Wild Sustenance: Innovative course introduces UM students to hunting

Raequel Roberts UM News Service

As a salmon pink sunrise bathed the nearby Rocky Mountain range, a group of University of Montana students gathered, bundled against the chill, with their instructors and two eager pointing dogs for an introduction to upland bird hunting.

When the sun rose and their lesson began, they learned about gauges, chokes and how to read cover before setting out to hunt sharp-tailed grouse. Most of the students had never hunted before. Although they carried no guns and no birds were harvested on the two-hour foray, the students came away with a better understanding of what draws people to hunting.

That it is not so much the quarry, but the comradery formed with fellow hunters, the dogs and nature itself.

“It’s pretty amazing out here,” said biology major Jack Hanson, while stepping strategically through the low-lying brush that carpets the course range land.

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Hanson and fellow students spent the fall weekend at the 6,500-acre Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch in Dupuyer as part of their studies for what is a singularly unique UM course: Wild Sustenance.

Now in its fourth year, the course is open to students

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