The Full Draw Film Tour’s recent stop in Bozeman, Montana provided a fun bit of gear-heavy togetherness after a shuttered 2020. And it’s got many tour dates still on the books.
Archery hunters are warming up and dialing in for big game season. And the Full Draw Film Tour brings an air of the season prior to September bugles.
The 3.5-hour experience covers a good chunk of films. And, as always, the organizers chuck a lot of free swag and gear at the crowd. From hats and T-shirts to high-end gear from sponsors like Benchmade Knife Company, EXO Mountain Gear, and Hoyt Archery, there’s a decent chance of not leaving empty-handed.
Full Draw Film Tour: This Year’s Films
Focused on archery-only hunts, this year’s film lineup celebrates a swath of species: from Shiras Moose in Colorado to a once-in-a-lifetime vertigo-laden mountain goat hunt in Utah. And, of course, a few films go deep on elk in the rut.
Sometimes, these films take on a memorabilia quality. Others — like the films of Jason Matzinger — bring light to issues in the conservation space. There’s the story of the hunt, sure. But it’s the films that step a bit outside of the personal and into the broader picture that seem to be the most compelling.
The outliers beyond the more in-depth films are the ones that dig deep into the vulnerable, emotional, and often adrenaline-charged moment of taking, let’s say, your first elk after a really difficult few years of hunting. The film “Backcountry Emotions” from Buffalo Creek Outdoors does just that.
The tour runs through the summer, with locations widespread across the Lower 48 over the next 6-8 weeks.
States included in the tour (mostly) in order of go are Wyoming, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.
Final Thoughts: Hunting, Without Hunting
No spoilers from this writer, but there is something familiar to these films. Perhaps it’s less about watching these traditional hunting stories, and more about seeing golden quakies lining mountains, hearing the ethereal sounds of rutting elk, and experiencing the bodily feeling along of being in those highly present spaces with the fellow hunters on the big screen.
In certain moments, a charged somatic response ran through the crowd. This isn’t a film experience per se; it’s hunting without hunting. It’s an ASMR experience for those of us who know the sensory overload of the woods under pressure.
And after a year of feeling shuttered-in, it’s a nice break to laugh, applaud, and fall into the on-edge silence of a crowd.