VANGUARD Pro Gerry Rightmyer is the Co-Host and company VP of Forever Wild Outdoors
Managing and producing an outdoor television show is a lot harder than most people realize. Logging countless hours in the field, dealing with sponsors, pro staff, editors, and outfitters can be exhausting. As an outdoor television show, it’s important to align yourself with many different companies. Each company helps the show in a specific way. A camouflage company helps the hunter conceal him/herself, which in turn, helps the hunter be more successful. A gun manufacturer builds a quality rifle, which in turn, helps the hunter make a critical once-in-a-lifetime shot. A multi-faceted company like Vanguard makes superior optics and other products, which in turn, helps not only our hunters but our editing house too!
It takes tremendous effort to capture a hunt on film. It also takes an equal amount of effort for an editing house to create an outdoor television show with high production value. Vanguard’s wide variety of products helps the hunter in the field and the editor in the studio. Unlike a lot of companies, Vanguard’s multi-dimensional product line helps our television show unlike any other.
In the field, Forever Wild Outdoors uses a wide variety of optics and accessories. Riflescopes help our hunters make accurate shots. The field of view and quick reticle acquisition makes our job as hunters much easier. Gun slings help keep our firearms balanced when walking long distances, and allow for easy access when readying for a shot. Binoculars help find our quarry when the human eye cannot. Monopods help our youth turkey hunters steady a heavy shotgun. They also help keep the barrel “up” when a turkey struts into view. Spotting scopes help field judge animals before a stalk ensues. The aforementioned scenarios are situations we encounter each and every season.
In the studio, our editing house uses Vanguard’s camera bags, tripods, and fluid heads as part of their daily work routine. Each product has it’s own function and each function is critical to our success. The camera bags keep our cameras dry, equipment in order, and helps prevent damage to some pretty expensive video equipment. Tripods keep cameras steady, whether it’s an outdoor filming situation or an indoor studio shoot. Tripods also allow hunters the ability to “self film” without the aid of a cameraman. Steady filming leads to better quality footage, and the better the footage, the better the show.
I sometimes take for granted all of the “tools” I use, whether I’m filming, hunting, or enjoying the outdoors. A perfect example of the versatility of Vanguard’s product line occurred just recently. As I sit here writing this blog, I hearken back to a late muzzleloader hunt that occurred only two weeks ago.
Back in August of 2015, while attending the Deerassic Classic in Cambridge, Ohio, I had the pleasure of meeting the Hupp family. Ed and Jeremy Hupp decided to start a whitetail outfitting business in the famed Ohio River Valley of Southeast Ohio. Our television show made arrangements to hunt their property during the 2015 bow season.
The bow hunt was such a huge success, that we decided to return in January of 2016, for a late-season muzzleloader hunt. Three teams of hunters and videographers were gathered for the four-day hunt. Cold weather was expected, so we compiled all of our gear, and drove seven hours to Meigs County, Ohio for what hoped to be a successful whitetail hunt.
For a late season hunt such as this, I typically hunt the entire day. Sitting in a stand, or hunting out of a box blind is the general rule. That being said, we needed to pack all of our gear required for the 12-hour vigil. Food, extra hats and gloves, water, binoculars, camera equipment, and anything necessary to properly capture the hunt on film was paramount. Going back to camp to warm up or gather additional equipment was not an option, so we needed to ensure that all items were in ample supply and working properly.
Day one was warm. It really felt more like early Fall than it did mid-January. Temperatures hovered in the mid 50’s and deer movement was sporadic at best. A front approached the Buckeye state that evening, and rains and high winds kept us inside for the second morning, but as soon as the afternoon rolled around, cold temperatures set in, and deer movement picked up accordingly. Snow began to fall and our hopes of killing a big whitetail began to rise!
Day two produced some does during the afternoon sit, but no big bucks were seen. The forecast for the third day was for temperatures in the teens and the chance of snow. Things were looking good for optimum deer movement, so we again prepared ourselves for a daylong sojourn and kept our fingers crossed.
The previous morning, while waiting for the rains and wind to pass, we decided to look at some trail camera pictures. One of the stand sites we looked at had many daytime visits from resident bucks. The box blind set-up had been hunted little recently, so we decided to hunt that location on day three. It was my turn to get in front of the camera. My hopes for a crack at a giant whitetail were hinged on this day, as my agreement with the cameraman was to hunt on days one and three. He, conversely, would hunt the second and fourth day.
Our first deer sighting was just after eleven o’clock. We saw large flocks of turkey that morning… upwards of two-dozen birds at one time, but that elusive buck had yet to appear. As the day wore on, more and more deer began to appear. At least 10 does, button bucks and one spike made an appearance, but still no bucks.
Just as the sun began to settle behind the horizon, a high-racked eight-point buck sauntered into view. It took a mere 90 seconds for him to walk by our Oak Ridge Hunting Blind… completely broadside and standing a scant 30 yards away! As the cameraman gave me the go-ahead, the old smoke pole barked, and within seconds the tall-racked eight-point lay motionless a scant 40 yards away!
This hunt, like so many others, proves that hard hunting, a little luck, and the right equipment can and DOES make a difference. I would like to thank Vanguard for providing Forever Wild Outdoors with quality products that help our television show stand out from the rest! Our editors at Classy Wolf Media thank you too! In the studio or out in the field, Vanguard leads the way!