A Beard by Any Other Name

Has the Gauntlet been laid down?

Steffen Rasile of Helena just came in second place at the 2013 Just for Men National Beard and Moustache Championships (Makes us wonder if their's one for women). While we celebrate this heroic win for all of Montana, we bristled at one part of the story:

And for those manly men who like to grow a beard every year for hunting season? Rasile teasingly derides them as amateurs. But he encourages people to let their hair down and join the club, especially for their upcoming brewery tours in Montana.

For those of us fortunate enough have a face full of manly beardedness both during the season and not, we protest.

The hunting beard is a time honored tradition, born from the labors of our forefathers and passed down to those of us in the field today.

Our beards may not always stick around throughout the year (have you ever had to pull an articulated sculpin out of your cheek? You don't want a beard to get in the way), but our beards are fierce and not amateurish.

Our beards make us men to match the Mountains, Plains, Coulees and Fields. When the cold Montana wind blows, our beards keep us warm and secure as we wait for bucks to chase does.

Our beards keep our snot from falling into our mouths as we try to remember why we like sitting in a duck blind when it's twenty below.

Our beards ensure that our wives will have something else to complain about during our months' long absence from home.

There is no doubt that the beard is seeing a resurgence in popularity driven by shows, such as my personal favorite, Duck Dynasty. Those beards, by the way, are the beards of hunters. There is no styling gel or product involved, just matted, food stained facial hair.

Grow your hunting beard in fearless defiance, for Papa Hemmingway, for Willie & Si & Jase, for Theodore Roosevelt & the scores of men who knew that a beard during the killing season is the only proper way to keep yourself warm.

Be proud of who you are, and grow that hunting beard!

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Hellgate Hunters and Anglers
Our Mission is to conserve Montana's wildlife, wild places, and fair-chase hunting and fishing heritage.