Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Comments on Commenters

Man, I have great commenters! Here's my definition of "great" — my commenters have ideas I can steal!

Mike M., I agree that firearms shows are in a rut...it's a rut that I helped dig, and, yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, blah blah, but it's time to move on. You'll see some of that in the SHOOTING GALLERY episodes that start next week...we cover the Vintage World Cup competition with elephant rifles, the Advanced Armament Suppressor Show, the first coverage of Rocky Mountain 3-Gun, first coverage of "Wild Bunch" style shooting, etc. Season 10 of SG in 2010 is going to TOTALLY blow you away! I just made the presentation to OC execs, and they were both surprised and happy. I'd give you my working outlines, but my competition mines this blog for ideas.

THE BEST DEFENSE is another way we're moving to a different drummer...watch the first episodes and tell me what you think. From the ground up we agonized over the best way to make a personal defense show...what I didn't want to do was SHOOTING GALLERY LITE, a collection of tips...first, safety at the ATM; next, transitioning to your battle rifle!

Our — me, Rob Pincus, Mike Janich and director Tim Cremin — goal with TBD is to move you to a new level for your own personal defense and, ultimately, to enhance your quality of life. We also wanted to create a show that you'd want your Spousal Unit and your kids to watch. I think we've succeeded...you guys will ultimately be the judges.

The reason I'm looking at hunting shows is that as commenter Greg has noted, there needs to be linkage between various elements in the culture. The reason OUTDOOR LIFE tapped me to write their aritcle on AR-15s, which they consider one of the most important articles they've ever published is that I can bridge that gap. On handgun hunting, AMERICAN HANDGUNNER Ed Roy Huntington and I were at Thunder Ranch a few years back talking B-S, and Roy made a comment that has stuck with me. He said that traditional hunting was about the animals, the game, but handgun hunting was about the gun. Maybe a slight overstatement — probably the result of all day shooting followed by beverages by the fire — but fundamentally true. Ditto for traditional muzzle-loader hunting, hunting using cowboy-era guns or any specialized weapon hunting (I'd probably throw .50 BMG/Super .40s into that mix...the lovely Wendy Henry, a ballet instructor and dancer, smacked a moose at 500 yards with her Barrett a couple of years back...that's a hunt worth filming!).

Linkage means both introducing hunters to competition that makes sense within the context of their sport (like, duh, why bird hunters shoot sporting clays) and introducing shooters to hunting that makes sense within the context of their sports.

RE: Competition, we fully intend to totally change the game in 2009. DRTV will become the dominant force in shooting sports coverage, because we have a plan that will work. Over 2008 we've beta-tested segments of the plan with great results. The sophisticated technology we needed is now in place, and we'll start rolling out the plan in March. Since we all know that no battle plan survives first encounter with the enemy, we expect to spend much of the year tinkering with the machine...but the machine will run!


Anonymous said...

Thanks. The suppressor piece should be interesting (I own a few myself...good fun).

If you're up for a trip to Portugal for the 2010 World Muzzle-Loading Championships, contact me. I'm hoping to make the U.S. International Muzzle-Loading Team. HMSLion(at)aol(dot)com

Anonymous said...

When handgun hunting first hit the scene in a big way in the '70s it was all about taking your M29 or Super Blackhawk and whacking a deer at close range. Writers like Bob Milek and J.D. Jones helped to turn it into a sport using short barreled rifles that could only remotely be considered a handgun. Today you have hunters shooting 500 S&W's at little whitetails that could be dropped with a 357. If you must do a hunting show try to bring some sanity back to the handgun hunting world.

Anonymous said...

Wanna go to a Rendezvous?

Ever participated in a trail shoot?

I'm sure your local roadkill and beads re-enactors would be more than happy to accommodate a pilgrim with a video team.

Anonymous said...

Glad to be along for the ride!

For my part of "bridging the gap", I started a profile at myoutdoorchannel.com with some hunting pics!

Loose Gravel said...

Mike, you're dead-on with the idea of linking various factions within the sport. I'm primarily a muzzleloader shooter and that extends into hunting season as well. Back in 2000 I decided to join the North-South Skirmish Association to see how good my skills were... and frankly, they weren't as good as I had previously thought! The point of joining N-SSA was the shooting program: clay pigeons and like-sized targets (stationary!) at 50 yards, 6" tiles at 100 yards, all shot offhand, under a time limit... what could be better practice for muzzleloader season? I'm not a terribly competitive person, but comparing my scores to the other shooters under the same conditions gave me an objective judgement of my abilities, and I started really looking at my guns and my marksmanship. Over the intervening 8 years, my offhand shooting has improved by leaps and bounds. I'm not ready to try out for the international team yet, but my payoff has been in the increased confidence in myself and my guns when I go into the field, whether the target is a deer or a feral tin can.

The point is, almost every hunting sport has a competition counterpart, and hunters are missing a great deal of fun and experience by not participating; experience that could make the difference in the field between a clean shot and a "just missed'em" fireside tale.

Get'em together! Everyone will benefit.

Anonymous said...

I'm very pleased. I knew if it could be done that you'd figure it out and pull it off. I fully support you and can't wait to start gathering support for your shows - ALL of 'em.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous,

Re: Milek & Jones

I'll tell you this, having handgun hunted at one time or another with dozens of different cartridges, every action type except the falling block, which is still on my list, open-sighted and scoped handguns and every other variation you can think of; hunting with a handgun of any kind is a challenge.

It is the divisiveness noted in your comment that the hunting and shooting sport find themselves in the our continuing state of battle with anti-gun/anti-hunting forces.

For your information, it is far more challenging to shoot a 500 S&W well than it is to shoot a 357 Mag. well. So what if you can kill a deer with a .357 Mag. You can also kill one with a .22 Hornet. Do you also berate rifle shooters who choose a 30-30 or 300 Win Mag, or shotguns or bows? While you're on a rant let's talk about compound bows, crossbows, rifles with scopes vs. open sights, flint lock vs. percussion vs. in-line muzzleoaders, buckshot vs. slugs, the use of dogs vs. no dogs, baiting vs. non-baiting, etc.

Hunt how and where you choose and don't disparage the way others choose to enjoy the sport.

Petey said...

MB-If you would be interested in killing two birds with one stone, so to speak, come to Illinois during October, 2009. In particular, around October 9-11. I am the Booshway (guy in charge) of a nice little rendezvous in Colona, IL. We have a great muzzleloader shoot at the event, on the range that just happens to be the same range where Rock River Arms test fires all their guns. And, there is a trap club at the same location. We would love to have you come out and smell the powder.

ErikYaple said...

Those competitions need to start integrating more strategy and tactics into the courses. Right now those competitions are essentially biathlons without the skis (ie you run, you shoot, you run, you squat and then shoot, rinse repeat). This is no more engaging than bowling or golf. There is no interaction with the competition and no hard choices are ever really made.

Someone needs to start designing courses and events that create interaction with the competition (maybe two people face off in adjacent lanes and compete for variously valued targets, maybe the matches are more like a game of horse. or maybe there is a course where you can clear out certain targets to clear one of many paths that may lead you to other target of various difficulties... just my 2 cents on competition.