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Father’s Day in Bozeman, Montana

Father’s Day in Bozeman, Montana

For Fathers day, Photographer, Courtney Green explores the special bond between her Father and her two young children, growing up experiencing life on a ranch just outside of Bozeman, Montana.

There is a humility and resilience developed through hard work. I grew up on a farm in northern Michigan watching my parents work tirelessly to build a life and keep our farm running. I remember when I was very little, walking out of my bedroom before dawn in the early Spring, and often seeing a new calf laying in the middle of the kitchen floor. The snow in the upper peninsula of Michigan makes Spring calving quite challenging, so if they needed help, the babies often ended up in the house to stay warm.

When your childhood starts that way, it is nearly impossible not to grow up with a certain respect, work ethic, and compassion for animals and the land on which they are raised.

You grow up learning that you always do what needs to get done. That’s it. You do it, and you do it with respect, honesty, and not a little work ethic.

We now live in Montana, not far from my parents working ranch just outside of Bozeman. My children have the opportunity to grow up hearing stories and learning life lessons that you don’t learn in school, and can’t be found on an ipad.

There is a reverence and an appreciation for this place, cultivated through working hard and caring deeply for the animals and the land. They follow my dad everywhere on the ranch… on foot or horseback, fixing the fence, checking cattle, caring for horses, and of course, sneaking in time to play too. They are learning lessons and creating memories that run deeper than they know.

Happy Fathers Day to all of the wonderful Fathers and Grandfathers out there. Especially mine.

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Pheasant Bonanza, Nebraska with Sam Raetz

Pheasant Bonanza, Nebraska with Sam Raetz

It’s 6AM on a Saturday in Northeast Nebraska, and the majority of its citizens are still in bed, fugitives of the unfriendly conditions that are all too common in the Cornhusker State this time of year. The sun has yet to decide when it’s going to illuminate the Heartland, but rest assured, the day started a few hours ago at Pheasant Bonanza.

Shop the shirt here.

Pheasant Bonanza is a well-respected hunting club that offers more than 4,500 acres of upland habitat and a dog training program that is as esteemed as any in the Midwest. Located just outside the endearing town of Tekamah, you can hear the 50 some-odd bird dogs-in-training singing in unison for their breakfast long before you can lay eyes on their impressive facilities. Trent Leichleiter has been the General Manager for nearly 11 years at Pheasant Bonanza and is the driving force behind the thriving business. He wears many hats aside from overseeing the business; dog-trainer, shooting instructor, and marketing manager, among others. Trent leads a team of 15 guides that work during the fall hunting season, and another 8 employees that are full-time staff.

Hat left; Dune 5X Gun Club. Hat right; Bozeman Outdoor.

The sun’s warmth is waging war against what remains of spring’s foothold in the hills, and is at last spreading across the land, notifying the dog trainers and their students that it’s time for today’s instruction.

Trent and his staff load up a dog trailer full of German Shorthaired Pointers and head afield. The pointers, beaming with levels of excitement that could be misconstrued as anxiety, are eager to please. These bird dogs are in the advanced stages of their training, and could practically drive Trent’s Ford to their preferred field. Not ten minutes go by before one of the pointers catches a whiff of a rooster hiding in switchgrass, transforming the dog into a statue-like point. What was once a fun game as a puppy is now a full-time job for these canines, and they’re workaholics. “Whoaaa” Trent calls out to his high energy group, hoping to reign them in before any of the dogs flush the prized game bird prior to him getting into position for a clean shot. Suddenly, the tall grass erupts, and a rooster cuts through the crisp mid-spring sky. Trent raises his 20 gauge over-under shotgun and sends a barrage of steel through the air, connecting directly with the bird. The pointers go into a frenzy, attempting to be the first to arrive at the harvested bird in order to impress their teacher. After a few more exercises, Trent dismisses this group of dogs and begins to work with some Labrador Retrievers who have been patiently waiting their turn back at the kennel.

Some dogs dream about the dinner bell or apprehending the local squirrel, but the dogs at Pheasant Bonanza are living their own paradise every day.

Whether you meet a staff member or a dog that has been under their supervision, it’s clear that those linked to Pheasant Bonanza have found their calling in the chase.

Sam Raetz is a freelance photographer based in the good life – Nebraska. He unknowingly put his photography career in motion when he instinctually reached for a camera to capture his time duck hunting with his brother along the river and realized there is depth and meaning to the photos, beyond capturing an image. Passionate about telling the quietly whispered stories of small towns, nature, and wildlife, he finds himself traveling across America to document not the big moments, but the meaningful ones. Grit over glamor and hard work over everything. Find more of his work at

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Behind the Scenes with Charley Crockett

Behind the Scenes with Charley Crockett

We had the pleasure of spending the day with Charley Crockett ahead of his show in Philadelphia. Read on for the full interview with photography by Jesse Michalski.

When and why did you start playing music and singing?

I started playing music as a way to relieve my sorrow when I was about 16 or 17.

What was the first tune you learned?

“All Along The Watchtower”

Is your family musical?

I had a great uncle who was a Country Western singer. My mama could always sing really well naturally. Both my siblings too.

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?

Bill Withers, Loretta Lynn, Hank Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins.  With all of them and many others I admire there’s a simple honesty to their songs. They can say a lot in a 2 minute song without being heavy handed. I think that’s a rare gift.

Do you get nervous before a performance?

I do get nervous. I’m not sure that’ll ever go away. I don’t think I want it to. It means I’m excited and that’s a good thing.

How does Stetson fit into your style?

All the best hats I’ve ever had were Stetsons. It’s one of the few brands that have stood the test of time in America. I can identify with that kind of endurance. Not to mention, everybody notices a Stetson.

If you haven’t already, get yourself a copy of “Lonesome As A Shadow” and catch him on tour this summer!

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The Eaton’s Cattle Drive

The Eaton’s Cattle Drive

by Photographer Sofia Jaramillo

Each year the Eaton cattle drive shuts down highway 821 between Ellensburg and Yakima. Cowboys and cowgirls come from all over the state to help the Eaton’s move their herd back to the family’s Mount Baldy Ranch in central Washington. It’s a tradition that has been going on for more than 60 years.

This year, in an effort to keep grazing on land near the Yakima River Canyon, the Eaton’s teamed up with other ranching families. The Akehurst and Stingley family contributed cattle to the Eaton’s herd and together they moved over 100 head.

The drive starts in the foothills above the highway. Cows are moved from the rangeland down to the road, which parallels the river. Black cliffs jot upward from the riverbanks and tall skinny pine trees provide homes for nesting bald eagles.

The drive takes about three hours and after everyone has arrived at the ranch the Eaton’s host a dinner for those who helped out.

“It’s really a way of life for us. It’s something that is just in your soul. You feel more at home horseback than doing anything else,” said Ken Eaton.

Don Akehurst gets ready to put a bridle on his horse before the cattle drive. Shop similar Western Hat styles here.

Cattle move up Burbank Creek road toward highway 821.

Curtis Mecham’s shadow is cast on a trailer early in the morning before the cattle drive.

Cattlemen go after a wandering cow during the cattle drive.

Carly Stingley and her horse during the cattle drive.

Cattlemen stop for some coffee and lunch on their way to Mt. Baldy ranch.

A truck full of hay lures cattle down highway 821 in the Yakima River Canyon.

Sofia Jaramillo is an editorial and commercial photographer, a lover of Latin culture and outdoor adventurer. Her work focuses on agriculture and ranching. When she’s not working on photos, you’ll find her exploring in the Tetons. She recently relocated from central Washington to Jackson, Wyoming. After growing up in the mountains of Sun Valley, Idaho, she couldn’t be happier about moving back to the mountain west.

Instagram:  sofia_jaramillo5


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Shop Tour with Stetson Berlin

Shop Tour with Stetson Berlin

Photography by Jon Mortimer.

How long has the store been in operation?

We opened the Berlin Stetson Store on December 18, 2015.

What makes the store so unique?

Authenticity. It starts with the building, a historical location from the 19th century. As soon as the customers enter the store, they dive into the Stetson universe. The store breathes traditional hatter tradition – authentic furniture and merchandising materials, such as the photos of well-known hat-wearers represent the brand and its core values. As well as the staff – they’re not only well trained and know how to approach and convince the customers, they also fit the store style-wise. Another important asset is the large product range – the Berlin Stetson Store offers nearly the complete Stetson range which can hardly be found elsewhere in Germany.

What is your most popular Stetson style?

The whole VitaFelt range is very popular at this point, and the 6 pannel-styles are too – they’re easier to wear than the 8 pannel-Hatteras and therefore the perfect style for beginners.

Would you say people are buying more hats than before?

That’s a definite yes. Beanies and base caps have become inherent parts of street- and urban-wear, a fact that opened the door to the hat culture which is on the rise. Furthermore, pop culture and – thanks to social media – omnipresent celebrities and influencers have pushed the hat trend. The hat is probably the most popular accessory at this very moment, a hat is the icing on the cake, it makes the outfit and highlights the individuality of its wearer.

What hat trend do you expect to see next?

For women it’s definitely the Baker Boy-styles, like Stetson’s Fisherman or Allenport – it’s THE trend of the season. For men, Hatteras and small-sized hats such as Pork Pie or Trilby are on the rise.

What hat faux pas/mistakes do you see most often?

Wearing a base cap backward is probably dated and, from a certain age, not appropriate. One should always make sure that the hat goes with the outfit – a Fedora suits an elegant suit probably better than a Trilby or a Pork Pie, while the smaller styles are a better match with casual outfits. But in the end… live and let live.

How has your store shaped Berlin hat culture?

The store has had a great influence and it certainly sharpened the perception of hat culture – thanks to its location in Berlin Mitte, one of Germany’s most popular trend areas, the store is a fantastic international window for Stetson as well as for the hat culture and the hatter tradition. We have established a loyal clientele of all style- and age-groups. And thanks to the area, we can also welcome a serious amount of walk-in customers and tourists. The look of the store makes people want to walk in and then, they discover the great and unique offer. The warm welcome and the authentic atmosphere make them want to spend time in the store, to discover and, last but not least, to buy. Many of them buy their first hat ever at the Berlin Stetson Store – and become loyal Stetson lovers. It can be said that the store set new standards in terms of hat culture.

What’s the best advice for a first time-hat buyer?

Come in and find out, dare and… trust the sales staff – they are the nuts and bolts. Besides representing the brand style-wise and being friendly, they are brand and product experts and may answer any possible question. They have the ability to identify a customer in two shakes too – especially when it comes to someone who never wore a hat before – recommend a style that fits the customer’s size, personality and style. The salesperson provides a sense of security and assists the customer in finding the “right” hat that, in an ideal world, gets him compliments from his friends.

Follow our friends on Instagram @stetsoneurope.

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An Interview with The Bones of J.R. Jones

An Interview with The Bones of J.R. Jones

Meet vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, Jonathon Linaberry. His newest album, “One to Keep Close” is out May 11th. We interviewed him in New York City wearing his Open Road.

We’re sure you get asked this a lot but what’s the story behind your name “The Bones of J.R. Jones?”

J.R. stands for Jon Robert.. my first and middle names.  The Bones came out of a desire to separate myself from the performance aspect of what I do. It gives me a change to be flexible with musicians, tone, and atmosphere without feeling totally tied to me personally.

Who are your musical influences?

That spans a great deal.  I truly believe all music is influenced by the good and bad.  I can be listening to something on the radio that I hate, but whether I like it or not it will inform what I do… even on a subconscious level.  But if we are talking about whom I hope to draw inspiration from… I fall back on a lot of older styles of music and musicians.  Early Springsteen, Tom Waits, Son House, R.L. Burnside, S.E. Rogie. At the moment I am really into that whole free-form jazz that came out of Ethiopia in the 70’s.

Do you have formal music education? How’d you get started?

I started taking piano lessons when I was 6, moved to guitar when I was 14.  I play a lot of punk rock in my teens, but when I went away to study art at college, I kind of gave up music for a stint.  I didn’t pick it back up seriously until 6 or years ago.

How do you describe your sound? Your style?

That’s always a tough question for me.  It’s a bit of mishmash of blues, garage rock, folk and soul.  My style is a bit of a free for all.  I try to pour as much energy as possible into what I do.  I try to make sure my performances are an experience.

How does Stetson fit into that style?

I’ve always coveted my grandfather’s Stetson hat.  It never quite fit me right.  He was a much larger man than me, but I always wanted that style.  He wore it so well.  I guess I’ve been chasing that since I was a boy.

What inspired this new album?

I really wanted to create an album that embodied a studio experience, something I’ve never had the luxury of doing.  I was fortunate that I was afforded that chance this go around.  So a lot of these songs were inspired out of that.  They were written with that in mind.

Which is your personal favorite track?

My favorite is currently “know my name”  It really does express the direction I want to take my music in.

What’s next?

Oh, I suppose whatever the road brings.  I suspect there will be a lot more touring, songwriting and the like.  I am hoping to grow beyond a solo project and have the ability to bring some great musicians on the road with me.

Follow @thebonesofjrjones. New album release Friday, May 11, 2018.

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