Is the next state-record northern pike swimming in Fort Peck Reservoir? A hardy crew of ice anglers is betting their spears on it Joe Horn briefly disappears in a cloud of blue smoke. His airboat has just fired to life, and after a sputter and a chug, the...

When the going gets tough, the tough get fishing ‘Twas the week before Christmas, and plenty of creatures were stirring in Paradise Valley south of Livingston, Montana, despite the cold and snow. Her face framed by a corona of frost, a whitetail doe eyed us warily...

Skating the backcountry I’ve skated before, but this time it feels like flying. The ice is smooth and fast; it takes almost no energy for me to glide from one side of the lake to the other. I push with my left leg and flow along...

After 37 years, Big Sky Resort’s ski patrol director is hanging up his coat and cross  During his first week of work ski patrolling at Montana’s Big Sky Resort in 1982, Bob Dixon was buried in two avalanches. He also saved someone’s life. By that time, the 33-year-old...

One of Montana’s most expensive Hereford auctions “Would you look at the butt on that bull?” The auctioneer calls out, as smiles crack in the crowd. “Let’s start this fella out at $15,000. Anybody give me $15,000 for this bull? Cowboys, cowgirls, get your ropes ready. Oh...

Deep in the woodpile I pull chunks of myrtle for an evening fire, winter holding on. When the fire blazes I notice a wasp, months asleep, in a dusty crease. Do I wait for it to unfurl and stumble into this false spring? Brush it off outside for a chance? Crush it with the poker? I ponder...

A writer takes to the wintery open road Dense fog hangs above Montana’s Bitterroot Valley on this, a crisp December morning. The fog creates a mushroom cap of mist, through which it requires low beams to yield even a sliver of visibility. I’ve inched south from...

The specific setting of John Larison’s new novel, Whisky When We’re Dry, (Viking, $26) is never identified, but the locations, scenarios, and characters are as vivid as a painting and as familiar as the work of an Old Master. Yet, there are surprises in store...

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