Tongue River Reservoir is Full of Crappie: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Tongue River Reservoir still holds the Montana record for biggest black crappie. Could that fall this year? Well, according to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks fisheries manager Mike Backes, surveys of crappie in the popular south-central Montana reservoir last fall showed some fat fish. So even if the state record doesn’t fall, anglers have a good chance to catch […]

Setting the Story Straight: Brett French Radio Show Preview


It’s always surprising when one story can be told so differently by so many people. Such is the case with the tale of Margaret McDonald and the large grizzly bear she shot back in 1964. Two weeks ago, The Gazette published one version, and ever since I have heard from other people telling slightly different […]

You Think You’re Cold? – Brett French Radio Show Preview


You think you’re cold? Try living in a travel trailer at 9,000 feet in the Beartooth Mountains in the winter. That’s what Patrick Cross and Jake Kay are doing as they conduct research on red foxes this winter. The trailer is actually a pretty nice refuge from the cold, wind and snow, despite the fact that […]

Adventures in Winter Ecology: Brett French Radio Show Preview


What do you call the air space between the snow and the ground? It’s the subnivian space. That’s one of the things I learned while visiting the Bohart Ranch Cross Country Ski Area, located about 16 miles northeast of Bozeman, last week.The ranch has a great winter program for area schoolchildren that blends Nordic skiing […]

Jig’s Success Crimps Father-Son Team’s Fishing Time: Brett French Radio Show Preview


The father and son team of Kit and Trevor Johnson of Helena have proven the effectiveness of their Glass Minnow jigs time and time again with photos, videos and testimonials from their clients. The duo have been so successful in making and marketing the Kit’s Tackle jigs that they now have less time for fishing […]

Hunter and Angler Numbers on the Rise: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Hunter and angler numbers have risen in recent years, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s survey, but do you wonder why? Maybe not so surprisingly, part of the reason is because of the poor economy. When things were bad, folks who were unemployed or underemployed had more time to go fishing and hunting. […]

A Little Bit of Luck, A Little Bit of Skill: Brett French Radio Show Preview


After 40 years of hunting, it’s easy to assume that maybe I’ve developed some skills, that maybe I know what I’m doing. But wildlife continually surprise me, acting in unexpected ways. That was the case this fall when I was trying to fill my A tag. My friend and I had decided we would try […]

Shooting Star: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Former Billings resident and Olympian Pat Spurgin Pitney will be inaugurated into the USA Shooting Hall of Fame on Saturday in Colorado Springs, Colo. She joins two other Montanans in the hall, Lones Wigger and John Foster. She was coached in her early years by Billings resident and former All Air Force International Shooting Team […]

State Studying Complicated Hunting License Fee Structure: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Two state groups have been busy this summer studying Montana’s hunting license fees and comparing those to what other states charge. In an examination of 12 surrounding western states, not including California but including Nebraska, Montana residents paid the lowest fees for deer and elk licenses while nonresidents paid some of the highest fees to […]

Building Pallid Passage on the Yellowstone: Brett French Radio Show Preview


For more than a decade, state and federal officials have been working to figure out a way to provide wild pallid sturgeon passage at Intake Dam on the Yellowstone River. Two years ago, the Army Corps of Engineers helped build a new irrigation headworks above the dam that includes huge fish screens that could halt […]

Slow Rebound for Antelope: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Antelope populations are slowly bouncing back in northeastern Montana following the harsh winter of 2010-11 that killed off an estimated 70 percent of the herds in that area. The gains are incremental though, with fawn-to-doe ratios still lower than what biologists would like to see. Ideally, fawn-to-doe ratios of 80 fawns per 100 does are […]

Weather Cools a Bit, but Rivers Dropping, Warming: Brett French Radio Show Preview

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It’s always strange to have to put a jacket on at the end of July. But on Wednesday morning the temperature in Billings was only 66 degrees at 9 a.m., pretty unusual. The cool weather followed a couple of soaking rainstorms that were pretty localized, from what I hear, but we’ll take it — anything […]

There’s Still Water on the Stillwater River: Brett French Radio Show Preview


A float trip down the Stillwater River last Saturday was a cool respite from the hot weather we’ve been suffering through out here in south-central Montana. The river wasn’t too crowded, either, considering a float is a great way to beat the heat. We stopped along the way to soak a fly. We were fishing […]

Pike, hoppers and flash floods?: Brench French Radio Show Preview


Northern pike fishing has been good at Tongue River Reservoir this past week, according to folks at the marina. Fish up to 10 pounds have been taken. The pike are biting on bottom bouncers with worm harnesses. Most are being taken by walleye anglers. News of the northern bite comes just as the Yellowstone River […]

When All Hail Breaks Out: Brett French Radio Show Preview

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With the Fourth of July falling on a Thursday last week, it was the perfect opportunity to string together four days off and launch my old holey raft on several of Montana’s great waters. We started off with a float down the Stillwater River, from Jeffrey’s Landing to Columbus. The flow was perfect for some […]

Big Hugs for Big Bugs: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Salmonflies were hatching on the upper Yellowstone River over the weekend and provided some fun fly-fishing action. I had backpacked into Yellowstone National Park from the Hellroaring Creek trailhead to reach the Yellowstone River Trail, an 18-mile long hike (22 if you can’t use the creek ford) between Hellroaring and the Eagle Creek Campground above […]

Edward Tilton Won the Matthew Quigley Buffalo Rifle Match: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Edward Tilton, of Columbia Falls, defied a fickle wind to win the 22nd annual Matthew Quigley Buffalo Rifle Match last weekend in a cow pasture north of Forsyth. Tilton had 43 hits out of 48 shots. Taking first place for the women, known as the Crazy Cora prize, was Margo Hanson, of Twin Valley, Minn., with […]

Anglers starting to catch crappie at Tongue RR: Brett French Radio Show Preview


(photo courtesy of Brett French)   The crappie bite seems to be heating up at Tongue River Reservoir. The bite is something a lot of folks can’t wait to hit. Although the fish are small, they are flavorful and a great chance to get children hooked on fishing. They can be successfully caught from shore, […]

Migratory Elk Herd Near Cody Declines: Brett French Radio Show Preview


Scientists have documented a decline in the number of elk that migrate from the Sunlight Basin near Cody, Wyo., into Yellowstone National Park where they spend the summer. The study compared the migratory herd to a resident group that stays much of the time on private, irrigated cropland. In comparison, the non-migratory herd has fared […]

Cool, Old Firearms: Brett French Radio Show Preview

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(photo courtesy of Brett French)   The Cody Firearm Museum in Wyoming has some unbelievable old weapons on display. It’s no wonder, they have a collection of about 7,000 pieces. For the next three months, the museum is displaying 64 unique items it received on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. The […]