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TACTIC – Long Range Rifle Course

TACTIC, Bozeman, MT, shooting school, long range, rifle, hunting, class

As hunters shooting a rifle is something we all should take very seriously.  It’s the means we use to kill the prey we hunt.  Over the years I’ve had a solid track record as a rifle hunter.  Most of that comes from taking shots at 300 yards or less and having a quality firearm built for distances of over 1000 yards.  Having a rifle with those capabilities makes the short shots easy and with practice I feel comfortable out to 600 yards on almost any animal in good conditions and with a solid rest.  Almost all of that confidence is built entirely off my own experience and teaching.  That said they’re sure must be some flaws and is why I’ve limited my range and not pushed it out further.  And lets be real, ethics is what limits us, not our equipment.  That said when Nick Costas from TACTIC Shooting School approached me about coming and shooting their Long Range Rifle School I was ready to make it happen.  No matter how good you may think you are there is always room for improvement, and I knew this class was going to give me great foundational skills and renewed confidence as we headed into a new hunting season.  I invited a few close friends who are avid hunters and would benefit from the course as well.  We linked up with the guys over at their classroom at 9am and got things started.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military

Sam breaks down the more advanced elements of bullet flight

The class started with Rob and Sam going through much of the foundational knowledge and skills we would need to apply to our shooting when we hit the range in the afternoon.  Both are ex-military and extremely knowledgeable on all things firearms.  To top it off they’re both cool dudes and were always kind and positive at every step of the process.  The great thing about the courses they offer is that they can tailor each course to your specific needs.  Their mission is to empower you and in doing so try to understand what it is you want to learn most and how they can teach you the skills to do so.  Our course would be a mix between their Long Range course and their Practical Rifle.  Classroom work started with us going through gun safety and making sure we knew all the parts of the rifle and the corresponding names.  Being able to stay safe and communicate quickly between shooter and teacher/spotter on the range would be key in taking advantage of our time together.

long range, shooting, hunting, course, class, TACTIC, Montana, Bozeman, rifle, custom

Rob going through rifle components

From there we learned more about projectiles AKA bullets.  Learning about different bullet designs, how they work with different twist rates and velocities as well as how the ballistic coefficient of each bullet affects its flight was great.  Then we talked about internal ballistics which included learning about what happened within the rifle when a round is fired.  Understanding shell case lengths, shapes, primer and powder combinations as well as barrel twists and lands helped us learn more about how all these effect the bullet as it travels down the barrel and exits towards the target.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military, HSM ammo

Taking notes on areas to be applied in the field

From there we went into external ballistics.  External ballistics are all the elements that effect the bullet once it has left the barrel of the gun.  Being able to understand these elements is helpful for all shooters but even more so for hunters headed to the mountains or prairies where conditions are constantly shifting and being able to judge these is key between a quick kill and a miss or wounded animal.  External ballistics included wind, elevation, temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, Coriolis Effect, and spin drift.  I can say both for myself and the group that we learned a lot of new and very valuable information as Sam and Rob took us through each of these areas of shooting.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military

From there we went into shooting positions.  Over the years I’d developed a position that I’d basically established just from seeing others shoot and finding a comfortable position when I shot.  Typically my torso and spine would be aligned diagonally back from the butt of the rifle.  I learned that this was incorrect and that I wanted my spine to be inline with my rifle barrel.  This would put me in a solid shooting position and help keep the barrel inline and on target after a shot rather than shifting left or right off target.  Other key areas were head position as well as how we grip the rifle and pull the trigger.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, hsm ammo, montana wild, apparel, hsm ammo, hunting shack

Working on shooting form

We took a short lunch break and then took the trucks and drove up to the range.  First things first we adjusted our scopes to minimize parallax.  Then we verified our zeros at 100 yards and made sure everyone’s rifle was shooting a 1″ group or less.

HSM AMMO, TACTIC, shooting school, hunting, rifle, bullets, hunting shack, .300, WSM

.300 WSM ready to send some HSM Trophy Gold Down Range

After confirming our zero we setup the chronograph on each rifle so we could collect muzzle velocities.  That information would be key to input into our ballistic calculators for shooting long ranges.  I personally had the Shooter app on my phone for years but without accurate inputs the app was worthless to me.  Rob and Sam helped me setup and “true” my app so that when I input environmental conditions and my distance I was given accurate adjustments to be made in order to get a first shot hit on target.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military

Calculating muzzle velocity

From there we took aim at our first target setup at 535 yards and slowly worked through a handful of rounds working on maintaining good form and ensuring quality shots.  Everyone was shooting well and it wasn’t long until we started stretching out the distances.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military, zeiss, christensen arms

Brett making easy work of the 900 yard target

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military, HSM Ammo

Slow squeeze………..BOOM

After making hits at targets out to 900 yards we decided to run a drill to simulate a hunting scenario.  Two shooters would run to the 100 yard target and then back to their rifle.  From there each shooter would have to range a plate the size of a deer’s vitals, get setup on their gun, control their breathing, and take a shot within 30 seconds.  From there we continued to shoot and work with both Rob and Sam to shoot different targets, adjust for wind and continue to work on proper form.  Being able to work in a 1-on-1 scenario with an instructor was huge in quickly picking up the skills taught earlier in the day.  After a few hours there we decided to push things back even further.  After re-positioning on the range we were able to extend our range out to 1250 yards.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military, sitka gear

Brandon sending lead at the 1250 target

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military, snowy mountain rifles, hsm ammo, vortex optics

Snowy Mountain Rifle + HSM Ammo proving a deadly combo.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military

1250 yard first shot hits deserve pounds from the boys

1250 is a long, long ways.  A LOT further than I’d ever shoot at an elk or deer but a great test to see if my rifle/bullet combo as well as scope could handle the distance.  After double checking the range I entered my yardage into my ballistics calculator and double checked my environmental variables.  I then calculated my drop and adjusted my scope accordingly.  After getting a good position behind the rifle, I eased into the trigger and the shot broke crisply.  The rifle jumped slightly but returned to the target so I could see the metal gong sway confirming a hit.  The second shot found it’s mark confirming the data I’d used to adjust my scope.  Going from 100 to 1250 in the matter of a few hours only added to the confidence I’d built into my firearm over the years.

TACTIC, long range, shooting, school, Bozeman, MT, Montana, hunting, rifle, tactical, military

No lack of firepower or optics here

If you’re a serious hunter or even an avid shooter I’d highly encourage you to talk with Nick about one of the courses that TACTIC offers.  You can sign up for a pre-existing course or have them tailor something just for your specific needs.  You can visit their website at > www.tacticmt.com

I’d like to thank Rob, Sam and Nick for their time and graciously hosting and teaching us how to be more proficient with our rifles.  A special thanks to the fine folks at HSM Ammo for providing exceptional ammo that proved to be well suited to long range shooting and has performed flawlessly over the years in all hunting scenarios we’ve tested it in.  Their Trophy Gold lineup is definitely worth a look if your in the market for a new hunting round.

Written by Zack Boughton

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Bucknasty Browns II Kickstarter Follow Up

bucknasty browns II, film, fishing, brown trout

First off I’d like to say Thank You to all 127 people who backed our Kickstarter!  Your support means a lot and goes a long way in helping us create future films.  Unfortunately we didn’t meet our goal on Kickstarter and you will not be charged for your support of the Kickstarter.  If you’d like take that money and spend it to support future Montana Wild Fishing films please consider supporting our new film SKWALHALLA which will release in full on February 1st.  You can currently pre-order the film and be entered into a giveaway for a Simms hip pack.

bucknasty browns, kickstarter, fishing, brown trout, montana wildThe failure of this campaign probably was a result of quite a few things.  Starting the campaign over the holidays meant people had and were spending their hard earned money elsewhere, we also had less than a week to plan and create the Kickstarter which was just a necessity given our time and hunting season lasting till the end of November.  With little time to plan the campaign it was tough to convey what the funding would actually go towards.  The reason we wanted to raise $12,000 was to fund the actual production of a film given the guidelines of our Kickstarter campaign.  A five part web series and a film released through iTunes, Amazon, and Vimeo On Demand would have cost well in excess of $12,000.  Permits for commercial filming would have cost in excess of $350 per day in NZ and trying to capture a 5-6 week trip would have been a costly endeavor.  Add in music licensing which would have been thousands and then paying a 3rd party to upload to iTunes and Amazon and we are pushing 10K easy.  Then add in our time and extra expense to take time to film and properly document our trip each day and then spend weeks to edit and you can see that it is a costly project.  A few haters had a good time claiming this was just a way to fund an extravagant trip to NZ.  That’s false as we will still be going to NZ on our own dime and no we aren’t trust fund babies, we do in fact work like everyone else for our money.

With that said we will no longer be filming Bucknasty Browns as outlined in our Kickstarter campaign.  The chances of us doing any filming outside of some personal shots is slim to none.  That brings me to my final point, if you do in fact value our fishing films and want to continue to see us create more we NEED your support.  If half our followers rented our film SKWALHALLA we would be planning a LOT more fishing films.  Right now that’s far, far from the case despite over 20K views of the trailer in the first week.  And as you can read HERE, that film took us three years and was funded 100% out of our own pocket to try to give our fans something they’ve yet to see and get them stoked to set foot on the river with fly rod in hand.

The content landscape is quickly changing but without fan support our content delivery which includes lots of free content will be diminished.  The market will dictate our actions and right now it’s shifting in ways difficult to predict.  If you have comments, advice or input related to this or fishing films in general we’d love to hear from you.  And again, thank you to those who have supported our projects, the Kickstarter and future films and projects!

Zack Boughton

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SKWALHALLA Simms G4 Pro Tactical Hip Pack Giveaway

From 2015 – 2017 we spent many days on the water trying to not only hit the Skwala Stonefly hatch juuuust right, but to also capture the hatch on film in all of it’s glory. Filmed and edited with cutting edge camera equipment and software, and boasting a total of over 75 dry fly eats, you won’t want to miss out on our upcoming film, SKWALHALLA. In addition to the launch of the film, we’re offering a special pre order giveaway, that gives YOU a chance to take home a brand new Simms G4 Pro Tactical Hip Pack. Keep reading to find out how you could be the lucky winner.

 

WIN THIS SIMMS G4 PRO TACTICAL HIP PACK

By now you’re probably wondering, “How in the heck can I get my hands on that sweet looking Simms pack?!”  We don’t blame you, and the answer is simple. To get your name in the hat, you must follow the three simple steps listed below.

Pre order SKWALHALLA, here: SKWALHALLA Vimeo On Demand

DRAWING FOR WINNER will be held on Wednesday, January 31st at 5:00 PM MST, live on the Montana Wild Instagram story.

 

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SKWALHALLA – Why It Took 3 Years to Film

skwala hatch, skwala, skwalla, fishing, spring, bitterroot river, montana

This week we dropped our trailer for our film SKWALHALLA.  You can read more about the hatch and film HERE.  If you missed it here is the trailer:

We really started fishing the hatch in 2012.  New to fishing and eager to get out after a long winter, this hatch was a welcomed respite from worm chucking and turd swinging.  In 2013 we fished the hatch with more dedication, hoping to unlock the secrets of the hatch so that days could be spent catching fish on a dry and not just staring at foam float downriver for eight hours.  While some may claim this hatch is so easy to hit we’ve found it to be quite the opposite.  With a 2+month weather and water temp window these bugs can pop with little to no reason one day and be gone the next only to reappear three weeks later in the same spot.  An angler dedicated to seeing the hatch in all its glory often has to be borderline obsessed with time on the river the biggest factor in catching glimpses of the best days.  That year we filmed a few days but had relatively nothing to show for the effort.  2013 came around and we again set out to fish the hatch and were met with slightly better success.

skwala, skwala hatch, montana, fly fishing, video, film

Getting just the right drift was the ticket to catching this rainbow.

Again we filmed a bit but with no mission and no goal it was only worth added time spent behind the camera gaining valuable experience filming fishing.  2014 came and once again we walked banks searching for rising trout and skwalas crawling through the rocks.  A few epic days without the camera had us feeling more confident.

skwala, skwala hatch, skwalla, montana, spring, fishing, bitterroot

Travis with one of a handful of fish caught in a small stretch of river

Around this time I had become better friends with Josh Rokosch, a local of the valley and one knowledgeable skwala fisherman.  Growing up fishing the hatch meant he was a wealth of knowledge and in 2013 he had expressed his desire to make a skwala film called Skwalhalla.  The title essentially means Skwala Valhalla and we were right at the center of the best skwala fishing to be found.  Things didn’t work out to begin filming then or in 2014, but more groundwork was laid and a project was starting to line up.

skwala, skwala hatch, bitterroot, river, fishing, spring

Beautiful colors on a skwala eating cutty

As 2015 rolled around we agreed to begin filming Skwalhalla.  The film was meant to document the glory of the hatch and the epic dry fly eats associated with it.  No long, boring storyline, just good friends, good times and big eats.  We filmed 4 days that spring and got a few shots but far from what we needed to make a film.  With no funding of any kind this was going to be a personal project and that meant no real deadline.  With the ball slowly rolling we ramped up production in 2016 and filmed a total of 11 days searching for more eats and bigger fish.  That may seem like a lot of days but often film days never seem to be amazing fishing days.  Sure there are a few every once in a while but often if you get 5-10 really good shots in a day you’re crushing it.  Running a camera for 8 hours on a river can be tough and shots get missed, fish get missed, the exposure or focus was off, the audio was cracking, or something didn’t line up that made the shot just ok.  Again this is entirely self funded so if the fishing sucks and we’re sick of filming then the camera goes bye bye and usually someone catches a fish within 5 minutes haha!! Typical.

montana, skwala, skwala hatch, hatch, fishing, spring, film, video

Late afternoon riser

With lots of footage logged we were still missing a few shots that would round out the film.  One area which was lacking was high quality bug footage.  When you’re focused on catching fish and filming eats you’re not always looking to film the naturals crawling around on banks.  With plenty of eats in the bag we set out to find skwalas doing their thing, crawling out of the river, hatching, squirming on the water and flying off rocks and logs.

skwala, fishing, montana

A slow day but proof that things were about to heat up

Day one of 2017 and boom we hit it right on the money.  Skwalas were crawling all over the first log we pulled up to and we logged some awesome shots.  One thing to note is that we saw lots and lots of bugs that day but the fish weren’t keyed into them yet.  We fished hard but just didn’t get the eats.  The streamer actually got pulled out and turned up a few nice fish though.  The next day we switched systems and got into some amazing fishing.  With plenty of footage on the hard drives we made the gamble to go to a stretch of water that hadn’t seen much traffic and hoped we would be rewarded.  That choice paid off in a big way with a half dozen of our best eats of the film taking place on that float.  With so much success we decided to go back to the same spot the next day.  The weather was essentially the same and flows remained stable but the fishing was night and day.  The fishing had turned off and only a few eats were had.  It wasn’t how you’d hope to end a film trip but that’s the nature of the hatch.

fly fishing, log jam, trout, spring, montana, filming the skwala hatch

Side channel log jams. Fortunately we were able to pull the braces off and slide through

At the end of it all we had spent over 20 days filming for this movie and we’re damn proud of what we’ve created.  The final film is 21 minutes long and filled with over 70 dry fly eats.  The storyline is simple and it’s filled with good music and even better fishing.  Projects like this are big undertakings, but we hope they push the progression of fishing films in the right direction.  This is undoubtedly the best video documentation of the hatch to date and your support of this project goes a long, LONG ways in helping fund more content in the future (both free and paid).  At the end of the day we can’t do this without the support of our fans.  Please consider purchasing SKWALHALLA, it will get you stoked for spring fishing!!!

Words by Zack Boughton

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SKWALHALLA – All about the hatch and our upcoming film

skwalhalla, skwala, skwala hatch, montana, wild, film, video, bitterroot river
montana, spring, bitterroot river, bitterroot, skwala, skwala hatch, fishing

A large squall that narrowly missed us on a spring float.

Winter is long in most of the West.  Many fisherman have gone months without handling a fly rod and have either went into full hibernation or have been busy tying flies for the upcoming spring.  Late January and early February the temps start to rise and nymphing can be good, especially with the ever deadly San Jaun worm.  It works but it also gets old quick.  Fortunately the skwala hatch is just around the corner.  In limited spots across the West a medium sized stonefly called the Skwala (skwala americana) begins its emergence onto river banks, logs and other structure around the river.  Emerging from their shucks they begin to crawl around and eventually search for a mate.  After mating the females return to the water to lay their eggs and the lifecycle continues its cycle.

montana, spring, bitterroot river, bitterroot, skwala, skwala hatch, fishing

A male skwala stonefly

That’s a highly simplified version but the key here is that the trout start looking up in a big way.  Being able to toss a size 10 foam body dry fly in the middle of a snowstorm to a 20″ brown will absolutely change your perspective on spring fishing.  But that doesn’t mean the hatch is easy to hit perfectly.  Fishing a day here or there means you might not even get a glimpse of the potential and could very well think the hatch sucks and why would a guy waste his time throwing a dry when nothing eats it?  Given spring in Montana weather and water temps can drastically change as well as river flows.  The hatch can pop one day and be dead the next even without a significant weather/temp change.  It can be good in one five mile stretch one day and in an entirely different area the next.  Often a few bugs show up around mid-February and can last well into April.  Finding the right window on the right stretch is the tough part.  But when you hit it right it’s absolutely amazing.  Big fish and even bigger eats.

montana, spring, bitterroot river, bitterroot, skwala, skwala hatch, fishing, montana

A hefty cutbow that ate a skwala dry.

After a few years of talking about making a film to show the highlights of the hatch we finally decided to go for it.  That was 2015 and with no funding and no real plan we filmed 4 days that spring.  That year gave us just a taste of what was to come as only one of those days really worked as far as getting any good shots on camera.  We then filmed 11 days in 2016 knowing that we needed more good footage to really capture the eats we had hoped to show.  Filming fishing is always a tough gig.  You can almost count on the fishing to be worse the second the camera comes out, it’s just how it is.  Throw in missing shots, having the exposure or focus wrong or just not being in the right place at the right time and you’re lucky if you log 5-10 really great shots in a day.  We now had filmed enough eats but the bug footage was lacking.  Actually capturing the bugs hatching had been tough and we decided we needed one more year to round out the footage and add a few more good fish to the mix.  After three years and over 20 days spent filming we called it complete and got to editing.  A few long weeks in the edit bay left us with a rough cut and another week of polishing saw the film finished and complete.  Three years and lots of work, money invested, long days and even longer nights and we are proud to present the trailer for SKWALHALLA.  The full film will be available for purchase on Vimeo On Demand on February 1st and is now available for Pre-Order at this link > https://vimeo.com/ondemand/skwalhalla  Enjoy the teaser!

Please be sure to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest deals and news surrounding both this film and also our brand.  Trust me when I say it will be worth it.

-Written by Zack Boughton

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Top 10 Bucknasty Brown Eats

bucknasty browns, brown trout, eats, dry fly, mouse fishing, owyhee river, fly fishing

Watch the Top 10 Bucknasty Brown eats from the original film.

Want to see more Bucknasty Brown trout eats? Support our Bucknasty Browns 2 film by clicking here: BUCKNASTY BROWNS II

We are 25% of the way to our goal and really would love your help! If you enjoy our films, now is the chance to lend a hand and bring this film to life. You can help with as little as $5 and you can pre-order the film for $10. Thank you to all who have supported the film so far and have a Happy New Year!

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$12K?! Cost Breakdown of Bucknasty Browns II

cost breakdown, bucknasty browns, 2, brown trout, new zealand

$12K for a fishing film?! Some may see our goal on the Kickstarter and think that number is high, but in reality that number is low! Shooting a six week, high-quality production Internationally takes lots of money. Below is our cost breakdown for Bucknasty Browns 2:

-Flights: $1,500 X three anglers = $4,500

-Checked Camera Gear: $100 X four pelican cases = $400

-Van Rental: $6,880.36 (If you can find it cheaper, shoot us a message)

-Van Insurance: $1,170

-Music Licensing: $700-$900/per song X 4 songs = $2,800 (low end and does not even include music for web series)

-iTunes, Amazon hosting: $1,800

                TOTAL: $17,550.36

 

That number is the bare bones! This does not include the following costs:

-Camera Gear (dry bags, extra batteries, power source, housing, drone): over $2,500

-Gas: ????

-Food: ????

-Film insurance: ????

-Kickstarter and Processing Fees: 10% of $12K goals = $1,200

-Cost to edit:???

-Cost to film: ???

-Cost to deliver rewards: ???

 

As you can see our $12K goal is a very low goal for us to even consider making this film. Take out the Kickstarter fees, processing fees, and cost to produce shirts, hats, streamers, canvas images, and others and we are somewhere well below $12K. Hence why we need your support to make Bucknasty Browns 2! Please, if you enjoy our fishing films and want to see more of them in the future it is imperative that you support the film by clicking here: Bucknasty Browns II

bucknasty, browns, 2, fly, fishing, brown, trout

For the small cost of $5 you can help bring this film to life. That is the cost of a beer or a couple sodas. This is a great chance for our long time supporters to give back by giving a very small amount.  And if you have any input on what you’d like to see in the film or web series leave a comment, shoot us a message through our social pages or send an email! Thank you to all who supported us and Merry Christmas!

bucknasty, browns, 2, II, kickstarter, fly, fishing, film, video, new, zealand

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Support BUCKNASTY BROWNS II

bucknasty, browns, 2, II, kickstarter, fly, fishing, film, video, new, zealand

Our amazing fans have been insistent in asking for a second Bucknasty Browns film and we are here to deliver, but we need your help. This film project will be documenting a Do-It-Yourself trip to one of the greatest brown trout destinations in the world, the South Island of New Zealand. World-renowned for it’s clear backcountry waters, epic spring creeks, and large, trophy sized, AKA Bucknasty, brown trout. The plan is to roadtrip the island in search of adventure and large brown trout. We just launched a Kickstarter for Bucknasty Browns II and we would love if you showed us some support! In order for Bucknasty Browns II to become a reality, we need to reach our goal of $12,000. We are offering a ton of great rewards and you can also pre-order the film (see below). By pre-ordering the film you will be the first to get to download and watch the full film.

bucknasty, browns, 2, kickstarter, montana, wild

Please click here to support Bucknasty Browns II and/or pre-order the film >>> BUCKNASTY BROWNS II Kickstarter

 

For more info on the film project, click here >>> BUCKNASTY INFO

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SUMMER HYPE – Video Launch

Our latest fly fishing film, SUMMER HYPE showcases some epic salmonfly fishing, big fish, savage eats, and good times on the water.  Shot by our most recent summer intern Bryant Patterson, this short film captured a few great days on the water.  Pull up a seat, sit back and enjoy SUMMER HYPE!

Shop our hats used in the film, by clicking on the images below.

summer hype, summer, fishing, fly fishing, brown trout, salmonfly, hatchsummer hype, montana wild, hat, apparel

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Idaho Elk Hunting /// 2018 Bear Archery Promo

2018, bear archery, bow, promo, lineup, bowhunting elk, elk

This fall we had the opportunity to work with our long time partner Bear Archery on a promotional video to help launch their 2018 lineup of bows.  With tags in Montana we hoped to fill during rifle we knew we would need to venture out-of-state to shoot an archery elk video.  With a quick turnaround we knew a September elk hunt would fit the bill.  One short scouting trip left me with some local info but film permitting forced us to hunt areas of the unit which I’d never stepped foot in.  With enough previous elk experience under our belt we still felt confident we could show up and eventually be in the thick of things.

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery

Sunset over Elk Country on night 1

We arrived late in the afternoon and were able to dip into the head of a basin that we hoped to hunt in the morning.  A faint bugle and a few elk spotted just before dark left us feeling hopeful for the morning.  The alarm came quick and without much pause we were headed down the mountain and began to sidehill through a large, timber filled basin.  We had hoped to hear bugles but were greeted only with small amounts of sign and nothing of much excitement.

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery

Other than a small bull this was the best sign we saw all morning

After the morning hunt we hopped into the truck and decided to move a few basins to the north.  A short drive down the road revealed multiple camps setup on the basin we had just hunted.  Our fingers were crossed that the next spot would be empty but we only found more of the same.  That night we quickly chowed down dinner and then scrutinized the maps and tried to decide on a new spot hopefully with less people.  Two days later we were in a new area with much more depth to the topography.  We hoped this would keep a few people out and our hike in the dark left us thinking of what might lie up the canyon.  As dawn barely began to show itself we heard our first bugle not more than a few hundred yards up the trail.  As we waited for shooting light we could hear multiple bulls sounding off further up the basin.  We continued up the draw and soon decided the best bet would be to chase the bull bugling closest to us and go from there.  We quickly climbed uphill following this bull headed to his bedding area.  When I felt we were on the verge of spooking some of the herd I decided now was the time to challenge him.  The next five minutes were spent exchanging bugles as I slowly worked closer.  Without a caller and with a cameraman in tow this can be a tough game to play but this day it worked to perfection.  As I moved up an elk trail I saw tines through the small pine trees ahead of me.  With an open lane in front of me I hooked up to my D-loop and waited.  As the bull disappeared behind the last tree separating us I drew.  Soon he emerged in the opening at 22 yards looking for his challenger.  One quick cow call slowed him enough to take a shot before he cleared my lane.  My arrow hit further back than I’d hoped but still caught lungs and I was able to watch my bull crash in a small rock field just 80 yards away.

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery, bear approach

Tools of the trade

We took a few minutes to soak in what had just happened and then went to find my arrow.

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery

300 grains of steel

Stuck in a log my arrow was covered with bubbly, red blood.  It was a sight for sore eyes as it had been a few years since I’d been able to tag a bull during archery season.  A short walk left me admiring an awesome bull elk taken on our beautiful public lands.  We are truly blessed to do this.

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery, 2018 Bear Promo, ID Elk Hunting

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery, bear approach

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery

As we finished breaking the bull down it began to pour rain.  With about six hours of daylight left we knew we could get this elk back to the truck before dark but it would be wet and miserable.  For elk hunters it’s what we expect and the pain and hardship is eagerly welcomed.

elk hunting, idaho, public land, archery, diy, bear archery, kifaru, argali, hunting backpack, 2018 bear archery promo

The Kifaru Argali making its maiden voyage and performing flawlessly

Two trips up and down the mountain left us at the truck, sipping a cold beverage pulled from the YETI.  With daylight quickly fading we packed the truck up and headed home.

elk hunting, phillips 66, elk, hunting, roof rack, truck rack, gas station

One quick stop and then back on the road

After getting home Travis quickly got to downloading all the footage and beginning the edit process.  A week later the edit was done and delivered.  Here is the 1 minute Bear Archery promotional film:

 

If you haven’t checked out the new lineup of bows from Bear Archery you can do so right here > 2018 Bear Archery lineup

The bow I shot was the Bear Approach, an entry level bow that prides itself on exceptional value.  When I got it I wasn’t entirely stoked knowing this was an entry level bow.  As an avid hunter I like to have the best equipment I can get my hands on but I swallowed my pride and gave the bow a chance to show its true colors.  After shooting and successfully hunting with this bow I was blown away at the feel and value that any bowhunter could get from a $399 bow.  It shot as good as I could shoot, was quiet and dead-in-hand, and most importantly easy to tune.  I had about 4 days to setup and tune this bow before hunting with it and if I didn’t feel comfortable with it I definitely wouldn’t have taken it.  At the end of the day it has to feel good in your hand and shoot well and this bow did both.

Bear Archery, Bear Approach, approach, archery, bow, hunting, elk

2018 Bear Approach

-Written By Zack Boughton