What makes a great hunting web series?
Is it the primary subject or host? Is it the production values or the quality of the camera footage? Is it the amount of knowledge that the show imparts? Or should it focus on the action and thrill of the hunt?
Depending on what kind of hunter you are (and what kind of TV you like in general), your answers to these questions could be entirely different. Luckily, there is a wide range of different hunting-related web series available out there, and all of them are just waiting to be watched.
We put together five series that we think would do well on television, though all five of them are great in their current format as well. Drop a note in the comments and let us know if we missed any great ones.
View the slideshow to see our choices.
Growing Deer TV
For all the sponsorships that Growing Deer TV mastermind Dr. Grant Woods has up his sleeve, it’s actually a bit remarkable that his show hasn’t ended up on cable yet. Then again, who needs cable when you can build a show of this level of quality and success online?
Woods, a noted biologist, is a wonderful guide through virtually every deer topic you can think of. The series’ greatest hallmark is probably the advice it imparts concerning deer and wildlife management. However, Woods has been known to talk deer hunting tips, shed hunting tips, food plot management tips, hunting philosophy, and more.
Growing Deer TV is certainly more educational than anything else, so if you’re looking for high-octane hunting action, there are probably better places to find it. However, if you are looking to learn a thing or two, then Growing Deer TV needs to be on your radar. It’s like having a front row seat in the greatest college class you never took. In addition, Growing Deer TV reliably delivers a new episode every week, making it easily the most prolific hunting series on the web.
The mission statement behind Whitetails, Inc. is to show every single aspect of the hunt, from preparative stages to the long days spent wandering around deer properties looking for signs of life. It may sound dull on paper, but for a whitetail enthusiast, this stuff is bread and butter, and it’s not material that you often see in hunting shows. Most hunting related programs on TV put so much emphasis on the kill that we lose the quieter moments that really capture the magic of a hunt. By running on a web series basis, Whitetails, Inc. has given itself freedom that other programs don’t have.
Indeed, the mission statement outlined above has been behind just abut everything produced by Whiteknuckle Productions, the company started by hunter Tom Pringnitz to produce great deer hunting videos. All of Pringnitz’s experience and enthusiasm comes to life in Whitetails, Inc., giving us the nitty gritty details of every hunt, and working hard to make the kill shots feel truly earned. For deer hunters, this one is an essential, and since the fourth season is just starting, it’s a perfect time to jump onboard.
Father Son Hunting
We love the concept of Father Son Hunting as much as any web series on this list. The series follows Len and Scott, the eponymous father/son duo who have together been operating fshunting.com for several years now. The site itself is great, with semi-regular blog posts and even a place where readers can send in and share their hunting stories.
However, while the written content of the site is strong, Len and Scott have always excelled most at great deer hunting videos. That much was evident from the very first YouTube tutorials they posted on the website, and it’s even more clear from the two seasons of Father & Son hunting that you can currently watch on their website. The last episode of Season 2 was uploaded back in October, so we’re not sure what’s going on with the show. However, Len and Scott have continued to upload videos to their YouTube account, and the site has stayed active, so we’re hopeful that we will soon be seeing new episodes loaded with great hunting video, valuable tips, and the warm familial dynamic of Father Son Hunting.
Bowhunt or Die
Archers out there, this one is for you. Bowhunt or Die – which just started season five – is a viscerally exciting program that follows a team of passionate compound bow purveyors throughout a hunting season. These guys are about as versatile and prolific as they come, and episodes can range from simple deer or turkey hunting to adventurous bowfishing, all the way to exotic African hunts.
It’s all thoroughly entertaining and incredibly well put together, and we can easily imagine it making the jump to cable television. Heck, you can already watch it on iTunes!
To be fair, TV probably won’t have another waterfowl hunting show anytime soon (since Duck Dynasty is still a dominating force and a massive cultural crossover). However, if any networks are looking for the next big duck show, we’d recommend Fowled Reality. The concept of the show is to capture every aspect of a waterfowl hunting season, “From short nights, to long drives looking for birds, and freezing temperatures.”
The footage and production qualities are strong enough to get Fowled Reality on TV, but the main draw of the show is its scattershot dynamic. As the creators write in their description of the show, their hunting group is made up of hunters with a wide range of experience levels and boasts “no champion callers.” These guys are our kind of people: amateur, hobbyist hunters simply trying to find success in the field. Sometimes, that’s a lot more fun to watch than a professional or hunting veteran at work, largely because you’re never sure if an episode is going to end in triumph or disappointment.