By Malcolm S. Mackay
With a New Foreword by Robert F. Morgan
Preface by John S. Mackay • Illustrated by Charles M. Russell
This publication of an expanded new edition of an early-day Montana classic first issued in 1925 titled “ Cow Range and Hunting Trail” written by legendary rancher-outdoorsman Malcolm S. Mackay and illustrated by Charles M. Russell is a joint production of the Mackay family at its Lazy E-L Ranch near Roscoe, Montana, and Stoneydale Press. “Cow Range and Hunting Trail” was a best-selling book in the 1920s. In it, Mackay – a New York stock broker who also ranched near the Beartooth Mountains at Roscoe, Montana – shared his experiences in the wild country of the West as both a rancher during the early 1900s and on the game trails of the Rockies and Alaska. The new edition was expanded to include a story Mackay wrote a year after the original book was published titled “Grizzly Bear Hunting on Snowshoes” as well as a new Foreword by Robert F. Morgan, Curator Emeritus of the Montana Historical Society, and a Preface by Mackay's grandson, John S. Mackay.
The new book is 256 pages long with 35 photographs out of Mackay's ranching experiences a his hunting trips as well as three original drawings by famed cowboy artist Charles M. Russell, who was a personal friend of Mackay's. In fact, much of Russell's work on display at the Montana State Historical Society building in Helena hangs in the Malcolm S. Mackay wing of the museum. Two photographs on the book's cover show Mackay with a trophy bull elk and in his cowboy garb at the Lazy E-L Ranch, which continues as a livestock operation today. When the book was initially issued in 1925 it was hailed for presenting “A hunter's experiences on a ranch in Montana in the early 1900s among the men of the cow ranges on the game trails of the Rockies and Alaska replete with character sketches of the fast vanishing type of men whose adventurous lives emblazoned the frontier with a picturesqueness never to be seen again.”
In releasing the new edition of the book, publisher Dale Burk said, “Malcolm S. Mackay played a significant role in Montana history at a time when the romance of the cow range and hunting trails achieved national prominence in the wake of paintings by Charles Russell and others as well as stories told by authors such as Mackay himself. It's wonderful that we've been able to bring ‘Cow Range and Hunting Trail' back into public availability. For decades now these stories have only been available to collectors and at a few public libraries. Now, any of us interested in such vital stories out of Montana's past can read Mackay's book and add it to our collections involving Montana's rich history.”
Mackay's own Montana adventure began in 1899 when, while he was in Mandan, N.D., he was encouraged by go to Red Lodge, Montana, for some big game hunting. Two years later, armed with a letter of introduction to Charley Wright, who ran cattle on property between the East and West Rosebud Creeks 25 miles northwest of Red Lodge, Malcolm found country he would love. Mackay later purchased Charley Wright's ranch and in subsequent years bought up surrounding homesteads, amassing property that became the Lazy E-L Ranch. He spent the next 20 years dividing his time between the ranch and Wall Street, where he was a senior partner in a Manhattan brokerage firm. Mackay died unexpectedly on June 4, 1932. Since that time, Malcolm's children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have continued to run the 12,000-acre Lazy E-L Ranch as a livestock operation and more recently as a guest ranch. It is currently managed by fourth generation family members.
The new edition of “Cow Range and Hunting Trail” was issued in 5½x8½-inch softcover format, 256 pages, with 35 photographic illustrations and three original drawings by Charles M. Russell.
ISBN 1-931291-50-0 Cow Range and Hunting Trail – $29.95