Top Categories

Moving to Montana

By the time you read this, my family and I, along with all of our belongings, will be starting our week long move from Houston, Texas to western Montana. 

Though I was not born and raised in Texas, I have really enjoyed my time here for the most part, and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t going to miss living here, because I will. Not because of the weather, because it’s way too hot here for me (I tell everyone it’s because I have Viking blood…which may or may not be true) and it’s not because of the landscape. It’s certainly not because of the gun laws, which are nowhere near as relaxed as the rest of the country seems to think. No, I’ll miss Texas because of the people. I’ve said this before, and it’s true: the best part about Texas is Texans.

Texans, true Texans, are wonderful people. They are resilient, tough, liberty-minded and independent folks who don’t take crap from anyone. I’ve had the pleasure to get to know many of these fine folks during the years I spent in Texas, and I’m thankful that I had that opportunity.

Why Montana?

Several of you that found out about my move have asked why Montana, and while I’m not going to go into great detail, we chose Montana for a lot of different reasons. Mountains, water, population density, hunting, weather, like-minded people, the list goes on. At the end of the day Montana is a better fit for our family.

And if you’ve ever been to Montana, you know how beautiful and peaceful it is there. The title “God’s Country” comes to mind often.

Blackleaf Wildlife Management area, by Chris Mcgowan Photography

Blackleaf Wildlife Management area, via Chris Mcgowan Photography

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park, photo taken by my wife

What Changes?

Monderno has been a Texas-based corporation since I started it in late 2011, and so it will remain. Texas is one of the most business friendly states in the union, and there’s no reason at this time to move the business. Having said that, if you need to mail something to me, you will obviously no longer be able to send it to my Texas address if you have it.

Other than my mailing address and a bit of downtime while I move, nothing will change right away. However, this move will afford me more opportunities to test/review gear that was difficult to do in Houston, as I will have countless number of acres of mountainous terrain at my disposal.

The Gear Shop, which is run by Dan out of the Indianapolis area, will be unaffected by my move.

Because of the move, things will be a little slow on the website this week. If you’re interested in following my move (or my other shenanigans) you can friend me on Facebook, or follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks for reading Monderno, and hopefully things will get back to normal next week.


39 Responses to Moving to Montana

  1. Mike July 1, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Good luck and excellent choice! Just returned from there, a place called Whitefish, Montana, and it is simply in the most beautiful section of country I’d ever seen. I’m eager to go back and bring the entire family. Be safe and God speed!

  2. Eric Lopez July 1, 2013 at 8:23 am #

    Felt betrayed at first, but now after reading the article I wish you good luck and congratulations!

  3. SteveG July 1, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    Say hello to commander zero when you get there. He and his wife are good people.

    • Commander_Zero July 3, 2013 at 5:29 pm #

      Well, we’re really kinda ‘okay’ people….’good’ is a lot to live up to.

  4. Jackie Brown July 1, 2013 at 9:08 am #

    Hope Montana receives you well. We will keep Texas open for your visit!

  5. Chris Knowles July 1, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    Your gonna love it! Im in extreme eastarn wa and have hopes of Montana in our future, a great place to be for sure….Best wishes in your move and welcome to the real northwest!

  6. Cody M. July 1, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Was bummed at first (well, still bummed to lose a solid Texan) but when I read you were moving to Montana I immediately got excited for you. My wife and I have never been there but it’s on our bucket list and for some reason it’s one of about 3 places we’d move to from north Houston. Good luck and enjoy!

  7. nodonutz July 1, 2013 at 9:27 am #

    Thanks for accepting the FB request… Moved to ND from CA a few years back, and love the ‘freedom’, openness and low population density – I have a shooting range set up in my front ‘yard’, out to about 400+ yds! Even have a floating target platform in our lake w/ steels and clay targets – adds difficulty and ‘real life’ movement/challenges. No neighbors to hear, or complain – which they wouldn’t anyway- even we I’m shooting Tannerite! Like you mentioned about ‘native Texans’, folks in ND are down to earth, hard working and tell it like it is. Unfortunately the Western edge is getting innundated w/ out-of-staters (like me?) We are in So Central and far from the ‘patch’. Nice and quiet.

    ND is a lot like MT, except without all the trees, and mountains, and scenery and…. You’ll LOVE it, I’m sure. Have a safe move.

    ND in ND

    • Brandon July 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm #

      Thanks nodonutz!

  8. Dan July 1, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    I live in Montana, have my whole life, welcome. shoot me an email if you have any questions or need anything at all.

    • Brandon July 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

      Thanks Dan!

  9. Richard July 1, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Safe travels. Montana is beautiful country and I hope it is all you want it to be.

    • Brandon July 12, 2013 at 9:03 am #

      Thanks Richard!

  10. Al Cohol July 1, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Good luck man. Wishing you safe travels and a simple problem-less move!

    Looking forward to reviews on products that deal with a little more of a colder climate 🙂

  11. Radio Matty July 1, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    Big Sky Country! A great choice. Enjoy!

  12. Ken Millard July 1, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    I love the Montana environment, and I get pretty sad when facing a lot of dryness and constant tornadoes. You’ll also hear less Spanish, but have to get used to the “eh?” from nearby Canadians.

  13. Nathan Neff July 1, 2013 at 4:00 pm #


  14. Daniel (Proveho) July 1, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

    I wish you and your family the best. It’s obviously a big step but looks to me as if you’ve planed this well. I tell my wife often, “doesn’t matter where we end up as long as you me and the kids are always together”

  15. Chava915 July 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    I wish you the best of luck! I’d be lying if I hadn’t considered making my way up north as well, and perhaps I may still, but for now I’m happy in TX. I’ll look forward to your Montana posts!

  16. Frank Sharpe July 4, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    …are you going to be a dental floss tycoon?

  17. NM Patriot July 5, 2013 at 10:34 am #

    I live in the mountains in NM at 8k feet. Montana is simply too cold, you can’t grow any food unless you have a greenhouse, and it would be hard to sustain life if shtf. I’m heading south soon, somewhere it’s warmer and I can grow a garden with a relatively shallow water table. Try surviving in Montana in the winter, you might as well be in Alaska. Great place for freedom though, don’t disagree with that. I have made many visits with patriots there. God Bless! NM Patriot said this.

    • Brandon July 5, 2013 at 10:50 am #

      Not true. I grew up in the same gardening zone that we are moving to, and we virtually lived off our garden and fruit trees. Alaska! LOL

      Since you brought up SHTF, tell me, how will you cool your home without the grid? Contrast that with heating your home off the grid, which is very easy. There are pros/cons no matter where you live.

      • NM Patriot July 11, 2013 at 10:08 am #

        I don’t cool my home. it’s not humid and it’s quite fine. Besides as I said ,I live close to 8k feet in elevation so it’s relatively mild. It’s not the cooling it’s the heating!!! It gets to -20F here and let me tell you something!!! Montana is much much colder and has almost no growing season. You can’t tell me you can live from a garden in Montana. I mean this with all respect since I love Montana and I think a lot of you too 🙂 I wish I were wrong because I’d already be living there given the Freedom. Oh well maybe you will change your mind when you’re my age 😉

        • NM Patriot July 11, 2013 at 10:11 am #

          I forgot to mention that I burned 7-cords of wood last year to keep warm so as I said it’s not the heat it is the cold. I also can’t grow food here without wasting a lot of water needlessly. I am rethinking my plan and at the time I thought it was a brilliant idea to live here but the lack of a garden and water is an issue. Solar power is great though and I can produce enough power over 300-days a year.

        • Brandon July 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

          Again, you clearly do not know what you’re talking about re: Montana. Open up the Google machine and search for gardening zones in Montana. Do some reading. Do we have the same growing season as Texas? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean that we have “almost no growing season”.

          This link should get you started:

          I never said I was going to “live from a garden in Montana”, I’m not a vegetarian, my freezers will remain full of meat. You missed my point entirely. I was trying to politely tell you that you have NO CLUE what you’re talking about with regards to gardening zones and growing seasons in Montana.

          If the SHTF, I guarantee you that I will not go hungry (cattle alone outnumber people in this state 2:1). Do some research, and if I remember I’ll email you a picture of my garden and fruit trees next year.

          • Texas Jake August 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm #

            As a Texas A & M Master Gardner now living in the area of Livingston, MT I can attest that I can’t grow what I could just north of llano… but I grow everything I need right here.. just fine!! Currently picking and canning beans, peas, squash, corn and raspberries….

      • Montana Mike July 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

        Agreed Brandon. We don’t have the longest growing season, but it’s not THAT bad, especially in the west and north west. You’ll be just fine. The Alaska comment is ridiculous.


        • Brandon July 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

          Thanks Mike!

    • Jake February 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm #

      Alaska LOL…stay in NM, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Parts of Montana West of the Continental Divide have a longer growing season than Nebraska.

  18. TK July 22, 2013 at 12:39 pm #

    Alaska! The frozen tundra! LOL…

  19. Jim Rawles - Editor, July 25, 2013 at 11:46 am #

    Congrats on your move to The American Redoubt!

    • Brandon July 25, 2013 at 11:52 am #

      Thanks Jim!

  20. TimeHasCome August 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm #

    I have the misfortune of living in the Soviet of Seattle . These people are nuts . They have now struck thousands of words that you cannot say . The word “citizen” is one of them

  21. Sobert Gummer August 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Congratulations on your move! If you have time, I’d be curious as to why you selected Montana vs. Idaho?

    • Brandon August 6, 2013 at 8:33 am #

      The short version is that the part of Montana that we chose was a better fit for us – email me if you’re interested in the long version. I love Idaho though and I’m sure I could have been quite happy there.

  22. Harry August 6, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    Just returned from “The Last Best Place” in NW Montana. If you are close to Kalispell and are of the mindset, look up Chuck Baldwin at Liberty Fellowship. Fell in love with the people and area 2 years ago. In process of buying land and moving family from Illinois. Can’t wait to get out of enemy territory. God’s speed & traveling mercies!

    • Brandon August 6, 2013 at 8:31 am #

      Thanks Harry!

  23. Harry August 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm #

    Brandon, couldn’t agree more with your choice and I must disagree with Jake. We have several friends that live in the Flathead Valley and they thrive up there living off the land. Besides the elk, deer, bear and moose they have several gardens and greenhouses. On our latest visit, our friends showed us their 1 acre terraced garden. They have pear and cherry trees as well as huckleberries, raspberries and other wild ediables. They showed us their asparagus, turnips, peppers, grapes, hopps for beer makeing, onions and so much more. They have lived off grid and off the land for 15 years raising their families. They have never wanted for food and they often times give the surplus to friends in their church. They raise chickens, goats and have a beef cattle. The NW portion of MT is unlike what many think of when thinking about growing seasons and climate. GREAT choice.

  24. Phil February 27, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    I lived in MT for 2 yrs and I miss it daily, I would give anything to go back. MT is a wonderful place with some amazing people. If you are a hunter you will fine no place better.

    good luck