'Home' Film Embraces the Pure Joy of Elk Hunting

The elk hunting video 'Home' highlights a man's simple love and enjoyment of elk hunting, where every animal - cow, spike or regal bull - is a trophy.

Harry Staley says that elk hunting is the "great joy" of his life. "It's a real joy to be able to get away, and clear your mind... get in the mountains," he says. "Elk hunting is one of my top priorities. Especially archery." 

Home, a short film by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, certainly supports that contention.

Staley and hunting companion Ryan Litwin hunt their native Montana, and they're on a trophy hunt. The thing is, "trophy" to Staley may have a slightly different meaning than it does for some other hunters.

"Any elk, even this guy, they're all trophies to me," he says as he kneels beside a young bull. "I don't care if it's a cow, spike... anything with a bow I think is a trophy."

Here's a man who hunts for the simple love of hunting, to be out in the wild, in the elements, with the animals, filling his freezer. Staley seems like a man at peace with himself, the kind of peace that comes from simple expectations and the a willingness to go home with a "trophy" or nothing at all.

"We wound up with a double lung shot," he says, modestly referencing his desire for a clean, ethical kill. "That... did a great job."

This is a wonderful little film. It provides a small peek into the life of a man who, I think, represents an awful lot of hunters out there.

He isn't a famous hunter, but he hunts for the joy and sense of connection and renewal that hunting provides. He's someone who is grateful to be able to come home with an animal, and grateful for the opportunity to spend time chasing elk...or deer or rabbits or ducks or whatever his prey may be.

Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.

NEXT: Matching Big Brown Elk Sheds? Yeah, That's a Successful Shed Hunt