The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Articles written by Bruce Auchly

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 By Bruce Auchly    News    April 3, 2019

April is Spring

‘Tis spring, the time when a young male’s fancy turns to, well, not football. Humans are such an odd lot. Animals – under water, on the ground or in air – simply are driven by the survival of their species. We fret about home loans, school...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    March 20, 2019

Spring is for the Young

Not all creatures have given up on spring ever happening. Some are counting on it. And soon. Great horned owls and Canada geese are sitting on eggs now, or soon will be. Two totally different Montana...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    January 30, 2019

What are Fish Doing These Days?

Ever wonder on a cold, snowy winter day what fish are doing under the ice? The short answer is: about the same as the rest of the year. They breathe, eat and try to avoid being eaten. There are, however, some differences in winter. First, it’s...


Feeling Strong?

Recently, I watched a Cooper’s hawk take off from a rural, gravel road, clutching a dead meadowlark in its talons. An adult Cooper’s hawk might weigh 1 pound. An adult meadowlark probably tips the scale at 3 ounces. To compare that to a human, a...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    June 27, 2018

The Magic of Birds

If this Universe has a Creator, she must have been having a good day when she created birds. They are colorful and dull, helpful and ruinous. They eat bird seed, harmful insects, even our garbage. They will also ruin your clean car and carry off...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    March 21, 2018

Winter and Wildlife

While this winter so far has given Montana plenty of snow and cold, the weather in March and April will determine to a large extent the mortality of animals like deer and antelope in northcentral Montana. That’s because during the next two months...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    December 20, 2017

Meetings Set for Chester, Havre to Explain Chronic Wasting Disease

Fish, Wildlife and Parks will hold a pair of meetings in two Hi-Line towns to explain chronic wasting disease recently discovered north of Chester near the Canadian border. The meetings are set for 7 p.m., Dec. 21, in Chester and Havre. The Chester...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    October 18, 2017

What the heck was that? A Bear Paw badger, of course!

Twice this year, I've received questions about a native mammal popping up in unexpected places. No, not a grizzly bear, for goodness sakes. Think much smaller. Try a badger and a long-tailed weasel....

 By Bruce Auchly    News    September 6, 2017

Drought Hurts Fish, Too

When drought and the accompanying heat hits, attention tends to focus on withering crops, explosive wildfires and subsoil moisture. While those drought-caused problems are obvious, creatures that spend their lives underwater and out of sight can...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    June 14, 2017

Rain, Rain Go Away

Back in third grade, I remember reading a story about a little boy who grew tired of rain ruining his weekends. So he chanted: Rain, rain go away. And he got his wish. The sky cleared, the sun came ou...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    March 29, 2017

End of March brings Many Feathered Friends

Those bits of feather, flesh and bones that sing and call forth are among our first signs of spring, even in March’s moodiness. Doesn’t matter if you hunt them in the fall, look for them with longing in the spring, or don’t care to know a robin...

 By Bruce Auchly    News    February 1, 2017

Montana Tales & Trails

When the temperature reaches far below zero, we often think of the outside as the dead zone. Plants and mammals are asleep. Birds have flown south. Yeah, there are exceptions but generally we equate...


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