A Look Inside Hunting Movies

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Do You Watch Them?

With Realtree as a sponsor, Full Moon Productions is changing the face of hunting as you know it through the production of edgy hunting movies that promise to offer sportsmen and women a new level of on-screen entertainment centered around the hunt.

"The hunting is real, but we follow a story line to provide some additional entertainment," says Anthony Dixon, founder of Full Moon Productions. "We produce movies, not just hunting shows."

Full Moon's newest movie, "The Ride," actually follows a script. With $25,000 on the table, the FMP team, consisting of eight hunters, has to enter the Utah high country and take the elusive mule deer. The ultimate goal is to out smart the opponent -- man's mind against animal's. "The Ride" features many exciting mule deer hunts, a moose kill and bonus footage of a single coyote taking down a young buck just feet from the hunter and cameraman.

Cutting Edge Meets Controversy

According to Dixon, The Ride is both controversial and cutting edge. The fact that hunters in the movie take what many may consider long-distance shots has created some controversy, but according to Dixon, with today's technology, long-distance shots can be made more accurately than ever.

"I use the term 'cutting edge' to refer to how we build our movies," Dixon says. "We use a very technical aspect of shooting as well as unique and different camera angles. 'The Ride' is shot more on a Hollywood level."

Full Moon's first movie, "Three Sixty," showcases the Full Moon team hunting public land mule deer in the high country of the Rocky Mountains.

"This movie features all archery action and no guides," Dixon says. "It's just a group of friends with $35 tags in their pockets, miles of open mountain range and the will to tackle the steep terrain and the smarts of the mule deer."

Producing hunting movies has allowed Dixon to turn two of his passions, hunting and filming, into a career. Although he enjoyed hunting throughout his youth, Dixon just recently returned to the woods as a hunter after traveling the world as a professional extreme skier for seven years during which time he also worked on his skills as a cameraman and producer. When he returned home and picked up his bow again, his love for the sport was immediately rekindled.

"I've learned a lot about navigating the mountains since moving to Utah several years ago, and it has made the transition to hunting easy," Dixon says. "It didn't take long for me to decide that I wanted to pursue a career in hunting. Making movies about hunting just seemed like a natural pursuit. Using my knowledge of filming and photography that I acquired during my career as a professional skier, I started Full Moon Productions in 2000."

Dixon jokes that it took him and his team a year just to figure out how to turn the camera on.

"For the past several years, we've struggled to perfect our movie footage," Dixon says. "We've had to overcome a lot of obstacles, but our hard work has paid off. Now, the industry wants us to make a movie every year. People enjoy what we're putting out there. Our movies are different and entertaining."

An Underground Fan Base

Thanks to the growing popularity for the hunting movies, the future is wide open for Dixon and the rest of the Full Moon Productions team.

"Right now, we have an underground following, and I enjoy that part of it, but I have bigger plans for this company," Dixon says. "We make movies, so they don't really fit into the hunting TV show market. I hope that one day our movies will be featured in theaters in certain parts of the country. One day, I hope to go mainstream."