Saturday, August 18, 2012

Searching for West

We were down in Bozeman this Thursday for the premiere of Mark Seacat's new film, Searching for West. I've been fortunate enough to get to know Mark through some of the work he's done in promoting solid conservation efforts for Sportsmen for Montana,  the Wild Sheep Foundation and others. I knew we were in for something different.

Mark didn't disappoint. The premier itself was a rollicking good time, with several speakers and a ton of prize giveaways. Dan Crockett from Bugle Magazine had the clearest vision of what so many in the Montana hunting community are trying to do: redefine how hunters are viewed by the general public, and show the world that we're not all about the grip and grins. We're not hunters who sit in heated blinds speaking in breathlessly as the feeder goes off and the mechanical whir tells the pets it's time to eat.

We hunt for the right reasons. To test our mettle, and to test the wild world we live in. We celebrate the public lands we need in order to chase bucks and bulls. We protect all wildlife, regardless of convenience. We fight to keep our access to our public lands. We participate, we manage, and we immerse ourselves in the rites of passage and gifts from our fathers. Seacat Creative's been able to develop and promote that message in partnership with some of the best names in the outdoor world: Sitka Gear, Leica, Mystery Ranch and many others.

There is a growing sentiment that food plots and C'mere Deer don't represent the average hunter. That it promotes the wrong image and ethics behind our passion. It pushes hunters  further away from the hearts of the rest of the nation. It's like sending Dudley Moore into the Russian embassy to negotiate a trade agreement.

There was not one dead critter in that movie. No blood was spilled, and it's the best hunting movie I've seen.  It was a story, not a commercial. Nobody named Pigman was squealing and snorting. I never once thought that PETA would love what's on the screen. It's what hunting media should be.

Well done boys.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Big Week

It's a big week in Montana for hunters and anglers. Archery Pronghorn opens tomorrow and two events in Bozeman and Billings are sure to provide hunters and anglers with enough entertainment to last until the rest of the seasons open (Come on upland game bird!).

We started the week out with a trip up to the Marias River Wildlife Management Area over the weekend. I was lucky enough to draw the coveted 3rd week rifle hunt. 7 days of chasing booner muleys and whitetail in some incredible country. Coulees, river bottoms and high plains hunting all in one. God bless it, I do love Montana. Grizz roam the bottom and snakes roam the top. In between the toothy critters there are some of Montana's most majestic residents - big old muley bucks. 

Tonight, Randy Newberg and Andrew McKean will be hosting a tele-town hall regarding the upcoming PLWA/MBA/Outdoor Life Sportsmen's Candidate forum, which will be held tomorrow night in Billings, and streamed live across the internet for all to see and hear what the candidates for US Senate, US House and the Governor's race have to say regarding our hunting and fishing heritage. All candidates have been invited to attend, and we hope that they take this opportunity to spell out what they believe in regards to our outdoor legacy.

Knowing where those who would govern us stand on issues such as Block Management, Conservation Funding and land use is critical for Montanan's in order to make the right selection in the voting booth. The event has generated a lot of buzz across the state, and their facebook page has over 100 folks confirmed for the event. Radio ads have been peppering the state and the tele-town hall tonight will be sent out to over 150,000 resident hunters and anglers.

Yup, 150,000 license holders. So make sure you pick up that phone when it rings around 7 pm and get the questions you want to ask these candidates ready. Randy and Andrew will be taking those questions and including some of them into the panel.

Following all of this, Mark Seacat and crew are premiering their new film, Searching for West, Thursday night in Bozeman. Over $30,000 in prizes will be given away at this event. Mark and his outstanding team of hunter-film makers have done an awesome job of showing how real folks hunt in Montana. We'll be there to be sure. You should too!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sportsmen's Candidate Forum

The political advertising is already in full swing. You can’t turn on a tv, radio or computer without finding out how X candidate hates your mom, or YH candidate stole your dad’s retirement fund. It’s getting hard to separate the wheat from the Chaff, or the bull from the bullspit, as my grandfather used to say.

But there’s one way to do that. You can be in Billings on August 15th, 2012. Starting at 5:30 PM, the Public Land and WaterAccess Association, Outdoor Life Magazine and the Montana BowhuntersAssociation will have a Candidate Forum where you’ll never be subjected to a campaign ad, just the candidates.

This is a great way to hear what the candidates for the US Senate, US House and Governor's race think about hunting and fishing issues at the State and Federal level. 

The Forum is being held at Petro Hall at MSU Billings. It’s being moderated by Andrew McKean (editor, Outdoor Life), Randy Newberg (On Your Own Adventures) and Seth Rogers (Director, Montana Bowhunters Association). They’ll be taking written questions from the audience, as well as compiling a list of questions from

Randy’s also going to be holding a live tele-town hall Tuesday evening to help gather more questions. They’ll sift through all of the questions submitted and pick the best ones to ask the candidates.

This is a big deal. Elections matter to hunters and anglers. We’ve seen people try to take away our rights to access our own lands and water, to eliminate science from wildlife management, sell off public lands, and scores of other bad ideas. It’s time that hunters and anglers stand up and demand some respect, and some answers.

I hear that the streaming video won’t have any of those annoying political ads, which makes that two bonus points above watching Olympic BMX racing (seriously? BMX racing is an Olympic sport?)

Submit your questions, be there or watch live. Most of all, remember to vote!