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Responsible Family Men Author: Mark Seacat

502 miles

20 hours and 53 minutes roundtrip

33 Gallons of Unleaded

7 Red Bulls, 4 Gas Station Coffees

3 awesome Antelope Bucks and 3 great friends

You’d be hard-pressed to walk down Main Street in Bozeman without passing someone who’s already harvested a great bull this season, or someone capable of climbing the many WI 5’s just south of town in Hyalite Canyon. People push it hard here no matter what their activity.

The recent addition of my son West to the Seacat family has definitely made me respect the virtue of being home, so my trips this season have been shorter and more intense. It’s not just me anymore. I’m a FAMILY MAN, and time with my family is more valuable and more important than ever.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t still get out and CRUSH IT. I just have to be more creative. Even as I type this, I’m two weeks late telling you the story. West had Katie and I up at 2:00 this morning, and I couldn’t get back to sleep… now 3:51 a.m., I’m in front of my computer at the office. I fit my work hours in WHENEVER I can.

I’ve long been motivated by the great climbers who’ve called Montana home. I’ve logged many cold winter days up in Hyalite Canyon, just south of Bozeman, climbing its unbelievable ice flows. On our drive home from Eastern Montana, somewhere between Judith Gap and Harlowton, my friend Chris Awe said we had become “Responsible Family Men,” and my mind immediately drifted to Alex Lowe.

Alex Lowe was arguably Bozeman’s finest alpinist. He too was a family man, but he never slowed down. Even now, more than ten years since his death, he’s still motivating me. As a dad, he made a mission-style first ascent of an impossibly steep formation of ice columns in Hyalite: waking early, lots of coffee, a pre-dawn approach, a lightening ascent, and a rushed trip back to his home and family in Bozeman. He named that area test-piece “Responsible Family Men.”

Our antelope adventure was spun from the same cord. For us, the times have changed. We too have become Responsible Family Men.

I knew from the get-go that we’d have to make this hunt a mission. With a growing business, a growing little man, and lots to do at home, time is at a premium. Normally, my annual Eastern Montana Antelope hunt is a 3-4 day adventure, one always shared with my father. But another tough winter in eastern Montana led to decreasing antelope numbers, which meant fewer tags for our hunting district. Two years ago there were 14,000, last year there were 9,000, and this year, a scant 6,600. For the first time in more than 30 years, my dad didn’t draw a tag. So no “Scott Seacat” plush camp this season, no steaks on the grill, no cots under a huge tent, no late nights by lantern light reliving the day’s adventures. And for the first time, no great fatherly companionship.

This year’s hunt, however, would be shared with a couple of great friends. Les Hausauer is the GM at Schnees/Powderhorn here in Bozeman, and we have shared some wild days in the hills chasing elk and deer, but this would be our first antelope hunt together.

Fellow Sitka Athlete Chris Awe and I always put as many days in the field together each fall as we can get away with. Chris is also a new father to his son Rowan, so the need to make this a quick turnaround was shared. I’ve been hounding Awe for a few seasons, telling him he needed to experience hunting antelope. Finally he had relented to my pestering.

We settled on leaving my house at midnight Tuesday with two goals in mind:

1. Get three bucks.

2. Make it back in less than 24 hours.

My garage door shut in front of us at 11:56 p.m. and opened again at 8:52 p.m. the following day.

A true “Alpine Style” mission had been experienced.

-Mark Seacat

Antelope rifle season opens with good bucks and good food

Saturday October 8th was the rifle season opener for antelope in Montana.  Reports from some areas in the eastern part of the state indicated that numbers were down a bit this year due to some severe winter conditions and a prolonged cold, wet spring.  Other areas in the state saw good numbers of antelope and some outstanding bucks. 

Michael, age 15, with his 2011 Montana antelope buck

Bow season continues through the 16th for deer and elk.   A special 2-day youth hunt for deer will take place October 20 and 21, before our general rifle season opener arrives on October 22.

October is just a very special month all the way around in Montana, with more hunting and fishing opportunities than a person can handle.  Waterfowl season is underway, upland bird hunters are enjoying some great shoots on pheasants, huns and sharpies, plus deer, elk, antelope, bear, sheep, moose, and mountain goat.  And to top it off, our Fall fishing is at its very best.

Please give us a call at Schnee’s (800-922-1562) (www.schnees.com) if you need any information or gear to make this Fall season your best ever.

Bow Season Update

The 2011 Bow Season is in full swing, and has been full of excitement as usual.  Famed knife-craftsman, Josh Jolley, son of renowned knife-master, Bob Jolley, (all Jolley knives are available at Schnee’s, www.schnees.com,  took a gorgeous big bull in south-central Montana. 

Josh Jolley with 2011 Montana Archery Bull

Schnee’s field testing cowboy, Scott Tinklenberg, arrowed another big Montana bull elk in Northern Montana. 

Schnee's Pro Staff, cowboy Scott Tinklenberg with 2011 Archery Bull

And Schnee’s Jon Edwards with son Michael and friend Cody Peters, took a big Montana mule deer. 

2011 Montana Archery Mule Deer

Bow season continues in Montana through October 16 for deer and elk.  Antelope season opens to rifle hunters this Saturday, October 8, fall bear season is open, and general rifle season opener is October 22.  Please contact Schnee’s online (www.schnees.com) or toll free at 800-922-1562  if you have any questions or if you need anything at all for your hunting season.

Good Times at Schnee’s Elk Calling Seminar with Chad Schearer

If you happened to be walking around downtown Bozeman Thursday evening, it may have sounded like some of the local wildlife wandered too close to town! Chad Schearer, host of Shoot Straight TV and multi-award winning elk caller, was filling the air with chirps, mews and bugles while passing along some important calling tips to the crowd during a great elk calling presentation Thursday at Schnee’s Powder Horn Outfitters.

Nearly 50 guests crowded around as Chad covered some key points on calling and how to become more successful at calling in the field. With over 20 years of experience calling and guiding hunters in the woods, Chad elaborated on how and when to use calling to your advantage in different types of hunting scenarios. One practice in particular that Chad stressed the importance of was that of “aggressive patience”. According to Chad, this means “patiently waiting until the time is right is to be aggressive”, learning to be aggressively patient is a valuable tool for anyone that would like to become more successful during the elk season.

During the seminar Chad did a great job of answering questions and he even hung around afterwards to help those who had even more questions about specific types of calls and gear for the hunt. Chad, his wife Marsha and there two boys are very passionate about hunting and the outdoors as well as preserving the outdoor heritage. If you would like to see more of Chad and his family and continue to pick up his tips, tune into The Sportsman Channel 9PM MST Tuesday, 6AM MST Friday or 4:30PM MST Sunday afternoon for Shoot Straight with Chad Schearer.

Thank you to all that attended this fun and informative event and thank you to Chad and his family for coming down and putting on a great show!

Schnee’s Powder Horn Outfitters Pre-Season Hunting Event

Hunting season is almost here in Montana and Schnee’s & Schnee’s Powder Horn Outfitters have everything that you need to prepare for success this season.  Visit us online or stop by our Bozeman retail stores to get setup with the finest in outdoor footwear, clothing, gear and accessories.

Beginning Thursday August 25th, Schnee’s Powder Horn Outfitters in historic downtown Bozeman will be kicking off a 4-Day Pre-Hunting Season Event. The excitement starts Thursday night with a fun filled evening of elk calling with World Champion elk caller and TV Personality Chad Schearer. Chad will be passing along his knowledge and time-honed skills in-store from 6:30-8 PM for this family friendly event. Chad will be sharing tips and fist hand experience to help make calling a more successful part of your hunt, you do not want to miss this event! During this event Schnee’s will be offering some exclusive in-store specials on all of their premium outdoor footwear with plenty of Schnee’s expert boot-fitters on hand to answer questions and properly fit you into your next hunting boot!

Chad Schearer with a Montana Mule Deer

Aside from being a licensed Montana Outfitter & Guide, multi-award winning elk caller and hosting his popular television show Shoot Straight with Chad Schearer with his family on The Sportsman’s Channel, Chad is also a highly sought after outdoor speaker and lecturer. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to learn from the best during this exclusive workshop brought to you by Chad Schearer and Schnee’s.

On Friday and Saturday, Sitka Gear Tech Rep Ron Thomas will be in-store to answer questions and offer his extensive hunting clothing product knowledge. Sitka Gear is the leading innovator in technical outdoor hunting apparel and gear and all of their fine products are available in-store and online at www.schnees.com. Saturday will also bring local Bozemanite Mark Matheny (founder of UDAP) to the Powder Horn to talk with customers about Bear Safety and answer questions about UDAP’s full-line of Pepper Power defense sprays.

Don’t miss this exciting 4-day event! Stop by and visit us at the Powder Horn for exclusive in-store specials, prize drawings and more! We hope to see you there!

And the Winner is…

We have received some great photo submissions for our “Replace My Boots!” contest over the last couple of weeks, thank you to everyone that participated! The judges have reached a verdict and the winner is Dean Hiatt! We’re not quite sure if Dean was TRYING to turn his high-top boots into a low-cut shoe or if he just wanted a little more ventilation, but these boots have clearly seen better days!

Does this model come with a sunroof?

Thank you for your photo Dean, you have won the boot of your choice from our Schnee’s Pac Boot or Mountain Boot Collection! Please contact Rob at rob@schnees.com or at 1-800-922-1562 (M-F, 8am-5pm) to claim your boots! Thanks again to everyone that participated and stay tuned for another Boot Giveaway in a couple of weeks!

Schnee’s “Replace my Boots” Contest!

You know that one pair of boots that you keep tucked away in your closet or garage, the pair that you keep telling self you will get “one more season” out of? We’ve all seen them, dried out and cracked leather, duct tape holding the toe to the sole, surgeon knot holding together the laces where they snapped due to rubbing from the broken lace hook, you know the boots we are talking about!

We want to see pictures of your worn out, trail beaten and over worked boots! Whether it’s your favorite old pair of hunting boots, summer backpackers or everyday work boots, we want to see the wear, tear, use and abuse that you put your footwear through! Send in or upload your photos starting now until July 31st to service@schnees.com , our Schnee’s Montana facebook  or to our Schnee’s Twitter account for a chance to win a new pair of Schnee’s Brand Outdoor Boots (Schnee’s Classic Pac Boot Series or Montana Mountain Boot Series)!

Once all of the photos have been submitted, our highly trained footwear experts will act as judges and the winner will be announced via blog post on August 2nd! No purchase necessary! Stay in the loop with this contest and as well as other Schnee’s news by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

The Fine Print…

By submitting photo’s and or personal information to Schnee’s , you authorize Schnee’s Inc. to use said photos and information for all intended marketing purposes including but not limited to Facebook, email and web promotion. Schnee’s Privacy Policy can be viewed HERE. Please note that this promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.