In honor of the NFL Draft, here are our choices for the top picks of the best outdoor shows on television.
Since the 2014 NFL Draft is happening tonight, and since the Draft has turned into a major television event, we got to thinking what great outdoor television shows we would pick in a unique draft of our own.
We based our picks around a lot of criteria, much like an NFL general manager would. Some of these picks are proven leaders, ready to take a starting role off the bat. Others are prospects, showing a lot of potential and intrigue as they grow their audiences.
Without further ado, the first pick in the Best Outdoor Television Shows Draft is…
View the slideshow to see our 32 picks.
1. Bill Dance Outdoors
Possibly more famous these days for his bloopers than his actual show, youngsters don’t even realize Bill Dance is the grandfather of all successful television shows focusing on the outdoors. Any and all current shows owe this guy a ton of gratitude.
2. Jim Shockey’s The Professionals
The debate for the top spot in hunting television current pantheon of personalities isn’t complete until you’ve mentioned Jim Shockey, who’s combining traditional hunting styles with modern excitement to create one heck of a show.
3. Top Shot
When it comes to shooting shows, no other program can claim the success and notoriety of the History Channel’s Top Shot. Winning the coveted reality-based competition has brought several talented shooters into the limelight.
Available on the Sportsman Channel, MeatEater with Steven Rinella is a fantastic look at what a true field to table experience is like. Full deconstructions of hunting techniques, plus in-depth wild game preparation help convey the full story of a hunt, from beginning to end.
5. Midway USA Gun Stories
Hosted by Joe Mantegna, Gun Stories shows off the best of firearm history, from design and creation to social and historical context.
6. The Shooting Gallery
Outdoor Channel’s Shooting Gallery is hosted by the award-winning Michael Bane and highlights the best of the best when it comes to collecting, competing, hunting or carrying firearms.
7. Buck Commander
While we can’t necessarily count Duck Dynasty as an outdoors television program, not including Buck Commander would be a mistake. Willie Robertson is joined by some pals, including MLB athletes, for some awesome deer hunting.
8. Bullets & Broadheads
The Hendrick family represents what it means to live in a modern day hunting society, where we work hard to pass down the traditions that we’ve inherited to our children. Bullets & Broadheads highlights hunting, fishing and shooting in all corners of Texas, and thought it’s lesser known, it’s a great show.
9. Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show
Mark Zona has been in the fishing biz for years, and though Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show has little structure or predictability, that’s what makes it great. And hilarious, at times.
10. Savage Wild
Manny Puig is a veritable Crocodile Dundee, and demonstrates some insane survival skills as well as primitive hunting and spear fishing techniques in episodes of Savage Wild.
11. Jack Link’s Major League Fishing
Since we’re making draft picks, choosing the Jack Link’s Major League Fishing show from Outdoor Channel makes perfect sense. You can follow most of the pros on the tour and get behind the scenes views of their lives and competitions.
12. Driven with Pat and Nicole
Fair chase is the name of the game in Driven with Pat and Nicole, and the dynamic duo does well to show off the intensity and action involved in every hunt.
13. Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild
Of course Ted Nugent made our list of picks, and not just because he considers deer hunting as “The Ultimate Sport.” His show, Spirit of the Wild, is actually a high quality program with some awesome cinematography.
14. Crush with Lee and Tiffany
The married couple highlights the best kind of relationship: the ones that are cultivated in the outdoors. Following these two on their adventures with notable guests and some awesome hunting footage is a treat.
15. The Best of the West
If big game hunting shows are your guilty pleasure, than you probably already know about The Best of the West. If not, you’re missing Dan Miller and his great detailing of long distance big game shooting.
16. NRA Gun Gurus
Jim Supica and Philip Schreier combine for over a half century of firearm history experience. They’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know about guns. With an Antiques Roadshow feel, the episodes of NRA Gun Gurus are super educational and even more entertaining.
17. Easton Bowhunting TV
The preeminent bowhunting show, Easton Bowhunting TV takes viewers along with host Fred Eichler on adventures throughout the country. His saying of “any animal with a bow is a trophy” hits home with bowhunters of any level.
18. Jimmy Houston Outdoors
Jimmy Houston has fished 15 Bassmaster Classics, and brings his veteran experience to Jimmy Houston Outdoors.
19. Drury Outdoors Wildlife Obsession
The full process of growing, managing and hunting big deer is depicted spectacularly in Wildlife Obsession. Each buck that falls on the show literally gets you that much closer to tagging your own.
20. Bass 2 Billfish
In Bass 2 Billfish, host Peter Miller, professional angler and Three-Time World Sailfish Champion, takes guests to Florida’s best fishing spots.
21. Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector
Waddell and his brotherhood hunt for big game in amazing places, and bring a sense of tradition and fun to the on-screen hunting world.
22. Big Water Adventures
Host Mark Davis had his offshore captain’s license before most people could legally drive. He makes the perfect guide for Big Water Adventures, and goes after just about any big game fish under the surface of the water.
23. The Breakdown
The Breakdown may be the most comprehensive waterfowl hunting show there is, with details on calling, camo, blinds, decoys, dogs, and much much more.
24. Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing
Full of fundamentals, the Orvis Guide to Fly Fishing doesn’t focus on scenery, locations or advanced angling, but instead aims to help beginners and intermediate fly fishermen learn the ropes.
25. The Sporting Chef
Veteran wild game cooking expert Scott Leysath shares recipes and techniques for rounding out your hunting or fishing experience with a good meal. The Sporting Chef is like a kicker in football, one that comes in a the end and seals the deal.
26. Turkey Man
Turkey Man host Eddie Salter proves what hunting shows can be: unique, adrenaline-fueled and at times almost unbelievable, unless there’s a camera around to capture it.
27. Buckmasters Classics
Jackie Bushman hosts the Buckmasters Classics show on Outdoor Channel, highlighting the National Deer Hunting Association’s objectives of ethical and safe hunting. Count on coverage of the Buckmasters National Deer Classic, The Buckmasters Disabled Hunt and the Buckmasters Top Bow Indoor World Championship.
28. Wingshooting USA
Wingshooting USA will return in the fall as perhaps the best show about upland country, game birds and hunting dogs. Join Scott Linden for a passionate look at the way wingshooters live their lives.
29. In-Fisherman TV
The impressive magazine brings things to the screen with In-Fisherman TV, one of the greatest freshwater fishing shows ever created. There’s a ton of variety so there’s something for everyone with this program.
30. NRA News with Cam & Co.
Get all your updates to gun control news and issues with NRA News with Cam & Co. The debates are great and the freedom protection is even better.
31. Realtree Road Trips
Michael Waddell makes another appearance in our draft of the best outdoors shows, this time with Realtree Road Trips. With a true reality feel, it’s the innovative sort of deer hunting show.
32. Fishing with Roland Martin
Who better to take you through some of the world’s best fishing tactics, spots and species than legendary Roland Martin? If you watch outdoor shows to outsmart fish, this one is a can’t-miss.