I started this project in the spring of 2012 with the dream of changing the face of hunting media. I knew what I wanted to say; what I wanted to show and represent. What I never expected was the level of interest from both hunter and non-hunters alike for what I’d always felt was a minority interest – the simple, honest, and ethical hunt. The kind of hunt where things like woodsmandhip, effort, and wildness – as opposed to record book status and mechanical advantage – take center stage. In other words, I wanted to show what hunting really is, or can be. I wanted this film to be the antitheses of mainstream hook and bullet media.
People often ask me what this film is about and I never know exactly what to say. It’s difficult to pin down, to capture in a nice little paragraph. If you’ve ever tried to concisely describe your most enduring passion to someone who may, or may not, share that affinity you’ll know the position I’m in. What I can do is list a few of the guiding principles that helped to shape this film.
The most pervasive of these is the idea of “traditional values”. We’ll define this as the guiding light in a true sportsman’s heart, regardless of what we carry in our hands. These values live in the heart of the rifle hunter who knows the difference between the true satisfaction of fair chase and honest hard work, and the misplaced pride in a trophy at any cost. They live in the heart of the fly caster who wades an icy October stream, hoping for a rainbow’s rise amid a backdrop of golden Aspen. And they live in the heart of the traditional bowhunter who gives up the advantages of modern aids in hopes of somehow getting closer to nature.
A very close second is what Aldo Leopold described as a conservation, or land ethic. The simple idea that we are part of a larger community; that our lives are intertwined with the fate of the land, water, and wildlife is something that, in large part, seems to have been forgotten. So, this film is about these things in some way. But it’s also about something less tangible, more remote; something that comes from that vestigial untamed core within us all. You decide.
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Twisted Stave Media is home to the best collection of how-to traditional archery, bow hunting, and woodsmanship videos and articles on the web. We do our best to offer up an alternative to the type of hunting that our more, bigger, faster culture tends to favor. Our Backcountry College video series covers all sorts of hunting, fishing, and camping related topics ranging form pitching a canvas tarp tent to rigging up an easy block and tackle to hang heavy loads in bear country. In our traditional archery video series, you’ll learn how to make a longbow as well as find instructions on making arrows, serving a bow string, and all manner of traditional archery related topics. Also, be sure to check out our blog for all the latest news.
I’ve been getting several requests a year for speaking engagements at various functions – trad archery club banquets mainly. It’s really an unexpected honor that the members of so many organizations think I’m interesting enough to have me as a keynote speaker, and I’d love to be able to make it to all those events. I do enjoy talking with like mined folks about the things we’re all passionate about. But, here’s the deal. I simply can’t afford the time it takes. Even with expenses covered, it takes away from time producing videos or with my family which are the two things that keep my busy when I’m not at my real job.
I hate asking for any kind of funding or donations from archery clubs and other small groups because I know the kind of budget these groups typically function on. But producing high quality hunting films and educational videos, and distributing them for free isn’t… well, free. Camera equipment is insanely expensive (and I tend to beat the hell out of it), music, website expenses, and all kinds of other stuff add up. So, if your organization can make a donation, sponsor a video, or something to help me justify the time lets talk. Thanks for the interest and understanding, ch