May 25, 2022
By Lynn Burkhead
In an age where everything is captured live via social media, a quick selfie with friends, or in a video taken with a smartphone resting in a back pocket, we are a nation of storytellers — especially in the outdoors space.
From grip-and-grin selfies with the bass or trout of a lifetime to shots of awe and wonder after that big buck we’ve been chasing for two years finally goes down, there’s almost always a story to be told and a smile to be shared after our latest adventure in the woods.
Leupold, a fifth-generation family optics manufacturing business founded more than a century ago, understands that this fall will produce more of the same when hunters load up their backpacks with bowhunting rangefinders, rifles and scopes, binoculars, spotting scopes, and more and head for the woods at the crack of dawn. And because of their background and commitment to the hunters and the amazing backcountry of our great land, they also understand the storytelling DNA that will come out long before the sun goes down, because after all, that’s what continues to course through the veins of America’s outdoors enthusiasts.
And with that backstory in place, the longtime Beaverton, Ore. optics manufacturer is once again looking to gather around the proverbial campfire and tell another hunting story this year, once again partnering with GOHUNT for the 2022 version of Leupold’s “Project Hunt” contest. And the motto? It’s your tag, your hunt, and your story.
For those who enter by the mid-June deadline and the winner that is ultimately selected after submissions are judged this summer, Leupold and GOHUNT are offering hunters across the U.S. the chance to have an upcoming hunt filmed and shared across Leupold’s various digital media platforms.
Mind you, we’re not talking about capturing the hunt on a smartphone. We’re talking about a professional videographer with decades of filming experience that Leupold will provide, one who will film the hunt and create a short film or even a limited series about the hunt that you and your hunting friends go on this upcoming fall or winter.
What’s more, you get to plan it all out and you get to call all of the shots during the process, just like the producer of an award-winning Outdoor Channel or Sportsman Channel television show would.
From a waterhole bowhunt for antelope on the dusty western plains in August to a high country mule deer or a bugling bull elk on a September mountainside, or even a late-October whitetail hunt in the midwest as the leaves fall down on a gathering breeze to a late-season Coues deer hunt in the desert mountains of Arizona, there are many stories waiting to be told this upcoming hunting season. And Leupold wants to make sure that one of those adventures produces a great story for all of the hunting world to hear!
Put simply, the hunt is yours, the details are yours, and the story is yours — all with the good people at Leupold looking over your shoulder and recording every precious second of a storyline that you’ll never forget. And after the smoke has cleared and the video has premiered, neither will anyone else.
Is there some fine print to consider here, as is the case in most contests? Well, yes — all hunts must take place before March 1, 2023 next year to be considered. So that means that just about anything is a possibility, short of spring turkeys next year.
Also keep in mind that the deadline to enter looms and the period to enter this year’s contest drawing is between April 18, 2022 and June 18, 2022.
But the big print — the HUGE print! — is this, that the professional videographer’s services for the duration of your hunt, and the limited series or short film that Leupold will release to YouTube in 2023, has an approximate worth upwards of $20,000! And that’s not to mention a personalized photo package, the $2,500 optics package, or the annual GOHUNT Insider membership given to the winner.
Sounds exciting, right? It is!
“Last year we launched our first-ever ‘Project Hunt’ contest and it was a huge success,” said Bruce Pettet, president and CEO of Leupold & Stevens, Inc., in a news release. “This year, we’re back and looking for another incredible story to tell. No one is more relentless than the members of Leupold Core, and we’re asking you to help us prove it. Whether you’re going on the hunt of a lifetime or hunting close to home with your family, it’s time to tell your story.”
Last year, Leupold actually chose two winners for the 2021 “Project Hunt” campaign, eventually selecting Jesse Shiner and Matt Hicks, whose hunt stories will unfold digitally to a nationwide audience when the short films produced are released to the public later in 2022.
For Hicks, the whole experience, from the tag application process to the actual tag he received to the hunt that unfolded and now the short film story that is about to be told, the whole thing is simply unforgettable.
“I’ve been putting in 23 years for a bighorn sheep tag in Arizona…couldn’t believe when I got drawn for it,” he said. “It was an amazing experience, just a real trip of a lifetime. Leupold sponsoring this, they went above and beyond, what a great company. Provided me tons of gear, the scope I use, binoculars, spotting scope, tripod, everything they provided we used. Couldn’t thank those guys enough.”
Was Hicks successful on his sheep hunting trip of a lifetime? Tune in later this year and find out as Leupold tells the story of an epic experience deep in the desert high country of the American West, a place where only a few lucky souls ever get to experience the thrill of a bighorn sheep in their spotting scope and an empty tag in their back pocket. And lucky for the rest of us, thanks to Leupold, we all get to tag along for the adventure!
If all of this sounds like something you’d like to do this year, then keep in mind that the contest is open to residents of the U.S. who are 18 years of age and older and the hunts must be taken within the U.S. Each applicant must also provide a two-minute long submission video explaining why your hunt should be selected by Leupold officials.
While multiple entries for multiple hunts will be allowed in the contest entry period, and the filming will take place generally over a 5-7 day period during a selected hunt, Leupold urges hunters to apply even if they don’t know the status of their tag applications just yet or they are simply planning an over-the-counter hunt or a local hunt on the family farm. No matter what hunt idea you submit, keep in mind that all entries must be submitted at leupold.com/ProjectHunt and the deadline to enter is quickly approaching on Saturday, June 18, 2022.
For more information on Leupold, the “Project Hunt” contest, and the great optics that the Oregon manufacturer continues to make, please visit the company’s website at leupold.com, their Facebook page, their Twitter account, or its Instagram page.
You can also follow along by going to the social media hashtag #ProjectHunt, a hashtag that will be lots of fun to keep up with throughout the upcoming fall hunting campaigns.
And finally, for official rules and other information on all of this, please visit leupold.com/ProjectHunt-Official-Rules.