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FISH REEL 2017 – Fishing Cinema Reel

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It has been a few years since our last FISH REEL. We originally started the “Fish Reel” back in 2011 to showcase some of our favorite shots in one short video. Well we’re back and so are the Fish Reels! These were some of our favorite shots from the past couple years.

Leave us a comment, let us know what you think and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for our most recent uploads.

 

Travis

A Statement from Montana Wild

Recently many have seen a statement by Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks about Montana Wild’s involvement in both fly fishing for bull trout and commercially filming in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

There are many, many issues that could be addressed regarding this case to give a better understanding of the actual circumstances, but the length and complexity is better suited for a different platform. Below is a short and honest history of the allegations against us.

The story begins when we planned a trip in 2013 to make a fly fishing film about bull trout in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, specifically on the South Fork of the Flathead River. This is the only waterway that you can legally fish for bull trout in the State of Montana and the regulations are clear on this point. To fish legally in this area you need to acquire a bull trout catch card from FWP. All three of us had legal catch cards in our possession during the trip.

Prior to the trip, we spoke multiple times with the Film Commissioner at the Montana Film Office about whether we would need a permit for our film. We were advised that a special permit would not be necessary for our production. This was our first year filming as a business and naively believed that the Film Office was the best source for this guidance. We later found out that the advice we were given was not true to the law.   Since this case began we’ve worked closely with the Forest Service to make sure all of our past films are properly accounted for and all filming since then has been properly permitted.

Months before we set foot in the Bob Marshall, we asked advice from many individuals including local fly shop owners, outfitters and past guides about where to fish during our trip. Not once were we ever told that fishing for bull trout in the tributaries was illegal. During our trip we filmed the vast majority of our time on the water with the intent of showing the film publically as we have over the past several years in cooperation with the best brands and anglers in fishing. In our minds we did everything legally during this trip. Later when we were approached by FWP, we found out differently as they told us the tributaries are closed to bull trout fishing. We simply did not know that their interpretation of the regulations defined the fishery that way. In our mind, the tributaries were located in an area of the drainage that was open to bull trout fishing. In fact, the regulations in 2014 that address this fishery were specifically altered to clarify the points on which we were misunderstood. After those regulations were changed, The Drake Magazine published an article called “Chasing Natives” in their Fall 2014 issue. The last paragraph has a sentence that says, “The river and its tributaries are one of the few places in Montana where it’s legal to target bull trout…” Apparently we aren’t the only ones who have had difficulty in correctly understanding these regulations.

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This article was published after our trip in 2013.

Montana Wild exists as a business and a passion because we love to inspire others to enjoy Montana’s best fisheries and most wild places. Each and every fish handled during the filming of this project was carefully released to see another day. Many elements go into the netting of a bull trout in the backcountry. FWP allows you to photograph your catch, which is mentioned in their Bull Trout Regulations.  They also ask you to document the length of each bull trout as part of the catch card process. We believe some of our practices could have been handled better during this trip with what we now know, but we believe FWP misrepresented this part of their case in their press release about our handling practices. Never was a fish out of water for more than a few breaths and then back into the net quickly. We feel strongly that we had no negative effects on the fishery and we never intentionally released a fish to replay it for the camera. That practice would violate the fish-handling ethos we hold dear.

After much work on this case over many months, we believed it was the best course of action to settle our case. On every point we have a counter point. But we are filmmakers and not lawyers—we feel more comfortable behind a lens than in a courthouse. While we feel that a court case could have been advantageous to our position, we wanted to begin our next feature film and continue to follow our careers and passion as filmmakers. In the end, several lessons have been gained by this experience. We wholeheartedly understand that passion projects like fishing for bull trout can lead to unintended consequences and we never had any intent on breaking any laws during this trip. That honest mistake is on Montana Wild and we assume full responsibility.

We are sorry if we’ve disappointed any of our supporters and we are excited to put this behind us. Our hope is that a look at our body of work and actions will speak louder about our intent and values as outdoorsman than a simple and honest mistake.

Zack and Travis Boughton

Montana Wild

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Montana’s Mountain Muledeer

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Its been a long journey for Zack to find a mature mountain muledeer in Montana. Read the full story here: MONTANA’S MOUNTAIN MULEDEER

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The Value of Power

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Now to start, I love the solitude of a remote hunt or a backcountry fishing trip, but the truth of the matter is that with my occupation, leaving all the electronics behind is not a regular occurrence. This past Fall we had the dire need for a generator while shooting our latest and most extensive elk hunting project. The need to charge camera gear, batteries, and general gear was a must. It just so happened that the stars aligned and we had the chance to try out a new portable inverter generator, the Generac IQ2000.

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Upon first impression, the generator is fairly lightweight and compact. The weather resistant finish was a nice touch, and everything seemed very well put together. The setup instructions were extremely easy to follow. The one small fumble I had was putting oil in the generator. They provide you with (oil name here) oil to put in the generator before starting, but they do not tell you how much to put in. You either have to pour extremely slow until you see oil about to overflow or continusely check with a dipstick your oil level. I managed to have a little overflow, but a few sheets of paper towels fixed the problem.

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Starting the machine is extremely easy; turn the knob to CHOKE, pull the start cable and then move the knob to RUN position and your generator is up and running. The front gauges are all very easy to read. You have watt usage, gas level (1-gal tank), run time, generator status indicator, and a three power mode switch easily visible. The overall design is simple, energy effecient, and dummy proof.

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For us we were using the generator at elk camp to charge our computers and camera batteries at night and during the downtime in the middle of the day. This generator was the perfect tool for this, on top of being very quiet and low vibration. I could actually communicate with the rest of the hunters in camp over the hum of the generator. We were able to run the generator on the ‘economy’ (most gas efficient setting) while charging 1 computer, 1 Nikon battery, 1 Sony FS7 battery, 1 Sony A7s, and 4 AA batteries for about 10-11hrs on 1-gallon of gas.

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We tested the generator in 90F weather in Eastern Montana and in 10F in Idaho, and it performed flawlessly. Regardless of conditions it started with a couple pulls.

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Overall I was extremely impressed with the Generac IQ2000. It is the perfect size/weight/function I need as a hunter/filmer/photographer on the road. Not to mention it is the best value for its price that I have found. Other reviews online back this same opinion. If you are in need of a 2000watt generator, we highly recommend taking a look at the Generac IQ2000 generator. Quiet, simple, and reliable.

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For more information on their products visit: www.generac.com

-Travis Boughton

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BOW BREAKER BUCKS is Live!

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This past year we had the chance to chase mule deer on public land in October. In less than perfect conditions Zack found a buck worthy of an arrow, but could just not seem to connect with a shot. Its never easy to shrug off a miss, especially when your bow is still on. Sometimes its all a mental game when archery hunting, and if you can overcome that mental hurdle, you will most likely succeed.

More hunting videos are on the horizon!

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Now Hiring

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We are adding another key piece to the puzzle here at Montana Wild.  Below is a job description for the position we are looking to fill.  This is an outline and simply that.  If you feel you have a skill-set that will add to our brand PLEASE apply. This job is not for the faint of heart. This is WORK and most do not understand what we do here at Montana Wild. Long days and late nights are frequently a part of this job.  Strong work ethic is absolutely neccessary! We are computer nerds and camera pack mules 90% of the time. If fame and fortune in the hunting/fly fishing industry is your goal, DO NOT apply. If you want the job to get a short term of experience, DO NOT apply. If you can’t see yourself living in Montana happily for a long term, DO NOT apply. We want level headed, positive & creative people who have a passion for the outdoors that want this job to potentially be their career.  We don’t want an ’employee’, we want another person dedicated to the Montana Wild brand, lifestyle, and family.

Digital Content Manager

First and foremost we are looking for a creative talent that is outgoing and passionate who can manage the digital content, social media streams, and build web content here at Montana Wild.  We are also looking for people with experience in video/photo editing, graphic design, website design, and journalism. This person may also be active in participating in planning and producing future projects and giving constructive creative feedback.  If you’re the jack of all trades, even better! Editing of photo/video and being able to proficiently utilize a camera for both video and photo will be necessary.  We provide some training but you absolutely need to have experience.

Duties May Include:

-Developing and creating content for social media and social media campaigns.
-Develop branding strategies
-Managing photo and video content
-Label and organize video in accordance to specific film projects
-Edit short 15-45 second videos
-Shoot photographs and short video for social media, marketing, and editorial purposes
-Design and develop marketing strategies for branded apparel
-Ship orders and manage day-to-day operations of apparel side of brand
-Studying and developing marketing strategies to be implemented through social media specifically Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
-Creating detailed post schedules
-Create blog posts around hunting and fishing
-Provide a critical eye with regards to creative projects
-Build interactive websites
-Handling clients and customer relations

Qualifications/Skills that we are looking for in a candidate:

-Experience in the outdoor field, preferably hunting and/or fishing
-Video/Photo experience and knowledge of Adobe programs such as Premiere Pro & Lightroom.  Looking for at least 2 years of experience.
-Past experience managing social media, developing marketing campaigns and managing digital media content.

-Ability to build and manage websites
-Graphic Design experience
Demonstrate passion and a strong work ethic
-Familiarity with the Vimeo and Youtube platforms
-A strong background in storytelling
-Familiarity with website creating platforms

 

**YOU MUST MOVE TO MISSOULA, MONTANA FOR THIS JOB**

Please send resume, cover letter, availability, and any creative material or portfolios to Zack Boughton at  work.montanawild@gmail.com

 

We are also taking applications for internships for Spring/Summer 2016.  These can involve photo/video production and editing, social media and general day-to-day duties.  Let us know what you are looking for in an internship.  Please make a note in the subject line of the email if that is what you are applying for.

The Outlaw Hunting Knife

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We instantly found common ground when we first met James Behring. We both had a passion for hunting and our overall personalities meshed well. It didn’t take long for us to get a few Behring Made knives in our hands and immediately we were impressed. James craftsmanship is top notch, and his blades have personality to go along with the razor sharp blades.

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During 2014 we had the pleasure of using two different Behring knives.  They performed well but we had a few changes in mind that we felt would improve the knife for our use in the field. That winter we came back to the Behring Made shop and chatted with James about various details that we felt would make the knives perform better in our hands. From there the idea took off to build a colab knife between Behring Made and Montana Wild.

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After our first round of testing, James took our input and went straight to the sketch pad to draw out new blade designs. James came up with two new prototype blade shapes.  From there we decided to stick with an epoxy finished paracord grip, because we felt it added great feel and grip to the blade and also helped us reduce overall weight of the knife.

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The two new prototypes consisted of different blade and handle shapes, which we got to test on three different bears this past spring.

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From there James took our feedback and drew up a final prototype blade design. We were now down to the final details, and set out this fall with 3 final prototypes to test.

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Our archery season was very successful and we were able to test the prototypes on 4 elk total.  Overall we were very impressed with the knives and the slight modifications we had made from our first round of prototypes. The feel and ability to hold an edge was top notch and the blade handled joints, meat, and caping extremely well.

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Overall this has been a great process that in turn created a solid product that we think a lot of hunters will be extremely happy with. In the “disposable society” we live in it’s great to hold a knife built to withstand a lifetime of use and something that will only get better with age.  To top it off these knives are handmade in Missoula, MT!  Below is a video detailing some of the process we went through to get to the end product.

The knife is now available here> THE OUTLAW

There is also more specs available here> Knife Specs

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Eastern Prong

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This year we have been consumed with elk hunting. We have been diligently working on creating our best elk hunting film to date for a project we will be releasing in 2017 alongside RMEF and Sitka Gear. As the archery season was winding down we decided to give the elk hunting a few days off and go try to fill my antelope tag. With just a few short days to hunt we took off into the burning sunset with hopes of finding a mature buck.

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The first hours of light found me glassing for white objects in the distance. BRRRAAAAAA!! A large pickup flew by my window, sporting a blaze orange interior. Then another. And another. Slightly frustrated, I hit the gas and bumped down the dirt road, which revealed camper, after camper, after wall tent. At this point I didn’t have too high of expectations, as it seemed that this unit was peppered with hunters. I pushed the pedal to the metal and continued my search. After some navigating and spotting scope studying, we found white specs. “Buck”, Zack muttered. We closed the distance and discovered it was a decent buck with fair mass, but not quite what I was looking for. I wanted to find a ‘booner’ buck  (A ‘booner’ buck is slang for a Boone & Crockett buck. Although it does not have to meet the scoring requirements it does have to be larger than an average size buck).

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Zack and I used our GPS to find hidden nooks, and actually turned up a bunch of antelope bucks. Bucks that most hunters would shoot in a heartbeat. At one point we found a herd of 50+ antelope and no hunters to be seen anywhere. Unfortunately, there were no antelope currently worthy of my tag.  This was my first rifle tag and it seemed a good idea to do a bit of shopping before pulling the trigger. As I was watching a buck in the distance I happened to see a coyote cruising across a flat. This spot seemed like a great place to call and I sat down, grabbed my call and started ripping all sorts of distress. Three minutes into my sit and a coyote ran out below me 40yds away, I froze. He is fooled and moves to 25yds before I bark and stop him. BANG! The fawn killer dropped in his tracks. Coyote hunting never gets old.

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After making it back to the truck the search continued and we managed a few more stalks on smedium (Pronounced sh-me-dium. A ‘smedium’ is slang for a small to medium size buck. They’re not small, but not quite medium.) size bucks. With an hour and a half of shooting light left, Zack spotted what seemed to be a good pronghorn on the skyline a few miles up from the road. The buck disappeared out of sight. I grabbed my pack and started a large loop to try to relocate the antelope and get a better look. As the sun started to sink past the western skyline we found the antelope feeding down into a prairie dog town below our outpost. A quick look through the spotter and I could tell he is definitely a shooter. I check my GPS. The buck and his does were on the neighboring property by a couple hundred feet and off limits. I backed out and decided to try and find him the next morning.

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That night as we rolled into hunting camp, I noticed the hiss of a flat tire. Great. We quickly changed the tire and discussed our options for the next day. It seemed like an easy decision, go hunting on the spare and get the tire fixed after we found that buck. The game plan was set and we got some shut eye.

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The next morning I pulled the binos up to my crusty eyes and glassed into the prairie dog town at first light. After some searching I found the buck I was looking for. It seemed the herd of antelope were going to work back up into the rolling hills. Zack and I laced up our boots and set out on a frantic hike to cut them off. As I closed the distance I noticed does bobbing their heads over the adjacent skyline. Crap, they moved far quicker than I thought they would. I laid down on my pack and got ready for a shot. The buck came out perfectly broadside, but skylined. I couldn’t take that shot, especially knowing there were ranch homes in the area. Time froze as they fed oblivious to our presence.

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Finally they dipped out of sight. Once again we made a rushed loop to get in front of them. This time it was flat land with far less cover. As we knelt down and set up our ambush next to a few sage bushes the does slowly appeared into view. They eventually pinned us at 225yds and began to snort and blow. Damn those antelope and their eagle eyes! The herd started to slowly move away. I quickly jumped to my feet and moved up to a fence post nearby and squared up my crosshairs on the buck’s vitals. He stopped perfectly broadside trying to figure out what was going on.  I focused on a spot and squeezed off the shot. I heard the thud and he spun and ran out of sight.

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As I walked up on the buck, I was struck by his cunning features and funky horns. He was a beautiful buck and one that was more than worthy of my tag. Antelope hunting is a blast and I would recommend the experience to anyone, not to mention I think pronghorn meat is some of the tastiest wildgame available. Good luck to all the rifle hunters going out this fall and don’t forget to have fun!

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-Travis

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Stalking Socks: Get closer & fill more tags

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Looking to up your stalking success percentage? Then this article is for you. Over the years I have went on hundreds of stalks. Most turned out unsuccessful, but throughout the past two years my success rates have sky rocketed. The key to my success? Patience and a thick pair of backup socks.

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Last year I filled all of my big game tags with a bow….. and in my socks. That’s right, I shot all of the animals in my socks. Now your socks don’t need to be anything fancy. My preferred pair I found at Costco that are about 3/4″ thick. Once you’ve acquired your snazzy pair of socks, its time to put your plan of attack into motion.

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My game plan is simple. Find my prey, watch him until he beds down, play the wind, close the distance, take my boots off and put on my stalking socks. Usually the boot removal process takes place anywhere from 100yd-250yds away from the target. This gives me enough distance between myself and the animal to make a little bit of noise pulling my boots off and dropping my pack. Now keep in mind that you are leaving your boots and may have to backtrack if he spooks. If I want my boots close to where I’m stalking, I will carry them over my shoulder until I get to withing 80yds of  my prey and leave them there.

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Silence is key, and this is where the thick socks come in handy. They cushion and muffle all of my precisely placed ninja footsteps. Make sure you don’t step on cactus (I’ve done this a time or two)! An animals ears are very sensitive to sounds, so if you can just beat their nose, you have a great chance of beating their ears as well.

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Get to your comfortable shooting range, prepare for the shot and execute! This year when heading into the mountains, badlands, or river bottoms, bring an extra pair of thick socks in your pack. You will get closer on stalks undetected and up your chances of having success!

 

-Travis

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Smith Optics LIFE BEYOND WALLS – now live!

This summer we had the honor to team up with Smith Optics and shoot a film for their LIFE BEYOND WALLS online film series. After many days and nights working on finishing this project, we are happy to release the final piece today!

This film is unique in that it shows more of the whole experience, rather than just fishing and gives a better look at what its like to be on the river with the Montana Wild crew.