Todd Graf has been a good, personal friend of mine for a decade and a half; and over the course of those years he has established a reputation within the industry as a serious bowhunter as well as a very competent business man. In recent years, he has entered into the field of hunting DVD production and I am here to report that he maintains his personal level of excellence in this endeavor as well.
I must confess that Todd presented me with a copy of his first production at the 2009 Wisconsin Deer and Turkey Expo and asked me to check it out. A year later at the same show, he asked what I thought of the DVD. I sheepishly had to admit that I had not taken the time to watch it in the past twelve months as I don’t spend my spare time watching hunting shows or videos. He admonished me, clucking in disapproval and then presented me with another copy of Volume One and as well as a copy of the newly released Volume Two. Culpably, I promised him that I would take the time to watch them sometime before the 2011 Expo.
Several weeks after returning home I sat down with a note pad and a inserted Volume 1 into the DVD player for a quick look. I settled in and spent over two hours delightfully entertained and at times even on the edge of my seat, watching one bowhunt after another as Todd and his friends pursued the wily whitetail deer with a stick and string. Produced under the title of Bowhunting.com, which is one of Todd’s websites, the DVD follows Todd Graf, Justin Zarr and an assortment of their bowhunting buddies into the field on one adventure after another.
The format is easy to follow and well done using a combination of on camera footage from the heat of the action in the field accompanied by concise headshot narrations in the studio to fill in the blanks making sure that the viewer has the complete picture of what is happening on screen. It is done very well and moves along quickly preventing the presentation from bogging down and ensuring that the viewer is adequately entertained at all times. The hunts are presented in a real life manner and not once did my B.S. detector go off to warn me about imaginative frosting being applied to the production to sweeten it for consumption. I was very impressed with the candid way that the producers portrayed our sport making an honest exhibit of what bowhunting is really all about.
Truthfully, some of the footage was less than perfect as natural conditions and forgotten camera adjustments were not made. Some of the heavy rock music used in the early portions of the production caused a series of colorful flashbacks that temporarily disturbed my concentration, but the tunes towards the end of the video mellowed out and seemed to be more appropriate for a peaceful outing in the serenity of God’s feral forest. The final cut is an entertaining program that keeps a steady pace and never sags in the middle allowing the view to get bored with the action. And as I mentioned before, the production is two hours and ten minutes long, which is an unusually good value for your DVD dollar in this day and age.
As emcees, Todd and Justin did an outstanding job of sharing their honesty and their excitement for a sport that means so much to all of us. These men are young, enthused and on the prowl for new hunting adventures in some of the very best whitetail hunting spots in the country. The highlight of the presentation for me was watching Todd take his buck of a lifetime from a stand while acting as his own camera man. It was nicely done and a pleasure to share his excitement of bagging an incredible buck after working so hard and so long to track it down. This production is exciting, educational, very fast paced and surely will be one of the shining stars in any hunting movie collection. I will try very hard to set aside a little time to review Volume 2 and share my thoughts about it in the fall issue of HBM.
For more information how to add this DVD to your hunting library, visit bowhunting.com and discover the best bowhunting website in the world.