Tim Sheehy is impressive. When I first got to know him and his wife Carmen, the two of them had just recently gotten out of the military. They were starting up a business outside Bozeman, Montana and were living in a room above the garage they had built. Their home wasn't even built yet.

Fast forward to less than 10 years later, and he is one of the most successful business stories in Montana. Tim Sheehy is a Navy SEAL and Purple Heart veteran who was wounded multiple times in combat, and is now the CEO of Bridger Aerospace in Belgrade. He is being heavily recruited by influential conservatives and Republicans to run for the US Senate against liberal Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) in 2024.

Spend a little time talking with Sheehy and you will quickly realize why they want him to run. In addition to manning a fleet of firefighting aircraft with Bridger Aerospace, Sheehy owns a ranch in Central Montana called the Little Belt Cattle Company. Through Bridger Aerospace and another company he started, Ascent Vision Technologies, Sheehy has created over 400 jobs- many of whom include his fellow veterans.

On Firefighting

I had Sheehy with us on the radio a while back talking about how we can improve our states readiness when it comes to fighting fires.

Sheehy: You've only got about 25 large, fixed-wing firefighting aircraft in the entire country. So there's a lot of competition for those resources when fires start picking up. And unfortunately, Montana- being a fairly empty state, not a lot of people, we don't have as many congressmen as other states, we don't have the budget of other states-a lot of times we end up bottom of the pecking order during a bad fire season. And we saw that in 2021. We saw a lot of cataclysmic fires happen, and unfortunately, Montanans didn't get the response they needed.

That's what prompted Sheehy to call for a new approach where Montana could lock these resources in ahead of time. He credited Gov. Gianforte and state lawmakers like Rep. Llew Jones (R-Conrad) for now working to implement that exact type of system.

On Ranching

Sheehy and his fellow Navy SEAL teammate Greg Putnam own the Little Belt Cattle Company.

Sheehy: We really wanted to achieve the vision of direct to market beef- backgrounding, commercial feeding, processing, packaging, and delivery in the state. Never having the cow leave the State of Montana- from the time that calf hits the grass, through the feedlot, through the processor, to when it's consumed by Montanans and our customers. So we've been really proud to be able to create that continuum here in the last few years. And just in the last couple months, we've been able to achieve direct to market USDA certified processing under the Little Belt and Certified Montana beef brand. And you know that could be a game changer for Montana ranchers. Our partner Turk Stovall and Yellowstone Cattle Feeders over in Shepherd is allowing us to finish that beef to prime grade in state, and then process it here, and serve it in state. It's a big game changer.


On President Trump

Sheehy says he is considering a run for the US Senate. As a result, he fielded some political questions from Montanans across the state- including one about President Trump and the Soros-backed District Attorney going after Trump in NYC.

Sheehy:  I think any American, honestly, whether you're Republican, Democrat, conservative, liberal, live in New York, live in Montana, live in Texas, should really be scared about the weaponization of our rule of law...I support Trump 100% and his efforts there. I support his candidacy, and I support his work to vindicate himself against what these charges- which appear to be incredibly politically motivated.


Listen to the full statewide show with Tim Sheehy on Montana Talks with Aaron Flint. He also fielded phone calls from across the state:




LOOK: 100 years of American military history


More From Montana Talks