September 10, 2013
Given the choice between a classroom and a deer stand … well, that’s not really a fair question, is it?But Jake Miller says he and his father, Greg Miller, try to strike a balance between the two – hunting for entertainment and the educational process involved in becoming a more successful whitetail deer hunter – on their show The Hunt with Greg and Jake on Outdoor Channel.
“That’s the one way we want to separate ourselves: Be entertaining, but at the same time don’t just completely go for nothing but entertainment the entire time,” Jake said. “We want people to be able to understand what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and why we were successful, so they can take it and apply it to their own hunting situations.”
The Hunt with Greg and Jake appears on Outdoor Channel on Thursdays at 12:30 p.m. ET and 8:30 p.m. ET, as well on Wednesdays at 6:30 a.m. ET.
Probably the most exciting part of any hunting show is when the pursuit and preparation finally ends and the hunter delivers the winning shot and drops a beautiful animal. While there is plenty of that on The Hunt, Jake said he hopes the show offers more as well.
“One of the toughest things is there is a noticeable separation in viewers from those two (types of) shows as well,” he said. “There are definitely people who tune into Outdoor Channel and other networks to learn and try and see what we’re doing and what we’ve done. And there’s the definite group that just wants to see a buck go down – they want to see things get shot, that’s their entertainment.
“It’s tough to appeal to both, but we’re going to make one heck of a run at it.”
Jake said his father is the backbone of the show and its educational format. Greg Miller is an active author of all things involving deer hunting, and he’s been a part of several hunting video and television productions.
“We built it around not only him, but his publications, his countless magazine articles, his books,” Jake said. “That’s how we kind of geared the show originally, that education-based format. That’s where we established our credibility, basically. You’re learning through the exploits of Greg Miller throughout the entire TV shows. That’s where people could tune in and see that name and see that face and say, ‘I know these guys can back it up. I know the information and the credibility is there.’ “The Hunt takes the Millers to hunting locales and terrains across North America. But whether it is the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies, the sage bush regions of west Texas, the farmlands of the Midwest or the pine thickets in the Deep South, Jake said when it comes to the big bucks, they are, in a word, different.“Absolutely,” he said. “I chased a big deer in Nebraska a few years ago. … It was almost like he was a different species than anything else. They just have a different demeanor to them.
“I think it is due in large part to once they get to a certain size, especially if it is significantly bigger than anything else in the area, they get that dominance feature to them. Once you get that dominant buck, with the exception of the rut, it’s not going to be an easy task to take that animal. They’re usually going to be those 5- and 6-, possibly 7-year-old whitetails – in the Midwest anyway – and they’re going to have that demeanor where they know they can go anywhere, they can do anything, and that’s just the way they relate to the other deer.”
The fact that the buck has simply survived that long, Jake said, the life’s lessons it has learned has given it a keen eye for almost any type of apparent danger. As a result, it will not hesitate to blow the whistle on any situation, turn around and leave.
“That big buck we were after in Nebraska, we chased him for two years,” Jake said. “We saw him from stand one time in two years, and he knew something was different. He was trailing a hot doe and he just (quit). It’s crazy how they just act completely different.
“They’ve seen everything. They’ve had to survive some wild stuff already, I’m sure, and that’s probably what keeps them on their toes, so to speak.”
Those types of hunting situations – and countless others – are what Jake and Greg attempt to prepare viewers for on The Hunt.
“The main thing we try to do,” Jake said, “is make sure that when people watch a 30-minute episode of The Hunt, they walk away going, ‘You know, I may not have ever hunted in the state that they were in, but the application of how they used the tactics transfers over.’ At the end of the day, it’s still whitetail hunting and it’s how you apply the different things that we’re trying to teach people.
“More than anything, we want people to be able to watch our show and take something away from it, and not lose interest at the same time – somehow captivate and just completely enamor these people with knowledge without them necessarily feeling like they’re being educated.”
"The Hunt with Greg and Jake" Show Page