DO TV OUTDOOR SHOWS TELL IT LIKE IT IS? by Luke Clayton Luke Clayton Maybe my way of thinking is just old school but about 99 percent of the hunting shows Ive watched on TV do a poor job of portraying what hunting is really about. How many times have you watched some well heeled or well sponsored show host spend a good five minutes scrutinize a whitetail buck, while setting in an elaborate blind in South Texas or famous game ranch up north. The drill goes something like this, Look at the mass on that buck, hes a monster for sure but Im not sure if hes a 5.5 year old or a fully mature 6.5 year old. His G2 on the right side is a little out of sync with left side that will cause a deduction in the net BC score. Im really looking for a drop tine. Then, with much fan fare and contemplation, the host will add, almost like a shopper at the meat market, Are you on him (talking to the camera man), I think Ill take him. BANG and this hunt is over! After the shot, the cameraman will pan to the host walking up to the buck, mouthing loudly the woods YES! YES! YES! while grabbing the antlers and carrying on as though hed just scored the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. Another scenario is a beautiful lady that looks as though she could be a runway model as host of the show. I never see these beauties field dressing their game or, for that matter, setting stands or filling feeders or plowing food plots. What are the sponsors of these shows buying into, a host that accurately depicts what a hunter and, hunting is all about or a beauty contest? Dont get me wrong, I admire ladies that truly are hunters, I had an aunt that could match hunting and shooting skills with any man Ive hunted with and she field dressed her own game and later turned out some tasty venison meals. Is glitz, glamour and overreacting what hunting is all about? I think not! Ive been hunting big game animals for the majority of my life and Ive spent time in the field with guys that share my passion, guys like Bob Hood, longtime outdoor editor for the Fort Worth Star Telegram and Larry Weishuhn, possibly the most famous big game hunter/writer in the world. Photo by Luke Clayton After every kill on TV or in the field just hunting, Weishuhn is very respectable of the animal hes just killed, no not harvested, killed. One harvests grain, one kills animals. Another thing that gripes me about the rank and file outdoor show, especially those with southern folks as hosts. When referring to the act of pursuing game animals or birds, any southerner Ive ever known and, most Rocky Mountain hunters say huntin. How fake does it sound when you hear them pause and, with much practice, stop and slowly mouth the word HuntING, with heavy emphasis on the TING. Huntin is ok, we all use the term and most of us know how to correctly pronounce the word hunting. When veteran hunters I hunt with kill a deer, elk, antelope or even wild hog, they are obviously pleased. After all, they will have meat for the freezer and possibly a new mount to display on their den wall but they, without exception, walk up to the animal, make sure hes dead by placing the rifle barrel or arrow on an eyeball, then spend a few minutes admiring their kill in a quiet, contemplative manner. NOT jumping up and down giving everyone high fives and acting as though there were just awarded the hunter of the year trophy. European hunters have for many generations honored the downed game animal by placing a green sprig it its mount. Native Americans honored the game animals they hunted. They asked the Great Spirit for a successful hunt and gave thanks after they had their winters supply of buffalo or elk meat. They knew they were richly blessed with what was once, an unending supply food in the form of buffalo, deer and elk. Hunting and killing game and birds should never have been given the moniker of sport. Its much more than mere sport. Killing big game animals, butchering them and transforming their meat into the makings of many tasty meals is living at its raw essence. Granted, at least for the present, mankind does not have to kill animals in order to survive. We can purchase our meat at the meat market, all wrapped and ready to prepare. But, in doing so, we subject ourselves to an artificial way of looking at life as it really is. Somebody had to kill that animal that we perceive to be just a piece of nicely wrapped steak or pork chop. Hunters, real hunters, know where their meat comes from. They were there when the animal was killed and many of us do our own butchering and wrapping. I felt prompted to voice my opinions on hunting after doing an interview with Steven Rinella, host of the Travel Channels new show The Wild Within. During the course of our interview, now archived at Luke Clayton Outdoors | Catfish Radio and Your Station, 88.9 KETR - A Service of Texas A&M University - Commerce, I learned that Rinella and I and, Im sure many of you, share the same ideas when it comes to killing game. Rinella makes no bones about stating that he kills when he hunts and in each segment, hes shown butchering game and usually enjoying a feast from the fruits of his hunting and fishing trips. If you think all outdoor programming is centered around guys and gals jumping up and down like cheerleaders when they kill an animal, you owe it to yourself to watch The Wild Within. Its a refreshing show and, as Steven pointed out, Theres no fancy lodges at the places we hunt, fish and film. Were really out there. Hopefully this column will be taken in the context it was written, an honest account of the way an old hunter looks at hunting and those that hunt. If Ive stepped on any toes, I offer my sincere apology. Sometimes, its important for us all to tell it like it is, or at least tell it like we see it. I just did. BOW HUNTING TOURNAMENT- Ive know Larry Large a long time and spent many enjoyable days fishing and hunting big game up in Colorado and New Mexico with him. When Larry came up with the idea of a winter hunting tournament, held each Saturday a big ranch near Seven Points, just west of Cedar Creek Lake, I knew he had a winning idea. I liked the plan so much that Im planning to be on hand on most of the hunt myself. Heres whats in the works: A total of 10 bow hunters will show up at the cabin on the ranch late afternoon on Saturdays. They will be treated to a BBQ lunch, then draw number for stands to hunt. Hunters will be put on stands with feeders and night lights around 5 pm and the tournament lasts until 10 pm. A point system will be put on hogs, coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, etc. Back at camp, the scores will be tallied up and the winner wins a free hunt and a new GhostBlind. Cost is $125 each. Sounds like fun, doesnt it? To make plans, give Large a call at 903-765-3176 or drop him an email at [email protected]. Want even more of Luke's hunting/fishing tips and tricks, wild game recipes etc? Listen to Outdoors With Luke Clayton for a new show each week at www.catfishradio.com Contact Luke with hunting and fishing news from your area at [email protected] The BOC has a virtual library of Luke's stories right here on the forums; just about anything you could want to read about the outdoors. Click here to see a boat load of information!