YouTube: SITKA Gear

SITKA Presents: River, an Elk Hunter's Journey

People hunt for many reasons, but you'll find a lot of commonalities between those who are looking for a challenge, seeking something outdoors to enjoy, and trying to live a more sustainable life. Those can all be accomplished by harvesting your own meals from the wild creatures provided by nature. While many of us are born into the tradition via family or mentored at a young age, others take a more circuitous route to get there. One of those people is Eric Jackson, a professional snowboarder who has spent most of his life in the outdoors on the slopes, but hasn't had much hunting experience at all.

When he develops an interest in elk hunting, he quickly discovers this is a challenge unlike anything he's faced in the past. SITKA Gear documents his journey to his first successful harvest in this short film called "River." The film documents what sparked his interest in bowhunting, the trials of learning to shoot a bow with no prior experience, and the exploits of his first elk hunt.

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We respect a person who's willing to share all aspects of journey like this, especially the difficulties in learning to become proficient with a bow. It takes a lot of practice to build confidence in the field. And even then, that's only one part of the equation when it comes to harvesting an animal. Eric's first shot at an elk was a clear miss. The only thing to do in that scenario is to look at what went wrong and learn from it. He did just that and was later able to fill his freezer with a nice bull.

It's often hard for us as hunters to articulate exactly what keeps drawing us afield season after season. In truth, it's probably easier to articulate with a film like this than it is to put it into words. After all, almost everyone can relate to the want to live a slower, simpler life, one where you get the chance to stop and appreciate all the wonders of nature this planet has to offer. For more information on Eric's journey and SITKA's gear, check out their website.

For more outdoor content from Travis Smola, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram For original videos, check out his Geocaching and Outdoors with Travis YouTube channels