Somebody say knife fight? - July 2008
Welcome to my camp, sit a spell. I'll toss another chunk of wood on the fire and warm up the coffee in the kettle, thars some backy fer yer pipe & if you feel so thars some Taos lighting in the jug to wash that dry away. Let me introduce myself, the name's Bill Gantic and my home is now in western Colorado but like so many of the original mountaineers (what the mountain men were called during their day) I was born & raised in the east. A small historical town in Connecticut that is. With Davy Crockett on tv and tagging along in the woods and swamps with my father I learned a lot about the outdoors and trapping beaver. Heck I took a fresh beaver tail into my second grade show & tell. Then came along a high school report on the Native Americans and a movie called Jeremiah Johnson. I just knew then I needed a Hawken rifle by god. My interest in the rocky mountain fur trade had began and my quest to find out more about this time in our country's history. But it wasn't going to be all book learning for this here child, I wanted to try to experience what those beaver trappers went through as best as I could in these times. So I started going to rendezvous and making my own gear.
Then about 20 years ago my lifes trail took me out west to the Barren River country of northern Nevada. Yes sir I could grab my flintlock & put my moccasin clad feet right into the foot steps of Peter S. Ogden of the HBC and Joe R. Walker's party on their way to California. I was living it where it happen but I was on my own hook, that is doing it on my own. I needed to find others that had this same bug. With more twist & turns in my lifes trail I had lived in Wyoming, Montana and Colorado. I have seen much of the same country that I have read about. Then I came in contact with some of the American Mountain Men here in Colorado, I always heard about this group and it sounded like what I was looking for. Well I next thing I knew I was invited to their camps and then I got my sponsors and started to work on my requirements to become a bossloper. Well that was about 2000 and I am now working on my hiverano degree. I am still learning and refining my equipage but the best part is getting out on the ground hunting, trapping and living this so I can share the knowledge with others who want to learn.