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End 'Bloodless' Hunting Television Shows
Previously Published in the Michigan Outdoor News
By: Jerry Kunnath
End 'Bloodless' Outdoor Television Shows Letter on the money
To: Bill Parker, Editor
Michigan Outdoor News
'End Bloodless Outdoor Shows' on the money
Bill, I just received my August 23 rd issue of MON, and as always, I went straight to the kitchen table to
read it cover to cover. Heck with the video editing that was waiting in the studio, I needed an infusion
of 'outdoors'. On the third page an article titled, 'End Bloodless Outdoor Shows', caught my attention. It
was a reprint of a USA Today article by a Mr. Nick Jans. He has, in this article, addressed one of my pet
peeves, the quality of today's outdoor television. Mr. Jans mirrors my exact feelings in this article. He
tells us about how disappointed he is with today's outdoor programming. He says, of the programs... 'At
their worst, the vision of hunting that they present verges on travesty.' And Mr. Jans is as right as right
can be. Most of today's outdoor hunting programs depict hunting as a sterile, bloodless, painless
occurrence, never showing the 'kill shot' for that is considered to be to 'violent' for today's 'politically
correct', need 'instant gratification', I want it now viewers.
Mr. Jans goes on to describe about 90% of the deer hunting programs on the air today. He tells of a
couple of hunters walking a short distance to an elevated blind on the edge of a food plot in Texas's
'pay to hunt' ranch land. They take aim at a true trophy' deer at seventy yards, 'like in a shooting range',
and fire at the deer. There will be no camera shot of the deer being hit, that would be a no-no. No audio
of the deer gasping, as often happens in real life, as it runs away into the bush. Then the camera shows
these two 'hunters' walking up on the dead animal, no blood in sight, 'high fiving' and talking about
what a great rack that it has, what a great 'trophy' that it is. But there was no mention of respect for the
animal and no apparent clue from these two 'hunters' that they were even vaguely aware of what they
had done. That they had KILLED a magnificent deer. You will never hear people in these programs
mention 'killing'. Everything is 'harvested'. They have no idea of what most of the rest of us feel when
we kill an animal.
I just feel the need to hunt. I can't explain it. Deep inside my being, for as long as I can remember, there
has been a yearning in me to do so. I believe that it is an instinct. I am driven. It is just something that I
have to do. And when I kill an animal, whether one of the many deer I have taken or the bear I killed six
years ago, each experience has brought to me a feeling of joy and sadness at the same time. After
making a shot, I feel elation when I see the animal go down. But in the back of my mind there is also a
deep sadness. I realize what I have just done. No longer will I get to see that beautiful animal walk
through the woods. However, I also realize that this animals' spirit is not diminished because it no
longer moves its body. Then I feel a 'calm' like no other time in my life. For I know that I have shared
another beings experience and they mine.
Mr. Jans mentions native peoples and other hunters who believe that all creatures have a spirit. That
releasing that spirit to the wild is part of the equation, just as our 'release' is part of the same equation.
The 'Wheel of Life', the Great Mandela. I share in those beliefs.
When my friends and I go hunting it is always under the rules of fair chase, on open, unfenced land.
This is the way that we feel that it should be. We will KILL birds, deer, bears and sometimes other
animals. But we will RESPECT all of these animals and all the hunting traditions handed down to us by
our forefathers. We will also strive to educate new and young hunters in what we feel is the correct way
to pursue game and fish. We will instill in them, by example, a true reverence and respect for all things
wild. Maybe the 'modern' television audience type of outdoors people can't tolerate our 'old fashioned'
values. Maybe they won't be able to accept a hunt where there is no guaranteed 'harvest', or a hunt
where an 'average' buck or a doe is the trophy. If that is the case, then we will probably go by way of the
other dinosaurs and become extinct. But, if this tradition of true hunting and sportsmanship can be
given to the masses, perhaps by a viewing audience that demands a more traditional and realistic
depiction of hunting; then maybe our upcoming youth can be shown the correct and traditional
methods of acceptable outdoor practices.
I would just like to say one thing to Mr. Jans, should we ever meet. "Thank you" Mr. Jans for touching
us with your words and telling it straight. For letting us know that there are others out there that feel as
we do. And for reminding all of us just how 'it' should be.
Jerry Kunnath, advisor
Flydogs Flyworks LLC
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