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Flashback: Animal (Contest — Three Winners!)
Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

UPDATE: The winners are…commenters 1 through 7!

So, I’m being lazy this morning. I’ve featured this story in a flashback before, and because I’m running low on time to finish a job, I decided to “cheat.” Hope you don’t mind the repeat. It has been a while…

I love my Montana Bounty Hunters. I really try hard to make each of them individual rather than cookie-cutter characters with different names. I also love to dream up unique takedowns for your reading pleasure and to showcase who these men are. One of my favorite scenes was “Animal chasing the bear”, which is part of the Montana Bounty Hunters’ cable TV series lore now. You know what I mean if you’ve read the books! Anyway, I’m sharing that scene today. It’s not long. Enjoy!



MONTANA BOUNTY HUNTERS: Authentic Men… Real Adventures…

A rough-around-the-edges bounty hunter takes a nature photographer on a wild ride.

Former SEAL, Russell “Animal” Hathcoat, retreated to a remote mountain cabin after leaving the Navy. Haunted by horrific images that replay in his nightmares of his last mission with his SEAL brothers, he intends to renovate the dilapidated cabin as penance and therapy, and to avoid rejoining the world around him. But then, someone who understands what he needs better than he does arrives to offer him a job.

Allie Travers loves the freedom and solitude of being a nature photographer and journalist—until the day she stares through her lens at a charging black bear. With her heart in her throat, she can only stand watching in horror, knowing she’ll never escape in time. But rescue comes in the form of a wild man who risks his life to frighten away the animal.

Once the danger is past, she’s told by his team of bounty hunters that she has more to fear than any animal in the woods. A felon is on the loose, and she has to accompany them to safety. Seeing an opportunity, Allie shadows the team as they hunt their prey deep in a national forest. Much to Animal’s dismay, more than just his protective instincts are aroused by the pretty photojournalist.


Are you all caught up reading the Montana Bounty Hunters in Bear Lodge & the spin-off series set in Dead Horse?

For a chance to win a download of one of the stories you may have missed in either series
(I’ll pick three winners!), tell me this:
What profession other than bounty hunters would you like to see in future Montana Bounty Hunters—Dead Horse branch, and beyond—

Here are all the Bear Lodge, Montana, Bounty Hunters!

Authentic Men… Real Adventures…
Reaper’s Ride:
Big Sky Wedding:

Excerpt from Animal:

The moment Taco lowered his nose to the ground, following Tibbets’s trail from the camper’s metal steps, they’d realized the man had headed straight into the woods, afoot, rather than driving out.

They’d left Dagger, Lacey, and Cochise behind to watch for any movement in town, and to keep an eye out for any of his relatives who looked ready to head north with supplies to help him out. The rest of the team members grabbed their gear from their vehicles and began tracking Tibbets into Flathead National Forest.

Animal didn’t mind the rough conditions. He was accustomed to long marches and sleeping on the ground. None of the hunters, even Carly Stenberg, complained about the conditions, even after they’d endured a chilly rain the previous day. They’d dried their clothes beside a fire last night, reasonably assured they were still a day’s hike from catching up to Tibbets. Conversation had flowed around him, but he hadn’t felt the need to try to contribute.

This was a tight, well-trained crew, and they knew each other well. But they seemed to understand he wasn’t the chatty type. He rather liked the fact they let him be.

They came to the edge of the woods. A large meadow stretched before them, mountains in the background. The meadow was broken on one side by ridges of exposed rock.

“We got company,” Reaper said quietly. They all held back, remaining hidden in the brush. Reaper lifted an arm and pointed.

Animal pulled out his tactical telescope and followed Reaper’s direction, at last spotting a slender figure standing beside an outcropping. Not their mark. A woman. She stood in front of a tripod and peered into a camera. She had wheat-colored hair drawn back into a messy braid. She wore a red plaid shirt and a khaki vest over blue jeans and boots.

Suddenly, she jerked back her head, giving him a glimpse of her profile. Her eyebrows were lowered, her mouth dropping as she stared down the hill.

He turned his telescope toward whatever had caught her attention and immediately understood her concern.

A baby black bear ambled into the clearing, heading upward toward her location.

“Where’s mama?” he whispered.

As though answering his question, a loud bellow sounded from the forest farther down the tree line. A large bear ran out, huffing and bellowing, heading toward the woman.

He didn’t have even a millisecond to think through a better plan. Animal dumped his pack and ran into the clearing, tearing at his shirt. When he’d ripped off the buttons down the front, he flapped the edges, trying to make himself look bigger. “Ha! Ha!” he yelled as loud as he could to draw the bear’s attention away from the woman.

Mama bear bounced on her front paws and spun toward him.

“Don’t shoot unless you have to!” Animal tossed over his shoulder to Reaper.

“Don’t get in my line of fire!” Reaper shouted back.

“Don’t shoot her!” the woman screamed.

“You shut up!” Animal yelled, still running, still flapping. Didn’t she realize he was trying to draw the bear’s attention away from her?

The bear’s head moved from Animal, to Reaper behind him, and again to the woman, likely trying to decide who was the biggest danger to her cub.

Animal roared and flapped and moved a little closer.

The baby bear squalled and changed direction, running for his mama.

Just when Animal feared the bear would charge, she spun and ran into the woods, her cub running right behind her.

Animal halted, breathing hard. He gave another flap of his shirt. “Ha! Ha!” he shouted, hoping she’d been startled bad enough not to turn around.

Then he heard a whirring sound, coming from up the rise. He turned his head toward the woman. The sound came from her camera. Animal gave her a fierce glare then began to stalk up the rise.

When he reached her, she straightened and flashed him a wide smile. “Thanks for that. Thought for a second there I was going to be lunch.”

“What the hell!” he bellowed, anger shot through him. Didn’t she have a clue how close to being “lunch” he’d been, trying to rescue her? And all she’d thought about was taking her damn pictures?

Her eyebrows shot upward, and she stood still.

Behind him, he heard more of his team stomping up the hill. He should have turned and walked away. Should have let Reaper handle getting her packed up and off the mountain. Away from him.

Instead, anger vibrated through him. He glanced at the gear strewn around her feet. “Who the hell comes out to the wilderness without a goddamn gun?”

“The only shots I plan to take are with my camera,” she said icily, lifting her chin.

He ground his teeth as his face heated.

“Wish I’d been shooting video though,” she said. “The footage would’ve gone viral. Do you chase bears often?”

8 comments to “Flashback: Animal (Contest — Three Winners!)”

  1. Debra Guyette
    · April 16th, 2024 at 8:12 am · Link

    I enjoy law enforcement stories as well.

  2. Pansy Petal
    · April 16th, 2024 at 10:43 am · Link

    Well now, this is an easy question and not so easy question, since I am also a huge fan of your sister’s series, Brotherhood Protectors. The Protection/Security field, of course is another favorite of mine. Their have been firemen, (hot) and Law enforcement. (sigh) Teams where assignments are given based on military training, from Arctic survival to Jungle survival. Computer specialists and medics. Fliers, helicopter pilots to Jumbo jets. (I have read some awesome, hair-raising Helicopter antics.) Then there’s the cowboy! (sigh) They tend toward the recovery ranches. Beautiful stories. What I like about all of these, is the comradery! The team. Guarding the six. That is what I love about these stories. It doesn’t really matter the profession they choose. It’s all about the team. The backup. When help is needed, it is there, sometimes in the most unexpected ways. That is why I read these books! Bottom line, I don’t care about the profession. Does that help?

  3. Colleen C.
    · April 16th, 2024 at 1:06 pm · Link

    wood worker… makes things other than furniture, like statues… ooh a horse statue would be great.

  4. Stacey Kinzebach
    · April 16th, 2024 at 1:46 pm · Link

    Protection or security field, such as fireman or policeman
    Or you could always add a cowboy working the ranch to the mix.

  5. BN
    · April 16th, 2024 at 10:30 pm · Link

    horse trainer

  6. Jennifer Beyer
    · April 18th, 2024 at 8:02 pm · Link

    Oh my gosh! I have learned recently that there are worm farmers. That is so off the wall but now that I know why people farm them it’s so cool! I also think a gun range or self defense instructor would be cool.

  7. Mary McCoy
    · April 21st, 2024 at 9:51 am · Link

    Chef or artist with SEAL team training

  8. Delilah
    · April 30th, 2024 at 6:39 am · Link

    Thanks to everyone for commenting! Commenters 1-7 are all winners!

    Email me with the title of the book from my original MBH series that you’d like me to email you!

Comments are closed.