At the beginning of the year I walked into my boss’s office and asked whether I could take my job with Outdoor Life out west. To my everlasting surprise and delight, Todd Smith said yes. For the previous nine years I had been based in and around our corporate offices in midtown Manhattan–Park and 33rd. St. to be exact–but since taking over as Shooting Editor for Jim Carmichel two years ago, I found it increasingly tough to navigate the traffic to and from my gun club, as well as the Northeast’s restrictive gun laws, to get my job done. Something had to give.

Before sending me on my way, Todd asked for a detailed plan as to where I would land. I had done a pile of research to figure that out for myself so it didn’t take me long to tell him that the place would be Bozeman, Montana.

I have some strong ties to the Northeast, and leaving my friends, family and loved ones behind has been, at times, a heartbreaking transition. But as soon as my two children landed out here and got a full dose of the mountains, rivers, horses, elk, deer, trout and endless sky, I knew that the move was the right thing to do.

The fact that my friend, and OL Hunting Editor, Andrew McKean had been working from Glasgow, Montana for several years without a hitch didn’t hurt either and his support and advice during the transition has been essential. The same goes for all the wonderful folks I’ve met out here who have been more than gracious in helping a new transplant get settled in.

Now that some–but not all–of the boxes are unpacked, I’m off to do some hunting. My long-suffering bird dog, Lola, couldn’t be happier. She and I have already spent more time afield this fall that we have in the past several combined. Now whenever I pick up a shotgun and grab my vest, she shoots me a look that says, “about time.”

I couldn’t agree more.