Monday, June 8, 2009

Ethical Hunting Comes (finally) to TV!

Randy Newberg is a board member of Orion-The Hunter's Institute. He is a hunter who walks the talk. Please fowrward this website and news of the TV Show, On Your Own Adventures, to all your hunting and wildlife loving friends.


Dear Hunting Friends:

As many of you know, I have been working on a TV show for most of the last year, On Your Own Adventures. We have been building a website to be a compliment to the show. It is now live, even though we are working out a few bugs.

The site is We have some samples of the show loaded on the “video” page of the website, and will soon have previews of every episodes loaded on the “TV” page of the site. The site will tell you all about our show.

I hope you will sign up and register to participate in our forum, Hunt Talk, where many experienced hunters spend time swapping information, posting pictures, and telling their stories.

And, I hope you will share our site and our show with your hunting friends.

The show, On Your Own Adventures, starts airing on the Outdoor Channel in July. We will air on Friday at 11:30AM and 10:00PM and on Sunday at 3:00PM, all times being Mountain time. I hope you will tune in and watch On Your Own Adventures every week.

Thanks to all of you who helped and supported this cause in some way.

Happy Hunting!


Randy Newberg, CPA
On Your Own Adventures, LLC
6341 Johnson Road
Bozeman, MT 59718


  1. Eric,
    Not to rain on anyone's fair chase parade, but . . . I'm troubled by the implication of your title that Randy's brand of unguided hunts ("on your own adventures") are the only ethical hunts on TV. This would seem to suggest that any and all guided hunts are unethical.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think there are only a few ethical issues that pertain to recreational hunting. Hunt safely; aim for a quick, clean kill; and respect the law generally. That's about it.

    How Randy chooses to hunt versus how others choose to hunt is not really a matter of ethics, but of aesthetic preference.

    I have watched one of Randy's episodes on a DVD that he provided me. In the episode Randy and an older fellow (his dad or uncle?) hunt the edge of a checkerboard piece of public land along a fence that borders private land. Moby Elk walks along the fence on the opposite, private side of the boundary. Randy elects (correctly I think) NOT to shoot at the elk while the elk is on private property, and the hunt is over. The entire tone of the episode is a self-congratulatory "we did it the right way by not shooting at the elk while on private property. Hooray for us."

    Well, you and I have both done a number of hunter education workshops over the years where one of the STANDARD dilemmas is about wounding an animal that crosses over onto private property. The STANDARD moral of the story usually is, "Don't put yourself in that position. Move further away from the property line to hunt."

    Well, in Randy's case . . . what would have happened if Moby Elk hopped the fence onto public land and Randy had shot him there at the fence? Either the elk goes down instantly, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, then there's a chance it hops back over the fence to die on private land, where Randy can’t retrieve it. Is Randy's unguided hunt still an "ethical hunt" in this case?

    All of a sudden Randy’s hunt is not looking so “ethical” anymore.

    What I’m saying is that hunting "on your own" is no guarantee that a hunt is "ethical" or not. Although I assume Randy truly is hunting as ethically as he knows how to, I think it is problematic to simply assume or assert that Randy's way of hunting is somehow AUTOMATICALLY ethical, and the way everyone else does it (on television or otherwise) is not.

    Now, I know this is not what you intended to imply. But the title of the post certainly implies it.

    Randy's show is clearly a welcome addition to weekend outdoor sports programming. I’ll tell you what, when Randy does some "on his own" public land Michigan or Wisconsin grouse hunting, I may even watch it. ;-)

    But I would be very careful about automatically assuming that Randy's way of hunting is ethical and everything else isn't. I've seen some very good examples of ethical hunting on the outdoor shows, and some not-so-ethical examples of bad hunting on those shows.

    To imply that people who hire guides are categorically "unethical" is unfair both to those hunters who strive to hunt the right way as well as to those guides who work very hard to provide excellent and ethical guide services.

  2. Jim,
    You are right I didn't mean to imply that guided hunts or private land hunts are unethical. Unfortunately many of the hunting shows do highlight the kill and down play everything else. And yes many do seem to me to be unethical in that the animals are habituated to feeders and held in high fences. Again this type of hunting isn't always unethical for every hunter, but it certainly isn't where healthy, skillful hunters (as the host hunters portray themselves) should be touting as great hunts. Good shoots, good kills - maybe, but good hunting - no. Good hunting for a beginner - could be.
    I think why Randy's show stands out is because it is the way most of us hunt, it takes skill, time and effort (both physical and mental) and they do their best to ensure safe, legal, clean kills. Fair chase is definitely there also as is full utilization of the animals.
    Hopefully this show is successful and other shows start moving this way.
    Agreed their are other good hunting shows, but they are pretty far and few between.
    Always good to hear from you - keep up the good fight!

  3. Eric: you need to look closer to home. I find the hunting shows that are part of Outdoor Journal on Vt. Public TV to be very ethical. In one show, a big bull moose is shot on public land, after several days of hunting in the wind and rain, and before the hunter even looks at the horns he thanks the moose for all the food it will provide his family. Also, none of the Outdoor Journal shows involve feeders or fences or high-priced guides....

  4. Annon - you are absolutely correct - the VPT Outdoor Journal is excellent. I stand corrected on my overly general headline. I guess the poor shows bug me so much I got carried away...

  5. at least you guys aren't the idiot moderators and administrators at

  6. You must check out for their outdoor gadgets and gears.