So I’m working on Episode 11 – Season 2 this week and I ran into a little dilemma. The hunt takes place in the Mississippi Delta and the guys we were hunting with have a ton of property that they own. The property used to be utilized for catfish farming. They like to cruise around on a UTV to scout for ducks and they aren’t afraid to move during a hunt from pond to pond if their first set-up doesn’t pay off. On this particular morning, they were scouting an area to hunt on a UTV.
J. Paul and the guys we were hunting with hopped into the UTV and began to back up down the levee. Unbeknownst to them, a huge steel pipe was behind them in the tall grass and they backed right into it with bone-rattling force and J. Paul’s head slammed right into the roll cage! I mean, it was a hard lick too. It busted his head open a little bit and drew some blood and, of course, we captured the aftermath on camera. (See Screen Shots 1 and 2)
So back to my dilemma… should I use this footage in the show or not? Every show is only about 22 minutes long once you factor in show graphics and commercials, so sometimes it is tough to decide what gets squeezed into the show and what footage will miss the cut. On one hand, this scene shows the reality of what we do for a living as well as some of the hidden hazards we all face as outdoorsmen. On the other hand, some viewers will undoubtedly write or call and say that the riders should have been wearing a helmet and that we are promoting unsafe hunting conditions. The fact of the matter is that UTV riders are not required to wear helmets on private land in Mississippi. Once it was clear that J. Paul was OK, the door was wide open for the jokes to begin and it actually became somewhat humorous. The show will air the week of October 24, so you will just have to wait and see if it makes the show or not. Either way, you can bet I’m going to look twice next time somebody backs a UTV down a pond levee with me in the passenger seat.