Monday, November 29, 2010

Hunting Shows: If They Suck, Why are They On?

© 2010 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
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"Personally, I think the majority of hunting shows stink."
Albert A Rasch

I started to write a post on the very subject some time ago, but it was such a diatribe against "Horn Porn", rich people buying trophies, and celebrities numbskulls, that I finally deleted it. As far as I could discern, there was niether artistic nor educational merit in any of the shows. I couldn't get past the gratuitous "Kill Shot," and the overbearing and abundant use of "Pseudo-Redneck" language employed by the majority of the participants.

Galen Geer of The Thinking Hunter, has put together a well thought out and researched post on the very subject questioning among other things, the ethics being taught by the medium.

"...frustrated by the constant butchery of verb tense and number by the “stars.” Her displeasure is nothing new from people who care about language. This is the foundation of most arguments against outdoor television, and a second argument is that the programs are unrealistic. To one degree or another, the claim can be made that we turn a blind eye to both problems and grudgingly admit that the problems are endemic to the medium and not going away."

Responsibility in Outdoor Media asks for some input from us, the outdoor blogging community. Does the Sportsman Channel, Vrs, ESPN, and other media outlets have some responsibility to the rest of society to portray ethical and appropriate behaviors?

Mr Geer would like to explore the following: "I am curious, however, what you think. For myself, I see an element of a growing problem with many new members of the outdoor media whose lack of a formal education in media law, ethics, practical journalism and creative writing/film/broadcasting, is contributing to increasing misinformation about hunting and fishing by many non-hunters/anglers."

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
Member: Shindand Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...


hodgeman said...

Al, thanks for bringing this up and introducing me to Mr. Geer- I have been previously unfamiliar with his work.

I can't say why hunting shows are still on other than we have a culture that is more spectator oriented than in decades previous. I am also mystifed by the number of folks I see shopping at outdoors stores that I never seem to see in the actual outdoors.

My guess is that Walter Mitty is decked out in camo, fondling a rifle, and watching some celeb blast at a critter.

One of the things I love about blogging as "the new outdoor media" is the level of intellectual honesty inherent in the medium. Most of us can say what we want about whatever because we're not sponsored by a truck manufacturer or concerned about the "network brass."

Television shows are about gaining viewership numbers in order to jack up advertising rates resulting in a more profitable broadcast. Bottom line. If the producers of those shows have gotta go "low brow" to get the numbers...they will. After all- professional wrestling is still on.

Ian Nance said...

It is very unrealistic, for sure. Not all are bad, but your typical Texas Ranch hunts where they dispense advice like real pros are just hokey as can be. A neophyte in camp a few years ago wondered out loud why deer didn't just wander around blindly all day like on TV. I told him we were hunting S. Georgia, not Shangri La Ranch.
There's a trend going the other direction now, too. Show unsuccessful hunts on public lands and try to fill the time with a "personality." This dude Benny Spies is one of those...the second hand embarassment of watching his show is overwhelming.

Hunt Like You're Hungry said...

So funny that you brought this up.

DU and I were watching a hunting show before work today. There was a group of "celebrities". There were a couple of good hunts where does were harvested. But the real kicker was the ending where wives of the hunters got deer that scored 160-170 range. And they were "new" hunters. That made me mad. I hunt. A lot. If I didn't know any better, I'd think that I could score a gigantic buck and get loads of free stuff on my very first hunt. I'm starting to wean myself off of watching shows that glorify the big racks and never show doe harvests or hard work. There's another show we simply can't stand and shows a complete lack of hunting seriousness which I'll be including in future editions of the Quagmire.

Anyways, I'll read his posting. Thanks for the heads-up!


Albert A Rasch said...


we are certainly off to a good start on the discussion! I think the unrealistic aspect of the shows, is what turns me off. The biggest buck I have ever seen, live and in person, was an eight pointer that I almost hit with a car. The second biggest was here in Florida and it was a six with thick beams in a subdivision... He jumped out in front of my car too, but I was driving slow.
I am going to hop over to Galen's blog and see what the conversation is like!

Best to y'all!

Wild Ed said...

Albert I have to agree with your thoughts here as most outdoor shows are simply becoming pimping ads for the products they use on the show and advertise. I am seeing the same thing in our hunting magazines and I hate it. What has happend to real equipment reviews and customer service in the outdoor products industry? It seems to be going the way of free chase deer hunts.
I am still hooked on some of the predator calling shows as you have to have some skill and really call predators in as they are not yet controlled like some of the deer hunts seem to be. JMHO ET
Wild Ed's Texas Outdoors