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BuckTracker: I Want to Be a Producer…

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April 18, 2008

BuckTracker: I Want to Be a Producer…

By Scott Bestul

First off, thanks to all who responded to the last entry, where I wondered if TV/video personalities stood as your deer hunting heros/heroines. Judging from the small and highly unscientific Buck Tracker poll, the answer would clearly be “no.” While many of us watch hunting shows for entertainment—and they surely beat a lot of what’s offered by the mass media—most of us don’t confuse the men and women who star in them as legitimate deer hunting role models. Engaging personalities, perhaps, but not necessarily true deer experts..

I find that interesting, mainly because I know several hunting celebs, and some of them are indeed excellent hunters. Yes, many of them do get to hunt some amazing places, but I know a few of these true-blue whitetail nuts would kill good deer no matter where you placed them. Then, as some of you have (correctly) pointed out, other video hunters are just richly blessed to chase bucks in places the average guy can only dream about…and are probably no more skilled at hunting than any reasonably-dedicated deer nut.

All of which brings me to an interesting topic. If you’re among the folks who believe that many of the whitetail shows don’t reflect normal experience, should they be changed somehow? And if you’d like to see them change, how would you do so? Or, do you enjoy the status of outdoor TV/video and like to keep it just the way it is—as an entertainment venue—whether it reflects your hunting reality or not? I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.

from Trae B. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I think the shows should have smarter deer because where I live theres not a single deer that will be out walking in the middle of the day that has a bit of sense.Any smart deer knows where your at, if your hunting deer, what kind of gun you have, what brand of scent away your using, and what you ate for supper. The dumb ones know, they just walk out anyways so we just kill dumb deer or a smart deer that slips up and makes a mistake.

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from John wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I am not Scott but here is how you take the inner loins without opening up the animal. I hardly ever gut an animal anymore. I start at the back bone and cut up from the tail to the neck. Then I put the hide down and take the meat off that side of the animal. Then I turn the animal over and do the same on the other side. When you have all the meat off the animal, take your saw and cut all the ribs where they connect to the back bone. Then reach up and take the loins, very simple, very easy.I have taken 23 elk with a bow and hardly ever gut the elk. (only when it is extremely warm) I did it on the first few elk that I shot (because I just moved and was used to field dressing my my deer) Then a friend showed me a better way. We quartered the animal and hung the quarters and then cut the ribs and took the inner loin like you do on a deer.Ok, I guess I should have explained that I don't drag my deer out of the woods. I cut it up on the spot and pack it out just like I do an elk. It is a lot quicker to cut the animal up and pack-out just the meat than to field dress it and then drag it all the way to your rig. I guess I should also qualify that by saying, make sure your game laws allow for cutting up the animal in the field.Once you try it, you'll be hard pressed to go back to your old ways.Check out this website,www.firstpackout.com and you will get a better understanding of what I am talking about. Hope that helped,

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from Paul Parker wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Scott, You wrote an article titled "This Bull's for You" in the Oct. 2007 issue. I just read it today in the Dr's office. I followed your field dressing closely because it's the way I do it. I was puzzled when you seem to imply you remove the tenderloins without opening the body cavity. How is that done?? Paul Parker

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mr. Bestul,LOVED your comment of April 19. Perhaps the shows should begin with a WARNING that there may be "impact shots" to show the reality of the outdoors AND that the products used by the host are not necessarily worth buying... Or the sponsor-mandated equipment used by the host may not work...John (posted April 20) You are right on the money! I'm sick and tired of the Tom Miranda-type shows that focus mainly on "I killed a monster buck."TEACH me something like the classic books do (e.g. Shots at Whitetails)

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

More African hunts too. Doubt very much that I will ever be able to hunt there.

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I pretty much gave up on deer hunting shows when I saw David Blanton get skunked once (kind of suprised it made the show). At the end of the show, he looked at the camera and said something like "you all might think hunting on T.V. for a living is great, but it's really hard work and it's not as much fun as you think". I thought about the fact that I hadn't even bought a tag that year because I just didn't have the time to hunt between family and working 6 days a week. I thought about the fact that watching a couple of hunting shows on a Sunday was the closest I would get to the woods. And then I decided that I didn't need somebody as LUCKY as David Blanton to lecture me on how rough HE has it. I havn't watched one since. I still watch the upland hunting shows, though. I'd like to see more of them.

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from remmy wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I must agree with RipperIII when you dont know people are talking about its hard to learn. I didnt grow up with a family or many friends who hunt, so Im learning all on my own... and when I get onto forums or reading in magazines it can be difficult to figure out the meanings.

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from John D wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mr. Bestful, the only way I can think to pull off a show like I mentioned is to make it a dedicated "hardgoods" testing venue (bows, guns, scopes, treestands and the myriad of other things not made of cloth). Sponsors would be a camo pattern, clothing and boot companies, Toyota, Chevy or Ford, a food plot seed company – anything not tested.But then you run into the expense of getting all the other stuff on your own ...Don't know if it'd work?

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from Hunting field mice in VA wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I agree w/ many of the posts so far about having programs teach more than push products/outfitters. I am fortunate to have quite a bit of hunting experience and have learned a lot from my father and friends, but I'm always looking for more knowledge about hunting. Especially in National Forest or public land settings, since thats about all that I have access to.But even more important to me is the sad, sad lack of TK & Mike style humorous programs. I don't know about anyone else, but its enjoyable to watch hunting comedy (that isn't as forced as some of RealTree's stuff), and I don't think there's enough of it. While Hunting is a serious endeavor, I personally have more weird, ironic and just plain funny things happen in my experiences than serious stuff. I'd like to see more shows that reflect that.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dynamic personalities!That's what the "video" hunters have that the rest of us are lacking.Does this mean that the remainder of us are lackluster people?NO!But look at them, most of them are Type A personalities, and that type person, if nothing is happening, is going to MAKE something happen. Good, bad or indifferent! They never go anywhere or hunt anyplace without a videographer present and the cameras whirring! Missed deer don't make a seller video. One-ninety inch brutes do! Throwing in a miss or two just seems to make them more human.The first deer I ever had mounted only scored 119. The taxidermist invited me back into his shop to see my deer when completed. It was hanging right beside a deer (pen-raised sheds) that scored 256! First thought on my mind was, "Why did I shoot a little one?! He looked big standing in that rye field!"Then it dawned on me. I had actually worked for my deer! I found the fence crossing. I found the tree that gave the best view of the area. I shot him, fair and square, waiting impatiently in a hard rigor until he crossed the fence. Shakily waiting until he gave me the opportunity for a clean shot! ME! I, me, myself or whatever other moniker I call myself by! (Dummy, sometimes!)Are these guys good hunters!? I don't know. But from the Milk River in Montana to The Bottoms in Illinois to Lee and Tiff's farm in Iowa where the deer are fed and pampered year 'round, these are places I "DON'T" get to hunt. I WAS able to hunt The Sand Hills. (name changed to protect the innocent!) LOL!I'm like a lot of the other bloggers here. Bring them out to my place(not that I'd share, my spots are free or labor trades, and I worked hard to find them!). Give them a chance to prove themselves with little or no scouting. Give them a 160 acre patch of agriculture and let "them" ferret out the wall hangers. Then, in return, invite me on a hunt to one of those coveted, "managed" areas they so blythly flaunt at us! Give me an opportunity to take a cull buck bigger than anything I can dream of and I just might share my cubby holes!Am I bitter? No. I buy the tapes because I enjoy seeing Michael Waddell shoot a 140" buck. Even David Blanton's forced excitement is fun! (Aw-right!) I just enjoy hunting, whether I connect or not.I called, (first time) "two" really nice bucks within gun range last season, but was unable to shoot either because of circumstances. (clear shot, running shot, NO shot!) I wouldn't swap last season for my most successful.But, teach me something. Tell me WHY you chose a certain spot! If you have to say, "The folks here at Shoot A Big 'Un Ranch scouted this deer for us and we're going to see if we can entice him within range with a Zing-farb call. Stay with us and we'll show you how to use a Zing-farb!", I don't mind. I might just go buy a "Zing-farb"!JUST TEACH ME SOMETHING!Bubba

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from John wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

WOW, good comments from all involved. As a hunter of 40 years I didn't realize that others felt the same way I do. I mostly bow hunt. and only gun hunt when I need extra meat for friends or family.I see the guys that star in these shows make some real blunders as to the timing they draw the bow when game is approaching, ect...They are as human as you and I. I would like to see more average hunters on these shows And I would like to see the mistakes they make as well as their successes. I want them to show the realities of what average hunters go through. I hunt some great private land (1000 acres) within the city limits of a major city in the US and it is even hard for me to take the good bucks I know are there. How do I know they are there; I find their sheds in the early spring. ( some single sides score 90" to 100") These deer are as smart as any deer I've hunted. And the pressure on them, is just me. (I'm a scent free freak as can be) They still are hard to kill and even harder just to see.Some of these shows show big bucks moving in the open during mid day without a care in the world. (NOT where I hunt they don't, and I'm sure they don't where you live either) I think these shows need to be geared more to the hunting situations of what the average hunter goes through. I want them to come and hunt where I hunt and see them kill a big buck, It might take them all season to get enough footage for one show.I agree, these hunting shows need to be geared more towards the avereage hunter that is pressed for a good quality place to hunt. I would like to see a show that shows a hunter driving and asking permission to hunt and being turned down and finally geting permission to hunt some land that doesn't look like it would even hold a buck; and then killing the biggest deer on the place. Showing what it really takes to be successful is what we as average hunters want in a hunting reality show. Show me "how" to get permission, show me how to scout that property, show me how to hang my stand and why the stand was hung there, show me how to prepare my equipment, show me all aspects of what it takes for the average hunter to be successful. I think a show like that would be very popular. What do you think. Let me know. I'll watch and read your posts.

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from John Woods wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

A good many of these "shows" are have many staged segments with clips of various hunts all patched together to make one episode. This is common. sometimes you can catch the mistakes with hunters dressed differently or carrying a different gun. This has gotten better over time.As to hunting locations, none of these guys are going to places where game numbers are marginal. That's the business. Most of us could never afford those outfitters but if we could we wouldn't get the same person attention.

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from Scott Bestul wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I appreciate all these comments very much, especially the ones regarding beginning hunters looking for specific, practical information. I'll talk to our web-guys and determine the best vehicle for doing something like this on our site. Stay tuned!I loved John D's suggestion about a tv show with some hard-core product testing. Excellent idea...and extremely difficult to pull off. TV time is expensive, and sponsors foot the bill. How do you rate the stuff of the guy advertising on your show? If his product stinks and you say so, he pulls his $. If you say its great, you lose credibility with your audience. So who pays?

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from JOMO wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

these tv hunters don't always harvest animals...and why would they ever show when they didn't...most viewers want to see a big buck down....they might show unsuccessful hunts if they had more time on air...but since they don't they have to cut a lot of the time out that was spent on the treestand and while prepping and scouting...

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from JOMO wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

these tv hunters don't always harvest animals...and why would they ever show when they didn't...most viewers want to see a big buck down....they might show unsuccessful hunts if they had more time on air...but since they don't they have to cut a lot of the time out that was spent on the treestand and while prepping and scouting...

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from John Bramhall wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Maybe we could come up with a spot on this site that would allow the beginners to ask the questions they need to ask and give the experienced guys and gals a chance to respond. Even after 44 years of stumbling around chasing whitetails I learn something new every time I hunt. No one has all the answers.

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from Ken wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I read this post on a daily basis, but this will be my first response....I don't like watching "Big Box" hunting programs and I would enjoy seeing more blue-collar hunting television. I enjoy watching someone harvest a monster buck in Canada, but I learn more from hunting with normals Joe's here in southwest Ohio.

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from Paula wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I'm with Ripper & DJM, help us new hunters. I came from a hunting is for men family. My oldest has hunted since he was 13 but with my brothers. I've adopted a son who is now 14 and I took up hunting with him. We watched ever hunting show there was and can honestly say we were clueless our first hunt. Thankfully I have wonderful hunting buddies who spent their time with the both of us and taught us a great deal. Unfortuantely they both live far away so we are on our own a lot of hunts. WE are doing terrific, but it would be nice to see shows for the unexperienced to help us with different situations we have come across.

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from Scott K wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

The TV shows actually shouldn't be changed. Many of them are produced to simply be entertainment and some are incredibly successful at that.Even if its a high fence harvest, there are many videographers that capture great scenery shots, awesome pre roll and great kill shots, but its still just entertainment. On the other side, there are many productions that claim to be educational(hosted sometimes by TV personalities) and thet do a wonderful job at being just that...leave things as they are.

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from DJM wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I have almost the exact same story as Ripper: I am an avid fisherman, boyscout, and camper, but am just getting into the hunting scene: im actually takin the hunter safety course tommorrow and sunday. Even though I only watch about 2-4 hrs of TV a week, i would def. make time to watch a show for newcomers.

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from I'm in school right now wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I also think that the people are afraid to wear hunter's orange. Have you ever noticed that they are always in states where you can wear a full-camo suit when deer hunting? That is why you never hear about "a good north dakota deer" because we have to wear a blaze orange hat with at least 400 square inches above your torso.Nate

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from I'm in school right now wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

A lot of the shows play rock music in the background. They should just let us listen to the sounds. And instead of just focusing in one place, they should move the camera around. And for once can we get someone who is going to tell us how to take a big doe?? It is always these trophy-obsessed people.Nate

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from Dan D. wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I got an idea, hunt some public land or at least open-access private land. I'd love to see them try a hunt on some timberland in the North Woods. Be it Minn. Mich. or Maine. None of the private ranches, even if they are unfenced. Do a few hunts like the average joe does and see if all that fancy sponsor equipment still gets the job done.Dan

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I, as a first time hunter (both white tail, and turkey)with no previous outdoor experience other than boyhood Scouting, with few hunting friends living close by to hunt and learn from, would love to see a format geared toward us Greenhorns. I would love to know the terminology "benches, draws, bottoms, etc" I would love to know how to identify good hunting habitat, and how to spot sign, how to call, how to field dress, strategies, etiquette etc. I have just gotten into the shooting sports, hunting, sporting clays, trap, skeet etc...I have met many people who would love to get into hunting but like me don't have a lot of connections, and are a bit intimidated at the prospects of starting out alone. I became a subscriber two and a half years ago to attempt to learn, and F & S is great, the articles and especially the blogs, but the power of the TV is undisputed. A show about regular Joe's getting out of the Cities and into the woods would be a boon for business for all involved, land owners, producers, publishers all would benefit, to say the least about a renewed interest in 2nd amendment discussions. Maybe I am just too excited and optimistic but I think this would work.

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from John D wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

Nearly all of them have redeeming qualities in my book. I don't have to be any closer to ditching the daily grind to guide on the flats to love McGuane's "Ninety-Two in the Shade," just as I don't have to have realistic plans to hunt Saskatchewan to enjoy watching another man lay down a monster up there.But since you ask, I'd like to see more shows that reflect what you can achieve through focused management and hard work on your own property. Like what the Drurys do.I also think there's a market for a hardgoods expose'. Real-life product testing and opinion. It'd have to have a strong backing by a camo pattern and clothing company or something because there'd be no room for b.s. for it to have any redeeming qualities. A hard-hitting personality would be essential as well. Make it happen Scott.

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from jstreet wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

These guys/gals have to put big deer on the ground to sell their sponsors product(s).I don't begrudge them their success and I'm sure many of them work hard, travel, don't see their families, etc. But, I don't really look @ them as anymore skilled than the average long time deer hunter because they go to XYZ outfitters in Iowa and kill a 150" deer.These people hunt in the best places in the world and should be able to but big deer down. That doesn't mean I'll hang on their every word about how "Tommy Joe's Big Buck Pee" was the difference in this hunt and it doesn't mean I'll book a hunt "Zeke and Ed's Monster Buck Preserve and Amusement Park" just because the tv guys killed a buck there.Bottom line, most of these people were hardworking and smart enough to turn an avocation into a vocation and many of us wish we could do the same.Jim

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from Trae B. wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I think the shows should have smarter deer because where I live theres not a single deer that will be out walking in the middle of the day that has a bit of sense.Any smart deer knows where your at, if your hunting deer, what kind of gun you have, what brand of scent away your using, and what you ate for supper. The dumb ones know, they just walk out anyways so we just kill dumb deer or a smart deer that slips up and makes a mistake.

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from John wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I am not Scott but here is how you take the inner loins without opening up the animal. I hardly ever gut an animal anymore. I start at the back bone and cut up from the tail to the neck. Then I put the hide down and take the meat off that side of the animal. Then I turn the animal over and do the same on the other side. When you have all the meat off the animal, take your saw and cut all the ribs where they connect to the back bone. Then reach up and take the loins, very simple, very easy.I have taken 23 elk with a bow and hardly ever gut the elk. (only when it is extremely warm) I did it on the first few elk that I shot (because I just moved and was used to field dressing my my deer) Then a friend showed me a better way. We quartered the animal and hung the quarters and then cut the ribs and took the inner loin like you do on a deer.Ok, I guess I should have explained that I don't drag my deer out of the woods. I cut it up on the spot and pack it out just like I do an elk. It is a lot quicker to cut the animal up and pack-out just the meat than to field dress it and then drag it all the way to your rig. I guess I should also qualify that by saying, make sure your game laws allow for cutting up the animal in the field.Once you try it, you'll be hard pressed to go back to your old ways.Check out this website,www.firstpackout.com and you will get a better understanding of what I am talking about. Hope that helped,

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from Paul Parker wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Scott, You wrote an article titled "This Bull's for You" in the Oct. 2007 issue. I just read it today in the Dr's office. I followed your field dressing closely because it's the way I do it. I was puzzled when you seem to imply you remove the tenderloins without opening the body cavity. How is that done?? Paul Parker

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from Scott in Ohio wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mr. Bestul,LOVED your comment of April 19. Perhaps the shows should begin with a WARNING that there may be "impact shots" to show the reality of the outdoors AND that the products used by the host are not necessarily worth buying... Or the sponsor-mandated equipment used by the host may not work...John (posted April 20) You are right on the money! I'm sick and tired of the Tom Miranda-type shows that focus mainly on "I killed a monster buck."TEACH me something like the classic books do (e.g. Shots at Whitetails)

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

More African hunts too. Doubt very much that I will ever be able to hunt there.

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from JasonB wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I pretty much gave up on deer hunting shows when I saw David Blanton get skunked once (kind of suprised it made the show). At the end of the show, he looked at the camera and said something like "you all might think hunting on T.V. for a living is great, but it's really hard work and it's not as much fun as you think". I thought about the fact that I hadn't even bought a tag that year because I just didn't have the time to hunt between family and working 6 days a week. I thought about the fact that watching a couple of hunting shows on a Sunday was the closest I would get to the woods. And then I decided that I didn't need somebody as LUCKY as David Blanton to lecture me on how rough HE has it. I havn't watched one since. I still watch the upland hunting shows, though. I'd like to see more of them.

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from remmy wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I must agree with RipperIII when you dont know people are talking about its hard to learn. I didnt grow up with a family or many friends who hunt, so Im learning all on my own... and when I get onto forums or reading in magazines it can be difficult to figure out the meanings.

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from John D wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Mr. Bestful, the only way I can think to pull off a show like I mentioned is to make it a dedicated "hardgoods" testing venue (bows, guns, scopes, treestands and the myriad of other things not made of cloth). Sponsors would be a camo pattern, clothing and boot companies, Toyota, Chevy or Ford, a food plot seed company – anything not tested.But then you run into the expense of getting all the other stuff on your own ...Don't know if it'd work?

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from Hunting field mice in VA wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I agree w/ many of the posts so far about having programs teach more than push products/outfitters. I am fortunate to have quite a bit of hunting experience and have learned a lot from my father and friends, but I'm always looking for more knowledge about hunting. Especially in National Forest or public land settings, since thats about all that I have access to.But even more important to me is the sad, sad lack of TK & Mike style humorous programs. I don't know about anyone else, but its enjoyable to watch hunting comedy (that isn't as forced as some of RealTree's stuff), and I don't think there's enough of it. While Hunting is a serious endeavor, I personally have more weird, ironic and just plain funny things happen in my experiences than serious stuff. I'd like to see more shows that reflect that.

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from Visitor wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Dynamic personalities!That's what the "video" hunters have that the rest of us are lacking.Does this mean that the remainder of us are lackluster people?NO!But look at them, most of them are Type A personalities, and that type person, if nothing is happening, is going to MAKE something happen. Good, bad or indifferent! They never go anywhere or hunt anyplace without a videographer present and the cameras whirring! Missed deer don't make a seller video. One-ninety inch brutes do! Throwing in a miss or two just seems to make them more human.The first deer I ever had mounted only scored 119. The taxidermist invited me back into his shop to see my deer when completed. It was hanging right beside a deer (pen-raised sheds) that scored 256! First thought on my mind was, "Why did I shoot a little one?! He looked big standing in that rye field!"Then it dawned on me. I had actually worked for my deer! I found the fence crossing. I found the tree that gave the best view of the area. I shot him, fair and square, waiting impatiently in a hard rigor until he crossed the fence. Shakily waiting until he gave me the opportunity for a clean shot! ME! I, me, myself or whatever other moniker I call myself by! (Dummy, sometimes!)Are these guys good hunters!? I don't know. But from the Milk River in Montana to The Bottoms in Illinois to Lee and Tiff's farm in Iowa where the deer are fed and pampered year 'round, these are places I "DON'T" get to hunt. I WAS able to hunt The Sand Hills. (name changed to protect the innocent!) LOL!I'm like a lot of the other bloggers here. Bring them out to my place(not that I'd share, my spots are free or labor trades, and I worked hard to find them!). Give them a chance to prove themselves with little or no scouting. Give them a 160 acre patch of agriculture and let "them" ferret out the wall hangers. Then, in return, invite me on a hunt to one of those coveted, "managed" areas they so blythly flaunt at us! Give me an opportunity to take a cull buck bigger than anything I can dream of and I just might share my cubby holes!Am I bitter? No. I buy the tapes because I enjoy seeing Michael Waddell shoot a 140" buck. Even David Blanton's forced excitement is fun! (Aw-right!) I just enjoy hunting, whether I connect or not.I called, (first time) "two" really nice bucks within gun range last season, but was unable to shoot either because of circumstances. (clear shot, running shot, NO shot!) I wouldn't swap last season for my most successful.But, teach me something. Tell me WHY you chose a certain spot! If you have to say, "The folks here at Shoot A Big 'Un Ranch scouted this deer for us and we're going to see if we can entice him within range with a Zing-farb call. Stay with us and we'll show you how to use a Zing-farb!", I don't mind. I might just go buy a "Zing-farb"!JUST TEACH ME SOMETHING!Bubba

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from John wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

WOW, good comments from all involved. As a hunter of 40 years I didn't realize that others felt the same way I do. I mostly bow hunt. and only gun hunt when I need extra meat for friends or family.I see the guys that star in these shows make some real blunders as to the timing they draw the bow when game is approaching, ect...They are as human as you and I. I would like to see more average hunters on these shows And I would like to see the mistakes they make as well as their successes. I want them to show the realities of what average hunters go through. I hunt some great private land (1000 acres) within the city limits of a major city in the US and it is even hard for me to take the good bucks I know are there. How do I know they are there; I find their sheds in the early spring. ( some single sides score 90" to 100") These deer are as smart as any deer I've hunted. And the pressure on them, is just me. (I'm a scent free freak as can be) They still are hard to kill and even harder just to see.Some of these shows show big bucks moving in the open during mid day without a care in the world. (NOT where I hunt they don't, and I'm sure they don't where you live either) I think these shows need to be geared more to the hunting situations of what the average hunter goes through. I want them to come and hunt where I hunt and see them kill a big buck, It might take them all season to get enough footage for one show.I agree, these hunting shows need to be geared more towards the avereage hunter that is pressed for a good quality place to hunt. I would like to see a show that shows a hunter driving and asking permission to hunt and being turned down and finally geting permission to hunt some land that doesn't look like it would even hold a buck; and then killing the biggest deer on the place. Showing what it really takes to be successful is what we as average hunters want in a hunting reality show. Show me "how" to get permission, show me how to scout that property, show me how to hang my stand and why the stand was hung there, show me how to prepare my equipment, show me all aspects of what it takes for the average hunter to be successful. I think a show like that would be very popular. What do you think. Let me know. I'll watch and read your posts.

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from John Woods wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

A good many of these "shows" are have many staged segments with clips of various hunts all patched together to make one episode. This is common. sometimes you can catch the mistakes with hunters dressed differently or carrying a different gun. This has gotten better over time.As to hunting locations, none of these guys are going to places where game numbers are marginal. That's the business. Most of us could never afford those outfitters but if we could we wouldn't get the same person attention.

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from Scott Bestul wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I appreciate all these comments very much, especially the ones regarding beginning hunters looking for specific, practical information. I'll talk to our web-guys and determine the best vehicle for doing something like this on our site. Stay tuned!I loved John D's suggestion about a tv show with some hard-core product testing. Excellent idea...and extremely difficult to pull off. TV time is expensive, and sponsors foot the bill. How do you rate the stuff of the guy advertising on your show? If his product stinks and you say so, he pulls his $. If you say its great, you lose credibility with your audience. So who pays?

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from JOMO wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

these tv hunters don't always harvest animals...and why would they ever show when they didn't...most viewers want to see a big buck down....they might show unsuccessful hunts if they had more time on air...but since they don't they have to cut a lot of the time out that was spent on the treestand and while prepping and scouting...

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from JOMO wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

these tv hunters don't always harvest animals...and why would they ever show when they didn't...most viewers want to see a big buck down....they might show unsuccessful hunts if they had more time on air...but since they don't they have to cut a lot of the time out that was spent on the treestand and while prepping and scouting...

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from John Bramhall wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

Maybe we could come up with a spot on this site that would allow the beginners to ask the questions they need to ask and give the experienced guys and gals a chance to respond. Even after 44 years of stumbling around chasing whitetails I learn something new every time I hunt. No one has all the answers.

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from Ken wrote 5 years 51 weeks ago

I read this post on a daily basis, but this will be my first response....I don't like watching "Big Box" hunting programs and I would enjoy seeing more blue-collar hunting television. I enjoy watching someone harvest a monster buck in Canada, but I learn more from hunting with normals Joe's here in southwest Ohio.

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from Paula wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I'm with Ripper & DJM, help us new hunters. I came from a hunting is for men family. My oldest has hunted since he was 13 but with my brothers. I've adopted a son who is now 14 and I took up hunting with him. We watched ever hunting show there was and can honestly say we were clueless our first hunt. Thankfully I have wonderful hunting buddies who spent their time with the both of us and taught us a great deal. Unfortuantely they both live far away so we are on our own a lot of hunts. WE are doing terrific, but it would be nice to see shows for the unexperienced to help us with different situations we have come across.

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from Scott K wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

The TV shows actually shouldn't be changed. Many of them are produced to simply be entertainment and some are incredibly successful at that.Even if its a high fence harvest, there are many videographers that capture great scenery shots, awesome pre roll and great kill shots, but its still just entertainment. On the other side, there are many productions that claim to be educational(hosted sometimes by TV personalities) and thet do a wonderful job at being just that...leave things as they are.

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from DJM wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I have almost the exact same story as Ripper: I am an avid fisherman, boyscout, and camper, but am just getting into the hunting scene: im actually takin the hunter safety course tommorrow and sunday. Even though I only watch about 2-4 hrs of TV a week, i would def. make time to watch a show for newcomers.

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from I'm in school right now wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I also think that the people are afraid to wear hunter's orange. Have you ever noticed that they are always in states where you can wear a full-camo suit when deer hunting? That is why you never hear about "a good north dakota deer" because we have to wear a blaze orange hat with at least 400 square inches above your torso.Nate

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from I'm in school right now wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

A lot of the shows play rock music in the background. They should just let us listen to the sounds. And instead of just focusing in one place, they should move the camera around. And for once can we get someone who is going to tell us how to take a big doe?? It is always these trophy-obsessed people.Nate

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from Dan D. wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I got an idea, hunt some public land or at least open-access private land. I'd love to see them try a hunt on some timberland in the North Woods. Be it Minn. Mich. or Maine. None of the private ranches, even if they are unfenced. Do a few hunts like the average joe does and see if all that fancy sponsor equipment still gets the job done.Dan

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from RipperIII wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

I, as a first time hunter (both white tail, and turkey)with no previous outdoor experience other than boyhood Scouting, with few hunting friends living close by to hunt and learn from, would love to see a format geared toward us Greenhorns. I would love to know the terminology "benches, draws, bottoms, etc" I would love to know how to identify good hunting habitat, and how to spot sign, how to call, how to field dress, strategies, etiquette etc. I have just gotten into the shooting sports, hunting, sporting clays, trap, skeet etc...I have met many people who would love to get into hunting but like me don't have a lot of connections, and are a bit intimidated at the prospects of starting out alone. I became a subscriber two and a half years ago to attempt to learn, and F & S is great, the articles and especially the blogs, but the power of the TV is undisputed. A show about regular Joe's getting out of the Cities and into the woods would be a boon for business for all involved, land owners, producers, publishers all would benefit, to say the least about a renewed interest in 2nd amendment discussions. Maybe I am just too excited and optimistic but I think this would work.

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from John D wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

Nearly all of them have redeeming qualities in my book. I don't have to be any closer to ditching the daily grind to guide on the flats to love McGuane's "Ninety-Two in the Shade," just as I don't have to have realistic plans to hunt Saskatchewan to enjoy watching another man lay down a monster up there.But since you ask, I'd like to see more shows that reflect what you can achieve through focused management and hard work on your own property. Like what the Drurys do.I also think there's a market for a hardgoods expose'. Real-life product testing and opinion. It'd have to have a strong backing by a camo pattern and clothing company or something because there'd be no room for b.s. for it to have any redeeming qualities. A hard-hitting personality would be essential as well. Make it happen Scott.

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from jstreet wrote 5 years 52 weeks ago

These guys/gals have to put big deer on the ground to sell their sponsors product(s).I don't begrudge them their success and I'm sure many of them work hard, travel, don't see their families, etc. But, I don't really look @ them as anymore skilled than the average long time deer hunter because they go to XYZ outfitters in Iowa and kill a 150" deer.These people hunt in the best places in the world and should be able to but big deer down. That doesn't mean I'll hang on their every word about how "Tommy Joe's Big Buck Pee" was the difference in this hunt and it doesn't mean I'll book a hunt "Zeke and Ed's Monster Buck Preserve and Amusement Park" just because the tv guys killed a buck there.Bottom line, most of these people were hardworking and smart enough to turn an avocation into a vocation and many of us wish we could do the same.Jim

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