An Interview with Signs West Media (Pt.1)
Okay…Have you ever thought to yourself –
“I’m just going to quit my job, pack my truck, and get the heck out of here!”
Well , if you ever needed a resource or inspiration, meet Seth Morris and Rick Hutton!
These two gentlemen did just that!
Seth and Rick are simply laid back guys that really wanted to pursue the dream of open country and freedom to live off the land. I first spoke to Seth and Rick after we drummed up plans on collaborating on an elk hunt later on this fall. I really had no idea what to expect when I dialed Seth’s cell phone number. It was on Superbowl Sunday and I was more excited to talk about elk hunting than football. I might get shot for saying that in America, but hey – to each his own! Seth and Rick picked up and it turns out they too didn’t even have cable, but were instead drinking beer and tying flies in hopes of warmer weather. Something inside me told me we’d get along just fine this fall.
There’s definitely an unspoken camaraderie and brother/sisterhood amongst the outdoorsy folk. Fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, skiing, or whatever got someone outside – we’re all the same. We love the fresh air, the way the wind howls at the top of the mountain, and the way the sun hits the land when we’re up at sunrise. When you speak to a fellow outdoorsman/woman – it’s like talking to a long-lost friend and it definitely felt that way with these guys!
So, with that being said, check out their interview and work below!
Seth Morris – @signswest
Rick Hutton – @rhuttonjr
*For you impatient folk…photographs and works from Seth and Rick are at the bottom*
How did you find yourselves in Montana?
Seth & Rick: “Both of us grew up hunting and exploring Pennsylvania, with dreams of the west and bigger adventures. However, it wasn’t until our mid-twenties when PA just got too small for us and we wanted more. A series of events and signs drove us to formulate the plan of moving west. Once the decision was made we began planning and deciding where we wanted to move. We researched each western state heavily and decided on Montana for many reasons. Once it was decided that Montana was our ending goal we set off looking for jobs. It boiled down to Rick landing a job in Helena so that made our decision where exactly in Montana we would end up. Seth followed up with landing a job only weeks before we moved, and we were off.“
How’d you guys meet? And when did the idea happen to start filming and photographing your hunts?
Seth & Rick: “We met in the fall of 2009 at a branch campus of Pennsylvania State University (Mont Alto). It was Seth’s freshman year and Ricks Sophomore year. Both of us were enrolled in the forest technology program. The program attracts many like-minded men with a passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors. We were no different, we immediately began hanging out and exchanging hunting and fishing stories. We shared many similar views on ethics and types of hunting so it was a natural fit for us to start hunting together in fall 2010 and have been hunting together ever since. Filming actually began on that first hunt together in 2010 and has turned into a more series hobby since then. It started out as a great way to share the hunts with family and friends and honestly just seemed fun at the time.”
You guys have forestry backgrounds and degrees in it, does it come in handy when you’re in the backcountry?
Seth & Rick: “Yes, in our honest opinion our forestry degrees and background makes us better outdoorsmen overall. Our forestry degrees gave us education in land ethics, the public land system (USFS, USWS, BLM,) environmental policy, land and forest management, soils, hydrology, as well as wildlife biology. Learning all this helps out in many ways.
Our knowledge of environmental policy and the public land system lets us better understand where we have come from as hunter conservationist and where we are heading at a national level. Our Knowledge in wildlife biology and forest ecosystems made us learn the importance of habitat. Habitat is key in any hunting scenario whether it’s tree stand hunting whitetails in the east or chasing elk in the western mountains. If you find the right habitat you will find the animals.
We also had extensive classes and experience working with aerial photography and computer mapping systems, which makes finding that habitat via online mapping even easier. We really cannot say enough with how much our forestry degrees have helped us become better hunters, fisherman, outdoorsman and most importantly conservationist! If you want to be a better hunter learn about the animal, its habitat and its history!“
What is your favorite thing about Montana?
Seth & Rick: “Mostly the millions of acres of federal public land that the state has to offer. It is free and open to every American to enjoy and its right outside our back door now. Also Montana’s long and generous hunting seasons as well as the amazing stream access laws.”
What’s your least favorite thing about Montana?
Seth & Rick: Our families are not here…so it’s hard being away from them.
Seth: “The amount of days in the winter that are below zero”
Rick: “The lack of job opportunities”
Seth & Rick: Other than that we absolutely love it here!
Be sure to check back for the second part of the interview! The fellas have even more beautiful photographs to share!