Trekking deep into the wilderness in search of Elk can bring you to places where no other human has traveled in years. One great place to do this is in the Missouri Breaks in Eastern Montana. The desert terrain of the land, with the addition of the constantly moving mountains of sand and dirt carved from the overflowing Missouri river, makes the land very difficult to explore. The first European’s to explore into this territory were the Lewis and Clark expedition which warned of the perils of land the land including the prickly pears(whose thorns caused Lewis’s foot to swell with infection), the Grizzly Bears, and the threat of the “Gumbo” when it rains (Gumbo refers to deep slippery mud that forms in the Breaks even with a small amount of rain). Lewis concluded that no one would ever settle on this land. Now, almost 200 years later, he was partly right as there are very few inhabitants of the area.
We arrived shortly after a large rainstorm had passed through the breaks and found out all to well how tough the land could be. Initially we attempted to travel by truck up the steep sandy mountains,but decided as we watched the truck slide multiple feet towards the edges of large cliffs that it was too risky to drive. We decided to head to camp and spend the cold night (a few snow-showers that quickly melted) in our tents. In the morning the sand had dried somewhat, so we drove as far as we could and for the next few days traveled by foot. Although we did not shoot an elk in the few days we had, we did explore the forgotten land of the Missouri Breaks including coming upon multiple abandoned trappers cabins from the 1800’s. When you’re in untouched land, such as this there is, nothing to remind you of the modern world or any time period in which humans existed so you can let your mind travel to any period in history and imagine what it would have been like. That is until you get hungry and reach for your bag of Pringles.
Leaving the breaks we hunted across Montana including the Great Falls area where I photographed the Moose.