Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Montana bar manager finds her aim, wins Mountain Man title

Lynnette Hintze Associated Press

KALISPELL, Mont. – Sara Erb has very good aim.

The Whitefish bar manager didn’t realize her heretofore undiscovered talent, though, until she competed in the recent Mountain Man competition at Packer’s Roost during Canyon Fever Days.

She won the knife-throwing contest. Then she got the top score in BB gun shooting. By the time all was said and done, Erb had triumphed over her male and female competitors to win the Mountain Man title.

“I never knew I had a good aim,” Erb said. “I’m not a hunter or a knife thrower. I didn’t know accuracy was one of my strong points.

“I was more shocked than anybody,” she added.

Erb, who manages the Remington Bar and Casino in downtown Whitefish, competed in all five events that determine who will be named the Mountain Man. In addition to throwing knives and shooting a BB gun, she participated in the beer keg throw, the hatchet throw and the beer-drinking contest to see who can chug a pint of beer in the least amount of time.

It’s all good fun, said Greg Vorhees, owner of Packer’s Roost and a former longtime president of the Trapline Association that continues to raise money for Canyon organizations such as the Canyon Quick Response Unit, Martin City Fire Department, Canyon Kids Christmas and a community improvement fund.

Mountain Man competitors enter for $3 per event or all five events for $10. This year the time-honored manly contest pulled in $552 that will be shared among the nonprofit organizations.

Erb, 35, is the first woman to win the title since the annual Trapline Days summer celebration was folded into Canyon Fever Days’ winter itinerary about nine years ago. The Mountain Man competition used to be part of Trapline Days.

It’s unusual for a woman to win the title, Vorhees said, but not unheard-of.

This was the first time Erb had attended Cabin Fever Days. Erb, her boyfriend and her boss all participated in the Mountain Man competition.

“Yeah, I beat ’em,” she said proudly.