Primal pursuit Kalispell teen pursues mountain-man lifestyle
Feb 24th, 2019 by Keith Worrall 638
Modified Feb 24th, 2019 at 6:36 PM
Sean McQueen is cut from different cloth.
The Kalispell 19-year-old appears like many his age. He has a cellphone, he is in college and he drives a 1994 Ford F150 pickup truck.
But his path has forks that many his age do not share.
Since the somewhat tender age of 10, McQueen has passionately pursued the mountain man lifestyle.
He has caught beaver with traps he’s built, floated the Upper Missouri River in a buffalo-hide canoe he constructed, killed deer with a cap-lock rifle and skinned them with knives he has made. McQueen has also fashioned clothing from raw materials such as deer and buffalo hides.
McQueen and his family, which includes five sisters and one brother, are from Missoula. They spent a few years in Missouri before coming to the Flathead Valley a decade ago.
“I joined the local rock club (Northwest Montana Rock Chucks) because I was a flintknapper,” McQueen said. “I met Rich Petterson there and he introduced me to the Flathead Muzzleloaders.”
Flintknapping is the process of chipping away material from high silica stones such as “flint” in a controlled manner with special tools to produce sharp projectile points or tools.
“My brother tanned deer hides and I learned how to flintknap from watching YouTube videos,” McQueen said.