April 14, 2014
Big hat tip to my friend, Sten, at Suburban Bushwacker for turning me on to this video. It’s the first part of a six part series, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the additional installments.
Note that there’s not a lot of hype. There are no high fives or ridiculous, “now that’s what it’s all about,” after-the-shot posturing. There’s no blatant product placement. No politics. Just a quiet, but beautiful setting with a guy for whom the hunt is not just an opportunity for self-promotion.
So enjoy, please.
March 28, 2014
It’s one of those days where I really can’t decide what I’d rather write about.
First of all, it’s hardly news now that the Pig Man, Brian Quaca, has apparently hit the big time with a new show on the Discovery Channel, Boss Hog.
Here’s the story, according to the press release that I (and pretty much anyone who’s ever written about hunting or shooting) received yesterday.
BOSS HOG, premiering on Discovery Friday April 11 at 10PM ET/PT, follows Brian “Pigman” Quaca and his crew as they take on Texas’ wild hog problem, building his own “pig empire.”
In recent years, wild hogs have ravaged Texas, causing an estimated 1.5 billion dollars in agricultural damage annually. Where most see this as a nuisance, Pigman sees it as an opportunity, making money off every aspect of the pig – from booking clients on high-end hog hunts and customizing hog hunting bows, to stuffing and mounting trophy boars.
Expanding Pigtime Enterprises’ hunting empire, Pigman has also partnered with local barbeque joint, Wright’s BBQ. At the helm of the BBQ business is Quita, helping Wright’s serve up delicious BBQ to Texas for the past 50 years. Whether she’s trying to curb Pigman’s big business ideas for Wright’s or just keep tabs on Pigman’s wacky dad, Dap, Quita’s partnership with Pigtime has become a lot more than she bargained for.
Although Pigman’s hands are full building a successful business, it seems like most days are spent managing his hair-brained staff. No one tests Pigman’s patience more than his dad, Dap, who runs the Pigtime hunting ranch.
“With Dap, if it’s not one thing it’s another, but somehow he always gets the job done – he just has a unique way of solving problems.”
Above everything else, Pigman has one main goal in life: to provide for his thirteen year old son, J.D. Pigman’s every ambition stems from the idea that he’ll one day pass on his pig business and pig legacy to his son. Right now, Pigman’s doing everything in his power to build on that legacy and take his pig empire to the masses.
So, imagine Duck Dynasty with hog hunters.
Look, while I may not have enjoyed every episode, I’m generally a fan of Brian Quaca’s, Pig Man, The Series program on Sportsman Channel. When he’s doing what he does best, hunting and eradicating hogs, he’s entertaining and often educational. He makes no bones that killing hogs isn’t just about sport hunting, but he also doesn’t pretend he isn’t having a great time. I respect that.
But I’m not nuts about anything that Discovery has applied their sensationalistic, lowest-common-denominator approach to “reality”, spin on. I hope Quaca and his team will rise above that, and I might even break my personal boycott of Discovery to catch an episode or two… with the clear-eyed realization that this is supposed to be entertainment, not reality.
The bright side is, Pig Man will continue to appear on Sportsman for the time being.
Now, to an entirely different topic…
A few folks on my Facebook feed have shared this “investigative series” on deer farming and high fence hunting from the Indy Star. The piece purports to “expose” the harmful and unethical practices behind this industry, and while I think it gets off to a reasonably good start, by the end of the last segment (there are four “chapters”), it’s easy to see that the mantle of subjectivity has slipped a bit and the agenda starts to drive the content.
Nevertheless, I strongly recommend giving it a read if you’re at all interested in the topic. The first chapter does present some interesting history about the deer farming and trophy deer breeding industry, and the next three chapters offer some food for thought. But I also advise reading it critically, because there’s a good bit of speculation mixed with the facts.
And, in the spirit of full disclosure for anyone reading this blog who doesn’t already know this about me, I am not opposed to high fence hunting, or game farming. While my preference will always be a rugged hunt in the backcountry, I do enjoy many kinds of hunting experiences, including high fences and planted bird preserves. But probably the most important thing to know about my position on this topic, is that I absolutely believe that none of us has the right to define the experience of the hunt for anyone else… as long as it is reasonably safe, legal, and does not threaten the natural resources.
January 31, 2014
I’m not gonna whine more right now about how much I miss hunting Tejon Ranch. And I’m not gonna spend a lot of time bemoaning some of the changes that appear to be going on there in regards to the hunting program… mostly because I don’t know enough on a first hand basis. It doesn’t sound promising, at least not for the level of general access they once offered. But those of you still in CA should keep an eye on it, and seriously, if you get a chance to hunt that place, you should. A self-guided hog hunt there can be done for a lot less money than some folks think, and it’s about the best opportunity to kill a hog that most people will ever get without hiring a guide.
Anyway, before I moved away I heard a lot about some of the CA hard-core hunters working to put out a new magazine called Relentless 365. They’d focus on CA hunting and hunters, and knowing some of the guys involved in the project, I knew they would have some quality product from and about serious CA hunters. And I was right. It’s worth checking out for anyone, but if you live and hunt in CA, I’d say this is a magazine you should be reading.
In addition to the magazine and website, they started doing some video work as well. This isn’t that coarse, amateur video like I was doing for a while, but some really solid, well-produced and edited material. I’d put this stuff up against anything the Outdoor Channel or Sportsman’s Channel have to offer. Here’s their second “webisode”, released last spring. It covers several hunts on the Tejon Ranch, and some really nice hogs. I like the hunting action anyway, but I like it even more when I recognize most of the spots these guys are hunting. It’s long, almost 22 minutes, but worth the time (and no commercials). So please, enjoy!
August 13, 2013
At some point in the last few years, I’ve talked about field-dressing game using the “gutless method.” It’s a great technique when you’re way back in the backcountry, especially when you have to pack out a large animal solo. Best of all, you can do it all with a good knife. No saw. No axe. No pulleys or winches.
In this video, Randy Newberg (On Your Own Adventures and Fresh Tracks) shows how he does it, step-by-step with great video work.
July 29, 2013
OK, so not that long in real world terms, but a week on the Interwebz… ain’t it funny, how time slips away!
Not an awful lot going on here anyway. It’s too hot here in TX to get out and do much… or to even think about hunting. Hell, by the time I climb up the hill to retrieve my arrows from the target out back, I need a shower. I spent last week in Spokane, and even way up there the heat was oppressive (although at least it was a dry heat).
It’s been a good time for watching TV, and I had a chance to catch up a little on hunting shows over the weekend. There are a couple of things that stood out to me from the brief sample:
- The imaginations of outdoor gear manufacturers are still running wide open, and it’s a guarantee that the 2013-2014 season will bring a glut of new stuff for hunters to purchase and haul into the field. This includes things like the Firefly, wind direction detector. Even Kat picked up on this one and questioned, “what’s wrong, hunters don’t know how to wet their finger to see which way the wind blows?” Another product is an elasticized netting to put over the top of your ground blind, advertised as “the only way to add natural foliage to your blind!”
- I’m sick of hearing about how you need a rifle (or in this case, a muzzleloader) that can reach into the next zip code to kill a deer. Folks, look… if other people regularly, and successfully bowhunt for the same species in the same area (e.g. Colorado elk or Kansas whitetails), then the argument that “sometimes all you get is a long shot” is pretty much moot. This is amplified on the TV networks, because you’ll have back-to-back episodes in which one hunter kills a bruiser whitetail at 18 yards with a bow, while the next hunter is plugging away at over 250 yards with a “muzzleloader”. I’ve got no problem with using a rifle to shoot animals outside of archery range, but let’s be honest about it… it’s certainly not “the only shot you’re going to get,” especially on these carefully managed hunting properties on which many of these shows are filmed.
- I was happy to see at least a couple of programs with a focus on conservation, including one from the Boone and Crockett organization. I’ll always have a tough time assigning credibility to any organization that publishes a trophy record book, I’ve got to say the message was reasonably good. The hunter/personality, Shane Mahoney, kept talking about how he “hunts the experience, not the animals”, and in the epsiode appeared to go out of his way to shoot a young, small buck, despite the fact that a “trophy” animal was available. I couldn’t help thinking how stilted the whole thing came off, but still… it’s TV. You can only expect so much.
There was more, both good and bad, but I didn’t set out to write a review when I put the TV on, so I didn’t really take notes or pay close attention.
So anyway, I’ll try get things flowing again this week. I’m heading back to Spokane at the end of the week… maybe I’ll take a run at the Post Falls, Idaho Cabela’s while I’m up there. That’s always good for some inspiration.
July 18, 2013
I shared this back on my old site when it was fresh, but since I’m digging through the archives and sort of getting a CA deer hunting jones, I figure it’s worth pulling it out and blowing off the dust. The coolest thing about this hunt was, as the video says, it was a last minute trip… not to mention it was really my only opportunity to get out during the B-zone season. Oh… and it was public land.
Something a lot of folks don’t realize about CA is the quality of public hunting available in the Golden State. Sure, gun laws are beyond ridiculous, and the hunting regulations are being more and more dictated by animal rights groups who have attached themselves like leeches to the political animal, but if you can turn your back on that and just get out into the backcountry, you can still have a really sensational experience. True, if you want to find the best hunting you have to put in some effort, but that’s what western hunting is all about… working for it.
And while the payoff is far from guaranteed, sometimes it all comes together. Like this…
July 17, 2013
Well, after last week, I thought I had momentum going here again. Guess I was wrong. There’s just not a lot going on for me on the outdoors and hunting front right now.
But that’s not true for my friends back in CA, as the A-zone archery season is now underway… and yeah, I miss it! So I thought I’d pull a video out of the archives. It’s not the same as being there… but if I close my eyes and think real hard, I can almost smell that yellow grass and hear the corn flake crackle of the dried leaves underfoot. Ahhh… deer hunting in July!
June 14, 2013
Cliche? Yeah. But it’s early…
Anyway, headed out today for CA, and later up to Spokane for the next week. I doubt I’ll have any updates unless there’s some news on the hog hunting or lead ammo front. I think CA is drawing closer to that statewide ban, by the way… hunters take notice, and if it’s worth it to you, take action. Is there still time? Never surrender.
In the meantime, here’s another video blast from the past…
June 5, 2013
Just got this press release yesterday.
I know a few of you out there enjoy hunting as a couple, or as a family. The Brunsons’ show is pretty good, by outdoors/hunting television standards. It’s got a nice, amateur feel with good production values and a generally good set of hunting and outdoors ethics.
There’s nothing in this for me, but if one of you readers should happen to make the cut, please let us all know here at the Hog Blog. We can say, “we knew you when…”
Who Will Be Television’s Next Superstar Outdoor Hunting Couple? Could It Be You?
Addicted to the Outdoors TV Show Open Casting Call
Gina and Jon Brunson want to make you and your honey TV stars. Jon and Gina Brunson, hosts of the award winning Addicted to the Outdoors (ATTO) television show, are expanding their Addicted brand. They’re searching for a select few Addicted to the Outdoors Couples.
Addicted Couples is focused on shining a spotlight on family participation in the outdoors and on couples who make the outdoors more than a hobby – who make it a lifestyle.
Entering is easy. Just shoot a short video of four minutes or less with your mobile device or video camera. Introduce yourselves and show your on-camera personality and passion for hunting. Shoot indoors or out. The key is to let Jon and Gina get to know you. Post the unedited video to YouTube.com and share a link to the video with Jon and Gina no later than June 30, 2013.
The ATTO crew will review all submissions. Ten couples will be selected to interview with Jon and Gina via Skype.
One of Your Hunts Filmed for TV
That’s right, it’s lights, camera, action – and you’ll be the stars! Several couples’ hunts will be filmed with the intent of becoming a full-length episode of Addicted to the Outdoors for the 2014 television season. If you have what it takes to be an Addicted Couple, ATTO will send its award-winning professional production film crew to you. The crew will film one of the hunts you already have planned for the 2013 summer/fall hunting season.
From this launch deck, Jon and Gina believe they can build a national ATTO movement and potentially develop our next television series, Addicted to the Outdoors Couples.
Who Will Be Television’s Next Superstar Outdoor Hunting Couple? It Could It Be You?
May 15, 2013
While we’re on a run here, this is one of my favorite vids (and one of my prouder moments). The video tells the tale…