Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My first televised hunt - on public TV!

At long last, that crazy hog hunt I went on in May has now been televised on KQED-TV in San Francisco, and I've got to say the producers did a good job.

The hunt was featured on QUEST, KQED's science and environment program, as part of a segment about wild hogs as an invasive species in California. The segment starts and ends with my hunt with Phillip from the Hog Blog and Michael and Sam from Native Hunt in May.

I know a lot of folks in the hunting community would assume public television is populated by a bunch of anti-hunting liberals, but if it is, you wouldn't know it from this program. Hunters are portrayed as part of the solution to the wild hog problem, not bloodthirsty savages. And QUEST gave me lots of air time to talk about why I hunt, with no obnoxious rejoinder from PETA. God bless 'em!

Check it out and see what you think:

QUEST on KQED Public Media.

But there's more than the video. Click here and you'll also see the producer's notes (where you'll find a nice discussion is warming up in the comments), as well as photos from filming.

If you'd like to download the program, you can get it free from iTunes. Click here, find "QUEST Video Podcast" and click on "Subscribe to podcast," which will take you to the iTunes store. Look for "Hog Wild," a segment dated 7/14/2009. It takes a few minutes to download.

If you watch the segment, you'll notice one apparent discrepancy between my story last May and the program: I did not kill the pig in question - Phillip did after I shot and missed. But the program doesn't show that, and I'm guessing most viewers will assume, based on the scenes shown, that I fired the killing shot.

On the one hand, you know me, I'm ridiculously honest about my failings in the field, and I didn't need to be protected from my failings on TV. In fact, I think hunting TV would be far better if it showed more missed shots to impart a little reality.

On the other hand, I'm a journalist, and I know who killed the pig was not relevant to the purpose of the program, and getting into those details would've been an unnecessary diversion that took valuable air time. So I really don't have my undies in a bunch about it.

Overall, it was a great first experience with TV.

© Holly A. Heyser 2009


Tom Sorenson said...

Wow - first of all...way to go! On TV 0 you're famous! :)

SEcondly - great job by KQED to show hunting in such positive light. Hunting as a solution to a problem? That's something no hunting show could ever touch on with any sincerity - Awesome job by these guys, and I thank them for taking the stance to show hunting in such light, and I thank you and Phillip for being the perfect "faces" for the outdoor community.

Tom Sorenson said...

Let me rephrase that - No hunting show could touch on that and be taken as sincere. Plenty of shows could show hunting as a solution to problems with sincerity - but the audience would obviously see the bias...this is perfect, though coming from a company with no relations with hunting.

Wanted to clear that up before I get jumped on! :)

NorCal Cazadora said...

Thanks, Tom. And your second point is well-taken.

Working with the crew from QUEST, Phillip and I both felt they were sincere about their interest in hunting as a part of this segment. But that didn't keep me from holding my breath when I was waiting for it to air. After years of writing about other people, it's hard to be on the other side of the interview, knowing that you've given up control of your words and images the minute you agreed to talk to them. But our trust was not betrayed.

The interesting thing will be checking out the hate mail they're sure to get. I sure hope some hunters write in too and thank them for the good job they did.

Luisa said...

Here's a direct link to the video on the QUEST site, via the Hog Blog [where a smaller version of the video is embedded]. Ossum!

www.CampWildGirls.com said...

Great Job Holly!

Michelle Scheuermann said...

Great Work Holly! Now lets turn it into a 13-week show. :)

Patty said...

I'm not a hunter and caught the link through Twitter. Great job Holly. KQED did a fine job of airing this. This was a fair and unbiased piece by Quet. Kudos to them too.

I've been transplanted from northern California to Florida and we're learning of the spread of wild hogs here too. Even in the gated community we live in (believe me nothing fancy), they mate with the pigs on the farm in here. I suppose there are sportsmen in here because they have not spread badly here.... yet.

Thank you again for posting and for giving those of us who don't hunt an education in another form environmentalism.

The Hunter's Wife said...

Holly, Congratulations to you and Phillip. I hope this video reaches so many of those on the fence about hunting. I think it was very well done and explained how important hunting is and why you hunt.

Very nice! Oh and cute hat!

Anonymous said...

I still haven't been able to view the show, but from what is being written, I'd say this piece sounds great. (My computer and I are having a disagreement on which player I allow it to use.)
Now, maybe we should use this as some points to help convince the state park system to revise some of it's plans on closing state parks. If they let guided hunts take place in closed parks such as Henry Coe, it would help keep the pig populaltion in check and reduce the threat of pot fields in the backcountry. They might even raise money for the new building they wanted.

Just a thought.


NorCal Cazadora said...

Michelle - 13-week show? Ki-yi-yi! It was fun, but Lord, I don't know where I'd find the time.

Jody - as I watched the show, i was acutely aware that I was wearing THREE different camo patterns. So gauche.

Jean - hunting in state parks in California? I wish! This is the state where we pay millions to have sharpshooters take out pigs on Santa Cruz island rather than let people hunt them. We don't mind killing invasive species, but we wouldn't want people to actually enjoy the process.

Patty - thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed it.

And Luisa, thanks for that link. All I could find yesterday was the podcast. I updated this post this morning with your link, but Blogger wasn't taking the embed code. Still helpful - no one has to download the podcast.

Ken and Joanne said...

Wild pigs have been a problem in California for at least forty years that I know of. I used to know a state hunter who spent some time hunting wild pigs at San Simeon State Park. It was so brushy he had to do it on horseback and take close up shots with a .357 magnum. Like REALLY close up. Many of the pigs had tuberculosis, and I don't know what the status of that disease among the wild pig population is now. He also said the San Simeon pigs were so inbred that he encountered some really bizarre specimens.


NorCal Cazadora said...

Ken, some of my friends like to hunt up close that way, and I hear that's the only way they hunt 'em in Hawaii - you don't get 100-yard shots in the jungle.

But so far, I haven't seen any obviously deformed or freakish pigs. For the most part, the ones I see are incredibly healthy.

Thanks also to Luisa, who ferreted out a coding problem and enabled me to embed the video here in the blog. I swear, I've updated this post ten times this morning. I think I'm done now...

NorCal Cazadora said...

And btw, it's worth going here to check out the producer's notes - good comment discussion warming up there.

SimplyOutdoors said...

I think the whole program was excellent, and definitely did nothing to hurt hunting's image as a whole. And you, Phillip, and Michael all did an excellent job, and were excellent models for the rest of hunters.

Very nice!

Matt Mullenix said...

Well done Holly. I liked best the quick shot of your face in the morning, everyone gathered by the trucks, you looking up into the hills with such open excitement. That can't be faked.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Ha! Yeah, Matt, I can't fake much of anything. Always been a horrible liar. And I get that look on my face everytime I'm outdoors these days.

The funny thing is there's one sunset scene where I keep getting this goofy smile on my face while Phillip is being dead serious. Looks strange. But if you have your volume up enough, you'll realize I'm reacting to coyotes. Love the yotes! There's a place where I hunt ducks with my friend Dana where the coyotes come up RIGHT BEHIND US and sing in the morning - mostly hoping we'll send a couple wounded ducks their way, I think. I love that part of the day.

Matt Mullenix said...

"“Carpe diem! Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; live life to the fullest; make the most of what you have. It is later than you think.”

-Horace, 65-8BC

Josh said...

Great, great show!

As for the shooting cuts, are Phillip's trunks in a twist? He was the one losing the glory.
; )

It really was a special show, cazadora. When I get around to posting again, it's definitely going up on my blog.

As for the short-range conversation, there are some really, REALLY hairy places in California, and I would expect San Simeon to be one of 'em. California has so many varied habitats, it's great!

native said...

In top form and full of class as you always are Holly!

I have gotten a ton of e-mail and phone calls (some from a few famous names) stating as much about the whole event.

Really loved it!

webay said...

Good to know, thank you for sharing such a usefull tips!!

oldfatslow said...

Congratulations on the video. It was very well done.


Matt said...

Very interesting and very exciting! I especially liked your comment "I don't kill for fun; I hunt for fun..."

NorCal Cazadora said...

Thanks! That's a really important distinction to make to non-hunters.

sportingdays girl said...

This is excellent, quality on so many levels. Also shot in one of my favorite terrains of California...to me that land, those ranches feels like Old California, the one most of us have missed outo n. I think my favorite part was your shaking and (adrenaline?) surge when you couldn't take a shot at the running pigs. The human side of the hunt, just as real as the animal's flight to survive.
They eat rattlesnakes? And sows are fertile at 6 mo? That's one bad-ass breed of animal.

Marian Love Phillips said...

Holly - I enjoyed watching the video on your first hog hunt. Very professionally done and my congrats to you, Phil and Michael. I know it was an exciting weekend for you! :)

I can relate how you feel with the shaking and adrenaline. Back in Feb., my husband and I hunted at Rex's famous Christmas Place and Hunting Club and a big fat hog ran by our stand and I tried to scope but could not beause it was running so fast and then my husband shot, but it ran off into the woods. Six hogs were harvest by other hunters that day.

The day will come when you will harvest one and I'm so very proud of you and what you have already accomplished. :)