By Montana Grant

Posted: September 8, 2022


Finds an acorn occasionally! Kirk Stovall, aka “Shrapnel” is one of the luckiest hunters that I know. Shrapnel has been a lucky Montana hunter for his entire life. As a child, his dad, and others showed him the path. The path led to a happy life, loving family, wonderful faith, and some great hunting along the way. 

Shrapnel and I shared a moose hunt a few years ago. He drew a great tag and together we filled it. Hunting was hard for both of us Blind Squirrels. Kirk had recent knee replacement surgery. I was on my way to back surgery. Throw in the Old Fart Syndrome, aches, and pains, and we certainly had plenty of excuses to not find any acorns. By working together, Bullwinkle was in the bag!

Shrapnel has exploded onto every hunting season. Few tags go to waste. He puts in the time and effort. A lifetime of skills has been practiced and shared with family and friends.

This year’s elk archery season opened with a bang! Shrapnel hit the target. Kirk had never tagged a bull elk with a bow. That changed Saturday. The Blind Squirrel, along with some family helpers, found an acorn.

Kirk didn’t expect much. The day would be hot and hard. He wandered toward areas where he had heard elk bugle before. Things happened fast. His bugle was responded to, and the bull was getting closer. He had one squirt of Elk Bomb scent spray and let it fly to mask his scent. He nocked and arrow and surveyed his fields of fire. As the bull arrived, Shrapnel drew his bow but discovered the peep had been crushed. He used his teeth to bend it back into an oval shape. Now he lined up on the bull at 30 yards, settled on the 3rd pin, and let her fly. The sound of a hit assured him that the elk was hit.

Kirk gathered the Stovall clan, and they began the after shot hunt. His son soon found a broken shaft. The wound was not a passthrough. This meant very little blood from a high shoulder hit. After some more searching, without a blood trail, Kirk stumbled upon his bull. 

Having family and friends to help and share the celebration is special. The kids get a great lesson on how to cut and carry the elk. The son gets to share a great father and son adventure. As we age, these moments get fewer and far between. Our sons and daughters have their own lives to live.

The Stovall family will be celebrating this elk hunt for years. Another check on the hunting bucket list can be marked off. Everyone was invited, invested, and shared ownership in their family hunting and gathering. Somehow the meat tastes a little better when everyone helps.

Montana Grant

New Podcast!

Riley's Meats - Butte Wild Game Processing