About three years ago we release Tooth & Fang on Vimeo On Demand. It was our first full length film and it covered the controversial topic of coyote hunting. We had been coyote hunting for years and knew why we did it but often met those who knew nothing about it and based their ideas off emotion and not real life truths. Over almost three years we filmed with ranchers and our hunts to put together what would be Tooth & Fang. This week we released it on our YouTube channel for free. You can watch the full film below:
The release this week has been hugely successful and many people have been sharing their support for the film. Please take the time to watch it and if you like it, share it with your friends.
The Simms Shoot Out 2013, our first big splash into mainstream fly fishing media. The film titled “BENT” won the award that year and our friendship with Dan “Rooster” Leavens was just beginning. If you haven’t watched it do yourself and get acquainted with Dave Priebus’ client phone call and Rooster’s prowess with a fly rod.
With $2,000 in cash we quickly re-invested in camera equipment and kept making fishing films.
Good times and a reminder that Rooster is a short dude haha!
It wasn’t but a few months later and Rooster called me and said “Get your butt over here with your camera, the salmonfly hatch is stupid good!” Fortunately I believed him and a couple days later I’d witnessed the best of the salmonfly hatch and laid down some amazing footage that would soon become Bearback Rider.
A few more years went by and we talked about making films but it always fell through either from a schedule or funding standpoint. Finally, Rooster wanted to follow up with our first film and make BENT 2. I was all in and a few phone calls later and it was on the books. This would be a short two day film shoot and we hoped the magic would still be there. Dave Priebus showed up in fine form and as always the fishing in SW Montana never disappoints.
We hope you enjoyed the film. If you ever want to book an awesome guided trip in Montana definitely give Rooster and the fine folks at The Stonefly Inn a call (406-684-5648). A special thanks to the great folks at Hatch Outdoors and Simms Fishing for their support of the project!
Some backcountry essentials: headlamp, inReach, cell phone, and water
Day 3 started with another slow morning of tahr meat sizzling on the wood stove as Josh finished fleshing and salting his tahr cape. The sun provided some Vitamin D and warmth for a mid-day snooze. Finally we got our gear together and once again headed up the mountain. The weather was turning a bit more cloudy and the wind had picked up.
Rokosch trusting his waterproof gaiters and surefooted steps
Boulder hopping up the creek
With our pressure from the past two days putting the tahr a bit on edge we elected to go up the creek bottom to just underneath our glassing knob. From there we’d hike straight up and pop over and be ready to glass and locate tahr. We would stay out of sight and hopefully the tahr would feed off the mountain one more time.
Tahr on both sides of the drainage, looking for the biggest one
We quickly located a large mob of tahr high in the cliffs and once again settled in to see if they’d feed down to the areas we could safely access. After about an hour and a half we decided they would come off the mountain and we better close the distance now or else they would see us. We dropped back off the ridge and looped further up closing the distance to about a 1000 yards and the tahr slowly working closer and closer. After about thirty minutes they had worked into under 400 yards. After getting closer they winded us and started back up the mountain. When the biggest bull tahr stopped clear of the others the Tikka barked and made a lethal hit. The bull came downhill before one more shot put him down quickly. Fist bumps and high fives went around and we quickly scrambled up to the bull.
Zack with his New Zealand bull tahr
Three tahr in three days. A darn successful trip with great guys. We knew the routine and quickly had the bull in our packs and headed down the mountain.
A successful tahr camp
Success and good times with a great crew!
The next day we cleaned gear and all the tahr skulls and hides. Unfortanately a storm blew in that evening and we were unable to hunt or fly out. The following morning we had a chopper show up just after sunrise.
A beautiful but bumpy ride took us back to the hangar and our New Zealand tahr hunt was complete. If you are interested in hunting free range tahr, stag, or chamois definitely give Ben a shout over at BGHNZ > https://bghnz.co.nz/ A big thanks to both Ben and August who provided much comedic relief in camp and on the mountain! Good times boys, till next time!
New Zealand Tahr Hunt – Day 2 started with the crew sleeping in till just after sunrise. With one bull in camp we felt confident in saving our energy for another solid evening hunt. Travis finished up taking care of his hide and skull as the guys fixed up a mean lunch of more tahr meat, potatoes, and onions.
Lunch is going to be protein packed!
After filling our bellies and taking a quick snooze in the sun we loaded the packs and started our trek back up the valley.
Ben going for it.
August keeps tabs on “one horn”
A small group descending to the lower grassy faces
This afternoon we decided to go up the opposite side of the head of the valley. We wanted to look further back into the end of the drainage. After getting in position we started picking out tahr all across the upper half of the mountain. A few hours later and a small band of tahr had fed to within 50 yards before winding us and moving off. We had spotted a cool looking one horned bull up high on the mountain. His cape swirled and billowed in the wind and we knew he was a mature bull. After telling Josh I’d shoot him if he didn’t he decided this would be his bull to make a move on. After watching him move lower and lower it was time to make a move to get into shooting position. Josh and Ben set off while myself and August held back and kept an eye on him. Within twenty minutes of the guys being gone the bull had dropped so low we could no longer see him. Just a few minutes later we heard a shot echo through the valley. We picked up our packs and quickly hustled up the drainage to see what had taken place.
Josh and his old bull tahr
As we caught up to the guys Josh was admiring his first tahr. A unique and old one horned beast. We quickly shot photos as light faded and again we had a long packout in the dark followed by another dinner of backstrap and cold beers.
Ben wondering what the story behind old one horn was
Want to see how close the bull got before Josh took his shot? Watch the following as we take you through Day 2 of our hunt!
Special thanks to Ben and August and if you’re interested in hunting any big game animals free range in New Zealand definitely hit up Ben at his website > www.bghnz.co.nz/
New Zealand. Lord of the Rings, amazing scenery, epic proportions of rain, huge brown trout, more sheep than humans. The list goes on of unique characteristics about the unique islands far from just about anywhere. This past February and March we visited the South Island for about 5 weeks. Our main goal was to fish for the large brown trout that NZ is so famous for. We’ll have a blog post on that later. With that much time on the island I figured we should try to diversify our activities a bit and try to get out and hunt tahr or stag, two species that seem to draw most hunters to the area. After announcing our plans to come visit the island we got a message from Ben Tumata from Big Game Hunting New Zealand. He told us he’d be happy help us out if we wanted to hunt. Some back and forth messaging and we were on the board to take advantage of Ben’s week off. He was and is a stud for offering to take some guys out as friends on a New Zealand Tahr Hunt especially without ever meeting us.
We met up with Ben and organized and sorted gear. From there we took the rigs up to the hanger and started weighing out gear to see what we could and couldn’t take in on the heli. Fortunately we just slid under our weight limit and we started loading up.
Ready to go!
Before we knew it we were all on board and the rotors started to spin as the engine fired up. The weather had cleared and we were in for a beautiful ride up into our hunting area. For those who have never rode in a heli it’s something I’d highly recommend. Our two heli flights were definitely highlights of our trip.
Weaving our way down to our final destination.
We spotted a few tahr on the flight in and saw some of the most beautiful country we’ve ever laid eyes on. Montana will always be #1 in our minds but the country we flew over and got to hunt in here was equally impressive. After unloading the heli the pilot took off and like that we were deep in the New Zealand backcountry with only the sound of the river a few hundred yards away. We quickly sorted gear and put up tents.
Ben setting up his M.I.A. Tent
Ben had a killer wall tent that he has been designing and refining over the years. He’s calling the brand M.I.A. Gear and his tent and stove set up was money. It was lightweight but extremely study and weather proof and served as a great spot to get warm and eat dinner ever night when we got back to camp. Based off Ben’s advice and time spent hunting tahr we were really in no rush to get up the mountain. The tahr typically bed up high in the cliffs and in the evening will start coming off the mountain to feed. We took the next couple hours to soak up the sun and glass up a few nannies high up in the cliffs above camp. Around 2 or 3 we shouldered our packs and headed up the drainage. This was new country to everyone and we used the river as our path to get up to the head of the drainage.
Boulder hopping our way up the canyon.
After climbing up to a high knob with a 360 degree view we dropped our packs and broke out the spotters. We quickly started turning up tahr. A lot of young bulls and nannies and kids occupied us for the first few hours. As the shadows started to lengthen in the valley we spotted two bulls high in the cliffs below a hanging glacier. The wind blew their long coats as they slowly dropped elevation.
Letting the music lure our bulls down the mountain
Ben and August sized up their horn and body size and determined they would be worthy of a closer look. We sat and watched them for about an hour as Six60 “Closer” played on Ben’s small speaker setup. We all had a good laugh as the tahr seemingly listened exactly to the music and slowly got “closer, closer to you!” Soon we picked up and made a loop out of sight to get ahead of them and wait to see if they’d show up on the big apron of grass that emerged from the base of the cliffs. We shuffled closer and finally decided we were in a good position. There were 3 tahr up on the hill now within 400 yards and getting closer. We patiently waited until the biggest bull finally crested a small rise at about 60 yards. Travis was ready and centered up the reticle and let a shot rip. The shot found it’s mark and we had a nice bull on the ground.
Travis with his bull tahr
Ben explains to Josh how to age a tahr based off it’s horns.
Light quickly faded as we admired the bull. He was a good bull hitting the tape at 11 3/4″. We made quick work of the bull and soon had him loaded up. The weight wasn’t heavy but the grass had become dew covered and the descent down the mountain included lots of slipping and sliding. We crossed back over the river and finally rolled into camp. Everyone was in good spirits and we had a few celebratory beers as tahr backstrap sizzled on the stove top.
Tahr, sauteed onions, and a cold beverage
Day 1 was in the books and what a day it was. Watch the video below to see how Day 1 played out high in the mountains of New Zealand.
Special thanks to Ben and August and if you’re interested in hunting any big game animals free range in New Zealand definitely hit up Ben at his website > www.bghnz.co.nz/
You asked for it, and we delivered. Our world renowned archery elk hunting film, The Outlier is now available for purchase on iTunes. Click the following link to WATCH THE FILM. The Outlier is a public land, DIY elk hunting film produced by Montana Wild during the 2015 Montana archery elk season. Follow along as four good friends battle to fill their elk tags with bows in hand in the Missouri River Breaks. 5% of the film proceeds will be donated back to RMEF. Haven’t heard of The Outlier Film before? Check out the photos, and official trailer below for a large dose of elk hunting stoke!
Brandon Purcell admiring his bull, shortly after recovering him during the filming of The Outlier.
During the filming of The Outlier, we encountered failure, success, and everything else in-between from bad roads, warm temperatures, hellacious mosquitos, and much much more. We’re proud to bring you an hour and 17 minutes of some of the most epic elk hunting footage on planet earth. So, without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy The Outlier Film.
A dandy Montana herd bull cruises the flats in search of his mate. Further proving what an incredible time of year September can be in the elk woods.
https://montana-wild.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WPOutlieriTunes.jpg375700Montana Wildhttps://montana-wild.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/montanawild_full-300x145.pngMontana Wild2018-04-05 10:48:302018-04-05 12:52:02THE OUTLIER - Now Available On iTunes
Our latest fly fishing film, SKWALHALLA is now available for rental on iTunes. Say whaaaaat?! Filmed over the course of three years with cutting edge camera equipment, SKWALHALLA showcases Western Montana’s first dry fly hatch of the year, big fish, and good times on the water with the boys. If you’re looking for 21 minutes of non stop stoke and dry fly action, then SKWALHALLA is for you. Still not quite convinced that SKWALHALLA is worth your time and money? Watch the official trailer below, and see for yourself.
Although the temperatures can be cold and the weather can be shifty, when timed just right, the skwala stonefly hatch can be off the charts. Below, Travis shows off one of the many big bug smashing fish featured in SKWALHALLA. Oh, did we forget to mention that the full film has a total of 78 dry fly eats? I sure wouldn’t want to miss out on something like that. Would you?
Travis showing off a skwala stonefly munching Montana rainbow trout.
Alright, after that you’re probably wondering “Where can I watch the full film?” And the answer is: HERE. SKWALHALLA is now available on iTunes for rental ($2.99). Sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the finest spring fishing that the lower 48 has to offer. In addition to the release of SKWALHALLA on iTunes, our most popular elk hunting production The Outlier Film, will be available for purchase or rental on iTunes in the near future.
https://montana-wild.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/AvailableOnItunes.jpg375700Montana Wildhttps://montana-wild.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/montanawild_full-300x145.pngMontana Wild2018-02-23 09:27:092018-02-23 09:27:09SKWALHALLA is LIVE on iTunes.
Without further ado, it’s our pleasure to release our latest fly fishing film, SKWALHALLA. Filmed over the past three years, SKWALHALLA is all about big bugs, big eats, and good times on the river with the boys. Sit back, relax, and enjoy 21 minutes of some of the best spring fly fishing that the West has to offer. Available for purchase or rental via Vimeo On DemandHERE.
Still not quite convinced that SKWALHALLA is worth your time or money by now? Check out the official trailer below, and see for yourself.
Shop our selection of Hats, Tee Shirts, and Apparel HERE.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
https://montana-wild.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/skwala_3yrs.jpg375700Montana Wildhttps://montana-wild.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/montanawild_full-300x145.pngMontana Wild2018-01-19 11:34:332018-02-07 12:18:13SKWALHALLA - Why It Took 3 Years to Film
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.