Viewers Question Game Care

Viewers Question Game Care

Recently, we have received letters questioning our handling of game animals taken on Bowhunter Magazine TV. Specifically, in 2007, we aired a program based on a do-it-yourself elk hunt in Wyoming. Publisher Jeff Waring and I both killed bull elk, and, as shown on the program, we packed the meat and antlers from the backcountry with my pack llamas.




Since the airing of that program, several viewers have written to question our care of the meat in the field. Here's a typical example:

Dwight, In the episode where you and Jeff Waring were hunting elk in Wyoming, you used llamas to pack out Jeff's trophy antlers. What did you do with the meat from the elk? Also, later you went out and bagged another bull elk and then went and recruited help to track it.


In the majority of these supposed hunting shows, the hunters never clean the game for hours after they have been killed. I have been hunting for over 50 years, and this goes against everything I have been taught! I realize that the "actors" want to get their pictures taken with pristine animals and not blood-stained carcasses, but I can only imagine what the meat must taste like! R.S., Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Other similar letters have suggested that we packed out only part of the meat and left the rest in the field, or that we took so long to field-dress and pack-out the elk that the meat probably spoiled.

Here's the timeline on Jeff's bull: The bull died about 11 a.m.; we had finished shooting follow-up video and still photos by 12:30; we had the bull completely skinned, boned-out, and hanging to cool by 2:30. We returned that evening and packed the bull out with the llamas. The timeline on my bull differed only because I made a lousy shot -- inexcusable on a bull standing broadside at 15 yards, but proof that I am all too human. After some tedious tracking, we located the bull. He was bedded but still alive, so we backed off and returned at daybreak, standard procedure for gut-shot animals. We found the bull dead right where we had last seen him the night before. We quickly shot video and photos and had the elk skinned and butchered within a couple of hours.

One critic -- obviously a horseman -- suggested that we could not possibly have packed out an entire bull elk with only three llamas. Here are the facts: Mature bull elk bone out to between 275 and 325 pounds. The average is about 300 pounds. Dividing the meat among three llamas gives each llama 100 pounds -- a heavy but manageable load. After we'd packed out Jeff's elk, one of my llamas sprained his ankle, leaving us with only two packers, so on my bull we had to carry some of the meat ourselves. We have eaten every ounce of meat off those two bulls, and it was delicious -- every bite.

I cannot speak for other TV programs and individuals -- some may very well waste meat -- but Bowhunter's policy, and my personal philosophy, are: We do not dishonor game animals or ever jeopardize meat for the sake of video or photography. The animals always come first. To my knowledge, no participant has ever wasted any game meat while shooting an episode for Bowhunter Magazine TV.

Also, none of us on Bowhunter Magazine TV are actors. What you see on our programs is reality. Yes, we do have to eliminate details in order to trim stories to length for TV, but we do our very best to represent every hunting scenario honestly -- exactly as it happened.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Daybreak Whitetail Bowhunt

Bowhunter TV Editor Derek Mleynek has a chance to fill his buck tag on a mixed bag hunt in Texas.

Better Bow Accuracy: Release Arm Alignment

Better Bow Accuracy: Release Arm Alignment

On this edition of "Dead On," pro archer Randy Ulmer shows you how to properly align your release arm for better accuracy and bowhunting practice.

Better Bow Practice: Pick a Spot When Aiming

Better Bow Practice: Pick a Spot When Aiming

On this edition of "Dead On," Hall-of-Fame bowhunter Randy Ulmer shares advice on picking a spot to aim at when practicing with your bow.

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 2

Canyon Ranch Roundup Part 2

Bowhunter TV's Derek Mleynek and Equipment Editor Tony J. Peterson head to Texas for a late-season mixed bag hunt in a truly target-rich environment.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe. Recipes

Elk Venison Steak-Frites Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

A simple, classic steak and French fries duo gets a wild makeover with this Elk Venison...

New year, new look at your whitetail ground How-To

Summer Scouting from Scratch

Tony J. Peterson

New year, new look at your whitetail ground

Mountain hunts are a different game, and you must be prepared. How-To

Conquering Mountains: How to Prepare for a High-Country Hunt

Tom Edgington

Mountain hunts are a different game, and you must be prepared.

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe. Recipes

Vietnamese Black Bear Pté Chaud (Meat Pie) Recipe

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Black bear meat is dark and rich, and delicious ground up in this Pâté chaud recipe.

See More Trending Articles

More How-To

If you desire peak performance from your hunting bow, learn these skills. Bows

Bow-Tuning Techniques for Peak Performance

Joe Bell

If you desire peak performance from your hunting bow, learn these skills.

Mountain hunts are a different game, and you must be prepared. How-To

Conquering Mountains: How to Prepare for a High-Country Hunt

Tom Edgington

Mountain hunts are a different game, and you must be prepared.

Bowhunting whitetails on the open plains can provide several unique challenges. How-To

How to Hunt Whitetails in Open Country

Joe Blake

Bowhunting whitetails on the open plains can provide several unique challenges.

Here's how to go from longbeards to big bucks on public land in the same season. How-To

Scout for Whitetails While Turkey Hunting

Tony J. Peterson

Here's how to go from longbeards to big bucks on public land in the same season.

See More How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Bowhunter subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now