Are the Majority of Hunting Shows Taking Things Too Far and Doing a Disservice to Hunting and its Heritage? by Werner Barz 8-31-2013

Once I would watch these show hoping to learn skills, how toDeer PhotoWinnerM pick a tree stand site, how to trail a shot animal, safety things to consider. The importance of Management, the history of Hunting. Learning about the North American Model or PRDJ. Hunting with Family and Friends. Places to hunt on state, federal lands and so many more useful topics, Whitetail behavior.
Now, I personally have stopped watching the majority of hunting shows on Pursuit, Outdoor Channel and others. I fully understand the marketing and sponsors and the business, but as I watch more and more of these shows as they destroy Hunter ethics, Hunter Safety and Sportsmanship and only care about ratings and getting footage of large antlers.
Examples include regularly seeing footage of hunters in Tree stands that are not wearing a safety harness. Seeing Hunters taking shots at Sky lined animal. Or head-on or extremely long distance shots. I commend the folks who have done the practice and have the consistent confidence to make those shots, but they do not discuss it in most cases and have impressionable young hunters looking at those types of shots. Or anymore, seeing shows with Archery hunters taking 50 and 60 yard shots on deer with no discussion on at least the risks, how much a deer can move, or jump the string in the time it takes an arrow to travel 50 yards. All to get the footage.
Now all I see is folks referring to deer or elk as having horns (This one is just pet peeve of mine, Cows have Horns, Deer, Elk, Moose have antlers. I can not tell you how often I have to explain the difference to students in Hunter Ed Classes, Understanding the characteristics of the game you hunt used to be a part of becoming a hunter) and calling them a variety of disrespectful names and comments (Wack’em and Stack’em is the one I really hate) . With no real educational value and usually saying or doing things that have a negative impact or providing a poor example to younger hunters watching these shows. I am willing to bet that the majority of the hunters on these shows, do care about wildlife, conservation and Hunting Ethics, but sacrifice all and more to meet the deadlines or get the footage. OR think this behavior is good for the shows rating, regardless of the long term costs to the sport they love. Am I just getting old and Cranky? Or do you think the Industry would benefit at looking to re-evaluate the long term goals and benefits of the road these shows are on.

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