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Columnists : Lisa Metheny
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Here We GO Again!
By Lisa Metheny
Sep 20, 2005, 00:56

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Lisa Metheny

It’s that time of year again, time for the annual Outdoor Channel’s Golden Moose Awards.  Just in case some of you may have been living under a rock, the Golden Moose Awards are the annual awards given out to the best of the best on the Outdoor Channel. The Outdoor Channel is by far the most popular channel available for outdoor enthusiasts to watch a wide variety of hunting and fishing shows.

The voting process that takes place for the Golden Moose serves a dual purpose.  Not only does it honor the hard work by industry professionals for creating memorable moments that are captured on film, but it also enables the Outdoor Channel to take a  closer look at which shows are the viewers favorites.

Voting helps producers of the Outdoor Channel create top notch programming, keeping the Outdoor Channel at the top of their game.  So if you have a favorite on the Outdoor Channel, now is the time to log on to their website  at and vote for your favorite.  In addition the Outdoor Channel is holding a contest for those that enter a vote.   The winner will be a guest at the annual Golden Moose awards held in Las Vegas.  The winner receives a trip for two to Sin City and a chance to see some of your favorite Outdoor Channel TV personalities, plus the winner will enjoy a concert with country music star Joe Diffie. Now let’s take a look at my top picks for my second annual Golden Moose favorite picks. No doubt you will have your favorites as well.

Like last year, I will offer a disclaimer; saying what are my priorities for TV viewing maybe different than yours.  I, for one still have no patience to watch someone pan for Gold, for me it is like watching paint dry, this hunter wants to be kept on the edge of her seat and be taken to remote locations in pursuit of big game.  Being a woman whose life revolves around hunting I only wish to watch shows that promote families and women in a positive light.  The shows I enjoy watching are safe viewing for the entire family.        

Now a drum roll please…for the second year in a row my top pick show on the Outdoor Channel is Archer’s Choice TV with Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo. Why, it is simple, Ralph and Vicki showcase thrilling hunts to picturesque locations and their entire show is done with family in mind. 

What more can I say, simple and straight to the point, practicing what they preach is what makes this couple America’s Favorite Bowhunting Couple.  The constant good spirited battle of the sex’s rivalry between Ralph and Vicki are fun to watch.   Whether they are chasing whitetails during a windstorm in Colorado, trekking across Alaska trying to get within bow range of Dall sheep or stalking a potential world record mule deer the Archer’s Choice is my number one pick. In my opinion Archer’s Choice has set the standard for exceptional hunting shows.

Breathing down Ralph and Vicki’s neck in a close second place is their buddy and fellow Realtree Pro Staffer, Michael Waddell of Realtree Roadtrips.     A talented asset to our industry, Michael brings into your living room each week good humor and down home southern charm with a twist of pure redneck to every episode of Realtree Roadtrips.   Michael travels the country in pursuit of big game and offers imaginative reality based video segments that mix up the normal video clips we see on the average show.   Michael’s show was one of the first to offer a more contemporary flair to videoing hunting trips.  This show attracts both young and young at heart, all while showing the highs and lows of hunting.  Hosted by a country boy with charisma is what keeps Realtree Roadtrips at the top of my favorites list and a must see every week.   Over the past year I have seen the show add a few more episodes showing more women hunting,   I like that and hope to see more of it in the coming year.  Realtree Roadtrips serves up a winning combination with this edgy exciting hunting show.

Coming in a close third is another favorite in our house, North American Whitetail TV. Combining three very different and very distinctive personalities that have the ability to play off each other are what I feel is key to this excellent show.   Stan Potts is a hoot, for whatever reason I find him purely entertaining, not to mention one of the nation’s top hunters.   Add to the equation Greg Miller and Pat Reeves, who in their own rights are at the top of their game you come up with a show that is fun to watch.   These three musketeers of the hunting industry are so entertaining; in fact watching the outtakes at the end of the show is just as much fun.   No doubt that Stan will have more of them then his co-hosts is another charming feature of this show, plus interesting segments like Dr. Deer and Gordon Whittington’s Big Buck Profile create a well rounded program.  Working well together, capturing amazing hunts and bringing it to the viewers each week with laughter and fun is what is gaining this show a huge following.  North American Whitetail TV is no doubt going to keep on getting better and better as this team continues to build a loyal following.

What show will I pick for the fourth position on my list? Just look at the list above and you see youth, energy, excitement and cutting edge video editing.  It might surprise you a little with this choice.   Jim Zumbo Outdoors, Zumbo brings class, experience and dignity to his hunting show.   Zumbo, a veteran in the hunting industry is one of the country’s most respected authorities on hunting; he offers a mellower, seasoned approach to capturing his hunts on video.   The breathtaking locations that are featured each week take viewers, albeit at a slower pace to magnificent locations in North America.  Just like fine wine, age can improve something’s in life; Jim Zumbo’s Outdoors is one of them.  I fully expect to see Jim climbing the highest mountains chasing elk or sheep long into his golden years.   Proving it is not always how fast you get to the top but how gracefully you do it and how accurate you are when that trophy finally presents itself for a shot.

Rounding out my top five picks is Primo’s the TRUTH about hunting. If you have hunted for any time at all you know that more often than not you come home with a tag sandwich.  Primo’s has mastered the skill of showing the real side of hunting, Will Primo has the ability, in my opinion, to truly capture the real reason many of us hunt.  The opening sequence of Primo’s Truth brilliantly captures the emotional side of hunting and pulls on your heart strings while setting the stage for an exciting half hour of hunting.      To see the sunrise in the morning and to watch a youngster take his first game is worth all the work that is involved in hunting.   The Truth is the Truth… and the Primo’s team does it and does it well.

Choosing my top five list was not easy; there were many shows that are outstanding in their own right.   After last year’s top five picks I felt that there were some additional outstanding shows that despite them not making my list they deserved mentioning. 

Here are some shows that offer excellent family viewing and are worthy of watching. My honorable mention candidates are, Jack Brittingham’s World of Hunting is gaining speed on the race to the top of my list.   Jack has been at the forefront of reality hunting videos for years and now he brings it to the masses.  It is enjoyable watching Jack include his family into some of his shows.  Another outstanding program worth checking out is Adventure Bound Outdoors.   I like the extras that are included in ABO’s programming.  Such as the Outdoor Extra which gives the viewers a more in depth look behind the scenes of different aspects in the outdoor industry.  Another first-rate show worth viewing is Hunting 201; Beyond the Basics with Kim Hicks.  One half hour is not long enough to watch Hick’s span the globe tracking down big game, showing the good and the bad of hunting, all intertwined with beautiful footage taken from various locations around the world.   Hunting 201 is rising rapidly on my list of favorites.   Must see TV in my house is anything by the Drury brothers.   They offer an excellent show on the Outdoor Channel worth checking out.   Drury’s Dream Season pits one team against another, and I can’t help but live vicariously thru some of the key players that are chasing big bucks and I find myself rooting for my favorites and tuning in every week to see how they are faring.    Offering a different angle than most outdoor shows Drury Outdoors is pure reality TV. 

It is a little difficult to feel anything but a tiny bit of envy for the professional hunters that have the opportunity to hunt in far off locations for nine or ten months out of every year. Having the opportunity to have a few of my hunts filmed for a Women Hunters Outdoors TV this year I can appreciate their efforts and have seen a glimpse of the hard work that goes into producing a quality show.

Having a cameraman in your face or over your shoulder while you try and make a good shot and not spook the game is a challenge.  The Golden Moose Awards recognizes the hosts, producers and videoographers that have devoted hundreds upon hundreds of hours away from their families to bring us exciting hunts every week.  

Voting for my favorite is my way of saying thanks to those of them that take their jobs seriously.  I have confidence that these shows will continue to work hard to provide all hunters with exciting programming in the year to come.  Now, it is time to cast your vote, voting closes November 15th.  Let’s support our favorites and give them a nod for all their hard work and efforts.   Good luck to all the nominees!


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