Cid Busarow


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The Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest, located virtually outside our door is comprised of 9 separate areas throughout Southwest Montana. The result is more than 3 million acres of playground that begin in the semi-arid grassland foothills, build up to coniferous forests of lodgepole pine and Douglas fir, and climb toward a culmination in the peaks of the Bitterroot and Centennial ranges. This richness of environment supports more than 180 species of animals; everything from the lonely moose to mountain goats and black bears call the forest home.


This natural beauty is intricately woven into the forest’s history. Of all the areas traversed by Lewis and Clark on their journey west, perhaps none were so essential to their party’s survival than this one. Tired, low on supplies, , it was here in 1805 that they met Sacajawea and the Shoshone near a huge rock, which the explorers’ journals called”Beaver’s Head.” The Deer Lodge name also comes from a natural formation that resembled a medicine lodge. Montana is famous for Big Game Hunting. Most of Montana’s wildlife populations are more plentiful today than they have been at any time since statehood.


According to the Montana Hunting Almanac, estimates place the number of mule deer and whitetails at close to a half-million. Elk numbers exceed 110,000 in early autumn, and wintering populations total more than 90,000. In many parts of Montana, there are more antelope than people, with total pronghorn populations hovering around the 100,000 mark. Add to those perhaps 10,000 black bears, more than 8,000 moose, up to 7,500 mountain goats and maybe as many as 8,000 bighorn sheep.


Montana’s big-game hunting seasons stretch from early September into February, varying by species and area, and resume in April, May and June for black bear. The general season for deer and elk is consistently five weeks long. Deer and antelope hunters have considerable opportunity to harvest at least two of each in many areas.

Elk populations are thriving on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. This area consistently leads the state in elk production. Since the late 1960s elk populations have tripled. Some of the hunting districts in this area are regarded as providing the greatest degree of natural security for elk. These districts have some of the region’s wildest country, where terrain, cover and isolation make it difficult for hunters to penetrate.


The Pioneer elk management unit, according to the 1993 Montana Hunting Alamanac, is a 2,040 square mile area of mostly public land (Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest) that features low road densities, extensive back country areas and good security for an elk population of about 3,000. With the exception of the west face of the
West Pioneers, most of this unit has good public access, although travel in the roadless areas is restricted to foot and horse traffic.


According to statistics conducted by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), 600 to 800 elk have been harvested annually, with 400 to 500 of these being bulls. The security provided by the large amount of roadless land provides good age diversity among bull elk. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks manages the area to
maintain a late-winter elk population of 2,700 to 3,200 and 200 to 400 antlerless elk.


Mountain Goats are managed conservatively, meaning relatively few goat permits are issued. Huntable populations of goats reside in the West Pioneers. Goat populations are believed to be stable and may be increasing. The Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks is in the process of compiling surveys done on the goat population. Success rates on the Wisdom District have on an average been 80%.


Bird hunting is an increasingly popular sport with Montana hunters. More than 75,000 people hunt upland game birds each fall and about 20,000 hunt waterfowl. The upland game birds that occur on the Wisdom District include spruce (Franklin’s) grouse, ruffed grouse, blue grouse, and sage grouse. Waterfowl that can be found on the District
include Canadian geese, mallard, cinnamon teal, and green-winged teal.

Whitetails are thriving with numbers in the 170,000s and their range is expanding. At the same time, mule deer are at relatively healthy levels (300,000 statewide), but are not growing in numbers as fast as their whitetail cousins. Whitetails are more abundant than they were over 30 years ago, mule deer are not. Mule deer will be abundant where they are found, but they will be found in fewer places than in previous years. Mule deer are found mostly on public land (Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest), while whitetails are predominantly found on the private lands in the valleys and river bottoms. This tends to make finding a place to hunt mule deer a little easier for most hunters.


There is an early antlerless deer season, regulated on a permit
basis, for certain river bottom areas. The early season is geared at getting hunters into specific areas before ranchers move their cattle into the river bottoms for winter.


The majority of antelope are found on BLM, State and private land in the valley bottoms and foothills. Antelope populations appear to be at relatively high levels, although down from peak levels of a few years ago. All antelope permits are issued through a lottery permit system. Hunting Districts in this area have had an approximate success rate of 70% or better the last few years.


The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is one of the major moose- producing hunting regions in the state. Surveys done by the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks show moose in the area are maintaining good populations. Hunting success rates for moose over the last few years have been 80% or better on the Wisdom Ranger District. We’ve even glimpsed some while doing our horse back riding… Fortunately the girls didn’t spook the horses. FishCreek Ventures – Horses know nothing of money, status, beauty or accomplishment… Horses see only our hearts, and they accept or reject us based on what they find within…. In short, horses do naturally what humans can pass a lifetime without ever mastering.
Where to Stay
Surrounded by the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest with high peaked mountains Fish Creek House offers ‘breathtaking views,’ unparalleled dining, warm hospitality and sensational packages for couples, families, skiers and equestrian enthusiasts. Located in Whitehall on 40 acres, just 20 miles from historic Butte. This four-season inn offers endless outdoor adventure activities from hiking to horse-back riding, Hunters are welcome.

The newly remodeled inn was designed to reflect the rustic history that is Montana while offering amentiies that make our guests feel at home. Fish Creek House offers two themed guest rooms each with private baths. Each one of the guest rooms features a different “Montana” theme in an “upscale rustic” decor – from the hand crafted log and pine furniture to the unique local art work that hangs on the walls. Full country breakfast included. (Call: Whitehall
1- 406-287-2181) Definitely a place to come home to .. .while you’re away.

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Montana Majesties: Montana is a vast and varied state of mountains, canyons, river valleys, forests and caverns. It’s the 4th largest state in the nation but with our popularion under 1 million, it’s actually the sixth least-populated state. Ah… there is room to breathe and nowhere is the air fresher. Oh sure, there’s history, good food, and a variety of places to stay, but the main attraction is the sheer beauty. It’s a land where everything seems intensified, in super sharp focus, richer in color, more majestic, more peaceful, and somehow closer to the sky. Happily for travelers who prefer to avoid crowds, there’s plenty of elbow room. Montana may be the fourth largest state in area (145,550 square miles), but, at under a million people, it ranks 48th in population density.
Virginia City : For those who prefer their towns to be haunted by ghosts of yesteryear, there are some primo ghost towns. In the mid-19th century, Bannack, fueled by gold found in Grasshopper Creek, was a rousing town of 3,000 residents and briefly was Montana’s first territorial capital.
Today ghostly, glamorously clad ladies are reported to have been seen walking the hallways of the Meade Hotel, while the cemetery contains the remains of vigilante victims who swung from the nearby gallows.
The jail as built during the summer of 1863 under the direction of the Sheriff, Henry Plummer. He had raised money by subscription for the construction. This has to be counted as the first public building in what is now Montana

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I fulfilled a childhood dream when we moved to Montana last May. Another dream was reached when we
opened Fish Creek House, a bed and breakfast just outside of Whitehall. When I was young I always told my parents I wanted to live in Montana, but since I was living in New York and later California, I didn’t know how that would quite happen.

My husband, a partner in a computer business and gunsmith, and I, a bi-athlete, came to Bohart Ranch near Bozeman to compete in the running and shooting competition and fell in love with the area. The search was on for property in Montana. Dan was returning to his roots. He lived in Malta until he was five.

We found a beautiful log home located on forty acres with gorgeous views of the mountains and a stone’s throw from Fish Creek. Located just 15 miles from Whitehall Mt, nestled in theTobacco Root Mountains, the Inn offers rustic charm with all the modern conveniences.The house was purchased and a large renovation started. We’d drive up from California every month to see how the progress was going.
During one of our trips, we took a hike down to the creek and when I looked up at the log home nestled in the hills, the name Fish Creek House seemed to fit. With the renovation complete and the licenses involved with a bed and
breakfast approved, Fish Creek House officially opened for business.

We enjoy sharing our home with guests, and especially to those with horses.. A new barn and round pen have been built for our horses, and although we don’t offer trail rides, guests are welcome to bring their own horses and board them in the new facilities. Other activitiies include hiking, antiquing, exploring nearby ghost towns.

Virtually outside the door is the Beaverhead Deerlodge National Forest, great for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and
cross-country skiing. We want to accommodate people who love nature. We’ll make you feel like part of the family while you’re here. One of our specialties is shooting, and we plan to host shooting clinics for enthusiasts.
Another specialty of Fish Creek House is the food. We offer a gourmet breakfast for guests. In our personal
greenhouse we grow the organic vegetables on site.

The inn offers two guests suites, each with a private bath, a large living room with a stone fireplace, a library and a sitting room, complete with a microwave and a fridge. Fish Creek House is also a place where the active businessperson can stay in touch. They offer wireless internet in each of the rooms and are considered a “wifi
hotspot.” Our rooms are furnished with custom made Montana pieces.