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Eastern Montana and the Missouri Breaks

Eastern Montana and the Missouri Breaks

About to leave for Colorado for 3 weeks to hunt elk at high elevation. Sadly I will not have cellphone or internet to keep in contact with the outside world. But, in the meantime here is some photos I was able to take in between filming elk hunting in the Missouri Breaks and Antelope hunting in eastern Montana. We began this trip by staying at a Hutterite community in an old abandoned farm-house in the middle of the plains.

The Hutterites who thrive off the profit of their vast amounts of land and farming live here disconnected from the world. They rarely make contact with outsiders,so to say the least they enjoyed our company. When on the farm, however disconnected from the world, the world still finds you in the form of nuclear missile silos. Supposedly, very anti-war even to the point that many have been imprisoned to avoid the draft, the Hutterites oppose the missile silos that lay across the land. But, I guess war and national security trumped the protest and the missile silos dot the land. The small concrete buildings are just the tip of the iceberg of the huge killing machines that lay buried below and could be sent halfway around the world with just a click of a button. That is if the actual silo you are viewing is a dummy or not. The military has been known to place a vast amounts of fake silos to distract the enemy. However, I don’t believe dummy missile silos would be too effective if the world was involved in a nuclear war because we’d all be dead anyways.
For the next few days at the Hutterites farm we chased around antelope who seemed to always see us from miles away as we tried to stalk up. These creatures are built with amazing sight that can see for miles which gives them a huge advantage on the Montana plains. Giving up on stalking we decided to set up decoys and wait, to no avail. By the end we had filmed and seen many antelope bucks…from miles away.

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Giving up on the antelope and the German-speaking Hutterites we moved to the Missouri Breaks. For anyone who as ever been there they know there is no other place like it. We were arriving in late August and the sandy mountains, that are always shifting, offered little reprieve from the heat. The whole time I felt as if we had been dropped off in the Sahara desert. We tried to take advantage of the lack of water by sitting by the few feet wide water holes that elk visit everyday to cool and drink. This worked a few times for getting us in close with these giant creatures, but didn’t present any shooters. One day during our 5 day stay we followed a GPS map of a river trying to find water only to discover that the drought had dried up one of the biggest tributaries in the breaks. I still do not know how any animal survived that summer with how rare rain and even watering holes were. Luckily for us we had a running faucet off the side of the ranch we were camping on. (We paid the owner with beer daily)

By the fifth day we were dirty, sun burnt, and covered in dust. We asked the rancher as he drove by our tents if we could shower, but he told us didn’t work. Luckily(kind of), his very drunk friend driving the truck offered for us to take showers in a cabin outside of his house. He mumbled a few directions and sped off. Going off the little information we had been given we began driving down random ranchers dirt driveways trying to find the cabin. The whole time I stared out the window waiting for the shotgun blasts to start busting off the side of the truck. For some reason ranchers are more protective of their land than the average farmer, especially the ones out west. Finally, we found a house with a cabin, and luckily it was unlocked. After my shower I laid there reading the guys anti-government pro-militia books he had lying around(this kind of thing is common in Montana), when suddenly truck headlights came beaming through the window. I heard the door slam and footsteps quickly coming towards the cabin. Sensing something strange I began moving away from the door as it swung open and slammed off the wall. There stood the man we had talked to earlier even more drunk than before. He belted out “Who the hell are you!” He appeared very upset and in fact he was. I stayed silent while the hunter tried explaining our whole story. I became even more nervous when we began to realize he was so drunk that he could not remember us. Adding to the awkward situation, we could not remember the name of the guys ranch we were staying on which probably made us even more suspicious. Finally, like a light-bulb just clicked in his head the guy remembered and instantly began to laugh out loud. “I was going to shoot you! Hahah!” Everybody nervously laughed, but soon the nervousness resided as we discovered the man was still drunk, but a lot calmer.

The next day we left the Missouri Breaks to return to hunting in Trout Creek.

-Evan

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