From the dawn of time story tellers have gathered around the fire to weave tales of the battle of survival. Often the first questions to the hunter are – how far did you shoot, how far did it run, what were you using?
The never ending quest to unlock the “secrets” of success has fueled the hunting industry though magazines, books and tv shows.
If we are lucky, we are able to spend time around the campfire or dinner table during hunting season with friends and family recounting the ones that got away, successes of past hunts, and game planning how to outsmart or prey. More often in our busy lives our storytellers come to us via our television or the internet. For a few dollars a month we get access to dedicated hunting and fishing channels.
Today's ever evolving technology allows us to be brought along on the story of the hunt, a step beyond an often embellished recollection of events. Through our televisions, our tv host take us to other states and countries on adventures most of us will never get to experience in person.
Unfortunately the hunting world is teeming with those that are critical of anyone and everyone who dares to hunt differently than they do. Added to the equation are those that despise tv hunters no matter what they do. Only the haters themselves can explain exactly why they feel the way they do, whether it's jealousy or misconceptions on exactly how hunting tv and the hunting industry actually work.
Most people don't understand that tv hunters aren't paid like Hollywood actors. Tv hunters pay for their shows to air, not the other way around. With enough money ANYONE can have a hunting show. This is where the hunting industry comes in, as sponsors of the shows.
One often heard complaint about hunting tv is that there are too many commercials, yet when a non celebrity has success they are asked what equipment they used. Sponsors keep the shows going, being a tv hunter isn't a get rich and hunt the world golden ticket. On the other hand there are companies you may have never heard of that make quality products and they only advertise through product sponsoring a tv hunter. Anything that gets small hunting industry companies a boost is a great thing!
Often tv hunters have one or more side jobs or tour to sell t shirts just to pay their bills, sacrificing even more time with their families and friends. Dynasties and Swamps are a different ball game not to mention a different network.
Another complaint is that tv hunters use outfitters too much and couldn't hack it on public land. Some of the anger from this stems from anger towards outfitters (another subject for another day) or assuming that outfitter equals penned hunt. A hunting show based on your average hunt wouldn't cut it, staring at trees doesn't make for good tv. Anyone can pay an outfitter but that doesn't guarantee success.
I'll say it again, ANYONE can have a hunting show. It just takes money. However, a successful show needs to be entertaining and educational. There are some shows that are a mind numbing boring wait for the kill shot, other shows you are pulled into the story as if you were there in the field yourself. To be educational you must first be knowledgable or be a good example of what not to do, which can be pretty entertaining as well.
There is a show for everyone out there, because these shows are about our passions, some fan's devotion and hate can rival any sports fan out there. People even judge you depending on what shows you watch as crazy as that sounds.
It's more than picking up a camera, traveling to exotic places and collecting a paycheck. It takes hard work and a passion beyond a regular 9-5. To take something you love doing and make it a job can take a toll on enthusiasm, but if you ask just about any tv hunter I bet that they would say that then don't do it for the kill they do it for the fans and the future of the sport.
When I first started hunting I didn't really care for hunting shows, at least until I saw one host shoot an arrow through a washer. It blew my mind and since that moment that show was and is an inspiration for me to be a better archer and hunter. I'll always be a fan.
If there is a show you like, let them know, tell the network, and buy some fan gear – it helps them get the shows out. If you haven't found a show you like, keep looking!