Oh, Give Me a Home…

In this frenetic and oddly connected world in which we live, it’s always nice to have an opportunity to actually shake hands and spend quality time with folks that you’ve otherwise known only through email, Facebook, text messages, and the intertubes.

As many of you know, for the past year I’ve been contributing photos and essays to a wing shooting blog called Mouthful of Feathers. Two of my cohorts in that project, Bruce Smithhamer and Tom Reed, have been kicking around a book idea, so they strong-armed me into joining them on a “research mission” to Choteau, Montana. The plan was to trailer horses and dogs into sharptail country, whereby we would hunt birds in crisp fall weather and do as the locals do: a little drinkin, a little dancin, a little fightin…

Well, I’m pleased to report that all went as planned, except for the “crisp” part. Who knew that it would be cooler in Austin on October 1st, than it was in northern Montana? Folks up there called it Indian summer, and by noon on day three we would have gladly swapped our blazing saddles for some firewater and a casino that served bird dogs.

Despite the weather, however, it was nice to get out in great country with quality folks and watch the bird dogs do what they’re bred to do. The heat made it really tough for sharptails on the front end, but a slight shift in the weather on day four matched up nicely with our plan to look for Hungarian partridge in some new country. With damp skies and cooler temps, we put up several coveys of huns on the last morning and proudly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Thanks to Tom, Bruce, and his lovely wife Kat, for giving a flatlander an excuse to visit the mountains. Thanks also to Jim Culver for allowing us to invade his home at the Pine Butte Guest Ranch.

And that book project? Well, here’s a sample of what we’ve got in mind and you can click here to see the rest of the shoot. Stay tuned for details.


Tom Reed loading horses near Choteau, Montana

(L) Water break   (R) The payoff

Requisite scenery shot

Bruce and Kat Smithhammer on a walkabout

(L) Happy Hank   (R) Hungry Hank

Snowberries: grouse like these

Tom and Echo with a last-day Hungarian partridge

Power nap for Ike

7 Responses to “Oh, Give Me a Home…”

  1. Mark Coleman says:

    Damn pretty pictures. I gotta give that Montana thing a try sometime.

  2. Tom Reed says:

    Great photos bud, and great hunting with you. Looking forward to the next one!

  3. Gunner says:

    Hey thanks for sharing the great pics. Never been too MT but someday i’ll be headed that way! Lets hope for some better weather…….

  4. Julie from the Patch says:

    Fabulous pictures Tosh.
    Who gave Kat a gun?

  5. Beautiful pics! Takes me back to summer days in Lander, Wyoming. Please tell Mr. Reed I said, “Hello!” Glad to see he’s still bird huntin’ and whatnot! 🙂 Best of luck with your project!
    Kind regards,

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