Modern day mountain man inspires Luck students
by Mary Stirrat
Leader staff writer
LUCK — Dream big, then have the courage to follow that dream.
Speaking from experience, that’s the advice from “Modern Day Mountain Man” Billy Molls, a Turtle Lake graduate who is a big game guide in Alaska, living the dream he’s had as long as he remembers.
Molls, using video footage and photographs of his 15 years guiding in Alaska — the last frontier — spoke with students at Luck Schools Tuesday, Feb. 19, to encourage them to pursue the challenge rather than take the easy road.
Each year Molls spends 100 days in the Alaskan wilderness, guiding hunters in a quest for bear, Dall sheep, caribou, wolf and moose. The rest of the year he lives with his wife and three daughters near Comstock.
As he’s guided — at times in a late-1950s Piper Cub plane but usually hiking with a pack on his back — he’s been able to see herds of 600 caribou and gatherings of 40 brown bear. He’s called bull moose to within 20 yards, from five miles away. He’s had bear and wolves just outside his tent, rummaging through his food supplies.
But nothing worth having comes easy, he told the students, as he encouraged them to take time to know themselves and to search out the important things. Take the risk of asking, he said, quoting, “Ask and you shall receive.” Negative things will come along, but they can be overcome. Don’t be held back by those who will tell you your dream is unattainable.
Life, he said, is about the journey, not the destination, reminding the students to take off the blinders that might keep them from seeing the beauty in every day life.
Molls was invited to the school by Luck FFA and FFA Alumni in recognition of National FFA Week. He grew up on a farm first plowed by his grandfather, who also made a living by trapping.