By Mark Kenyon

We are in the golden age of hunting films. Only a few years ago, the television options for hunters were dominated by shows and films that seemed pulled straight out of the early 80’s. Erratic filming style, poor quality image, awful hosts, and short, hard to follow stories (if any at all) were the name of the game. Now today the scene is much different. Film production in the hunting industry has finally caught up with the rest of the world, and it has been a treat for all hunters and outdoorsman – as beautiful scenes and stories of the wild are finally coming to life on our TV’s and computers.

The just released trailer for “The River’s Divide” looks to be one such example of this hunting renaissance on film, as this feature length documentary follows an avid hunter in the epic hunt for a single whitetail. The imagery captured appears to be amazing, and the story of this journey looks to be equally as impressive.  There have been a number of great films produced recently focused on big game species out West or in Alaska, but I’ve yet to see a feature length documentary focused solely on whitetails. That said, I’m particularly excited about The River’s Divide and it’s topic of focus! Check out the trailer for this upcoming film, and then read on for an exclusive Q&A with the featured hunter in The River’s Divide – Donnie Vincent!

SICMANTA PRESENTS: Donnie Vincent’s The River’s Divide | Trailer from Sicmanta on Vimeo.

 1. What about “The River’s Divide” separates it from other hunting films and television shows currently available?

Donnie: That’s a tough question, honestly there’s so much good work out there right now, and at times it seems like everything’s been done.  If I were forced to pick one element I would say it’s that we focus on telling the story.  We’re not so much filming “reality” TV; rather we’re creating a documentary style film.  This style of work forces us to be recording non-stop and constantly thinking about every little detail, but it’s what we love to do.  Creating that end piece is what it’s all about.

2. You’ve hunted numerous big game species across the vast North American wilderness, why did you decide to focus your film on Whitetails?

Donnie: It’s not that we focused this film on whitetail deer per say, but rather this great story developed naturally while we were hunting this particular deer, “Steve”.   “The River’s Divide” is the first in a series of films that we will be publishing over the next year, all with unique story lines and pretty diverse subject matter.

3. What was your greatest challenge during your two year hunt for Steve?

Donnie: Oh man, there we’re so many challenges with this hunt it’s tough to pinpoint one thing.  Again if I have to pick the most challenging element it was that we had to live and die by the wind.  The habitat we were hunting is a small piece of woods at the bottom of a canyon, the wind was terrible, even when it was from the right direction it would swirl like mad.

4. What was the greatest challenge in the actual filming and production of this documentary?

Donnie: Filming wise this was much easier than most, barring the 20 hour round trip drive (that we did 5 times), and the winter driving conditions on Interstate 94, it really wasn’t bad at all.   We were in a house with power, bathrooms, a full kitchen, and living with a family that are dear friends; it was actually a lot of fun.  We did film about 16 hours a day, plus whatever running around we did at night, so at times it did get exhausting, but again we love it.  One of the biggest challenges honestly, is when nothing is happening. Trying to stay focused when you’re not sure what’s going to happen, or where the story is going, that’s a huge challenge!

 5. What is your next big project?

Donnie: Next up, the film will be touring in theaters across the country with The Full Draw Film Tour (http://fulldrawfilmtour.com/the-tour/encore-presentation/).  I’m really excited to get to some of these theaters. The films and talent level that the Full Draw guys have lined up is incredible; it’s an honor to be included.  After the tour we are lining up for an even bigger 2014, with many more announcements to come in 2013… not to mention a wonderfully busy filming schedule! We can’t wait!!

6. We’ve recently been discussing, on Wired To Hunt, the fact that there is no single “key to deer hunting success”. Rather, each of us has our own unique set of strategies or philosophies that allow us to have success in our own situation. So I’m curious, could you share with us what you believe are your core philosophies or keys to deer hunting success?

Donnie: This is a great question, and something I really enjoy talking about.  It’s funny because even though I’ve been deer hunting a long time I’m always bumping questions and ideas off of friends during the season…. at times I think it gives me perspective or even more so, it validates my plan.  My core philosophy list:

  • Use cameras, but wear long sleeves and gloves when putting them out and checking cards.
  • Hunt when conditions are right, not perfect but right, you might hunt less but you’ll likely see more. When it’s right hunt dark to dark.
  • Build a great hide, whether it’s on the ground or in a tree, brush it in like you’re being hunted, because you are!
  • Hide your face using mask or paint. Whatever makes you feel like you just finished your second semester of ninja school!
  • Optics!!!  The very best you can afford, whatever your brand. I’ve had my butt saved so many times by catching a glimpse of an antler or ear tip.
  • Lastly, keep it fresh. If you want to try something silly, do it! Keep pushing the envelope; you’ll have more fun and likely find more success.

For more info on Donnie Vincent or The River’s Divide, visit DonnieVincent.com