Justin Balzer (AKA Griz), is an avid hunter, fisherman, and all-around outdoorsman. In every season he strives to spend as much time as he can in wildernesses both far and near, chasing the wild harvests that his home province of British Columbia has to offer. This is the primary means by which he chooses to source the food that sustains himself and his family. Follow along on a full year of his practice of subsistence.

Behind The Production

"Subsistence" emerged from an idea shared between myself and Fargone co-owner Nic, during an introspective, albeit fishless, afternoon. We pondered the feasibility of a modern subsistence lifestyle—a concept where one could lead a typical urban life yet sustain themselves through harvesting nature's bounty. This conversation serendipitously led us to Griz, a living embodiment of this philosophy, reigniting a connection that sparked the inception of a year-long documentary project.

With Leupold's early support, our vision took flight, aiming to capture a year in Griz's life. This journey was not just about survival; it was about threading the delicate balance between modernity and the primal instinct of gathering food from the wilderness. From the serene experience of fishing under the glow of the northern lights to the rigorous challenges of elk hunting in Northern British Columbia, we ventured into the heart of what it means to live in subsistence.

Our adventure highlighted not just the physicality of such a lifestyle, but the emotional and spiritual connections formed with nature. Challenges were plentiful, from injuries to adapting to unexpected weather patterns, yet these hurdles only deepened our resolve and connection to the project. The fall elk hunt, with its majestic backdrop and intense pursuit, served as a poignant reminder of the harmony and respect that define true subsistence living.

"Subsistence" evolved into a narrative rich in camaraderie, adventure, and reflection. It became a testament to the human spirit's adaptability and our intrinsic bond with the natural world. This entire project wasn't just about hunting or gathering; it was a profound exploration of our connection to the environment. It taught us the value of patience, respect for nature, and the deep satisfaction that comes from sourcing our food directly from the wild.

We invite you to join us in this intimate portrayal of subsistence living, hoping it inspires a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the sustainable practices that can enrich our lives.

-Nolan Schneider, Fargone

Gear Used On The Hunt

Recommended For You

New Mexico has established an excellent reputation for quality elk hunting. The population of bulls is high, and some trophy bulls can be found if you know where to look. Join Jason Phelps, Dirk Durham, and Jon Gabrio of Phelps Game Calls as they head south to big bull country to pursue monster elk in the four-part limited series, NEW MEXICO.

Let's face it, elk hunting is hard. But sometimes we make it harder than it has to be because we're not doing enough homework before the season starts. To be successful at elk hunting, the first thing you need to do is find the elk. To do that, you need to understand their needs during each phase of the hunting season and where they go to satisfy those needs.