Fall Colors (by Colonel Smoothbore)
By angelamontana

Posted: October 15, 2017

Montana’s General Big Game Season is just a few days away and although my anticipation and enthusiasm isn’t quite what it was 53 years ago during my first huntin season, I’m ready and rare’n to go. But before we head to our favorite hunting grounds I hope all will consider the following.

ALWAYS keep safety foremost in your mind and actions. Make sure you understand you gun and how to operate it; take a few minutes now to refresh your memory with the manual of arms for your specific firearm. Go to the range and rezero your scope, and practice at various ranges; it may make the difference when that trophy of a lifetime wanders out of the trees. Check all your equipment for condition and function and make a list of what you need to have a safe and successful hunting season. Do this now, not last minute.

Know what permits and licenses are needed for the area you intend to hunt. Area maps and GPS units are extremely helpful and may keep you from becoming lost in unfamiliar territory. I strongly recommend loading your GPS with an On X map. The information included is really a great aid to any hunter, here’s a link to their website, www.onxmaps.com

I’ve been a certified firearms instructor for years and I recently received Montana Hunter Safety Instructor certification. Please everyone, review both firearm and hunter safety rules and remember these rules were never made to be broken. My family knows firsthand the lifelong consequences of a firearms tragedy. 33 years ago, we lost one of our own and not a day goes by that I don’t think of Dan. Let’s all decorate the woods with our favorite fall color, hunter orange.

As hunters we all share the responsibility to help law enforcement catch those who abuse our resources. Already this fall there have been way too many cases of poaching and it seems that wanton waste of game animals is more reprehensible than ever. Poachers are criminals, not hunters and it is up to each and every one of us to do all we can to stop these cretins. If you see or suspect game law violations just call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). If we all work together, we can help apprehend the criminals.

This is one of the most wonderful times of the year; a time when we reap the rewards of living in the most beautiful and bountiful place on the planet, Montana. It is time now for family, friends, old tales, and new legends. It is hunting season.

Be safe and good shooting and good luck.

Colonel Smoothbore