Kendal and Shelly Bortisser moved to Montana 2 years ago, became members of FWI and quickly adopted the Montana life style. Kendal decided to take up hunting at age 58, I (Jim Vashro) was honored to accompany Kendal on his first hunts and pass along a few tips. Studies show that hunters who take up hunting later in life are more likely to stay with the sport. Kendal did things right, taking Hunter Education, a Beginning Hunting course at FVCC and talking to lots of hunters. Our first hunt was for antelope near Miles City. A group of us endured 6 days of extreme heat to snowflakes, constant high winds and even a prairie wildfire. Despite the challenges, Kendal said he enjoyed the entire experience, culminating in taking this dandy antelope after a long crawl through sagebrush and prickly pear and laying in the rain for ½ hour waiting for the buck to stand up.
Following that success, Kendal and I turned to deer hunting. Early season cold and snow quickly turned to crunchy snow, making it near impossible to sneak through the woods. Warm days made the bucks go nocturnal. Despite all that, after each deerless hunt Kendal would exclaim what a great day he had had. Kendal’s patience and optimism paid off when a friend took him on some private property after Thanksgiving. Kendal spotted this 4×4 whitetail buck and dropped him in his tracks with a well-placed shot. Welcome to the Hunting Fraternity, Kendal.