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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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Skwala Stonefly Report – 4/4

fishing, fly fishing, stoke, skwala, skywalk fishing, dry fly, brown trout, Montana Wild

Although we weren’t able to be on the water today, a few of our good friends took to the river in full force, and got in on some of the most epic skwala fishing that Montana has to offer. While this hatch can be totally hit or miss, the boys hit it hard yesterday, netting a total of almost 60 fish, not to mention a hand full that got away. Wondering what the day looked like? Check out the day’s stats below.

fishing, fly fishing, stoke, skwala, skywalk fishing, stoke, buck nasty, brown trout, Montana wild

  • Water Temperature: 38 – 40 degrees.
  • Air Temperature: 40 – 50 degrees.
  • Weather Conditions: Overcast.
  • Float duration: 8 hours.
  • Fish count: 55+

While fishing was productive from noon until 8:00, peak time seemed to be from 2:00 to 5:00, with fish keying in on a variety of skwala stoneflies, and going ballistic on any big bug the boys seemed to float past them. It’s day’s like this that hardcore fly fisherman dream about, and only the ones who are passionate enough to closely watch and chase the hatch will be rewarded. Bugs were found on the surface and on the banks of the river throughout the day, indicating that the hatch is in full swing. Although they boys killed it today, the skwala hatch can be extremely hit or miss, with fish going nuts one day, and shutting off the next. After talking with them for awhile, they explained that they thought the fish were feeding so actively this day due to cold temperatures on 4/3 and forecasted cold temperatures for 4/5 as well. It’s warm windows like these that can commonly provide excellent fishing for the aspiring skwala angler. If you’re looking to get out and start skwala fishing, here’s a list of a few things you’ll need.

fishing, fly fishing, outdoor media, Montana Wild, stoke, skwala

  • Fly rod and reel (5 or 6WT)
  • LOTS of flies (stop into your local fly shop and pick their brain on what to use OR tie you own sick nasty bugs)
  • Waders and wading boots (skwala fishing can typically be very cold, and in nasty weather. You’ll definitely want to dress warm and be ready for unexpected weather at any time.)
  • Rain jacket.
  • Access to a boat (while you most definitely can fish skwalas from shore, you’ll be able to fish a lot more water from a boat, and be more exact with your fly presentation.) Don’t have access to a boat? stop into your local fly shop and ask about rental boats, or hiring a guide for the day.

Last but not least, make sure to get out and have fun on the water! After all, that’s what it’s all about!

Words: Calvin Connor

Photos: Tucker Lehr

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New Apparel Now Available

Montana Wild, Outdoor Apparel, Stoke, Rifle Build Tee, Fast Food Pheasant Snapback, Wild State Trucker, Montana PRO Buckle Tee, Topo Trout Trucker

With spring just around the corner, chances are you’re looking for some dope new outdoor apparel to wear out on the water, and up in the hills. Good news for you, we’ve got everything you need right here. Whether you’re a die hard fly fisherman, or a custom rifle fanatic, we’ve got the perfect piece of gear for you. Want to do some shopping? Click HERE. You can view our full line of apparel under the SHOP section of our website, or scroll down to check out the latest and greatest from Montana Wild. Don’t wait too long, they’ll be gone before you know it!

Topo Trout Trucker

The Topo Trout Trucker simply put is the bees knees. This leather patch hat is clean and simple. Rep your trout addiction with pride.

-Premium Airflow Trucker Mesh

-Premium leather patch

-Curved brim

 

 

Topo Trout Trucker, Montana Wild, Fly Fishing, Stoke, Apparel, Bozeman, Missoula, Billings, Helena, Denver, fishing, trout, hunting, outdoor media, fly fishing film, SKWLHALLA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MW Trout Trucker

Montana Wild has teamed up with Simms Fishing for a deadly trout trucker hat combo. Get them before they’re gone!

-Snapback (one size fits most)

-Crown Fit: Low

-Simms Premium Thread Design

-Limited Edition

 

 

MW Trout Trucker, Montana Wild, Hunting, Fishing, Fly fishing, Montana, Bozeman, Billings, Helena, Missoula, Denver, fishing film, outdoor media, stoke, get bent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild State Trucker

Rep your favorite state in style with our new Wild State Trucker. We all know you’re a little wild and that you love the greatest state of all-time…Montana.

– Premium airflow trucker mesh back

– Premium Branded Bills leather patch

 

 

Wild State Trucker, Montana Wild, apparel, stoke, Montana, hunting, fishing, rodeo, western, fly fishing, brown trout, last best place, hunting, elk hunting, deer hunting, western

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast Food Pheasant Snapback

Own the most badass pheasant hat on the planet. The Fast Food Pheasant Snapback is a show stopper to say the least. Wear it in the field while you hunt upland birds, or on the water while you slay bucknasty browns. Available in maroon (flat brim) and black (curved brim).

-Snapback (one size fits most)

-Premium Thread Design

-Premium Branded Bills leather patch

 

 

Fast Food Pheasant Snapback, Montana Wild, apparel, outdoor apparel, upland, bird hunting, hunting, bird dog, fast food, stoke, prairie, game bird, shotgun, Montana wild

 

 

 

 

 

Montana PRO Buckle Tee

The rodeo inspired Montana PRO Buckle Tee is the perfect way to show off your Montana pride. This limited edition colorway is only here until its gone!

-Fits true to size

-Soft to touch

-M|L|XL|2XL

Montana Wild, Outdoor Media, fly fishing, hunting, conservation, film, photography, stoke, second amendment, Montana, Missoula, Bozeman, Billings, Denver, rodeo, western, Montana PRO Buckle Tee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rifle Build Tee

Who isn’t dreaming about their next rifle build? Hit the range, mountains, or night on the town in style in our new Rifle Build Tee. Comfortable, classic fitting, and ready for your next adventure. We love guns, do you?

-Soft to touch

-Fits true to size

-Super Soft Print

-M|L|XL|2XL

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Montana Wild acquires Promont Outdoors

montana wild, promont outdoors, PRO, Pro montana, september calls

As of April 2017, Montana Wild has acquired a majority of the designs from the Bozeman based company Promont Outdoors. We are excited to continue producing high quality products with these awesome designs.

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PRO Design

september calls, montana wild, elk hunting, hat

September Calls Design

PRO, PRO hat, montana, bozeman, hunt, fish, wild, promont, archery, bowhunt, fly, snapback, flat brim, promont outdoors

Good Altitude Design

The designs PRO, September Calls, and Good Altitude will now be available through our STORE. Based off the generosity of the acquisition by the previous owner we’ve decided to help “pay it forward” by donating 3% of the sale of those products back to conservation (RMEF, BHA, TRCP).  You can read more about the 3 Percent For Conservation HERE.  As product releases to the public we will have updates on product offerings on the website and through our social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram.

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Spring Fishing 2017

spring fishing, brown trout

Another spring has almost flown by once again.  In a few short weeks runoff will be here and our spring fishing window will be shut down and we will be back in the mountains chasing bears and turkeys.  This spring we have gotten the privilege to wet a fly in eight different rivers here in Montana.  Although the fishing wasn’t as good as previous springs we still were able to find a healthy number of nice trout and beautiful Montana views.  Below are a few images from our spring travels around the state.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, flyfishing

Kicking off the early spring with a chucky bow.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, streamer, driftboat, green water

Pulling for pigs on a mud line.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, rainbow trout

Mean muggin for the camera

spring, fishing, montana, wild, maddie sieler

Maddie with a nice streamer fish to start off a very windy day

spring, fishing, montana, wild, streamer, brown trout

Streamers saving a very slow day of dry fly fishing

spring, fishing, montana, wild, skwala, bitterroot river

Josh with a nice fish caught while filming for an upcoming project

spring, fishing, montana, wild, drift, boat, fish

Exploring some gin clear water before the snow started melting from the mountains

spring, fishing, montana, wild, rainbow trout

This fish was a serious moral boost on a slow day.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, brown trout, simms fishing

Travis fooled this great brown out of hiding in small pocket water.

spring, fishing, montana, wild, selfie, trout eye

Trout selfie

spring, fishing, montana, wild, brown trout, streamer

Warmer weather means more browns on the prowl

spring, fishing, montana, wild, brown trout, t-shirt

Travis product testing a new t-shirt. Appears to be working just fine

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Josh stoked for days

spring, fishing, montana, wild, dry fly, skwala

The sometimes elusive spring dry fly eat

We now have a handful of new shirts and hats in our online store.  To see more and shop click HERE.

-Zack

Ladies Bison Trucker – NOW AVAILABLE

ladies, bison, trucker, buffalo, fishing, hunting, archery

It has been a new goal here at Montana Wild to put out more female media content and apparel. This will hopefully be a start to offering more ladies products and showcasing more photo/video content with badass chicks in front of the lens. We are stoked on how the Ladies Bison Truckers turned out. Maddie got the chance to test the hat on a recent fishing trip. The hat proved fishy.

ladies, who, fish, women, buffalo, bison, hat, trucker, montana, wild, bozeman, fly fishing

Dropping off the drift boat.

ladies, who, fish, women, buffalo, bison, hat, trucker, montana, wild, bozeman, fly fishing

One of many trout Maddie fooled.

The Ladies Bison Trucker comes in four colorways.

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Mango Colorway

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Teal Colorway

 

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Army Colorway

army, ladies, buffalo, trucker, buff, arrows, womens, montana, wild, hunting, fishing

Stealth Colorway

Purchase the hat here: https://montana-wild.com/shop-montana-wild/

Please leave us a comment below to let us know what you think about the new hat or what you would like to see in future products.

My Montana Wild Internship

internship, outdoor, photography, film, video

Are you a young, motivated individual who is passionate about the outdoors, and filmmaking & photography? Are you looking for an internship to develop those skills? If so, look no further. Montana Wild is looking for interns for 2017, and you could be one of them. Follow along as I take you through my summer as an intern for the guys at Montana Wild!

montana wild, internship, hunting, fishing, photo, video

Taking a break from running the camera and throwing a salmonfly sure isn’t a bad gig.

As I approached my final summer as a college student at the University of Montana, I knew that I wanted to stay in Montana for the summer and work somewhere that’s directly related to media arts, which is what I’m studying in school. Shortly after making this decision, I saw a post on Montana Wild’s Facebook page that they were hiring, and also had internship positions available. From there I got ahold of Zack and Travis Boughton, and sent them my cover letter, resume, and portfolio. Shortly thereafter, I met up with the guys to talk about being an intern, and the next thing I knew, I had landed myself the sickest summer job around. I was stoked!

montana wild, internship, fishing, photo, video, smith river

Snapping photos, rowing, fishing, and camping on Montana’s Smith River.

What I didn’t know going into this internship was how many awesome places I was going to go while working. The major highlight of my internship for me was floating the Smith River and seeing first hand how important of a resource it is for Montana. Not only was it an awesome place to experience, but over the course of the trip I was able to shoot a wide variety of photos, and get to use some new gear for the first time. It gave me time to try new things, and ask questions that greatly improved my photography as a whole, but specifically fishing related photography and astrophotography. During that trip I also was able to see firsthand how the guys at Montana Wild work on a production. Being able work side-by-side with Zack and Travis helped shorten my learning curve greatly.

montana wild, internship, spring, summer, fishing, hunting, photo, video

Camping while on the job.

I also went on trips shed hunting, bear hunting, and a few days of salmonfly fishing/filming in SW Montana, where I was able to gain experience shooting on a cinema camera for the first time. Running a professional grade film camera allowed me to get a closer look at all the settings available to the filmmaker but also what it takes to make these cameras really shine. When you make that step up inherently you are going to make mistakes and being able to have a focused yet fun setting to make those mistakes was a great way to learn. After the shoot I had the opportunity to edit all my footage and work with high quality slow motion video for the first time as well. Aside from shooting and editing content in the field, as an intern for Montana wild you will learn the ins and outs of social media, advertising, brand and social promotions, and what it takes to run a successful brand and social media platform.

montana wild, fishing, internship, filming, summer

Running the Sony FS7 while Zack navigates some whitewater.

montana wild, internship, film, photography, outdoors, hunting

Chase packs out during a spring bear hunt.

Over the course of my internship I had the opportunity to work on a wide range of daily tasks that took me to some pretty incredible places. Daily tasks included the following:

  • Creating and scheduling daily social media posts
  • Creating focused, branded content packages for social media
  • Brainstormed photo/video content ideas
  • Shooting photo/video content
  • Editing photo/video content with Adobe programs
  • Coming up with blog post ideas. Writing blog posts
Montana Wild Internship

Developing skillsets, one click at a time.

If you are looking to become an intern for Montana Wild in the future, you should have some experience or be proficient with Adobe software. Specifically Lightroom, Photoshop, and Premiere. Having a strong grasp of the basics is a necessity of the internship but will really allow you absorb much more during your internship. The more you already know the better, but that brings me to my next point.

By now you’re probably wondering, “So what am I going to get out of this internship?” other than a summer full of stoke, brown trout, camera gear and laughs. The answer is A LOT. Over the course of my internship I was able to improve my skills across the board from shooting photos and video, to editing said shots in Premiere, Lightroom, and Photoshop. When it came to shooting content, my technical skills improved drastically when it was time to set up gear, or quickly getting camera settings to desired levels to capture a shot. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and knowing how to use your gear to its fullest extent will greatly improve the content that you end up with. Subsequently, the content that I was shooting greatly improved as the summer went on. This was partially due to being out and shooting more frequently, but also because I had a resource to bring my work back to and be critiqued. Seems like a solid gig so far doesn’t it? Well it gets better yet. If you’re a college student, you more than likely will be able to receive credits towards graduation for your work over the course of the summer. In my case, I was able to get 6 credits, which meant less class and more time in the mountains come September!

montana wild, internship, hunting, film, photo

Spending time in the mountains with the guys meant more knowledge gained about cameras but also about hunting and backpacking.

Interested in working in the hunting and fishing media industry as a career? Not to worry, as an intern for Montana Wild not only will you build skills that will help you succeed in the future, but you will also have the chance to make connections by learning the ropes and insider tips from Zack and Travis. This will also allow you to meet other like minded people in the industry, and in today’s world, being talented at what you do, having job experience, and knowing the right people will get you far. Like what you see? If so send the guys at Montana Wild an email to info@montana-wild.com with the SUBJECT line: Montana Wild Internship.  Be sure to send a resume, cover letter and a portfolio of any photo/video work you’ve done.  Good luck!

Written by Calvin Connor

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MONTANA WILD APPAREL Brand Anthem is Live!

montana, wild, apparel, co, company, lifestyle, hunting, fishing, anthem, shirts, hats

Last spring was our official release of Montana Wild soft goods. Throughout the season we put our products to the test both on the rivers and in the mountains. This short video is a quick view of the product in the field and also a sneak peak at some of the great films we have scheduled for release in 2015. To buy a hat or shirt go to: www.montana-wild.com

Big shoutout to everyone who have shown us support!

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Simms SHOOT OUT

My first time hearing about the Simms SHOOT OUT was in 2011, where I got my first glimpse at a fly fishing film competition.  I wanted to compete in the SHOOT OUT one day, and the thought stuck in the back of my mind.  In 2012 we were disappointed when we had heard that the 2012 SHOOT OUT filmakers had already been chosen, and once again sat back and watched the videos that were released.  Last year really motivated us to kick some ass and get into the 2013 SHOOT OUT.   Here we are mid-April and the moment we have been waiting for has finally come.  We are stoked to have the opportunity to be one of four film makers competing in the Simms SHOOT OUT!

simms, shoot, out, montana, wild

Zack and I are dedicated to putting together an amazing video.  The competition requires us to film with one Simms guide for 2 days, and then 24 hours to put the video together.  The interesting part is we will not know who we are filming with until the night before our first filming day.  We are excited and cannot wait for the event to start!

We head out for Bozeman this morning.  Make sure to follow our daily behind the scenes SHOOT OUT photos on Instagram @montanawild!  We will be giving our viewers a behind the scenes look at what is going on so everyone can stay in the loop.  Also you will get your chance on Thursday/Friday April 25th & 26th to vote for your favorite SHOOT OUT film via text message.  Stay tuned!!!

 

-Travis