• World Champion brown trout carving by Clark Schreibeis

    World renowned wildlife sculptor describes Montana using three words

    If you could pick only three words to describe, Montana, what three words would you use?

    Hard question to answer?

    We put a Montanan on the spot with that question in each issue for our Big Sky Spotlight feature. We created the feature because we figured there are plenty of Montanans you ought to know. So why not put one in the magazine?

    Clark Schreibeis, truly a hidden treasure in our state, is a world renonwed wildife carver and sculptor who has won dozens of best in world awards for his work. Clark was featured as the Big Sky Spotlight in the March/April issue. He answered several questions for the story’s writer Jim Gransbery, telling us about how and when he finds creativity to create such amazing art. Check out the full post of the story to learn more about Clark and what three words he uses to describe Montana.

    Have you thought of your three words yet?

    Check out our January/February Big Sky Spotlight if you need more inspiration.

    -Jenna 

  • Penny postcards help pioneer women stay connected

    It’s always fun to send and receive postcards.

    Back in the day of the western pioneer, as contributor Ednor Therriault explained in the March/April issue of Montana Magazine, postcards weren’t only a sources of fun, but a crucial way to stay connected. Therriault wrote about Philip Burgess’ book that chronicles the lives of his aunt and grandmother, Anna and Dikka Lee, who came to Montana in the early 20th century and settled near Sidney.

    Burgess uncovered boxes of “penny postcards” written and received by the Lee sisters. The postcards revealed a strong bond between women of the pioneer west. They were able to share news and well wishes through these pretty card. It makes for a great story.

    The postcards (named for the penny stamps attached) make for a colorful slideshow.

    Dikka Lee and her husband Norman. Photo courtesy of Philip Burgess.

    Dikka Lee and her husband Norman. Photo courtesy of Philip Burgess.

    Want to know more about this story? Montana author Philip Burgess’s latest book, Penny Post Cards and Prairie Flowers, chronicles the journey of two Minnesota sisters who did just that, leaving their town of Norwegian transplants to seek the autonomy promised by claiming a chunk of land in the harsh territory of eastern Montana.

    Penny Post Cards and Prairie Flowers is available in Missoula at Fact & Fiction, and at www.amazon.com. More information and Philip Burgess’ performance calendar can be found at www.badlandsrequiem.com, and at www.humanitiesmontana.org.

    - Jenna

  • Brutus the Bear lives in a wildlife sanctuary outside Bozeman. Photo courtesy of Ami Testa

    Have you met Brutus the Bear?

    I’d heard about Brutus the Bear a couple times before I was fully introduced to him in the March/April issue of Montana Magazine. The first time I ran across his name was when he showed up inside Washington-Grizzly stadium in Missoula and because he learned to swim in swimming pool in Helena.

    He really is an unusual bear. And, as it turns out, so is his best friend. Writer Corinne Garcia profiled Montanan Casey Anderson and his quest to educate people about wildlife like grizzly bears in her great piece for us.

    Anderson grew up in Helena and after years working with and tracking wildlife, became the host of his own National Geographic Channel show America the Wild.

    As for Brutus (who was rescued by Anderson in 2002), he’s found a home at Anderson’s Montana Grizzly Encounter outside Bozeman. If you get a chance, maybe you can go visit him.

    For now, here’s a little more about Brutus the bear:

    • Age: 12
    • Demeanor: Laid back, cool, charismatic, charming. “He’s like a hot surfer dude of a grizzly bear,” caretaker and best friend Casey Anderson said.
    • Favorite place to hang out: In his customized travel trailer, complete with air conditioning, with his buddies at Montana Grizzly Encounter, or on Anderson’s Paradise Valley property.
    • Best Bear Pals: Lucy, 3, his girlfriend, and Sheena, 27. “When he first met Lucy, she was intimidated, and he just laid there until she came over to him,” Anderson said. “They’ve been together ever since.”
    • Favorite Foods: The bears at Montana Grizzly Encounter eat a diet that’s comprised of 80 percent fruits and vegetables. But Brutus’ all-time favorite meal is sockeye salmon and avocados, and cake on his birthday.
    • Typical Day: Likes to sleep in late (like a typical teenager) in his private denning area (cave). He tends to interact with any of the other bears that are out and about then. “It’s like a soap opera sometimes,” Anderson said. “Every bear loves him and wants to hang out with him, and he’s the only bear they all love.”

    - Jenna 

     

  • A Kalispell Kreamery dairy cow. Photo by Jessica Lowry

    ‘Cow bill of rights’ guides dairy farm in Flathead

    The Hedstrom family have got it right.

    They run the only surviving dairy in the Flathead Valley and as they told writer and photographer Jessica Lowry, their mission is to produce great dairy products using very happy cows.

    Lowry featured the family in a story for the March/April issue. The Kalispell Kreamery makes a range of products and is slowly expanding its reach as people discover the quality of it products.

    Did I mention they take great care of the their cows?

    Here’s the cow “Bill of Rights” the Kalispell Kreamery lives by:

    Cows are the reason for the business. We sell the milk so we can keep the cows.

    Hedstrom dairy believes in the humane care of their cows and realizes that in order to get the highest quality production and longevity from its prized milk cows they must be treated with a high level of respect and as a partner in the operation. We believe in and have instituted the following “Bill of Rights” on our place.

    • Animals should have the freedom from thirst at all times.
    • Animals should have freedom from injury and disease.
    • Animals should have freedom from hunger at all times.
    • Animals should have freedom from unnecessary fear and distress
    • Animals should have freedom to express a majority of their normal behavioral repertoire.
    • Animals should have room to move around freely.

    Here’s a list of Kalispell Kreamery retailers.

    - Jenna

    • An odd couple on Hauser Lake, by Marcie Rand Galick.

      An odd couple on Hauser Lake, by Marcie Rand Galick.

    • Sleep owl, by Beack Kowgirl.

      Sleep owl, by Beack Kowgirl.

    • A Yellowstone Valley coyote, by Mark LaRowe.
    • A moose wades through Bouchard Lake, by Stephanie Nordberg.

    Readers share their Montana wildlife shots

    Montana wildlife. Two great words.

    And our great Facebook friends have shared some pretty great shots of the Montana wildlife they’ve seen across the state.

    A special thanks to Mark LaRowe (coyote), Beach Kowgirl (owl), Marcie Rand Galick (birds on Hauser Lake)  and Stephanie Nordberg (moose) for sharing these photos with us.

    Enjoy!

    - Jenna

  • A preview of the March/April 2014 issue. Photo by Lynn Donaldson

    Sneak peek: Cowboys and grizzlies and murals, oh my!

    It’s hard to believe but we just sent our March/April issue to the printers, and it’ll begin to arrive in mailboxes around March 1.

    The “early spring” issue, as we like to call it, features a story about the Wild Horse Stampede in Wolf Point. I mention it first because (spoiler alert!) we chose one of photographer Lynn Donaldson’s amazing photos from the event for our cover.

    The Stampede is legendary across Montana for many things, including its rodeo and its wild horse races. You’ll learn more about both in writer Rich Peterson’s feature.

    Also featured in the upcoming issue is a story about Casey Anderson, a Helena native who is now the host of the popular National Geographic Channel series “America the Wild.” Anderson, by the way, also has a very unusual best friends. Writer Corinne Garcia will introduce the Casey’s best bud, Brutus the Bear, in the story as well.

    We’ve also got several mail-themed stories, including a story about the six Depression-era murals that were painted across Montana, as well as a feature on sisters Anna and Dikka Lee, who settled in Montana during the late 1800s and sent postcards to women back East to keep in touch. It’s a rare glimpse into the lives of pioneer women.

    There’s a lot more to enjoy, and we’re so excited for the March/April issue to get to our readers. Keep checking back here, too, for online extras and more blog posts.

    -Jenna 

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      Where's Shasta? By Debbie Perryman

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      Louis after a frosty run on the river trail, from Kate Nittinger.

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      Lily and Dodger loving the snow, from Tricia Hanson.

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      Ta-Da! Snow face, from Meagan Thompson.

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      Kadie, originally from Georgia, has adapted well to Montana snow, from Beach Kowgirl.

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      "Hi guys!" from Laura Mayer.

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      Baby Eero, from Carol Kosovich Anderson

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      Putting on the brakes by Kat G. Grubbs.

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      Bean at Bear Creek, from Ken Barnedt.

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      Zeke breaking a trail at Stemple Pass, from Denis Roth Barber.

    Snowy dogs from across Montana

    After the recent dump of snow we had in western Montana and the white winter they’ve had in eastern Montana, we couldn’t resist putting out a call to our Facebook friends asking for photos of their snowy dogs.

    As you can see, they really delivered. Special thanks to Denise Roth Barber, Carol Kosovich Anderson, Beach Kowgirl, Meagan Thompson, Laura Mayer, Kat Grubbs, Tricia Hanson, Ken Barnedt, Debbie Perryman and Kate Nittinger (and their pups!) for sharing photos.

    We hope you enjoy watching our slideshow as much as we enjoyed putting it together!

    - Jenna

     

  • New Big Sky Spotlight highlights somebody (from MT) you should know

    We started debuted a “department” in the first issue of 2014 called Big Sky Spotlight.

    We have several departments, or standard story formats, that appear in most issues and we thought, why not add on featuring a Montanan you should know?

    The idea is to give readers a quick look at a Montanan making a difference, creating beautiful art or just living the Montana Life.

    And, we thought, we not let them answer a few questions for us while we’re at it?

    Our inaugural Big Sky Spotlight featured Becky Hillier, a Miles City native who worked tirelessly for the past several years with a dedicated group of people to help hundreds of Montana WWII veterans take the trip of a lifetime to Washington, D.C.

    We think it’s a great way to get to know our neighbors and Big Sky Spotlight is one of the few full features we’ll post at MontanaMagazine.com.

    And with that, we’re already working on our second issue of 2014, which of course will feature a BSS. Spoiler alert: In March/April we’ll feature Billings area artists Clark Schriebies.

    -Jenna 

     

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