I got a chance to catch up with the host Kip Campbell of Red Arrow TV. Hear what he had to say about Red Arrow’s start, hunting with Zac Brown, and the show’s upcoming eighth season.
This week, just after Kip Campbell of Red Arrow TV got back from filming an Alberta bear hunt, I got the chance to chat with him about the history of Red Arrow TV, one of the shining examples of what a hunting show can be.
The show, which will open their eighth season on June 30th on the Outdoor Channel, is founded on a basis of sharing God, family, and what real hunting and real hunters look like. With a lot of amazing hunting, a true country-grown life, and genuine, down to earth humor, Red Arrow TV is one hunting show that anyone can be happy watching.
The Red Arrow Style
This lifestyle was exemplified by the story that Kip shared with me when we first started talking. He had just returned from a trip to Alberta, Canada where he was filming the show’s first ever bear hunt. Kip had been trying to feature a bear hunt on his show for a while, but things never worked out.
He finally got the chance, but had no one to film it. One phone call to his dad, and he had his filming partner.
On the drive from Virginia to Alberta, Kip taught his dad how to operate the camera equipment, and they ended up getting enough footage together to film and produce the entire show.
This kind of tenacity and ingenuity is exactly the sort of thing that got Red Arrow TV on the air in the first place, and has kept the show building over the last seven seasons. Kip summed it up well by saying “Looking back over the course of Red Arrow TV, there is no reason for things to work out.”
The Start of Something Big
Red Arrow TV, like the Campbell family, got its start at Lynchburg College in Kip’s home state of Virginia. Originally a political science major ready to drop out of school, he switched majors to Communications and got some inspiration to start filming some hunts. Things continued to build from there.
“It’s kind of a God thing,” says Kip. “We sent a pilot out to some sponsors and got a couple of responses.” Early interest gave him the motivation to continue on.
What makes Red Arrow TV so much different than other hunting shows is that when they started, they had absolutely no industry contacts. “We didn’t know anybody, didn’t have any connection, but somehow got a show on The Sportsman Channel.”
Kip was quick to give credit where it was due. “The only reason I’m still in the hunting game is because of Wayne Carlton,” he said. “He got it all started when he agreed to be the show’s first title sponsor in 2008.”
The next big break for Red Arrow TV came when Kip met country music singer Zac Brown. “I met Zac right when Chicken Fried hit the radio. After that first meeting, they stayed in touch over the years and in 2012, Zac and Kip discussed the opportunity for him to be a part of Red Arrow. As things progressed, Zac started providing music for Red Arrow TV from the artists under his label Southern Ground. He was also able to join Kip and the gang for a few hunts here and there when his busy touring and family schedule would allow.
It is also a huge plus that Red Arrow TV, led by production manager Josh Bartlam, took part in and won the television show Top Outdoor Producer, a show designed to test outdoor hunting programs on their technical filming and editing ability. Around this time, Red Arrow TV also made the move from the Sportsman Channel to the Outdoor Channel. These things combined for a jump in ratings and more industry recognition.
When asked about his most memorable hunts over the past seven seasons, Kip had two in particular that came to mind. The first was a fallow deer hunt in New Zealand, and the second a spot and stalk elk hunt with Zac Brown in Colorado.
Kip is most excited about the fact that he’s living out his dream. “What really makes a good hunt is spending time with good people. Being able to just go out and enjoy God’s creation”,” he said.
That’s what hunting is all about, and it’s what Red Arrow TV is all about as well. If you haven’t seen them yet, go check out their website and get ready for Kip to #TurnEmRed starting June 30th on Outdoor Channel.
Facebook: Red Arrow TV
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