First Lite’s ‘Annuli’ Film: A Heartfelt Hunt in the Northwest Territories

Hunters Bridget Noonan and Jessi Johnson hunt both caribou and Dall sheep in the high and wide Northwest Territories in this lush and soaring film, sponsored by First Lite.

And it’s literally heart-felt. These hunters traipsed hundreds of heart-pounding miles on both foot and horseback, climbing sketchy mountainsides, chasing caribou with bows, and getting within a few hundred yards of Dall sheep. And in the midst of this badassery, they managed to make their journey about friendship, the successes of the group, and the spiritual nature of being in big wilderness.

At just over 13 minutes long, “Annuli” is a triumph in both hunting cinematography and storytelling. The short film follows Bridget Noonan, First Lite‘s director of national accounts and marketing, and Jessi Johnson, of the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, as they embark on a grand hunting adventure in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

The two women are stalwarts within the hunting industry. And their effort toward hunting a mature Dall sheep and bowhunting mountain caribou are, to say the least, right up there in the annals of the biggest kind of hunting adventure.

It’s rare to see women in such circumstances in hunting media. And, it’s deeply aspirational. There is no gender on the mountain; there are simply hunters hunting hard. But there’s certainly a poetic and unified story between both Noonan and Johnson as they voice the experience in their own words throughout.

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“Looking back, I feel insanely lucky to have a captured memory of this landscape and its inhabitants,” Johnson shared with GearJunkie. “While the film documents a small snapshot of the 12 days in the NWT, it does give a visual to the scope of place and the details of the rivers and valleys that will occupy my daydreams for years to come.

“I look at this story as a snapshot of an incredible friendship that resulted from an even more incredible community. I can’t help but watch it and tear up every time. What an experience.”

Nicole Qualtieri

Based in Montana, Nicole Qualtieri is GearJunkie's Hunt + Fish Editor. She also serves as a Board Director for Orion the Hunters Insititute, a non-profit promoting fair chase and hunting ethics nationwide. A DIY hunter, she comes from a non-traditional hunting background and began hunting and fishing in her 30s. She's been a voice for hunting, fishing, and conservation since 2014, when she got started working on the television show MeatEater. She's an avid horsewoman, bird dog aficionado, snowboarder, hiker/backpacker, food nerd, and all-around outdoorswoman. Find her online at @nkqualtieri.

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