Hunting & Harvesting

A special edition celebrating autumn's traditions in Northwest Montana, with discussions on hunting, harvesting, hops and more

By Beacon Staff
A shopper holds a fresh tomato from a crate at Two Bear Farm’s vegetable booth at the Whitefish Farmers Market on Sept. 10, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Autumn is a season of preparation, when we fill up our pantries with canned fruits and vegetables from the summer’s harvest and our freezers with wild game.

These traditions, rooted in survival, are held closely in Northwest Montana. In this edition, we take a look a few of these traditional ideas — what are we foraging for now, who is out hunting, how should they be doing it — and explore how they fit into our community’s fabric as a whole.

We hope you have a bountiful autumn, and may your aim on rifle and/or bow be as pure as your grandmother’s canning recipes.


Montana’s general hunting season is one of the longest in the nation. Adobe Stock

Hunting Season is Here

Prospects for filling the freezer, tips for safety and reminders about dates, deadlines and disease


The arrival of autumn marks the beginning of big game hunting season, a beloved time of year for the thousands of Montana residents who partake in the rich tradition.



Huckleberry bushes along the Huckleberry Mountain Lookout Trail in Glacier National Park on Sept. 10, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

No Taming the Wild Huck

Despite decades of research, mountain huckleberries remain undomesticated and Montana’s huck retailers remain dependent on local pickers


There are few mysteries modern science has been unable to crack, but the stubborn mountain huckleberry, driver of a niche industry, staple of bear diets and the unofficial state fruit of Montana, remains a puzzle too difficult to solve.



A hop flower is peeled to reveal the yellow lupulin glands on Sept. 10, 2019. Members of the public brought their homegrown hops to the brewery in exchange for beer at the annual “Hop Swap.” The hops from the community are used to produce a special brew. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Hop Swapping for Beer

Great Northern Brewing Company event brings in 500 pounds of locally grown hops to produce its seasonal Frog Hop Wet-Hopped Pale Ale


The next time Whitefish locals Charlie and Paula Collins head into the Great Northern Brewing Company, they will have an extra $108 to spend.

That’s because they traded 27 pounds of their homegrown hops in exchange for beer credits at the 2019 Frog Hop Pale Ale Hop Swap on Sept. 10 at Great Northern Brewing Company in Whitefish.



Rebecca Ulizio of Two Bear Farm in her vegetable booth at the Whitefish Farmers Market on Sept. 10, 2019. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

A Guide to Food Preservation

How to prepare for winter by canning and dehydrating garden harvests


As temperatures drop and nighttime frost begins to threaten gardens in the Flathead Valley, it’s time to harvest those fruits and vegetables before winter takes hold.



Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.