Badluck Way

A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West

Badluck Way

The gripping memoir of a young man, a wolf, their parallel lives and ultimate collision, Badluck Way is also an ode to the satisfaction of hard work on some of the wildest and most beautiful land in the world.

“Mine might have been a simple, pretty story, if not for the wolves. In late July, they emerged from the foothills . . .”

In this gripping memoir of a young man, a wolf, their parallel lives and ultimate collision, Bryce Andrews describes life on the remote, windswept Sun Ranch in southwest Montana. The Sun’s twenty thousand acres of rangeland occupy a still-wild corner of southwest Montana—a high valley surrounded by mountain ranges and steep creeks with portentous names like Grizzly, Dead Man, and Bad Luck. Just over the border from Yellowstone National Park, the Sun holds giant herds of cattle and elk amid many predators—bears, mountain lions, and wolves. In lyrical, haunting language, Andrews recounts marathon days and nights of building fences, riding, roping, and otherwise learning the hard business of caring for cattle, an initiation that changes him from an idealistic city kid into a skilled ranch hand. But when wolves suddenly begin killing the ranch’s cattle, Andrews has to shoulder a rifle, chase the pack, and do what he’d hoped he would never have to do.

Badluck Way is about transformation and complications, about living with dirty hands every day. It is about the hard choices that wake us at night and take a lifetime to reconcile. Above all, Badluck Way celebrates the breathtaking beauty of wilderness and the satisfaction of hard work on some of the harshest, most beautiful land in the world. Called “an important meditation on what it means to share space and breathe the same air as truly wild animals” (Tom Groneberg, author of The Secret Life of Cowboys), Badluck Way is the memorable story of one young man’s rebirth in the crucible of the West’s timeless landscape, a place at the center of the heart’s geography, savage and gorgeous in equal measure.

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Posted by Caitlin Kleinschmidt

The expansive frontiers and jagged mountains of the West have long occupied an exalted space in American mythology. Here we celebrate the stories that make us want to lose ourselves in a never-ending field of prairie grass.

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About the Author

Bryce Andrews
Photograph by Bob Howell on B Bar Ranch

Bryce Andrews

Bryce Andrews was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. He studied at Whitman College and the University of Montana, and has managed several cattle ranches in the West. He lives in Montana.

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