Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Wild Within, Episode Dos.

I wanted to let anyone who took my advice to watch this week's episode of Wild Within that it was pretty different from the first episode, in my opinion, not for the better.  My reasons for thinking so:

  • Instead of hunting/fishing for food for his family (which I thought was the complete premise of the show), the host took on a challenge to follow in Lewis & Clark's footsteps, reliving part of their journey with time-accurate equipment.  This is still interesting but the whole "build a raft out of animal parts and sticks" thing has been done.  Also, the host is all about respect towards the animals he hunts but he spends this episode hunting with a flintlock.  Although he is very careful and doesn't take an irresponsible shot, using antiquated equipment puts alot of risk that you miss the vitals on an animal and cause it to suffer.  I probably shouldn't be criticizing this as I've yet to kill anything bigger than a squirrel but it stood out to me.
  • They found a dead antelope on the side of a mountain half butchered.  Because the host has such a deep respect for animals, he gets irate and says something along the lines of "If I saw this hunter right now I'd be tempted to shoot him."  That is ridiculous talk any time of the year but right after the AZ shootings?  They couldn't edit that out?  Well whatever I guess, it's his right to say it and Travel Channel's right to air it.  I just wouldn't have said it and it turned me off of the show a little.
  • (EXTRA PEEVE EDIT):  Knew I forgot something.  There is a lack of firearm safety a couple times in the first two episodes.  In episode 1, the host shoots at a deer with only it's head and neck sticking out over the edge of a ridge, nothing but blue sky behind it.  If he had missed, the bullet could have hit anything thousands of feet behind the mountain.  Granted, they're in the middle of nowhere but still.  In episode 2, they include a shot of the host on horseback with the muzzle of his gun pointed directly at the camera.  Two of the most basic firearm rules are to not point the gun at anything you aren't ready to destroy and be sure of the what's behind your target.  Everyone makes mistakes (I sure have) but these are potentially dangerous mistakes and I hope there aren't any more like these in future episodes.
That said, I'll still be watching.  Hoping the focus will go back away from era-specific challenges.  Oh well.  I'll probably keep watching even if it doesn't change.  Still one of the few shows that fishing, hunting, and shooting come together without being an infomercial or just the same old footage of big bucks getting shot episode after episode.

Has anybody else seen it?  Do you agree or disagree? 

Lemme know.


Rory @ methow gear testing said...

So I have not heard of this show yet. As I read your post I looked it up and it was on...well the last 15 minutes of it. I look forward to watching it and I will give you what I think about it when I have seen more episodes. I am going to fallow your blog for more of you thoughts on it. Feel free to check out my blog it is fairly new.

Mark said...

Thanks for stopping by Rory, I'm anxious to see what other outdoorsmen think of this show. Maybe I'm picking nits but that stuff really stood out to me.

Rory @ methow gear testing said...

Like I said I have only seen about 15 minutes of it. I also watched some clips online. He said in his " hunting ethics" that he gets mad when people only take the breast of a wood duck and not the legs..... I have shot my fair share of wood ducks and the meat on their legs is hardly worth the effort. I think he is going Little over board on his ethics especially since qhe is shoot animals on tv for money. But now maybe I am picking nits....

sjk217 said...

I too was surprised by his dumb comment about shooting the hunter, but overall it is a very interesting show. I just watched the Hawaii episode AWESOME!

Mark said...

I agree, the HI episode was pretty sweet. Only things that made me uncomfortable were the killing of the octopuses (octopi?) with his teeth and killing the hog with the knife. There had to be more efficient way to do the job.

I thought about doing another post to call the show out on it but decided against it since you could tell the host was super uncomfortable with it too, seems like the producers insisted he do it the traditional way.

Anonymous said...

Points 3 & 4.

They scouted the area and knew the shot was safe.
Who cares if he shoots and destroys the camera?(A person wasn't in the way of the muzzle)

Mark said...

Good question. Undoubtedly the host is very experienced with a gun and wouldn't be unsafe. So why do I care?

Because its setting a bad example for people. A .30-06 round (very popular for deer hunting) can travel about 3 miles ( So if some yahoo goes out and hikes a mile thru cornfields and woods, sees a deer at the top of the hill, takes the shot and misses, the round is either going to go back two miles past where he came from or three more miles in another direction. I don't know about you but I work less than three miles from an outdoor gun range and well within 3 miles of woods that are regularly hunted. I would not want myself or anyone I work with to be injured due to negligence.

As for the camera shot, it was never made clear that there was noone behind the camera. It just made me cringe. Even if a person wasn't behind the camera, why would you want to possibly destroy what I imagine is thousands of dollars of equipment?

I probably should have updated another post saying that the show has gotten better regarding gun usage. The host actually held off a couple times to make sure his shots were responsible.

I really love the show and I think it brings mostly good attention to hunting and gun ownership. I just think that they were mistakes and missed opportunities to educate. They could have recorded a quick voiceover saying "I normally would never have taken a shot like this but I know there is noone for 20 miles behind the deer. Never take a shot without knowing your background." and taught everyone a lesson.

Like I said, I really love the show and I'll keep watching but when you're a responsible gun owner (like I'm sure the host is), possibly dangerous mistakes regarding guns really jump out at you. I've made dangerous mistakes sometimes too, and I'm sure I will again. Noone's perfect. It's just that my mistakes aren't broadcast on national TV.

Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate the debate.

Anonymous said...


I do feel you are being a bit picky about details in the show. Although, I feel your intentions are good. By the way, graduated from Bradley.

The idea behind the show is that Steven hunts and gathers as much food as possible as to avoid eating processed foods in his everyday life. The hunting aspect is fun, but also very primal. So, to call out his choice of weapons is very picky. Hunting can be brutal and he also states he will never apologize for it.

I would suggest that you read his 2 books. The Scavengers Guide to Haute Cuisine, and American Buffalo. Both are very well written and provide a good base to where Rinella came from.

The guy is passionate about what he does and to the person who commented about him making money off the show for killing animals..... isn't life about finding something you love and making a career out of it?

Mark said...

Nick, you're right, I'm very picky. I didn't do a good job of showing how many awesome moments there were in proportion to those two or three that rubbed me the wrong way.

I'm planning on a followup post soon to highlight the good things in the series and how cool I think it is that he hunts for his food.

I'll have to check out his books. I don't think I'd be talented enough to sustain my family only on what I could harvest myself so he gets alot of respect from me in that regard.

Thanks for stopping by.
(Go Braves!)