Prescott native chases big buck dreams
Coulton Seifert is a hometown boy who loves to hunt like many of his peers. But he took his love of hunting and the outdoors to a whole new level, one that even he can't believe sometimes.
Seifert, a Prescott native, is the editor/film producer for the hunting show Trained Assassins TV on the Sportsman Channel.
He travels across the country filming the hunts of self-proclaimed "country boys" and hunting TV personalities, Cragg Fitz, Slade Priest, Rusty Wascom, "Uncle" Rusty Priest and Blake Devall.
The TATV website states: "Our goal is to share our unforgettable adventures, gained knowledge and extraordinary experiences. Each one of us is a tough-spirited individual, possessing an indomitable passion for the thrill of the hunt."
This is also true of Seifert, although he is mostly behind the scenes filming and turning hours of footage into the finished product you see on TV.
The 2011 Prescott High School graduate remembers turkey and deer hunting with his dad Phil when he was 5 years old. The family's favorite hunting ground is near their cabin in Nelson in Buffalo County, but like any true hunter, the exact location of his hunting successes will remain a secret.
Seifert shot his first buck, a 10-pointer, the opening day of gun deer season when he was 12. Since then he has added at least 10 head mounts to his collection (from bow and gun deer combined).
During the first week of archery season 2013, Seifert shot his "buck of a lifetime" near Nelson, a rare 10-point velvet buck scoring 177 inches. Buffalo County scores more Boone & Crockett and Pope & Young records than any other county in the country.
After high school, Seifert attended one semester at Winona State University before transferring to UW-River Falls where he was pursuing environmental studies. He soon realized a soul-searching break was in order.
"I realized I wanted to do it (environmental studies) because I love the outdoors," Seifert said. "I had to take a break to decide what I really wanted to do. I guess I ended up heading straight to the pros."
Seifert founded Bluff Country Boys TV with friends Jake Schiller (of Prescott) and Luke Mestad (of Elgin, Minn.).
"We filmed hunting and dreamed of being the hunters on TV," Seifert said.
What started out as something fun with buddies turned into a serious passion. Seifert credits Mestad for convincing him to buy his first camera for filming.
"I never went to school (for filming or video editing)," Seifert said. "I am self-taught, learning everything I could from everyone I know. Looking back I was sponge absorbing as much as I could."
Much of that knowledge he gained from friend Nick Johnson of Prescott, owner, founder and filmmaker of Night Owl Media Group. While Bluff Country Boys TV is on the back burner right now, Seifert said to look for things from it in the future.
In early spring 2014, Seifert saw a post on Facebook that Trained Assassins was looking for finalists for a field producer position. He took a leap of faith and applied. He was chosen as one of four finalists.
He had to travel to Centreville, Miss. in March 2014 to film TATV's "Beards N Boars" competition as a tryout. For one week he filmed the escapades of the group as well as celebrity hunting appearances by Matt Flynn and Josh Sitton of the Green Bay Packers.
A week after he flew home from the tryout he was called and offered the opportunity of a lifetime: a field producer/cameraman position with TATV.
"It was so awesome, I could hardly believe it," Seifert said.
He spent from August 2014 through January 2015 filming whitetail hunts across the Midwest, mule deer and elk hunts in Wyoming and Colorado, as well as episodes in Louisiana and Mississippi.
"My favorite part was hunting every day and seeing the world," Seifert said. "Meeting a lot of people too." He admits some of the people he's met in Prescott may be a bit more colorful, he said.
He was soon offered a fulltime editor/film producer position for all of Season 3. He filmed Beards N Boars again in March 2015, then spent the summer living in Baton Rouge, La., editing and compiling Season 3.
"It was many late nights and crazy hours," Seifert said. "It was my first time producing an entire TV show, so it was a pretty steep learning curve. They were all happy with it and I think it turned out pretty good."
Before heading off to hunts in Illinois, Missouri and Texas, Seifert is hunting this week with Cragg Fitz. They are being filmed by two cameramen near Nelson.
"Hopefully we shoot some stuff and there's an episode from Wisconsin," Seifert said.
Though he's mostly behind the camera, he will be featured in a few hunts coming up, and he charmed his way into a hunting tips segment on the show called "Talkin' Smarts with Kevin DePines."
Who is Kevin DePines? Seifert's stage name of course.
"When I'm being serious and professional, I'm Coulton," Seifert said. "When I'm being silly and outrageous, that's Kevin DePines."
Seifert is excited to know once filming wraps up, he'll spend more of the off-season editing from home. Which is great for someone who misses his family, especially his girlfriend Devyn and his grandma, Dorothy LaRue.
"I miss my family the most when I'm gone," Seifert said. "But this is all so humbling. When I'm watching the sun come up on a hunt I'm just thankful. I never lose sight of what I'm doing. It's pretty incredible."
Tune in to Trained Assassins at 6:30 p.m. Mondays on the Sportsman Channel.