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“The Debutante Hunters” Wins Sundance. Go Figure.

The Sundance Film Festival is nothing if not a bastion of liberalism. And yet, here it is: The Debutante Hunters. Now you might think that this is another one of those Michael Moore-like sandbag jobs—in heels. But no, the filmmaker’s playing it straight. Ish. “They have a brain the size of a peanut,” a debuhunter proclaims about turkeys (not producers). “They’re very smart.” Another SOT: “I’ve never got a really big buck.” And “I’m afraid what will happen [if I don’t wear my pink socks.]” You can almost hear the editor sniggering. In fact, the fact that young women hunting is the center of a film kinda tells you where the Sundancers’ collective heads are at. I mean, really, big friggin’ deal.


  1. avatar Milsurp collector says:

    I enjoyed this short, but I feel like it’s portraying a message that you can only enjoy hunting if you’re incredibly wealthy and buy thousands of dollars worth of top tier gear. One guy I know can’t afford such luxuries for deer hunting, so he goes out every year in old work boots, surplus army camo, and carries a K98k Mauser rifle with iron sights only. He’s taken some very fine deer with this setup and is perfectly happy doing so.

    1. avatar Tom says:

      You could go deer hunting with an $80 Mosin Nagant if you wanted to. Well, except in Indiana where high power rifle cartridges are outlawed.

      1. avatar miforest says:

        used single shot shotgun for indiana . you can still get themfor about $80. they work just fine. most shoot slugs pretty well.

      2. avatar Mehul Kamdar says:

        Indiana actually has Indiana specific rifle calibers that you can hunt deer with. It is Illinois that is shotgun or muzzleloader only for deer. Agree with every view that you do not need a hyper-expensive rig to go hunting with.

    2. avatar Ben says:

      ” so he goes out every year in old work boots, surplus army camo, and carries a K98k Mauser rifle with iron sights only. He’s taken some very fine deer with this setup and is perfectly happy doing so.”

      Apparently you’ve met my grandfather.

      1. avatar bontai Joe says:

        Apparently he has also met most of my family, and my friends, and my neighbors as well.

  2. The film was very good. My question is why the women are referred to as debutantes. My question is, were they actually presented at a debutante ball or is that just a derisive term the producers chose for some attractive upper middle class women?

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      The title seemed to me to go for attention: Hunter just isn’t the word you expect after debutante. Perhaps it says “yes, some attractive prosperous women enjoy hunting.” I think that’s a good message compared to the ones sent by some of the recent cable TV hunting shows.

  3. avatar Ropingdown says:

    I found the presentation very enjoyable. I didn’t sense the slightest bit of editor ‘sniggering.’ It just presents the reality of some pleasant women enjoying the bond of hunting. Actually I don’t suspect hunting is that rare a pleasure among the Park City crowd, though the typical directors submitting films for the festival are unlikely to have the experience or interest. I’ve met fellow upland bird shooters there. (Yes, I like to ski.) Surprisingly, the guy with the most lighting contracts during the festival is a local who teaches theater at Villanova. He’s not hunting averse. Hunting comes and goes in popularity among the otherwise-left-leaning crowd. FDR liked to hunt, until he couldn’t. Zuckerberg’s been learning to hunt and to prepare his own game for the table. In fact, I think the divide is increasingly between those who own a Winchester or Beretta double gun, versus those that own and use an AK, AR, or such. I consider myself middle of the road, so I have to have both. “Can’t we all just get along.”

    1. avatar caffeinated says:

      I think it’s easy for someone raised in the liberal public educational system to dismiss hunting and knowing where food actually comes from. Just like shooting, once most people try it; they are hooked. I honestly know people (anti-gun/anti-hunting types) that did not know where their meat came from. All they knew was that it came on a foam tray with plastic wrap.

  4. avatar Ralph says:

    When I saw the title, I thought the film was about some guys chasing rich girls. Man, am I disappointed.

    1. avatar Ropingdown says:

      But the title got you to watch? Clever title. Justice Kagan went duck hunting with Scalia recently, so hunting seems to be coming back. Good. “Guns don’t shoot ducks. People shoot ducks.” A step closer to judicial understanding. She said “it was fun, actually.”

    2. avatar Aaron says:

      Conversely, I thought “gold rush” was about women on the verge of 30 looking frantically for high income earning husbands.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Conversely, I thought “gold rush” was about women on the verge of 30 looking frantically for high income earning husbands.

        Actually, that’s called “Saturday Night.”

  5. avatar NCG says:

    Jeez, RF, maybe ease up on the French Roast. I see little to be offended by here, though I’m iffy on hunting deer with bait and dogs. I’ll chalk it up to regional differences.

    I will agree with the comments about all the high-end gear. The concept of subsistence hunting with $1000s worth of ATVs etc. is a bit much.

    Nonetheless, I believe there is something very emotionally fulfilling about hunting with family and friends. Spiritual even. I think that’s a positive message to convey. But then, I am a liberal sissy who enjoys artsy films (this film does not look artsy – more like pro-hunting propaganda, which is fine by me).

    Compare this to Sarah Palin’s Caribou Embarrassment.

  6. avatar Dave J says:

    Georgia Pellegrini
    a wall street trader turned chef, turned hunter has been getting some TV air time and subsequent condescension after promoting eating squirrel. I will be ordering her new book “Girl Hunter” this week.

    1. avatar NCG says:

      Squirrel (among other game) is quite sought after by foodies. I haven’t eaten any since I was a teenager, but I plan to this fall.

      This guy:

      wants us to eat nutria and grass carp, among other things. I’m all for it. The old joke about Cajun food- “Eat it before it eats you.”

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