Filming a hunt might look easy, but it can be anything but. We sat down with Real Outdoors TV host Matt Wettish as he talked a bit about the process that went on behind the scenes of a hunting TV show.
Real Outdoors TV is not a reality TV show, Matt says. Instead, the show recreates the experience of hunting and strives to be as authentic as possible. Matt is a big proponent of introducing the next generation to the great outdoors and handing down traditions as it was handed to him. As an added treat, he showcases two videos below of Youth Day turkey hunting, while explaining what goes into filming the outdoors.
OutdoorHub: Tell us a bit about how Real Outdoors TV started.
Matt Wettish: We started off when a manufacturer wanted us to do a television show and they wanted us to it as inexpensively as possible. I got a group of guys, friends of mine, together that would be good on film. When we got everybody together and planned for the season, the manufacturer found out the cost of airtime and editing and getting a camera out there. They realized that TV shows, nine times out of 10, are not moneymaking endeavors but expenses. When they said it was going to cost too much money, my buddies decided to do it ourselves. These are all guys who work for a living, weekend warriors. None of us hunt for a living. We just try to deliver that idea to the public to get out there, try and be successful and have some fun.
How does bringing along a camera change your hunting trips?
I think it’s absolutely more challenging. Number one, you got two people in the woods instead of one. The camera eye is always a jinx factor. Everybody says, “Oh I had the perfect hunt, if only I had a camera.” Well if you had a camera it probably wouldn’t have been the perfect hunt.
It’s difficult, but I get just as much a rush being behind the camera than being in front of it. Sometimes even more. The challenge of recreating an experience for somebody is huge and it definitely weighs on you. Somebody else is giving up their opportunity to harvest a fish or harvest an animal and you’re basically saying, “Don’t shoot yet, we have to let some film run.”
Hunting is easy. A bird comes up over a hill, you see its head pop up and recognize it as a harvestable bird, you shoot it. That never happens when you’re filming. You got to let them come up, do a little dance, maybe get a few gobbles out of them. It’s not an open-and-closed case, we have to reconstruct a storyline. It’s definitely more intense.
How do you get kids involved in hunting and the outdoors?
We really try to show kids and even adults who haven’t had the experience what it’s like. I like to bring them out, even if they’re not 100 percent into the hunting side of things yet, and show them how to call turkeys and bring them in. They get to interact with nature, which most people don’t see or do on a daily basis. So, getting kids and getting them into the outdoors is something we’ve had great success with, especially on youth days when the woods aren’t flooded with people.
It’s a great lesson and a great story to see a kid that can go out there. One who can handle the preparation and the disappointment [of coming back empty-handed], and eventually gaining success.
Editor’s note: This interview is part of a series with OutdoorHub’s featured video partners. Click here to read our interview with survival expert Dave Canterbury and click here to read our interview with Wild Fish Wild Places’ Denis Isbister.