Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Little Bit of Iowa in Montana's Past


Last Friday while in Helena, Montana I sought education on Big Sky Country. Inside the Montana Historical Society is a collection of art, artifacts, maps, and educational displays depicting various elements of all things Montana.

One of the displays contained a curious item that originated just 25 miles from the 42N Observation HQ. A powder horn with the engraving, "Hank Lee Iowa City 1871" appears in a case of 19th century weapons. The item description says the horn was used by a wolfer in Montana in the 1880s. By wolfer, it means one who hunts wolves. 

Today the reintroduction of wolves (Canadians and grays) into mountain regions have rekindled the concerns of ranchers whose livestock herds are often the targets of free ranging wolf packs. One often hears the phrase "Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up" as a means of managing unwanted animal threat in the West. That was how this powder horn was used 130 years ago. Know that.