By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Josh Kirk might be a television star, but there’s no Hollywood glamour about him.
The “Mountain Men” star spends his days managing more than 400 head of bison in Fremont County and has a homestead with his family near the Wind River Range. He has a love for all things outdoors and wants to pass on his passion to other interested conservationists.
“This is my opinion, but in the last 150 years, the world has sold its soul for supply, demand and a house on Main Street,” Kirk told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday. “We’re trading our freedom for convenience. When you look at our existence, going to a grocery store or a butcher shop is a relatively new thing.”
To give people an idea of what life on the range used to be like, Kirk wants others to experience the beauty of hunting and harvesting their own food, so he is offering the opportunity to hunt bison with him this year.
Prices for bison hunts with Kirk began at $2,500 and go up from there and the hunts can last anywhere from one to three days. The hunts will take place likely in the late summer and early fall, but Kirk will work out details with interested hunters.
Be forewarned, though: this is not a “glamping” style hunting trip. Kirk believes in getting in touch with nature and has offered hunters the opportunity to fully harvest their bison, using everything from the meat all the way down to the sinew in the muscles.
“It’s about connecting back with the land and connecting with the animal,” Kirk said. “Instead of buying a ribeye from the store, you can harvest this animal in an ethical way. Then you have more respect when you walk back into the grocery store to buy a piece of meat, because you know what it takes to harvest that animal.”
Kirk said by hunting in this manner, he allows his guests to be go back to the time of their forefathers and ancestors, who were hunters and gatherers many generations ago.
He can also teach his hunters how to find shelter, make a fire and procure food and water while out in the wild, if they so choose.
Kirk said there is nothing more beautiful than learning to take care of yourself in nature, without the help of modern luxuries and technology.
“For me, you’re paying homage to the animal, showing it the utmost respect by harvesting the animal yourself and processing it yourself and utilizing all of the resources from it yourself,” he said. “And if you choose to do it and then make clothing out of that animal, it’s even more badass. You’re really touching the earth and a manifestation that most people never get.”
Kirk will soon be featured in his third season, the 11th overall, of the History Channel series “Mountain Men,” which will begin airing on June 3. The series focuses on the lives of various homesteaders across the country, from Wyoming and Idaho to Alaska.
Anyone interested in bison hunting with Kirk can contact him at: Joshkirkmountainmen@gmail.com.