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Tom7227

Do many of the programs on cable add or detract from the sport?

43 posts in this topic

I’ve been spending some time watching the various outdoor programs on the two specialty channels on cable tv, and I’m wondering what others think about what they see.

I guess that I’m starting to get a bit tired of shows that don’t do anything to teach. There seem to be an awful lot of programs that concentrate completely on the ‘kill’ aspect of hunting. We all know that taking the shot is part of the process, but when that’s all you keep seeing for a half hour I think it goes too far.

My most recent example was a program about snow goose hunting. The event took place in a snow covered field and the participants were in ground blinds. There were about 6 people. All I kept seeing was footage of geese coming in, heard someone yell “Kill ‘em”, and then watch as a half dozen or more birds fell to the ground - most of the time after hearing all of the 18 available shots. Maybe a dog will be seen making a retrieve, but then it was back to the same thing.

It’s not just waterfowl hunting. The same thing is true of many the dozens of programs on big game hunting. The crew drives into camp, chats for a while, is seen getting ready to go out on the hunt, time in the stand, a deer or two is seen as it approaches, the shot is taken with a close-up of the impact, high fives with the camera man, then handshakes as they rotate the rack and talk about how great it’s going to score.

Do these programs add anything to the sport? It seems that programs like the ones the Lindners, Babe and Ron Schara are in the minority.

Do they have to yell “kill ‘em” when they’re ready to shoot?

Am I getting way to soft in my old age, or are there others of you that find this trend troubling?

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It's not just the outdoor channels, have you watched the evening news lately? All they talk about it seems are shootings, robberies, and rapes...and the weather. There are few stories that are informative or heartwarming. What about the local soldier that just got home from two tours in Iraq or the businessman that donated $50,000 to local charities? TV stations only care about ratings and unfortunately violence and sex sells!

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I've done business with and had personal relationships with guys (and their families) who have their name on tackle, appear on TV and are editors of special interest magazines and outdoor-related newspapers.

They're the kind of people you'd like to be although most of us don't have the bag to get out of the city and let the wind decide our fate.

I watched Alone in the Wilderness on PBS tonight for more than the first time and I'd give a nugget to try self-sufficiency on the edge.

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Take a close look around you. Listen and watch. What you see on TV is what you see in the field. Or worse. Talk to F&G people. Carefully read some of the postings in here. The days of honest outdoor journalism are long past us. Did you know a group is now trying to organize competitive coon hunting? Buck deer now are called by their "scoring number

" rather than plain old "points" like they used to be. If you don't drag home a truckload of dead stuff the hunt is a failure. You GOTTA kill something.

I have hunted and fished for six decades. Have been in writing, TV production, TV outdoors, F&G management and outdoor politics. Ya know what? I'm sorta not telling people what my hobbies are any more. The anti's are not the ones who are going to make most outdoor pursuits go away. The people who participate under todays concepts of "huntin' and fishin' are. Grab a bunch of todays outdoor magazines. Read the NRA's magazine, a work that used to be a classic for shooters. Now it is outrageous non-stop politics and personalty cult building. The NRA has been taken over by nut cases.

Sorry fellas. Too many of the people wandering around the fields and forest today don't deserve the legacy their father and grandfather left them.

I'll assume that none of you guys reading this fall into that group. What do you think? mad.gif

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I have to agree with a few things that you said Ufatz. Today's buck hunter tends to be after the buck that's going to score the highest. The NRA has gotten a LOT more political, but at the same time, they do fight for our right to bear arms. Do they go over board with the right to own fully autos? In my opinion, they do, but they do fight for our right to bear arms. I have to agree that many of the shows on the specialty channels are more about the kill shot than the actual hunt. As far as saying that many hunters don't deserve the legacy that their fathers and grandfathers left them, I might disagree with that on the basis that it just takes a few to ruin it for the rest. When I was taught how to hunt and enjoy the outdoors, I was taught that it's not about whether or not you bring something home at the end of the day, it's about the experience and the enjoyment you get out of the company you're with and enjoying the outdoors. Some of my best hunting trips I've come home empty handed. To me, harvesting an animal is just an added bonus. This last deer season, I went out with a new hunter, his first year hunting, and had a blast trying to help him harvest a deer. Did we harvest anything? No, but I know I had a lot fun being out in the woods with a great friend even though we didn't "get our limit." To me, and to the people that I hunt with, it's the enjoyment is in the actual hunt. The actual harvest of an animal is just an added bonus.

That's my opinion.

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To even call some of the stuff that goes on with these shows hunting is stretching it. I think that much of outdoor television is doing disservice to hunting and the future of hunting. We cannot compare what goes on the highly controlled land (even if it is not fenced) we see on TV with what happens on the land that most of us hunt. Are we teaching our young hunters that if you don't have 6 bucks in front of you to choose from, that your experience is something less? How many people look at the Iowa bucks(for example) and say to themselves "I got to get me one of those" and search the internet for a guide. I am sure that outdoor TV is contributing to an increase in the guide/outfitter business and the loss of land access to "Joe six pack" who is forced to hunt crowded public land or quit and his kids will never hunt. I don't believe that it is good for the public perception of hunters either. The general public sees hunters sitting in a shed with all kinds of deer around and a bunch of gadgets and not experiencing any real discomfort or exertion at all. There really isn't alot of talent or knowledge involved. How many of these "stars" would be completely lost if they were turned loose on public land in northern MN the second week of the rifle season? I am not talking about all of these shows. I feel there is a lot more to hunting than what your buck scores and much of that does not come through real well on television.

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What bugs me is that most of the shows I've seen are just commercials for the latest gadget that will "make you a better hunter." If you need another gadget, you're not a better hunter, IMO.

And the shows tend to be exactly the same script, with a different buck each time.

whispered: "We're here at such and such Outfitters..." They give weather conditions and a brief description of the terrain, though nothing particularly useful. "We'll see what happens..."

Cue the deer. Deer walks in front, takes an arrow. Whooping and hollering ensue. "I smoked 'im! Woo! He's down, baby! Woo! I couldn't have done that without this new product from some archery company!"

Next, they walk up to the deer after a brief tracking scene. "Here's blood... here's blood... shouldn't be far..." (and it never is)

"Look at the mass on this guy! Thanks to such and such outfitters who ensured that all I had to do was show up, wait, and then shoot!"

Horn Porn isn't as fun as it used to be. I have really grown to appreciate the older videos, like Bowhunting October Whitetails. They actually give information that a hunter can use. But, well, they don't get the ratings and most folks would prefer to watch 21 successful hunts (including one buck over 170"!) on one DVD.

Just my two cents.

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I guess the realization that this thread has just about died with only 6 entries is a pretty good indication of where folks are at.

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Tom,

I seldom watch these shows anymore, they're just not "real world" hunting like the vast majority of us do. I can't afford to go to Alberta, I don't own 1000 acres to practice QDM, etc.,etc. I do however, hunt deer on my little 40 acres and I shoot deer, sometimes a nice buck. I do not let these shows set my expectations at unrealistics levels. There are some excellent waterfowl and upland bird hunting shows but theyn are few and far between, as most of these take place at high dollar places. Again, I don't let these shows influence my idea of a succesful hunt, but I'm afraid that the "younger generation" is definitely influenced by the success rate portrayed on TV.

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Hey Tom,

I get what you're saying. I started calling many of these shows "synthetic hunts". As stated, many are merely staged productions to show a kill with a product advertisement.

I watch them anyway since not much else on TV can keep my attention anymore. I do prefer the shows in big wilderness and on public land. Also when they take time "educate" on animal behaviors and set-ups.

But in the end, its the sponsors that pay for all this and they want people to see a mission accomplished with their stuff. And through a new show every week, not repeats. That takes some planning.

Its way better than the jewelry channel! laugh.gif

I think the hardest part of their trade is getting show quality footage of it. Its tough! I am one of the many who have tried it.

To answer your question: Neither. Non-factor, its just entertainment.

I get much more out of HSO/FM than TV anyways. I learn about what others know and what I don't! laugh.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif

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Do they hurt or help? I'd say neither.

Of all the outdoors shows I've seen, I've only seen one in my entire life, that I remember, the dude didn't shoot a trophy buck, or a hundred mallards, or etc. He actually walked out of the woods with nothing after his entire trip.

Then again, a 1/2 hour fishing show of a guy sitting on the bow of his boat, casting, changing lures, casting, changing lures, etc and getting skunked wouln't be very entertaining to the masses.

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Well, I guess I can go either way. It is easy to see that most of these are filmed in the "perfect" areas with low pressure and lots of animals. Who wouldn't love to hunt there... if it was "real". I still can't bring myself to hunt a canned pheasant hunt even. But if people want to enjoy it, have at it. That isn't real hunting for me. Same with the bait hunters in TX or whatever is like that.

But, even if people in the "old days" counted points rather than inches, they still were after big bucks and big fish, weren't they? Isn't Grandpa's big buck a big buck any way you score it? And Grandpa probably shot more bucks than does, as it was a different time then. That didn't make him bad I don't think, though you would think by lots of people these days that if you shoot a small buck you are ruining the herd.

Here is how I sort of see it... it seems that hunters and anglers (hunters especially, since you can't release animals) go through stages in their life, and the more years of hunting under your belt, you tend to think about things differently, and you go from having the experience of hunting and killing the trophy to having the hunt itself be the "trophy". I don't think it is bad for people to enjoy shooting alimit of ducks or a big buck, just as I don't think it is bad for me or you or Grandpa or whoever to pass on a big buck or release a eater walleye just cause you/we don't want to kill it.

But to get back to the original question, I don't think the cable programs are bad just because they show very successful (killing wise) outings. But I don't think it takes a big kill to make a successful show either. I just watched a decent DU program where they had a pretty bleak duck free hunt. I kinda liked it, cause it was real, but to tell the truth, it was boring looking at empty skies. smile.gif Too much like my hunts sometimes wink.gif

Anyway, I ramble on too long, as you can tell. What would be worse than high-fives and lots hits on shows... would be no shows...

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I'd say both and neither at the same time.

Of the ones I don't like, it's the canned ones, mostly the Texas ones that claim that they HAVE to hunt over bait or they'd never see a deer. Probably not, if all you ever do is sit in a raised blind. MAybe if you got out of the chair and did some stalking/walking, you would see some...

There are others that it's obvious that the deer have been so "trained" (for lack of better term) to come to certain food plots, watering holes, whatever, that it just doesn't look like fun to me, But that's just my opinion.

There are some good shows out there too.

I like Jim Shockey's show a lot. He's usually got a muzzleloader in his hands, and unless he's onhis private property up in Saskatchewan, he's usually out in some pretty open spaces, stalking and getting as close to the animal as possible before taking a shot. He's had shows where he comes up empty, but just smiled & said "That's hunting". I love Ted Nugent for the entertainment factor, but more and more I get the feeling that the kill is the most important thing to him. Not how I see hunting, but he's fun to watch, so I do. Do I think his show hurts the image of hunters or gives too high expectations? No, but that's just how I see it.

I guess it's all a matter of taste. Are the fishing shows all that much different? A lot of them give thanks to their guide and whatever lodge or resort they were staying at, just like the hunting folks do. THat's how they get those trips for free, after all. By giving a plug to the outfitter. Part of capitalism... not bad, maybe not great. I guess if you find it entertaining, or find a show like "Deer & Deer Hunting" that's highly informative, along with being entertaining, then it's that much better.

But I don't think the shows hurt or help all that much in any case. They're just something to watch, and maybe pick up a pointer or two in the process...

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I like some of them, hate some of the as well. There are a few guys that would be totally lost without a guide I believe, guys like Keith Warren come to mind.

But I do enjoy watching alot of them, I really enjoy the western mule deer hunts, like the archery spot and stalk as well as the pronghorn hunts the same way.

With that being said, if I had to choose between Keith Warren and Simon Cowell. Well, I'll take bad hunting over bad singing any day.

These shows get me real fired up for bow season too!

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What they should really say:

"Thanks to the big $$ I got from (insert name) to promote their product, I will say that it worked a charm to bring in this farm raised buck that was just released in the woods last week."

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The more I see of these programs the less I watch. The hunts are canned and if it looks like theyll get skunked they pull one out at the last light on the last day just to make you feel like they are not perfect. Plus they have to hunt in the "hot spots" on private hunting preserves. It reminds me of life styles of the rich and famous. I do like KHO he takes you places you can identify with and it is like a hunt with a friend you may remember were it is the company and the outdoors that take the spotlight not the trophy. Heck a day of no geese listen to two old friends/brothers raz each other can be entertaining, Ive done it, watching my father in law and his buddy.

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Like so many other things it's about the money. They have to kill big deer and alot of them and ducks etc. If they don't then the shows would'nt exsist. I wait every year to see someone have a show on public land where they show start to finish of their season. Everything from scouting to trimming shooting lanes to hanging stands. I'm sick of outfitters. Some of those guys call them professional based on the size and amount of deer they put on the ground but I would dare to say there is a couple of handfulls of people on this site who are just as good or even better and have never put down a monster buck. Show me a real hunter no outfitter doing it the way so many of us do and that is a show. But I know myself and other people that would enjoy that kind of show would be in the minority, and who would sponsor a show like that. With that being said I introduced a new hunter to the sport and wathching shows just fires him up more and expands his interest to other facets of hunting. So in some cases it helps. But as mentors/fathers etc. it is our responsibility to explain to them the real expectations and hard work of the hunt, and to show them the right ethical way. Not a TV show in our place.

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To me its entertainment and I won't watch the ones where they're trying to NBA-ize the sport with the hats on backwards and the fist pumping and strutting around, etc.

I've come to take it with a grain of salt and realize that I can use all of the sponsored-products, do everything "right" and still only get a monster buck maybe a few times in my lifetime if I'm lucky because there aren't that many in the areas I hunt. If I owned thousands of acres or could afford to pay someone who did to hunt there, then I could do it, but I can't so I shoot a deer I work hard for every year and be happy.

And I watch the hunting shows with a grain of salt and just shake my head and turn the channel when someone is acting like an idiot. Nothing to get too excited about.

Happy Holidays everybody!

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I have been laying in a hospital bed for 4 months and would probaly have gone nuts if it werntfor the hunting and fishing shows I find available to me.

The vast majority of these seem to be put together with good intent and some with years not months of planning.

It would be everyones dream to have the lifestyle some of these persons are living.

But yes some are so fabricated ,such as the Texas hunting propertys etc.It is when the pocketbooks of the real enthusiasts takeover such goes the imagination .

I have freinds right here in MN that are offered great deal of funds for their better genetic bucks and does to be shipped to add to the great bucks we see shot[probaly somewhere in the price range of $6500.00 for a guarenteed 4 day 5 night stay one one Texas hunt I checked into.

This year being down with a broken back I would be glad to be at one of our farms in a stand watching mediocre 4 and 8 point bucks and cautious does.

Next season after a year of recovery I probaly will remember every show I saw and smile as some of the real ones seem like home in central mn.

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Primetime,

I hope you have a speedy, successful recovery!

Wanderer

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1. If its not a hunt on public land I won't watch it.

Tread Barta(sp) I'll watch.

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Hey PrimeTime: Once spent most of a year in a cast from my neck to my toes. Not a lot of fun but man when it os all over I REALLY appreciated simple things like walking, sitting up in a chair and taking a shower on my feet!! I KNOW you aren't having much fun right now, but hang in there. Everything will seem wonderous and bright when you're back up and around again.

Remember...guys who have been there are with ya. grin.gif

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The fact that the Outdoor Life Channel changed its name to VS. and has bicycle racing, rodeo and hockey is a big clue. They are doing this because the hunting and fishing shows do not pull in the audience nor the revenue to sustain the network.

I suspect the little Hunting Show industry is self perpetuating via Oufitters who fall for the trade the hunt for the "ad" sales pitch and gadget makers who pay for some of these hunts to promote their product. Same thing occurs in the magazine industry.

I suppose no-one (TV crew, outfitter, gadget maker) really cares because everyone is hunting.

Eventually the whole thing may end up biting 'em in the butt and the game will be over. When? - who knows?

Really depends on when "hunter joe" understands that the latest and greatest gadget or outfitted hunt is not the answer.

I know a couple of top class waterfowl outfitters who refuse to provide free hunts for TV crews. Comment was the return was minimal - not one hunt booked because of the show.

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the outdoor channel did not become versus.....they dropped the Outdoor LIFE channel in favor of versus. the outdoors channel is still the outdoors channel.

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surface tesion

I think the Barta shows are the best

Any guy that is as arrogant as he that hunts with wooden arrows ,knives etc and sometimes gets skunked is alright with me.

often wondered what it would be like to spear a doe from tree stand.

I know a lot of people that are against crossbows ,but am looking forward to getting one to replace shotgun slug season.

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