1. “So These Burgers Aren’t Beef?”

A woman eats a burger

Source: Flickr User C Henrik Anderson

While the rest of the country can’t get enough cow meat, Montanans tend to have a taste for gamey proteins. If you’re ordering meat out, you’ll usually be able to choose from several animals, including creatures like bison, elk, and deer.

2. “Is The One-Finger Wave What I Think It Is??”

A man in a thinking pose

Source: Flickr User Marco Arment

Seeing as most Americans don’t know anyone from Montana, most vastly underestimate the friendliness of everyone in Big Sky Country. A side effect of the general sense of community that exists around the entire state, the one-finger wave while driving is constantly used as a polite way to acknowledge the few people you pass on the roads.
It’s simple, you raise one finger from your 10 and 2 grip briefly as a car approaches in the distance until you get the same thing from an oncoming driver in return.

3. “Ever Seen An Alien? What About Bigfoot?”

People dressed as the aliens from Toy Story

Source: Flickr User Doug Kline

With much of Montana consisting of vast wilderness, it’s no surprise that this state has some of the highest report rates of UFO and Bigfoot sightings. Thus far, the claims have yet to result in any physical evidence.

4. “Do You Get Cell Coverage Out There?”

A sign advertising cellphone service

Source: Flickr User Ralphman

Put simply, sometimes. In major cities, you’ll have no problem getting service. However, the further away you get from concentrated populations and the more intense the terrain gets, the less connected you’ll be to the outside world.

5. “Wait, Huckleberries Are A Real Thing?”

Huckleberry pie and ice cream

Source: Flickr User Navin75

A huckleberry isn’t just a famous character invented by Mark Twain, it’s an actual edible fruit—most Americans just won’t find it at their local grocery store. Native to the region, these berries tend to be a staple in Montana desserts and can be found in plenty of pies and jams in diners across the state.

6. “Why Do You Always Drive So Fast?”

A father and child in a bumper car

Source: Flickr User Herkie

Speed limits in Montana max out at a very high 75 mph with talks of increasing this limit to 85 mph currently in the works. Even though these limits might not seem too restricting to most Americans, Montanans still find a reason to cruise at even faster speeds on a regular basis.
It’s probably the many hours that it can take to drive anywhere that has turned the residents of this state into speed demons.

7. “What’s ‘Too Spendy’ Mean?”

Monopoly houses on a Monopoly gameboard

Source: Flickr User Philip Taylor PT

When a Montanan says something is “too spendy”, it basically just means that something is too expensive. A state known for having plenty of frugal residents, this term gets thrown around quite a bit.

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8. “People Live In Montana?”

A little boy in a straw hat

Source: Flickr User jmater1129

Despite the popular belief around the country that Montana is just a vast wilderness, this is far from the truth. With over 1,000,000 people in this state taking advantage of the awesome scenery that stretches out in seemingly every direction, since it’s the 44th least populated state.

9. “Does Everyone Around Here Own A Gun?”

A woman holds a pro-gun ownership sign

Source: Flickr User m01229

It’s totally normal to hear shots firing off in the distance while you’re out exploring Montana. Over time, most locals have become used to their backcountry sounding like a battleground. Just hope the barrels aren’t pointed in your direction.

10. “Are There Cities In Montana?”

A woman stands on the sidewalk in a small town

Source: Flickr User Katie@!

It’s been said that Montana consists of one small town with really long roads. While this description can seem pretty accurate during the half-day drives between tiny speed traps, there are a few bigger cities. Billings has over 100,000 residents and Missoula has around 70,000. Cities in Montana might be few and far between, but they’re there.

11. “Do You Hunt Much?”

An elk tied to the roof of a small car

Source: Flickr User tofslie

The opening day of hunting season is basically a holiday in Montana. People will take off work and skip school just so that they might have a chance at bagging a big animal. In other words, yes, people hunt a lot in Montana.

12. “Have You Ever Seen A Bear?”

A grizzly bear

Source: Flickr User U.S. Geological Survey

Tourists’ common fear of encountering a bear while in Montana is actually somewhat warranted. Sightings tend to be pretty frequent, especially on the Western side of the state. With an estimated 800 grizzlies wandering around Big Sky Country, they’ll even occasionally make their way into town.
Though bears tend to avoid humans as much as possible, it’s still always a good idea to keep some bear spray nearby.

13. “Does Everyone Have A Beard?”

A bearded man

Source: Flickr User elvissa

Since before hipsters could even grow hair on their chins, Montanans have been growing massive beards that tend to take over their entire face. With all the crazy weather in the state, it can seem to be a necessity at times.

14. “Do You Know Hannah Montana?”

Miley Cyrus holds a small dog

Source: Flickr User Mike Schmid

Outsiders love to bring up the fact that this popular television character shares her fictional last name with the state. Just like Indiana Jones, Miley Cyrus’ alter-ego has nothing to do with this state and the jokes are getting old fast.

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15. “How Are You So Good At Dodging Potholes?”

Two children explore a cave

Source: Flickr User aarongunnar (cropped)

Long stretches of roadways and intense winter storms tend to wear out the infrastructure of Montana at a very rapid rate. It’s totally normal to see someone seemingly swerving from side to side across the center line in this state and think nothing of it. Other drivers know they’ll be doing the same thing soon, dodging the same massive holes in the road.

16. “Do You Guys Even Have Sports?”

A University of Montana license plate

Source: Flickr User woody1778a

When it comes to sports fans in Montana, they’re no less committed than they are anywhere else. Most people around these parts tend to throw their support behind the closest college team, whether it’s the University of Montana Grizzlies or Montana State University Bobcats.

17. “You Guys Don’t Have Any Pro Sports Teams, Right?”

The Seattle Seahawks mascot

Source: Flickr User PhilipRobertson

One of 24 U.S. states without a professional sports team, Montanans don’t use this or the sense of isolation that comes with their state’s massive size as excuses to skip out on professional sports.
People here usually tend to cheer for the biggest team in a nearby state. Come football Sunday, expect to see plenty of Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks fans depending on where you’re it at in the state.

18. “What Are The Winters Like?”

A child stands in the snow

Source: Flickr User Elizabeth Albert

The huge size of Montana means that there are tons of different climates around the state. However, one thing that’s consistent is that most winters get pretty darn cold. The average temperature during the day in January is below freezing at 28 degrees, but that’s nothing compared to the record breaking cold temperatures of -70 Fahrenheit that were recorded several decades ago near Rogers Pass.

19. “Where’s ‘Big Sky Country’ Come From?”

A view of the mountains

Source: Flickr User Jaix Chaix

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out how Montana got this nickname, just take a look around. The vast openness of Montana skies outshine any other sky scene across the country. Just wait until you see one of the sunsets.

20. “Is There Anything To Do In Montana?”

A skier stands at the top of a mountain

Source: Flickr User Zach Dischner

While most Americans seem to assume that Montana is the most boring place on Earth, they couldn’t be more wrong. Montana is home to tons of natural beauty around every corner including famous places like Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park. It’s even home to one of the coolest ski resorts in the world, Big Sky.
To answer this question, yes, there are plenty of adventures to be had in this state.

21. “Why Do You Keep Looking Up At Night?”

A long exposure shot of the stars moving across the sky

Source: Flickr User Andrew Curtis

Regardless of where in the world a Montanan is, they can’t help but stare up towards the stars come nightfall. Big Sky Country might be best known for its blue skies but its nighttime counterpart is equally as mesmerizing. When a Montanan looks up after the sunset, they’ll expect nothing but perfection.

22. “Why Would You Ever Live In Montana?”

Mountain goats in the wild

Source: Flickr User U.S. Geological Survey

Believe it or not, Montanans actually have one of the highest satisfaction rates with where they live compared to the rest of the country, so much so that 77 percent of the residents in Big Sky Country are confident that their state is the best place in the country to reside.
This might seem strange to someone that’s never had a chance to visit Montana, but one trip will quickly have any tourist wishing they could relocate.
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