Outdoor Hunting TV Shows Unrealistic?


Outdoor Hunting TV Shows Unrealistic?

Do you enjoy watching deer hunting shows on the outdoor television networks? Do you really believe those “hunters” are pursuing the same kinds of fair chase bucks that you get to hunt each season? Are all of those hunts conducted ethically? Hunters on social media are beginning to question otherwise.

After the recent news blitz over one hunting TV host that shot an animal supposedly mistaking it for another and then tried to cover up his actions, hunters all across the country are losing faith. That host was fined, and lost his hunting privileges for a term. Then his sponsors backed out and his TV show was cancelled. Since, hunters have blown up social media suspect of such activities filmed for hunting television.

Of course, that is just one example and not the first. Other hunting TV personalities have been caught, ticketed and fined for hunting without proper permits, taking illegal animals, hunting out of season and transporting kills across state lines. Some of these guys no longer have programs or are no longer publishing in outdoor magazines.

Social media monitoring by hunters is also starting to question how a TV host can hunt on a piece of property where every buck on camera has been named, some for several seasons. They have saturated the habitats with so many trail cameras that the same deer are filmed over and over. These bucks are recognized so often that the landowners and TV hosts have named them. They become hunting targets for the show no matter how many seasons it takes.

Some of the names given these TV bucks will crack you up, too. Bucks are named “Big Ten, Wide and Tall, Zoolander, Kracken, Goofy 8, Drop Tine Dan, Barn Door, Swagger, among many other creative names. Most hunters don’t even see the same bucks often enough on their own hunting lands to even think about naming them.

Such shows create unrealistic expectations for the audience, especially young hunters. Now, peer pressure is growing out of proportion to harvest nothing but record book bucks. In reality that rarely happens. This also pressures and encourages TV hunters to bend the rules. Sometimes they even admit it talking about having to “smoke one” before the hunt, err, the filming ends.

Certainly, not every hunting show is conducted this way and no implications are implied here about any show on any network. Viewers have to realize the reality of what is shown. Exceptional bucks taken on exceptional properties perhaps under questionable practices is far from the real world of average deer hunting for everyday deer hunters.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1700484816

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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