There is no shame in a shameless plug – especially when you’re right – and I’m rarely wrong. In 15 years of outdoor television production I have field-tested most of the hunting footwear on the market and I think Chippewa Boots are hands-down the best. As a producer whose work has been broadcast on networks like ESPN Outdoors, NBC Sports, and Outdoor Channel I have worked with and evaluated some of the best personalities on outdoor television today. Most are great hunters and even better people. So, it doesn’t matter if I’m critiquing boots or on-air talent I like to think I am more qualified then most to offer an opinion.
When you spend as much time as I do in the Great Outdoors, especially in the close confines of trucks, blinds, cabins, and such you tend to get to know your hunting buddies fairly well. But, beyond the usual fellowship and camaraderie shared in camp, you grow to depend on each other – even more so as a member of a tight-knit television production crew. And it’s easy to get spoiled, working with the same trusted people day-in and day-out. But, when an opportunity to work on a new series presented itself in October I jumped at the chance.
Now creating compelling outdoor content isn’t easy, but like most hunters, producers and camera operators are constantly evaluating their environment – wind direction, weather conditions, and the terrain – all very important when trying to capture the outdoors story (and not blow the hunt). But, for me the most important component has never been the prey we pursued (that’s the guides job), it has been the temperament of the on-camera talent – my host. And over the years I’ve had my favorites.
As I packed my standard South Texas whitetail hunting gear – Wranglers, Chippewa American bison snake boots, and a few GameGuard camo shirts – for the hunt near Freer (Home of The Official Rattlesnake Round-Up of Texas) I had no idea I was going to be working with a guy considered by many to be one of the world’s premiere hunters. (Note: I’m vague for a reason...can’t give away too much information before the episode airs.)
From our first handshake at the airport baggage claim I knew who he was – our paths had never crossed, but the name and the face were unmistakable. He was a hunter through-and-through and a man of many parts. He was a television host, writer, shooting coach, hunting consultant, guide, and outfitter. He’s been a fixture at outdoor trade shows and seminars for decades. And during our weeklong adventure I quickly discovered that not only was he a steward of the land, but he was funny, direct, opinionated, and equally quick to extend a compliment and critique. He’s been a member of Bass Pro Shops RedHead Pro Team since its inception in 1989, his outdoor resume is a mile long, and he was about to become my new favorite outdoor television host.
It was Bob Foulkrod – the champion of outdoor traditions and our hunting heritage and a huge supporter of gun rights and conservation. His passion for hunting was realized early in life and he was fortunate to have those closest to him encourage and foster that love for the natural world. His father, grandfather, and grandmother all played important roles in shaping the outdoorsman he would become. I’m not even going to address the number of animals Bob has taken over the years. And I’m not going to count the Slams, World Slams, the miles traveled, or countries he visited. Frankly, Bob is more then just numbers – and I know in the end I’ll get something wrong and hear about it later.
So, if you ever get the opportunity to sit down with my new favorite host and compare field notes or hunting stories here is my advice to you – keep your ears open and your mouth shut! Because it’s not often you get the opportunity to learn from someone who honestly knows what they’re talking about.0 Comments