Video: Epic Elk Hunt

Like _Field & Stream _hunting editor Will Brantley, all this turkey hunting has me dreaming about chasing elk during the rut. Luckily, I have an early elk hunt planned for August, but that still leaves about four months of not-so-patient waiting.

To get my fix and to motivate my butt to get in the gym, I’ve turned to watching elk-hunting videos. Though this particular one isn’t action-packed, it does a great job illustrating my real motivations for hunting elk—hundreds of pounds of pure wild protein.

I've written about Epic before, a company that makes some pretty great, and healthy, meat snacks. It was founded by a couple of vegetarians who saw the light and realized that their plant-based diet wasn't doing them any good. Frustrated with finding good, healthy protein alternatives, they started making their own snack bars from grass-fed meat, fruit, and nuts. Now I see Epic Bars in just about every gas station and grocery store.

One of Epic’s founders, Taylor Collins, took things a step further last fall when he decided to hunt his own meat. Here’s his story:

Ever since I made the switch from a plant-based diet to a Paleo diet, I have considered myself a conscious carnivore who takes an interest in knowing the source of my food, how the animal was raised, and how the land is managed. My increased desire to hunt has gone hand in hand with my evolution as a more conscious carnivore; however, hunting is not something I’m familiar with, and the idea of going on a hunting trip pushed me out of my comfort zone.

For this elk-hunting trip to the Colorado wilderness, I enlisted the help of two friends and colleagues who are seasoned bowhunters and who have a unique appreciation for nature. Although the objective of our trip was to harvest an elk [to be] used to create Epic's first wild-game bar, the purpose was to tap into our instinctual hunter–gatherer side, and connect with nature in a new and more profound way.

I feel it is important for us to share this experience [through this video] in hopes that it inspires people to connect with the outdoors in a new way. There is a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts who might be intimidated by hunting wild animals and tapping into deeply encoded hunter–gatherer instincts. Our intention is to demystify the stereotypical hunting experience and introduce people to a more mindful and spiritual style of interacting with nature.