Gene Miller Interview, February 26, 2021


A. Eugene Miller


Beth Hodder, Kjell Petersen



Download Interview (349.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Gene Miller interview (539 KB)

Download Closed caption file for video (84 KB)


In this second interview, Gene Miller provides more information about growing up in the Swan Valley in the late 1930s and early 1940s. He describes the wildlife that lived in the area including bears and a young coyote who found Gene companionable. Miller tells more stories about his time as a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout, focusing on the wildlife there. He talks about visits from mountain goats and blue grouse, listening to elk bugling, and watching his dog chase pikas. Other wildlife incidents include finding evidence that a mule deer got its antlers caught in the ground wire for the lookout phone, feeding peanuts to Golden Mantled ground squirrels, picking huckleberries alongside a bear, and seeing wolf tracks. He also tells about a time when his dog refused to go home with a packer after Gene was helicoptered to the hospital with appendicitis.


Media is loading

Document Type

Oral History


Subjects: Pricilla Peak Lookout; Blue Mountain Lookout; Mormon Peak Lookout; Fishtrap cabin; Fire fighting, Montana; Wildlife; Animals; Coyotes; Bears; Mountain goats; Dogs; Elk; Wildlife encounters

Personal Names: Gene Miller

Corporate Names: U.S. Forest Service

Geographical Names: Montana; Lolo National Forest; Swan Valley

Occupations: Fire lookouts

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Northwest Montana Lookout Association Oral History Project, OH 453, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 453-013

Media Type

Moving Image; Sound; Text

Digital Format

video/mp4; application/pdf; text/plain

Run Time

01:17:04 minutes

Local Filename

OH_453_013.mp4; OH_453_013.pdf;

Gene Miller Interview, February 26, 2021