Bowhunters Mike Andronaco, John Bassett, and Michael Vaughn do their part to help manage the burgeoning deer population in Connecticut. Venison harvested from these hunts is shared with the landowners, but here’s where the strange part comes in: the landowners are the residents of million-dollar homes in wealthy suburban neighborhoods.
History Channel’s Chasing Tail follows Andronaco and his hunting companions as they hunt the deer that have been chewing on thousand-dollar gardens. According to the Rutland Herald, he likes to call owners of the land he hunts on “clients.” Andronaco does not get paid, but the team do make homeowners happy. Out of control deer cause millions in property damage and are dangerous to boot. Over 18,000 deer-related vehicle collisions were reported in the state over the course of 2012, an average of 49 per day.
“We cull a lot of the doe deer, but we like to get a trophy buck once in a while,” Andronaco said. “I usually get a decent buck once a year, something you could mount on the wall. That’s not our focus, though—our focus is on culling the herd.”
The veteran hunter’s rules are simple:
- Never shoot when people are in the area.
- Always follow state hunting regulations.
- You must get permission from homeowners.
Andronaco and his crew converted a large barn into a hunting camp and take as many as 15 deer each season. Much of the venison is donated to food shelters and churches, with the remainder being split between the crew and landowners.
Left Field Pictures, producers of shows such as Pawn Stars, picked up on the idea of filming these suburban outdoorsmen and bounced the idea over to the History Channel. It started when one of Andronaco’s relatives, film student Peter Vandall, began filming the hunting crew as a documentary project. Vandall has since then been retained as an executive producer with Chasing Tail.
Andronaco himself displays a cavalier attitude towards the show–the first episode of which aired last night–and says his main reason for participating is “to get my favorite cousin’s son a job.” Although if the show becomes a hit, he would not mind that either.
You can watch the trailer below: