U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Montana
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 08-12-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: Corsica, France
7 posts, read 8,654 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

Hi everyone !

I found this forum, which seems great to me. As I say in the title, I'm trying to write a story, who would take place in Montana. But I'm French ! (I'm sorry for my english) I just think this state is wonderful for my story, which is apocalyptical (or post-apo). Despite many researches, I've found things here and there, but nothing really concrete. I can't find Montanans who speak about their state, their home !
So please, help me. And please, please, don't be rude or judgemental. I don't want to offend any Montanans here, and my questions are just here to help me understand HOW Montana is really. Forgive me if I seem "cliché" ?

I would like to have a "redneck" in my characters. I call it that way, just because I would like him to be able to use knives, to find food (hunting, fishing), to defend himself... I guess he would have lived in a very small city.
Also, there is this guy... Can someone grow up in military bases in Montana ? If so, which ones are current, and big ?
Then, I'm questioning myself : is sport a cultural thing in Montana ? Do people in general enjoy it particularly ?
I also wonder how -in general again- people think here ? What are the major values about politic, morality, law... ? If you know what I mean ?

I guess that's all for now, thank you very much
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 08-12-2013, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Brew City
4,122 posts, read 2,443,525 times
Reputation: 5460
Quick answer, I'm on my way out. I'll try to come back

Montanans are very independent. Libretarian/Conservative. Live and let live kind of people. We want the government to leave us alone.

Montanans love sports (or am I misunderstanding?). Football and basketball are king here. That and rodeo.

There is an air force base in Great Falls. I believe that is the biggest in the state. It's called Malmstrom AFB. We have a bunch of missle sites here in the state too.

You could pick any random town in Montana (big or smal) and find someone who can hunt, fish and generally 'take care of themselves'.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Corsica, France
7 posts, read 8,654 times
Reputation: 10
Oh, thank you so much for you answer. It may be quick but it already helps me a lot.
Thanks, and I hope you'll come back, and others will answer too.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
Reputation: 8243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lustuu View Post
Hi everyone !

I found this forum, which seems great to me. As I say in the title, I'm trying to write a story, who would take place in Montana. But I'm French ! (I'm sorry for my english) I just think this state is wonderful for my story, which is apocalyptical (or post-apo). Despite many researches, I've found things here and there, but nothing really concrete. I can't find Montanans who speak about their state, their home !
So please, help me. And please, please, don't be rude or judgemental. I don't want to offend any Montanans here, and my questions are just here to help me understand HOW Montana is really. Forgive me if I seem "cliché" ?

I would like to have a "redneck" in my characters. I call it that way, just because I would like him to be able to use knives, to find food (hunting, fishing), to defend himself... I guess he would have lived in a very small city.
Also, there is this guy... Can someone grow up in military bases in Montana ? If so, which ones are current, and big ?
Then, I'm questioning myself : is sport a cultural thing in Montana ? Do people in general enjoy it particularly ?
I also wonder how -in general again- people think here ? What are the major values about politic, morality, law... ? If you know what I mean ?

I guess that's all for now, thank you very much
Accueillir Lustuu;

Montanan's love to speak about their state, there just aren't too many of us

First off, "redneck" is a term that originated in West Virginia and corrisponds to the early union movement, so it doesn't really apply to Montanan's.

Outdoorsmen, Mountain Men, Cowhands or Frontiersmen are closer descriptions, with Mountain Men used a lot in current TV programs with Montanan's portrayed, just as the term "Hillbilly" is usually associated with the Appalachian Mountains, even though it is an Irish term.

There really aren't any big cities in Montana, only one, Billings, that has more than 100,000 population. Most towns are less than 6000 people, most are much smaller. Only about 6 towns besides Billings have populations of over 30,000 people.

The only Military Base in the state is Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls, a town of around 35,000 people.

That said, Montana has one of the highest per capita populations of military veterans in the US.

Most Montanan's are very practiced with firearms and archery tackle for hunting or sport shooting, it is a big thing here as there are 11 big game species in the state and numerous small game and game bird/waterfoul species.
Montana has more hunters per capita than any other state, (Alaska has the most Fishermen), so finding someone that was raised to take care of themselves in the wild is no big deal. Many folks here spend a lot of time outdoors as there are a lot of outdoors here. Montana is almost the same size as Germany, but with only 1 million population so we have a lot of wild country to play in, and we do.
Many people here raise their own gardens or collect wild edibles in season. Just about everybody can fish, many hunt, lot of trappers still work here.

Most of the farms and ranches are very self sufficent and the owners are masters of repairing equipment, or making new parts from what they have lying around.

As an example, I was raised on a very isolated ranch, and I blacksmith using a wood fired forge to make knives, axes, tools, kitchen utensils etc.

There are a lot of folks here that raise their own livestock, (Cattle, Hogs, Sheep, Goats) for milk and meat, and also raise chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese or rabbits as well.
Lots of folks here know how to make leather or dress hides to be made into clothing.

There are several clubs of men called BuckSkinners who reinact the heydays of the fur trade from the early 1800's, in Canada they were called Coureur des bois.

Cowboy shoots are popular here as well with folks arming themselves with period weapons from the late 1800's and shooting targets, sometimes from a galloping horse.

Rodeos are popular too, but in my opinion have become very commercialized.

That along with camping, rafting, hiking and other things like wildlife photography, rock climbing/ice climbing, bird watching, 4-wheeling, dirt biking, skiing, snowshoing and snowmobiling are probably the most enjoyed and widly participated in sports.

High School football and basket ball are popular in small towns, some folks follow the professional guys.
There are some small farm division Ice Hockey teams in some of the larger towns.

Montana is a VERY different place from Europe, so to draw parallels would be nearly impossible. I was stationed with a French Battle group for a while, and it would be difficult to explain the differences in an understandable manner for you.

Politically, Montana is a conservative state, small government held accountable to the citizens, they want good jobs and people to support themselves instead of depending on government.
That said, they are also pretty libertarian, "I do my thing, you do yours, don't try to make me do what you want, if it doesn't hurt somebody else or infringe on my rights I don't care what you do" kind of thing.

For instance, a few years ago the voters of Montana voted to allow the use of marijuana for some purposes. The system was abused horribly, so the laws were tightened up to the point it is nearly impossible to get the certification to use it now.
Personal responsibility. If you have a right, use it wisely or you will no longer have that right.

Very Independent people live here, very open and friendly, but also kind of wary of outsiders and accepting folks into the community. They will speak to you, help you if you need it, but still maintain a distance until they know you.

Good luck on your book, you have a lot of research ahead of you if you want any accuracy at all
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Corsica, France
7 posts, read 8,654 times
Reputation: 10
Wow... Thank you very much for your time !
It's very pleasant to read those explanations.

So, I have to say I've got some questions now.
First off, I though those things about fishing, hunting, people who actually live in farms and produce themselves all they need, was a cliché. Something we say about Montanan's. But I see it is not, it really is a way of life. I can't imagine people would be so "good with one's hand", if this phrase correct. It's really impressive for someone who come from France, like me. Neither me, or my family, or my friends would be able to survive properly if we had to (or just one atypical guy who doesn't like going out, seeing people, and illegally tries shooting, you know). And I live in Corsica, which is known for being "green", we don't have great cities, the biggest only count 60.000 people. I'm surprised though, but nicely surprised.
I'm glad to see you told me what sports/activities are "popular" in Montana, I will use it.

Are there many immigrant families in Montana, from other countries ? I saw on the internet, that you have a "high" rate of Norwegian people for instance ? (and Mexicans?) Is it true ?

I can't believe that people could know how to live without any home, just outside. Could teens/20' years old people and housewives know it too ? (I'm sorry, I want to be sure.) I understand that not EVERYBODY there can be useful with their hand, of course.

I have to ask you about BuckSkinners. I'm not sure about them, I'm afraid I didn't understand. They hunt animals in the woods to take their skins, and make fur with it ? So in Montana you aren't "Peta friendly", if I can say so ? (About fur only.)
Also, sorry for the use of "RedNeck", we just know this word here in France, and it represents anybody in the US that can live by itself outside.

Can you tell me more about guns, weapons ? My characters would be able to find/have them easily ? Where can you buy ammo ? Do you know "popular" or unoriginal weapons ?

I'm sorry, I don't get a sentence. "Personal responsibility. If you have a right, use it wisely or you will no longer have that right." What does that mean ?
Are you respectful about laws ?

I would also know how is the weather ? I've read it's very cold on winter, very hot on summer. But is there snow everywhere on winter ? Or maybe is there snow all year long in some places in Montana ?
I guess people are very protective about their lands, and very clean ?
I saw that Indians people live in the US too, and in Montana. Are there indian reservations ?

I don't see more questions for now. Thank you so much !!

Ps - You said "Accueillir Lustuu" at the top of your post. I guess you mean "Bienvenue Lustuu" ! "Accueillir" is the verb, you know ? And thanks !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 03:36 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,662 posts, read 8,952,951 times
Reputation: 10938
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegabern View Post
Quick answer, I'm on my way out. I'll try to come back

Montanans are very independent. Libretarian/Conservative. Live and let live kind of people. We want the government to leave us alone.

Montanans love sports (or am I misunderstanding?). Football and basketball are king here. That and rodeo.

There is an air force base in Great Falls. I believe that is the biggest in the state. It's called Malmstrom AFB. We have a bunch of missle sites here in the state too.

You could pick any random town in Montana (big or smal) and find someone who can hunt, fish and generally 'take care of themselves'.
This pretty much sums it up although I would also add that wrestling is pretty big in Montana. The high school state wrestling tournament draws a big crowd. I think Malmstron is the only military installation in the state other than missile sites and National Guard armories.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
Reputation: 8243
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lustuu View Post
Wow... Thank you very much for your time !
It's very pleasant to read those explanations.

You are welcome

So, I have to say I've got some questions now. No Kidding
First off, I though those things about fishing, hunting, people who actually live in farms and produce themselves all they need, was a cliché. Something we say about Montanan's. But I see it is not, it really is a way of life. I can't imagine people would be so "good with one's hand", if this phrase correct. It's really impressive for someone who come from France, like me. Neither me, or my family, or my friends would be able to survive properly if we had to (or just one atypical guy who doesn't like going out, seeing people, and illegally tries shooting, you know). And I live in Corsica, which is known for being "green", we don't have great cities, the biggest only count 60.000 people. I'm surprised though, but nicely surprised.
I'm glad to see you told me what sports/activities are "popular" in Montana, I will use it.

Are there many immigrant families in Montana, from other countries ? I saw on the internet, that you have a "high" rate of Norwegian people for instance ? (and Mexicans?) Is it true ?

Most of our immigration took place 100+ years ago, so the Norwegian's and Germans and Scottish and English etc. are mostly descendant of those pioneers.
There is still some immigration, quite a few Russians that I have met, Philippinos, some German, not a lot of Mexicans, (too cold up here).

I can't believe that people could know how to live without any home, just outside. Could teens/20' years old people and housewives know it too ? (I'm sorry, I want to be sure.) I understand that not EVERYBODY there can be useful with their hand, of course.

When I was a kid, every winter I ran a trap line for my school money, so every evening I would run one leg of my line which was 2 miles long so I did one mile every other night. On the weekends I would run the whole line, make new sets, move unproductive ones, that kind of thing, and usually spend Saturday night in a snow shelter I made to sleep in. I was 14 when I started doing that, and kept it up until I was 18 and had a "town" job.
There are still kids today that could do it, as for housewives, my wife is a good hand in the backcountry, my grandmothers used to hunt elk, my mother is a mean rifle shot, (no skunk is safe around her ). Yes, some women have these skills too.

I have to ask you about BuckSkinners. I'm not sure about them, I'm afraid I didn't understand. They hunt animals in the woods to take their skins, and make fur with it ? So in Montana you aren't "Peta friendly", if I can say so ? (About fur only.)
Also, sorry for the use of "RedNeck", we just know this word here in France, and it represents anybody in the US that can live by itself outside.

No Montana is not PETA friendly, here the initials are translated to mean People Eating Tasty Animals.
We manage our wildlife resources to benefit them and us, so yes there are people that hunt, and use the skins and furs.
Here the wildlife and animals are treasured and used and protected. We live around them, see them everywhere, we use the meat to sustain us, the leather for all kinds of purposes, waste not want not.
We respect the animal because we understand them and appreciate them. This isn't a Disney movie, the animals and us are living breathing beings sharing this space together. The histrionics of PETA are not appreciated.

Look up Mountain Men like Jim Bridger or Hugh Glass, John Coulter or Liver-Eatin' Johnson. Those were the original Buck skinners, the modern guys are honoring their memory and times by reenacting at Rendezvous.

Redneck isn't a demeaning term, but is usually best translated as Hick or un-sophisticated in modern parlance.
Jeff Foxworthy made the term one of endearment and made it chic to be a redneck.

Can you tell me more about guns, weapons ? My characters would be able to find/have them easily ? Where can you buy ammo ? Do you know "popular" or unoriginal weapons ?

Firearms are made in this state by several smiths and companies, most guys that know their way around a machine shop could make a rifle pretty easy, black powder is simpler still.
Ammo can be purchased at any sporting goods store, and a lot of hardware stores, and some grocery stores or gas stations.
Lots of guys here reload so they make their own ammunition to their own specifications. Kind of fun once you get into it.

If you do muzzleloaders or black powder, that is much simpler, and it isn't hard to make your own black powder and bullets if you want. Look at the original hand cannons used at the end of the European Medieval period. very simple weapons, but they worked.

Weapons can be made from stone, antler, bone and wood too, knives, bows and arrows, atlatls, spears, even crossbows. Simpler still are things like throwing sticks or slings. Not hard to make with very little materials.

I'm sorry, I don't get a sentence. "Personal responsibility. If you have a right, use it wisely or you will no longer have that right." What does that mean ?


Basically it means to respect yourself and others, to live in a manner that is beneficial to all around you. If you abuse your liberty there will always be somebody there to take it away from you, whether it is the government or your neighbors.
Play by the rules and don't hurt somebody else, and you can do what you want. Hurt someone else for your own personal pleasure, you will lose your privilege to do that activity, and may lose your freedom too.

Are you respectful about laws ? Depends, do I agree with all laws?, Not necessarily, do I abide by them? Most of the time Do I respect them? I respect that there were hopefully good intentions in place when the laws were enacted, and some laws are necessary in a society where folks have to live in close proximity, but there are a lot of laws that are not necessary and can actually hurt a society too.

I would also know how is the weather ? I've read it's very cold on winter, very hot on summer. But is there snow everywhere on winter ? Or maybe is there snow all year long in some places in Montana ?

It can get very cold in Montana as in -70 degrees Fahrenheit cold, as in arctic cold, as in polar bear's looking to move to a warmer place cold. There can be winds of over 100 miles per hour that can last for days. Snowfall is measured in feet in some places, and depending on elevation, 10 feet plus isn't uncommon.
Most of the lower land doesn't get that much, but it can be significant falls of a foot or 2 in a single storm.

Yes there are Glaciers in Montana, and peaks where the snow may not melt during the summer, but those are in the high country, not down where the people live.
Summers aren't too bad, usually the highs don't get much above 100 -105 degrees F.

Those are extremes by the way, not like that all the time, but it can happen.

I guess people are very protective about their lands, and very clean ? Very protective, but good stewards so they use the land for their livelihood which means it is important to them to take the best care of it they can by thinning timber and fighting erosion, while still raising livestock and crops on it.

I saw that Indians people live in the US too, and in Montana. Are there indian reservations ? 7 reservations, in Montana but lots of Indians live off the reservation and among the rest of us, no big deal. Most are good folks, some aren't, just like everybody else.

I don't see more questions for now. Thank you so much !!

Ps - You said "Accueillir Lustuu" at the top of your post. I guess you mean "Bienvenue Lustuu" ! "Accueillir" is the verb, you know ? And thanks !

Sorry, been a lot of years since High School French class

Remember, these are my opinions and observations only and do not apply to everybody here. There are lots of folks that don't live this kind of life in Montana, but there are also a lot that do.

Last edited by MTSilvertip; 08-12-2013 at 06:15 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 10:01 PM
 
8,940 posts, read 8,042,403 times
Reputation: 19427
If you want to write a novel based on Montana built around an outdoor type person, you need to know a lot more than you do. Put redneck into the book, and you will turn off your audience quicker than anything. This is cowboy country, not redneck country. With no more than you know about Montana, writing a novel about Montana may sell in Europe, but will not really sell here as it will not be realistic. It will get bad reviews. The little you can get from these threads, will not fill in the blanks as they say, and give you enough information to write a novel.

The weather will vary greatly in the state. The Western half is the Rocky Mountains. The Eastern half is more plains. In the Western half it is quite snowy. Then you go east, and when you get Columbus through Billings (our big city of about 100,000 people you are in the snow shadows of the Rockies. It snows and rains heavy to the west, stops snowing and we get only a portion of the snow of the Western part of the state. In the 7 years I have lived here, we have only seen two storms we needed our lane (600 feet) and driveway plowed out. The snow is very light, and we blow it off our walks with a leaf blower, not needing a shovel. Had to be plowed as there was about a foot of snow, and then the wind blew it into deep drifts in our driveway and lane. Last winter, we had a period where it snowed every day. Half an inch or so overnight, then by 10am it was gone (melted). If you write a novel about Montana with snow, you need to find out how much snow the local area gets, to be an half way accurate story.

We live across the street from the city limits (best part of the town), with a 500 foot private lane along one side of our property to the street dividing the country and city. We have 5 acres with a 3,700 sq. ft. custom 4 level home. All rail fenced, and a barn/stables. We have looked out our windows, and seen lots of deer who walk into our yard, several times a flock of wild turkeys, a bob cat, one cougar, a couple of fox and lots of small animals. Even in cities or close to, you see wild life here. The rivers have lots of fish, and some get quite large. This is in the very civilized part of Montana, not the more rugged parts of Montana.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-12-2013, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Hot Springs, Arkansas
389 posts, read 1,003,680 times
Reputation: 454
You might want to check out "Winter" that is about Yaak, Montana for some ideas. That is an unsual location being only four miles from the Canadian border. I actually tried to talk my wife into settling there when we retired but she prevailed.

Amazon.com: Winter: Notes from Montana (0046442611503): Rick Bass: Books

I don't see Montana as "redneck" country. Not sure where you came up with that conclusion. I pretty much agree with the previous comments.

I lived in Montana briefly in 1975. But we couldn't find good jobs and threw in the towel and moved back to Missouri where we had come from. But we were always drawn back by the beauty of Montana and must have gone out there about 25 times on vacation. We spent most of our time in the Bitterroot Valley where Hamilton and Victor are located. My personal opinion is that Kalispell and White Fish is the area I liked best near Flathead Lake.

It's really hard not to like Montana but not everyone is suited for it. The weather while it can get cold is not unduly so in the Bitterroot Valley. The snow is a "flaky" kind that can often burn off by mid morning. A 4x4 is probably a necessity if one gets off the major highways.

Montana is definitely not "redneck" country that as correctly stated previously reserved for country hicks who are not quite civilized. Offhand, I don't know any of these people but I'm sure there are some out there somewhere. But not Montana.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 08-13-2013, 02:49 AM
 
Location: Corsica, France
7 posts, read 8,654 times
Reputation: 10
Hi !

Ok ok, I see a misunderstanding here. In France, a "redneck" is just a guy who could easily find food outside, and take care of himself. We just consider "redneck" people as those who live in little cities, farms, ranches, little house in the wood... Not much. I see now that it's a cliché, but I couldn't know before. It's like some people in the US think French people eat cheese and drink wine everyday. It's just a cliché. I don't really know what that means for you people.
Now, thank you all for your answers.

MTSilvertip -> When you talk about a line trap, does it mean that you made a circuit ?
I think I'll have more questions later, I just got up x)

Oldtrader -> I have to say that I though the cowboy thing about Montana was immoderate and excessive. I'm here to know about reality in Montana, and I want to forget any cliché. It's just different to hear about it from Montanan's. I saw there are many books who describe this state, and this is very interesting to me.
Your post is very helpful, and I hope you'll be able to tell me more and more about how the life is there ? I just want to write something post-apocalyptic, I'm not sure already about the year. I guess some thing will remained unchanged, and some things will be totally different.
Are you like MTSilvertip, or even like he describes some people there ?

RMissourimule -> I've cleared this redneck thing. It was just a misunderstanding.
Your post made me think about something.

How are forests, woods... ? What can we find in there ?
And I guess there are many many ranches everywhere - is that correct ? Real ? What vehicules are used the most ? Rmissourimule talked about a 4x4, what else ?
What can we find in every little towns ?

Also, I don't know how are borders between Montana and Canada ? Are there tollbooth ? Can they be closed ?
How people would react there, if any natural, humanitarian or even ecological disaster ? People themselves, or even governement ? Do you understand ? I'm just trying to get how you are there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Montana
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top