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“Hunting shows” - net positive or negative?

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Im not taking a stand on one side or another. Want to see what folks say. I often have friends that like XYZ show & learn a lot from it. I used to watch hunting shows as a kid & when I was younger. I did really like them. I don’t watch them now as I’m just too busy. I will catch some educational type habitat & hunting related vids on occasion for fun or to check out what’s “new”.

I think we have all heard both sides of this…. Off top of my head here’s a few pro’s & con’s. & I think anyone with any objectivity can say: there’s good shows & not so good. Good people with great motives & others…. Not so much.
I did it one year for Midwest Whitetail & I only wanted to do habitat & educational based things. It was a fun thing for a year.

Pro’s:
-youth seem to love it. Probably helps attract some younger folks.
-Helped shape my interest in hunting growing up.
-Many shows are educational & great teaching tools on hunting skills, etc.
-seeing trials, obstacles, challenges & mistakes in hunting world.
-let’s folks see other areas: states, management, potential, etc. On occasion: the pinnacle of whitetail management.
-there’s a show to cater to any type of viewer out there.
-there are folks out there who do it for the love of the sport & not primarily about $.
-advanced habitat, conservation & deer management efforts across the country.


Con’s:
-product sales thrown down throat to an extreme degree with many of them. Probably to the point of backfiring now.
-get guys who shoot deer they really don’t want to, just to make a show. Care about $ over the hunt.
-can form some unrealistic expectations if it’s not honest & transparent….. if they don’t tell you they are hunting a 5000 acre tightly managed chunk (which I have no issue with someone owning or hunting that) - it likely puts a misconception on what folks can do with vastly less or in a more common situation. If they are clear about it & viewer knows it - all good, IMO.
-like anything: There’s some bad apples that can paint hunters in bad light. Rare & that’s people & life but it is an issue
-bad advice. Ha. I guess this is everywhere. Sometimes I see methods, tactics or “teachers” showing things that are flat out wrong, dumb, ineffective or misguided. Just mistakes. Which, that’s not a big deal. Smart folks will figure this out.
-$, EGO & our self centered world in hunting videos & the industry for sure turns some folks off. A lot of folks. But- not all are like this thankfully.

overall- what’s your feeling? NET POSITIVE or NET NEGATIVE??? Thoughts? Last….. if you do or don’t like the “industry” …. Either way….. where would you LIKE to see it go and what changes made?? GO!!…
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
I personally feel there both out there ! Negative and positive! Back in the day it was more about entertainment. It was novel to see deer hunted on film! But I see a big swing with any of the viewers who have been watching for awhile now the days of just getting a harvest on film are done! Today you need to tell a story of a particular deer or show more of how you "set up" or what you did to harvest a deer. Manipulate habitat or steer deer toward your stand with hinge cuts ect. People are at the learning stage not just the entertainment stage anymore !! My 2 cents!!

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kelcher

Well-Known Member
I still enjoy watching some hunting shows. Maybe I am just simple minded, but I watch these shows and it gets me fired up for season. I imagine myself in that scenario and feel just a small taste of that anticipation and excitement.

I do like seeing some new tactics too.
 

Bassattackr

Member
People are at the learning stage not just the entertainment stage anymore !!

Agree 100% on this, seeing kills don't do anything for me. (I admit I don't watch most of those episodes on MW..). I'd rather learn more about habitat, plots, habitat manipulation (as WI mentioned above etc.) and the visual effects of their efforts. Some of my favorite episodes on MW were the ones where Winke talks about his stand locations, access routes, etc..

I think that's why Dbltree had/has so many followers, he was able to *demonstrate* the how-to & effects of his efforts through before & after photos, trail camera pics, etc. His knack for being able to teach and relay that through internet forums was.. impressive!

Skip, as you pointed out, there's a lot of bad info out there.. Many popular YouTubers - I disagree with a lot of their advice, tactics.. A lot of garbage out there for clicks.. I agree with some, laugh at others as I've seen firsthand how their rules and theories counter what I know aren't true based on personal experience and firsthand observation. Some better than others..

I probably listen to podcasts more than YouTube shows.. Don Higgins (Chasing Giants) knowledge of whitetails, stand manipulation and experience is impressive, and most any show with Mark Drury as a guest.. like Don he speaks from a lot of practical / real world experience for our/my area.
 

Matthewfox_45

Active Member
I like the stuff the hunting public puts out. Not a whole lot of product placement bs, and they just seem like regular dudes hunting public land.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
I probably listen to podcasts more than YouTube shows.. Don Higgins (Chasing Giants) knowledge of whitetails, stand manipulation and experience is impressive, and most any show with Mark Drury as a guest.. like Don he speaks from a lot of practical / real world experience for our/my area.
100% agree. I havent listend to Don, but podcasts in general. Listen to meateater most regularly and its almost never about whitetail.... BTW he had Tucker Carlson on 2 weeks ago. Pretty interesting show! I didn't realize Tucker lives in the woods and is engulfed in an outdoor lifestyle and films his daily show on fox news in the woods in Maine.


I watch very few hunting shows. In the rare occasion I do watch one it is probably not a whitetail show (Meateater, Live-2-hunt)
 

sep0667

Land of the Whitetail
Overall anymore I think its negative. Its created a lot of competition and greed in my mind and everyone trying to one up everyone. Way to many adds and I think all the adds and gadgets etc are just having a turn off effect anymore. I honestly just enjoy the simplicity of it and not using hardly anything that is advertised. All the adds and you have to have this and that etc make me not want to buy them or use them. I used to watch a bunch of shows on the Outdoor Channel when I was younger. Now if I watch anything its on YouTube. The only one that I watch every episode of is The Hunting Public. I'll occasionally watch a video of something here or there, but don't follow any other than The Hunting Public. I used to watch Midwest Whitetail back in the day with Bill and it was good, but now with Jared and Mike its a lot different, to many adds and just almost seems to be a showoff type vibe to me a bit. Anything on tv is dumb IMO, way to many adds and everyone on it just seems so fake, they are their to make a dollar.

The THP guys are really fun to follow and watch their videos, very entertaining and they keep everything so simple. They are not out there to shoot the biggest animal and they are hunting public land and traveling the country. They are average guys with mix matched camo, cheap vehicles, eating peanut butter sandwiches and camping in tents and having a genuine good time and are as real as can be as a person. They are not hunting out of blinds or treestands much, they are very mobile and really aggressive and take the hunt to the animal and that makes it a lot more entertaining. They way the film everything seems better to, its not a big theatrical event when they post a video and they have no intense music either, they have a little music at the beginning and end that is much more enjoyable. They have some adds, but not many. I hope THP never changes, if you haven't followed them and start watching their videos I highly recommend it.
 

Bassattackr

Member
Overall anymore I think its negative. Its created a lot of competition and greed in my mind and everyone trying to one up everyone. Way to many adds and I think all the adds and gadgets etc are just having a turn off effect anymore. I honestly just enjoy the simplicity of it and not using hardly anything that is advertised. All the adds and you have to have this and that etc make me not want to buy them or use them. I used to watch a bunch of shows on the Outdoor Channel when I was younger. Now if I watch anything its on YouTube. The only one that I watch every episode of is The Hunting Public. I'll occasionally watch a video of something here or there, but don't follow any other than The Hunting Public. I used to watch Midwest Whitetail back in the day with Bill and it was good, but now with Jared and Mike its a lot different, to many adds and just almost seems to be a showoff type vibe to me a bit.

+1. I wish Winke would continue to post more content on his new YouTube channel.
 

Hair&Scales

Member
Take it for what its worth I have much more respect for someone that can year after year kill a 140 plus inch deer on public land in any state over someone that can kill a 170 plus inch deer over a food plot on private land. Two totally different animals and circumstances which I m sure could lead to a whole discussion in itself. That said since most hunting shows are about sitting in a box blind framing perfect video of a shot over a manicured food plot I don't care to watch them. Most advice on most hunting shows are pure bs. . . to sell a product or they just purely don't know any better. I will give a plug for The Hunting Public as I agree its about the only show I follow anymore, I watch it more for the good times they have together than the hunting sometimes, I also don't agree with their tactics at times and no scent control but its fun to watch as they are your average guys out hunting.
 
For me it’s pure entertainment. If there were a 24/7/365 whitetail channel I’d watch it. Never know what you pick up and learn. Everyone has something to offer. I enjoy watching deer, period. The industry has to advertise somewhere. Kinda like the entire Iowa whitetail classic filled with vendors. Lol
 

newfarmer

New Member
I hunted for several crews in the past and really saw the negative side of it. That being said, there are a few channels/shows that I like to watch, and still currently film lightly on the side. I dont post nearly as much as I used to, but still enjoy it. THP guys are a great group, fun to watch, and I believe some of them are from Iowa? I try to watch all Iowa groups, or at least follow them. I like to support "locals" I guess.
As I have gotten older, bought ground, made changes to what I do, my whole outlook has changed. If I could do what THP does every year, and travel nonstop, and hunt. I for sure would. But now my job, wife, kid, life in general says, maybe 1 hunt a year. So getting to see others do what I used to do is fun.
 

TimmyD525

PMA Member
I agree with negative overall, way more unrealistic shows that you can get your hands on that taints many people’s views on what they can expect. I only watch things where I can learn tactics and a majority are public hunting shows, agreed with many The Hunting Public is just awesome, they show the back story and not just sitting there and the kill, it’s so much more of an adventure the way they portray it. It’s actually driven me to not hunt my private options as much and try and hunt public more. Just not knowing what’s out there and something you have to work hard for using nature the way it’s naturally set up is so appealing as I get older. I started watching monster bucks and shotgun hunting in a party with my dads friend, but as I grow older and get more and more obsessed with bow hunting, I love doing it the “old school way” for a lot of it.


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Daver

PMA Member
If I never see another experienced hunter shoot a deer with a crossbow...out of a blind...over bait...I would be just fine. I like realistic, down to earth shows like Hunting Public and Jared Mills on MW. (I liked Bill too, but he is not filming hunts now.)

So I see good and bad, but I mainly ignore the bad.
 

Wapsi Tree Rat

Well-Known Member
Neither net positive or net negative. It's just a net, and it catches LOT of $$$$s.

People making, buying and selling hunting products is only good thing-free markets at work. God knows I buy my share.

As I get older though, I'm more and more drawn to a "pure" hunt....ground blinds and bows, possibly a ladder stand.

The last time I watched a hunting show, some clown sat in a heated, sealed blind, and I think he had a waitress bring him drinks. He was on a paid hunt at some outfitter in Missouri. He had to put his sandwich down to pick up his rifle and "smoke" a big one at 50 yds. For me that's a turnoff.

The size of the buck I shoot does not define me or my success, therefore I could care less about the latest gadget that will kill a deer deader than the dead one last year. I love the hunt, and I love to eat. Props to meat-eater though. Some good stuff on there.

Going to shut up and eat my venison before I step in it some more. :)


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Obsessed

Well-Known Member
I'll search for and watch specific instructional videos, if there's something I want to learn. Spot-&-stalking and still-hunting mule and eventually whitetail deer was something that I've watched a bunch of videos on. The actual 'Hunting Shows' are too commercialized, over the top, and unrealistic. 'The Hunting Public' is a better one that I've caught parts of recently and kind of like. There was another one I watched a few years ago where 2 guys would drive around in a minivan and put some epic spot-&-stalks on whitetails, ('Whitetail Freaks'). Outside of that, I find they're about as fun to watch as Bill Dance and Jimmy Houston shows where they're fishing their own privately stocked and protected lakes. Not interested.

'Meat Eater' is another good show, but I almost wouldn't consider it a 'Hunting Show', as it's SO MUCH more than that.
 

LoessHillsArcher

Well-Known Member
Learned a TON from watching Drury videos growing up - used to look forward to buying all three of their new DVDs every year. That stopped about 15 years ago roughly. I just don't take the time to watch much for hunting videos any more. Rather go out and do it in person vs sit infront of a screen and watch it.
 

jkratz5

Super Moderator
I think net negative:

1. The $ and the need to kill has driven people to do some very stupid things. I can think of a couple guys who even did prison time, deservingly, however if it wasn’t for a show and $ I don’t think they would have made that decision

2. too many continued black eyes. Goes with above but with all the shows and so called famous folks that puts every single occurrence in the public eye and most of the time all hunters get lumped into those categories.

3. garbage products pimped all the time. I think most shows are probably down to 10% or less education and about 90% pimping products and giving credit for kills to those products

4. I cannot remember the last time I actually learned something from a TV show. Not saying I know everything, I learn new hunting tactics yearly but it is usually from this site or in conversations with buddies.

5. I like that my kids like the shows but I also think it establishes unrealistic expectations.

Personally I would rather watch a show that is 5-7 episodes showing someone’s entire season, from prep work, identifying target deer and then the weekly grind that went into potentially getting a crack at that deer. I think much can be learned from those situations rather than just spray some scent spray on it and hint wherever
 
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