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Hunting is big business. So gi-normous that media companies create entire cable channels dedicated to people whispering “Look at that! Did you see that? Wow. What a beauty!” I can’t do it. I love guns, I’m into the great outdoors, I’m OK with hunting, I appreciate the skills required to hunt and I admire the hunters’ accomplishments. But I’d rather watch an episode of How it’s Made describing aglet production than sit through a single episode of an entirely predictable hunting show. Don’t tell me: the animal dies. (For the record: when the prey escapes or fails to show up, I don’t share the host’s opinion—based entirely on production costs—that that’s OK too.) What is it that makes these hunting shows so popular? The immersion into a world where cell phones, bills, household chores and (let’s face it) women don’t exist? What? If you like hunting shows or YouTube clips, which one’s your favorite?

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  1. I look at these hunting shows like I do golf. I rather being golfing than watching it on TV. I am starting to prep for the fall, and I rather be hunting than watching it on TV.

    I believe the only purpose for all these shooting shows, is to sell equipment. They are like interactive catalogs. They give a ridiculous amout of detail about their equipment and they are filled with more ads about equipment or an entire episode is sponsored by so-and-so equipment or deer feed.

    I don’t have Outdoor channel anymore because I refuse to pay $10/month for that one channel (its actually part of a package, but could care less for whats in the package). When the Outdoor Channel was free, the only thing I would watch was Shooting USA and other shooting competition or self defense shows. I rather be shooting than watching shooting competitions on TV, but I only have limited time for that.

    • Pascal nailed it. It’s the redneck version of watching Chris Costa berate and belittle us because we don’t have Magpul’s latest doodad. It’s there to make people think they need superfluous accessories that the sponsoring companies can’t sell on their own.

  2. The only hunting shows I’ll stop to watch deal with dangerous game. Something like a bull elephant breaking cover 30 feet away in a full charge at the hunter/camera… 😉


  3. TV shows, yeah I can’t stand them. YouTube is a whole different animal (hehe). Sad to say it, but I didn’t start hunting until later in life. My anti-gun dad never taught me to hunt and I’m too broke to afford a guide, so most of what I learned so far is from applying what I saw on YouTube (and other Internet sources)

  4. TV shows, yeah I can’t stand them. YouTube is a whole different animal (hehe). Sad to say it, but I didn’t start hunting until later in life. My anti-gun dad never taught me to hunt and I’m too broke to afford a guide, so most of what I learned so far is from ap
    plying what I saw on YouTube (and other Internet sources)

  5. Yeah, hunting shows are boring. So, when I need an outdoor show fix, I tune into something really exciting — yes, I’m talking ’bout bass fishing. Because watching a jerk on one end of the line waiting for a jerk on the other end of the line gets my blood racing every time.

  6. I don’t have cable (by choice), but I find it interesting to listen to people talk about TV. At work people talk about hunting shows like they talk about whatever other shows are on. Situations and critiques are put forth, and than much bantering about if the shows’ protagonists (yes, I’m hinting that most tv shows are works of fiction) did the right thing, and how their own actions would have been better if they were there instead of the show hosts. I think it’s an escape for people to relate to doing the things that they can’t do in their everyday life.

  7. I’m not into hunting shows in general, but I do love Meat Eater with Steven Rinella.

    Maybe because he actually cleans and cooks the animal on the show, which adds more interest. He’s also a good host, and an ethical hunter. Worth watching.


  8. Some are educational…Just wish there were more real life senarios and real life hunting shows. Like hunting with a shotgun out of a walmart tree stand like 99% of us do. Not a white tail park where they are raised to shoot on a hunt that costs 10 thousand bucks that most of us will never go on. Gun it with benny spies or Tred Barta all real life shows. Tred is an expert marksmen and those shows are real life and have real techniques we can use and learn.

  9. Hunting is hard work. The shows I used to watch (cancelled cable) made it look way to easy. Regardless I used to learn things by watching and not being able, time wise, to get into the woods like I used to, it was fun to get part of that experience from watching some of the shows.

  10. City born and raised, I was never taught to hunt. Although I now live in a hunting area, I don’t own a hunting rifle, have a hunting license, or the phsical strength or stamina to go out hunting. I have on occassion wandered onto a hunting show while channel surfing, like elk hunting in New Mexico or Montana. The scenery is magnificent, the animals are magnificent, and thus I can get the vicarious thrill of seeing things I will never see in real life. I don’t look for these shows–heck I hardly turn on the TV an more–but I’ve enjoyed watching a few.

    Hey, I’ll double down. I don’t golf either, but I do like to watch the big tournaments. Same with my wife; she watches golf , football, basketball and even baseball!

  11. Strangely enough, I once got clobbered by pitching what I called a “post-modern hunting show” that brought the production standards and quality we use in Gun Stories, Shooting Gallery, the upcoming Elite Tactical Unit to the hunting arena. Everybody hated the idea (except of course for sponsors, who lined up to get on board). Darn, I knew I should have included a clown, a speckled pony and 2 country music singers!

    We’re negotiating a Shooting Gallery episode in Africa hunting dangerous game. No clowns, no B.S.

    Michael B

  12. Neat. I never knew such a thing as a Golden Raccoon existed. Really a pretty little thing. Now I’ve seen one. Now I’ve seen it dead. That made my day better.

    No, I don’t watch hunting shows. I don’t dislike hunting, though I’ve had very little experience with it. I see the value in shooting nuisance hogs, and taking deer for their meet (and racks). Not sure I see the point of shooting that raccoon though. I’m sure the case can be made that it was eating the deer feeder corn, but I really don’t see it making enough of an impact on the corn supply to matter. Perhaps I’m wrong. Like I said, very little experience.

  13. matt in fla. i started life on a farm. i killed a lot of raccoons and possums because they are very destructive, especially to chickens. and where i lived at raccoons were especially bad for spreading rabies. even with modern medicine you do not want to go there.

  14. Hunting is a sport that is enjoyed more as a participant than a spectator. I would really appreciate a hunting show that devoted itself to scouting and selecting a stand location on public land based on the natural habitat rather than watching some schmuck situated in the latest plastic blind over a planted food plot at some private ranch or hunting resort.

  15. I don’t Hunt and have no issue with those who do. I tried to watch some hunting shows, but didn’t really enjoy them…kind of a “you have to be there” thing to get the best experience. And way too many commercials for expensive gear.
    I did have a really interesting conversation with a guy who hunts with Black Powder Rifles one day at a shooting range and would watch a TV show about that. He said that Deer (and other game animals) won’t run from the discharge of a Black Powder Rifle. So, if you miss, you can just reload and shoot again at your leisure. Has to do with the sonics of Black versus Smokeless Powder, according to him. He used both Flintlocks and Percussion Cap Rifles on different occasions. Said the Flintlocks were more challenging to use skillwise.

  16. Those hunting shows – so suspenseful!
    They invariably go to commercial at that precise moment when the whispering dude has that once-in-a-lifetime 47-point buck right in his crosshairs! And I have to sit through three or four minutes of commercials for brand-X scent killer to see what happens next!

    The thing I don’t get: He shoots the buck, it’s lying there breathing his last, and before climbing down out of his tree stand, the dude is still WHISPERING TO HIS CAMERAMAN. Huh? You just shot a gun that can be heard for miles, and now you still have to whisper? Get a clue, Bubba. You can talk normal now. Trust me.

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