Hunting the West

Welcome to N4thehunt !

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Chasing Elk in Idaho

I created this website a few years ago to have a place to share my thoughts, stories & photos about the hunt with friends and family. Every year, a few folks jump on and contact me with questions or comments and some of them have become new friends with whom I now stay in contact. I am blessed to live in Montana, what is probably the last, best place to spend time outdoors in the lower 48 and I enjoy helping others follow their passion for hunting the west.

If you are reading this, it’s probably because you hunt here in the west or have an interest in doing so. I grew up in the Midwest, a passionate whitetail hunter. I regret not making a trip out west to hunt sooner. Back then, the distance between the river bottoms and hardwoods of the Midwest and the Rocky Mountains seemed insurmountable. My lack of knowledge was intimidating. The idea of an outfitted western hunt was just a dream; young and starting a new family I could neither justify nor afford the cost.

I was forty years old when I ventured out of the whitetail woods and began a journey that eventually brought me to Montana. It required some tough choices; some sacrifices to be here. And while I will admit that there are tinges of regret at times, I would not change the path I have chosen.

If there is one piece of advice that I share at every opportunity with those whose path I cross it is this; Just go. There are hunting opportunities in the west that are not that difficult to take advantage of. While I would not recommend a back country pack in for elk as your first hunt, an antelope or deer hunt is both manageable, has a high potential for success and will build confidence.

I am an RMEF Life Member and a committee member for the Gallatin Chapter here in Bozeman, Montana. There is no better place in the country to be passionate about elk hunting ! My friend Randy Newberg is on our committee, as well as on RMEF’s Board of Directors. I know of no one who is a better advocate for the preservation of public lands and a promoter of DIY public land hunting. I mention Randy because he understands and promotes tirelessly, how rare and valuable the privilege of public land access is here in the United States, and how precarious its status is. Many of my friends east of the Mississippi, where public land is scarce don’t really comprehend what is at stake in the West. It’s easy to believe that the land will always be public and always be accessible.  Take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. If you have never watched the sun set over a prairie, heard the shrill bugle of an elk at first light, been numbed by a crystal clear mountain stream, or felt the embrace of a mountain basin, then come.  I am more than happy to help.

Mark Nichols – 2017