Montana Outdoors

April 25, 2007

Exercising the Utmost Caution.

Filed under: Humor, Hunting, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Writing — montucky @ 9:01 pm

It was hunting season in northwestern Montana and the high mountain roads were either snow packed or ice covered or both as was the stretch coming up ahead of us. As I piloted the Jeep up that particularly steep and extremely icy section, almost wide enough for the wheels, I said to my son and hunting companion, “this is where we have to exercise the utmost caution.”

“Why, because we only have two tires on the road, the tach is reading 3000 RPM, and we’re going BACKWARDS?”, he yelled. … “JUMP!!!”

“No, that‘s not what I mean” I said. “When we get home we have to exercise the utmost caution to avoid mentioning this to your mother or our hunting will be over for the rest of this year at the very least. Women, especially your mother, are very peculiar about such things . I don’t understand exactly, but I know from experience that’s just how they are.”

“Now, since you’re already out of the Jeep, climb down out of that tree and hook our winch cable onto that big log that’s fallen across the road up ahead and we’ll be on our way.”

Seven heart attacks later we arrived at our planned hunting spot and within half an hour my fingers were able to let go of the steering wheel. Everything looked good so far, but I thought it rather strange there was absolutely no one else around. They all must have taken the bad road up.

The hunt went very well and after roughly twenty miles of hiking up, over, and around the Continental Divide, we bagged a nice 6X7 Mulie who was leaning on the Jeep when we returned.

The trip back down the mountain was fairly simple and completely predictable, since we already knew the road was nothing but ice. All fear of sliding down the road left as soon as complete terror took over and the actual sliding began, and it would have been quite pleasant if it hadn’t been for all the loud screaming going on. We hardly aged twenty years before arriving at the bottom!

As we turned onto the highway for the last fifty miles home, I realized it was again time to exercise the utmost caution. The bad road was behind us now, but the dangerous road was still ahead.


  1. moms!

    when I ask my son why he didn’t tell me somethning he just says “you DON’T want to know!”


    Comment by skouba — April 25, 2007 @ 9:45 pm

  2. I know. There’s a period of time in there around his age when it’s a hard call. Sooner or later though, he will do that just so you won’t worry too much even though he has everything under control.

    When my son was about 12 and I was teaching him to use a double-bitted axe, my wife wouldn’t watch. She said she just didn’t want to know. It turned out fine!


    Comment by montucky — April 25, 2007 @ 10:15 pm

  3. I’ll take an 85-degree slope, icy, washed-out roads and a rabid right-wing mountain lion over rush-hour traffic any day of the week.

    Sounds like you have also experienced the thrill of teaching your son those magic words: “Your mother doesn’t need to know about this, right?”


    Comment by wolf — April 26, 2007 @ 8:54 am

  4. wolf,

    I’ll take the back country roads, too. Every great once-in-awhile, someone is killed when he slides off a Forest Service road in the mountains compared to about one a day killed on Montana highways.

    I always think it’s humorous when someone thinks I’m taking a high risk driving my Jeep in the back country.

    By the way, we do seem to have an abundance of right-wing mountain lions around here since the legislature is still in session. Want me to send you a few?


    Comment by montucky — April 26, 2007 @ 9:37 am

  5. No, honestly, you can keep them. We’ve got so many republicans up here I’m surprised the state animal isn’t the elephant. I think moose lean toward the left, though, which might be why we get along so well.


    Comment by wolf — April 26, 2007 @ 11:20 am

  6. wolf,

    Maybe we should start a “moose” party. I don’t seem to detect any sign that either of the existing parties gives a damn about anything but staying in power or getting into power. The sum of the efforts of both parties in Montana in this legislative session seems to be that they decided on a “state lullaby”, something of immediate concern to any of their constituents who haven’t fallen asleep already.


    Comment by montucky — April 26, 2007 @ 12:20 pm

  7. I raised 4 boys and 1 girl. I’ll take the 4 boys out with their Dad over the girl going out on her first date! Talk about animals!….but we all survived and she is happily married.

    Your story reminds me of when I lived in Billings and went camping in the Beartooth Mountains….sigh……I have REALLY missed Montana….

    Love your blogs, they are really entertaining!



    Comment by ms. zola — April 27, 2007 @ 6:38 pm

  8. ms.zola,

    Seeing anyone saying how much they miss Montana always makes me sad.

    I was born in Missoula, but spent many years out of state (I had to just to make a living) and moved back here 13 years ago. During all of those years away I was always able to come back for a couple weeks each year to visit my folks, and on each trip I felt sheer elation when I entered the state and once again was able to see the beautiful high country, but I always had tears in my eyes when I again had to leave. I won’t do that again!

    Thank you for your kind words about my posts. I’m writing what I’m passionate about and it’s encouraging to know that someone else also cares.


    Comment by montucky — April 27, 2007 @ 7:24 pm

  9. hee hee…. good story. I’m the mom waiting at home that you don’t want to have find out!


    Comment by Cedar — March 5, 2010 @ 9:52 am

    • That actually took place about ten years ago, Cedar. Last Saturday my son and I went out in the Jeep to look for antlers and he reminisced about that day. It was the first time he had experienced sliding backwards down a Jeep trail on ice.


      Comment by montucky — March 5, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: