Fighting Skeeters on the Way to Kersey Lake

Have you ever zipped up the tent only to find a mosquito stuck inside?


Despite that fact that you’re about 15,000 times bigger, this miniscule insect can drive you bonkers.  It’s a single insect, but it has the power to irritate and exacerbate.  Now imagine hiking along the Clarks Fork Trail on your way to Kersey Lake, surrounded by hundreds, nay, thousands of these irritating bugs.

If the mountains are calling, and you choose to go to Kersey Lake, make sure you bring bug spray so that you’re not eaten alive.  Then you can enjoy the easy 2ish mile trek to a deep lake that is teeming with brook trout in the heart of the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

Outdoors writer Scott Sery from Billings Montana at Kersey Lake

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A Quick Hike to Slough Lake along the Phantom Creek Trail

The bacon was done sizzling.  The eggs were fried.  Orange juice was ready to wash it all down.  Father’s Day morning was well underway, but still not far enough along that the day was shot.  It’s the middle of June, the weather is great, and in the words of John Muir, “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

The problem: it was 9:30 in the morning already, so a hike longer than just a couple of miles would mean getting home late, the same goes for a drive to the trailhead that’s over 2 hours.  These limitations narrowed the choices considerably, and made the destination an easy choice: Slough Lake in the East Rosebud Valley.

Phantom Creek Trail

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Exploring the Big Snowy Mountains Near Billings

When going on adventures in Montana, I generally aim for the Beartooth Mountains.  They’re close, they’re big, and they can be seen from Billings.  Why venture farther away when there are many miles of wilderness to explore just south of town?

I finally broke down and got the All Trails app for my phone.  Not the paid version of course, but the free one.  It opened me up to finding other adventures that are nearby, but outside of my usual adventuring spots.  Justin came up from Texas for a long weekend getaway and to experience a little snow in the Big Snowy Mountains.

Big Snowy Mountains in Montana

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Exploring the Mountains Near Salt Lake City

Every year Justin, my friend from El Paso, and I meet up to explore a new area.  After many years of exploring areas near where we live, we decided to explore areas where neither of us had ever been before.  Last year we toured around in the Colorado Mountains; this year we settled on the Utah Mountains.

Adventures in the Utah Mountains

While I had driven through the area a number of times (usually on my way to go rock climbing at Red Rocks National Park near Las Vegas), I had never truly stopped to explore and see what was nearby.  The biggest shocker was how close everything was to downtown.  In less than an hour you can be from the middle of Salt Lake City, to parked and ready to hike to a mountain lake.

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Spending Time in the Mountains Near Denver

I have a friend that lives in El Paso, Texas.  For the last several years we would visit each other.  Justin would come to Montana to go on some adventures, and I would go down there to go on adventures, most consisting of hiking, climbing, boating, fishing, and overall getting outside (perhaps in the future we can tackle some of the top 50 long distance hiking trails).  But it turns out there is only so much that you can do near us, and after 8 years or so we started running out of things to do (that don’t involve an extensive drive).  We decided to meet in the middle, and explore around Denver, Colorado.

Mt Democrat Mt Lincoln Mt Cameron Mt Bross in Colorado

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Neither of us had been to Denver (aside from passing through), so it seemed like a great opportunity to explore an area of the country that a lot of people love.  If you’re into mountain adventures, then here is my advice on things to do near Denver.

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Toward the end of hunting season, I was able to get out and harvest a deer.  It was the only day I was going to get out and hunt in 2015, so I wanted to make the most of it.

In the end, I shot a nice mule deer buck.  Enough to fill the freezer for another year.  When I went to field dress it, I discovered it was 100% female, but it had grown antlers.  I called it a hermaphrodeer.  You can check out the story of how it happened over on the Billings 365 website.  Here are pictures of the deer. More »

Deadmans 2Every year, toward the end of November and into the early parts of December, the Kokanee Salmon in Deadman’s Basin start to spawn. They swim close to shore to lay and fertilize eggs.   During this time they are aggressive, trying to fight off any other fish that may disturb their spawning. It is also during this time that fisherman come to snag the salmon through the ice. When Zach, his dog Sam, and I went fishing over the weekend, we were in for a surprise. More »

IMG_2149Alaska is known as the last frontier. In this majestic state you will find not only some of the most amazing mountains in the world, but some of the most abundant wildlife around. From moose that regularly come into the city of Anchorage, to the spawning salmon in the summer months, Alaska has something for all sportsmen. But it is one thing to know the wildlife is there, and quite another to actually be able to harvest it.

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