« Czech Wins European Deer Calling Title | Main | Poacher’s Defense: “I’m Addicted To Killing Big Deer” »

July 08, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/whitetail-365

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Whitetail 365 at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/whitetail-365.

BuckTracker: On the Big Screen

To prove that BuckTracker is not above shameless theft, I’m going to rip a page from the Petzal notebook. Last week, Dave asked his Gun Nut readers to nominate their choices for Best Western (as in movies, not motels). With that in mind, I’d like to hear your votes for the best cinematic depictions of the blood sports. Naturally, I’d like to focus this discussion on deer hunting, but given Hollywood’s reluctance to tackle hunting topics, I think it best we widen the field to include small game, other big game (including, but not limited to, Africa) and even fishing.

I’ll start the voting with one of my favorites: Jeremiah Johnson. Sure there’s gorgeous scenery, good-to-great acting, and a compelling story line. But perhaps the thing I’ve  loved most is that the movie (mostly) refused to romanticize the necessity of killing stuff to survive. And, it did so in a largely-spot-on manner. Fish got caught, elk and deer were shot, beaver were trapped. Mountain men lived a harsh life; fighting elements, Indians and their own stupidity, at every step, and Redford’s movie never let us forget that.

So which movies give the most positive play to hunting? Which are the most accurate? And—wide open country here—which are so pathetic that you don’t know where to begin? Petzal limited his contestants to one entry, but if you want to share more, have at it. Some that come to mind (but from which I’ll withhold judgement on, at least temporarily) are The Deer Hunter, Out of Africa, Escanaba in da Moonlight….your thoughts?



TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference BuckTracker: On the Big Screen:


tim walmsley

Scott, I would have to agree with you, Jeremiah Johnson would be hard to beat!!! The only way they could have made that movie more accurate, would be to have named it "Liver Eating Johnson"- Which is what he really did with his enemies! But that probably would not have went over well on the big screen!

Did you know there was a scene in the movie where they accidently showed a power line in the background? True story! But an awesome movie--TW

Tom Sorenson

Well, it just isn't fair that you took the greatest one right off. Jeremiah Johnson just can't be beat.

Scott Bestul

Sorry guys, couldn't resist.

What was that flick with Micheal Douglas and (I think) Val Kilmer based on that book about the lions that halted a railway project?


The Movie you are thinking of is called "The Ghost and the Darkness" that is based on true events. Great Movie.

Ken C.

Perhaps a little sappy...but "Where the Red Fern Grows" is a great movie about a boy, his dog, and there love for coon hunting.


Gotta nominate "Home from the Hill", a good movie in it's own right, with Mitchum, Peppard and great acting...but the boar charge and killing shot is a good "realer".... way back before computer fakes...

dances with wolves

Ricardo Rodríguez

A river goes thru it

The Forester, the Forest man, whatever, you know, about a child in Australia who got his parents killed in an accident and must learn to survive with the help of an old man

And Red Down, not!!

Ricardo Rodríguez

Upps! That would be Red Dawn.

And yet not!

Ricardo Rodríguez

There was a Disney movie in The Wonderful World of Color about a little boy that gets himself an old shotgun and trains his bird dog for a quail hunting competition.

What are the chances of that happening again?


the ghost and the darkness! Awesome movie. Keeps you in suspense:)


Ghost and the Darkness: Entertaining flick, though its worth reading the original journal of Col. Patterson if you get a chance.

Where the red fern grows: Skip the movie, get the book for your kids. Fantastic. Its been 20 years and I still remember the story like it was yesterday.

As for best blood sport movie, Hmm... what about "The Deer Hunter" with Robert Dinero?

John D

"I am a mountain man, by God, and will be until an arrow or bullet passes through me!"

I remember spouting this line around the house as a youngster, counting down the years on my fingers till I could go hunting with Dad.

Jeremiah Johnson is one of the most influential movies of our day in that it thrust little boys like me into the throes of big-country romance.

Raymond Shaffer

My favorite movie of all time is Tombstone. While I realize it does not follow Wyatt Earps life accurately, it does portray the lawlessness in a fairly realistic manner (other than Curly Bill's six shooter never needing to be reloaded). A second realistic movie depicting a struggle to survive is Cold Mountain. I don't care for the romantic storyline but I believe it shows just how difficult life could be in the late 1800's. I appreciate the realism of both movies and feel like folks need to apy attention, take heed and be prepared. We may wind up in a similar situation again.

Jackson Landers

The film adaptation of 'The Old Man and the Sea.'

Even though it's with a fish, I think that anyone who has read the book and seen the movie can agree that it's fundamentally about a hunt.

don m.

J.J. is tops

Tattoo Contest

Send us a photo of your deer tattoo. Our pick wins this Leatherman, worth $80!

Name: Email Address: Attach photo here:
Tell us why you got this tattoo!

100 Top Public Lands
Field & Stream reporter Steven Hill spent two months interviewing state game agency officials, deer biologists, and whitetail experts to identify the absolute best public whitetail hunting grounds in the nation.

Choose a state below:

Our Blogs