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'Searching for West': Just the Beginning
Author: The Sitka Team
Groups: Athletes
Aug 24, 2012

This is it.

The "Divergent Hunting Film" we've been talking and dreaming about here at Sitka Headquarters for years now. Nothing like it has ever been done in hunting media, and because of it, we hope the hunting world will never be quite the same. 

Welcome to the beginning of a revolution.

So much went into it – the work of dozens of people from Sitka, Leica and GORE-TEX™, not to mention a ridiculous number of all-nighters from the talented folks at Helio Collective and Seacat Creative. Partners from organizations like the NRA and RMEF to retailers like MidwayUSA, Sportsman's Warehouse, and ProGuide Direct got behind it and pushed it to their audiences.

But it didn't stop in the hunting world. The artsy community of Vimeo Staffers made it a Staff Pick, and BRAIN FARM, makers of Red Bull's snowboarding epic, 'The Art of Flight,' called it a "Must Watch."

And while it's fun seeing 'Searching for West' all over cyberspace, there's just something about a live event that cannot be recreated on the web. Which is why we still keep coming back to our memories of the night of the premiere here in Bozeman.

Nearly 700 people battled the oppressive summer heat of an old, run-down theater to witness the live premiere.

Dan Crockett, Editor of Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Bugle Magazine was the spark to ignite the evening, brilliantly conveying his passion for elk country, elk hunting and the "art and heart" required of any good hunting story.

John Bedlion from Leica Sport Optics regaled us with his company's long and illustrious history, and the imperative to innovate, in both hunting gear and hunting media.

Mystery Ranch Backpacks Founder Dana Gleason brimmed with pride over serving hunters and doing what so few companies can – manufacturing products right here in the USA.

And our very own Business Leader Kevin Sloan applauded the evolution of gear and the evolution of media, saying the safe, same-old way of doing things was detrimental to both.

While each speaker had a different take, and a different message, none of them left the stage without mentioning the unmatched drive and creativity of the guy featured in the film, Sitka Athlete Mark Seacat.

Thousands of dollars in prizes were raffled off, and Cass Bolton picked up a full Sitka System. Congrats, Cass!

Then we premiered Dustin Lutt's unreleased Sitka Film 'BC Moose.' You'll get to see it here really soon.

And when the anticipation seemed all but unbearable, 'Searching for West' played.

The credits rolled, the lights came up, and the crowd drifted out into a cool Montana night, the outside air crisp and electric with elk season just around the corner. 

Thank you for watching. Thank you for being a part of it all.

This is just the beginning.

Amazing! This is what hunting is about. I hope that one day this is what the hunting DVDs will become. Something everyone should see.
Posted by Josh on Sep 28, 2012 12:19 AM
Awesome - probably the best and most profound hunting video I have ever seen! I shared it with my wife - we have two - 3 and 1 years old at home and very difficult for me to hunt - she was my partner prior - the last three years. Taking a night and full day to hunt does not do much for hunting but leaving the girls is so hard.
Thanks for summing up my feelings exactly. By the way - loved the story in "Bugle Magazine" about Mark's elk last year.
Thanks again- super job
Posted by Joe Madril on Aug 29, 2012 4:25 PM
WOW! How were the arial shots done??? This film is awesome!
Posted by Casey Wells on Aug 29, 2012 2:40 PM
Thanks for a great film. Can't help but look back on raising my 2 sons and daughter and the lessons learned from them as we taught them. My two sons now have children and it's rewarding to see them pass on traditions of the pursuit of game and to see the warm and welcomed sacrifices they make to be the fathers and husbands to raise children to do the same. Hunting is our heritage and the memories we create last a lifetime.
Posted by George Johnson on Aug 28, 2012 7:25 PM
Great job. This is how hunting needs to be portrayed, as sport and hard work. Enough of the status quo, dinner-bell hunts over bait currently on TV. Hunting doesn't need to be be enjoyed by everyone, just respected, to survive.
Posted by Jay Hanson on Aug 28, 2012 2:39 PM
Keep up the great work. Your pursuit is appreciated and inspiring. Many congratulations to the people involved with Searching for West. A special shout to my brother: David Brinker; you and the guys inspire us @ TallCat to innovate and create change within our market, Thank you!
Posted by Blake D. Brinker on Aug 27, 2012 11:12 PM
Fantastic, really well done. The photography work and angles are stellar. I've been hooked and watching ski porn for years and this beats it. It's got a similar feel, but it's much better. Telling a great story and giving the viewer a glimpse into someone's lifestyle. Thanks!
Posted by Tavis on Aug 27, 2012 9:36 PM
I am so proud to be associated with Sitka Gear, and their commitment to quality. Whether it be their phenomenal, state-of-the-art gear, or their support of the type of film projects put out by Dustin Lutt and Mark Seacat, it's a first class operation all the way around. Congratulations on another coup as we head into the heart of hunting seasons for 2012. Go Sitka.
Posted by Bryce Lambley on Aug 27, 2012 8:31 PM
So glad I got to be there for the premiere! It was excellent. Congrats to Cass, couldn't have gone to a better guy-
Posted by Joshua Vinson on Aug 27, 2012 6:46 PM

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