbackcountryhunters @bhaofmsu

About Claire McAtee

Originally from South Carolina, I am now living in Missoula, MT and attending the University of Montana where I am UM BHA student chapter's President. I am pursuing degrees in Wildlife Biology and Journalism while also pursuing birds, big bucks, and the