With the recent release of MeatEater Seasons 5 & 6 on Netflix, we rounded up some of the MeatEater production crew to get their take on favorite episodes. Send this list out to your friends, re-watch these favorites with a little insider info, and make sure to leave us an honest review on Netflix if you want to see future seasons added.
Sky Island Solitaire: Backpack Hunting Coues Deer in Arizona
Guy Mellitz, Editor
The episode I’m most proud of is the Arizona Coues Deer show. Everything came together perfectly on that one: beautiful scenics, great ambient sound, and Steve at his best. Early on in the footage, Steve remarked how quiet it was, and talked very candidly about his father. I wanted to convey that quietness and tone, and to make it seem like you were out there hunting with him. I decided not to have any voice over or use any music, and to just let the country, the natural sounds, and Steve speak for themselves. We had never done that before and I think it came out really nicely.
Duren Deer Camp: Helen & Brittany Wisconsin Whitetail, Part Two
Brittany Brothers, Associate Producer
I still tear up when I watch this episode. So as not to reveal any spoilers, I’ll just say this: This episode is a reminder to any hunter — new or old — to practice patience and restraint. Patience and restraint are the difference between an instant kill and a not-so-instant kill, or worse: wounding an animal and possibly not recovering it.
We’re about halfway through antelope season and just a few days into deer/elk season here in Montana, but every time I pass my new chest freezer in the garage, it stares up at me with its anthropomorphic puppy dog eyes, begging “Feed me! Feeeed meeee!” When that happens, all I can do is just remind myself, “Patience and restraint. Patience and restraint.”
Mountain Meditation: British Columbia Grizzly Bear
Jack Condon, Post Supervisor
What I like about this episode is that it has such a strong sense of place. Steve and his buddy Ryan Callaghan are back hunting in the mountains of British Columbia. The terrain is beautiful but challenging. There’s rain, snow, fog, more fog, and a little bit of sun; it’s the perfect setting for Steve’s complicated relationship with grizzly bears. He’s only after “that one,” the “big boar grizzly of his dreams,” but the weather and the mountain fight him at every turn. We get to see all the facets of hunting here: the anticipation, the excitement, the physical struggles, but also the waiting. And the waiting leads to some pretty interesting conversation. Easily one of my favorite episodes.
Cooking Special: Butchering a Whole Deer
Nicole Qualtieri, Social Media Community Manager
As a new hunter and someone who has yet to break down a deer, this episode brings a level of both visual acuity and directional detail that makes the idea of butchering an animal on my own feel not only doable but a lot less intimidating. I love our storytelling so much across the board, but when I think of which episode I’ll go back and watch again and again, this is most definitely the one. It’s a how-to that anyone interested in where their meat comes from should watch, and it’s one that deserves your attention, as Steve’s ability to navigate the process of butchering is something I think all DIY hunters should aspire to.
Idaho Mule Deer, Parts 1 & 2
Garret “Dirt Myth” Smith, Associate Producer/Cameraman
You should watch every episode from Bolivia to Wisconsin, each episode has aspects that are worth watching. But I love the Idaho episodes in particular because Steve and Cal hunting for big muleys in Cal’s secret spot is a ‘long time coming’ moment. They’ve hunted in a lot of places together, and this episode brings it full circle. And with both of them having great success on this hunt, it’s cool to witness as a viewer and a MeatEater myself.
As a crew member on this shoot, I was awed by the beauty and seclusion of the public lands that we were hunting. Not far from a public trailhead we saw less and less and eventually no other people, with the landscape replacing civilization and slowly dominating our senses.