Hunting and fishing is a big deal in Coastal Georgia, according to Chris Beasley, executive producer of a new, locally produced outdoors program scheduled to air in September.
The 41-year-old Liberty County native, whose day job is operations manager for the Liberty County Public Works Department, said he’s been hunting most of his life.
“I’ve been hunting since I was 7 years old, and now I’m 41,” Beasley said as he sat on the porch that serves as the set for his half-hour show, “Hunten Ham Horn Feather.” “I started out hunting squirrels, then worked my way up to hunting deer and hogs. I hunt everything. I even plan to do some bow fishing as part of the show.”
He explained the show’s name represents most of what he hunts, with ham referring to wild hogs, horn referring to deer and feather referring to quail, dove, ducks, geese and marsh hens.
Beasley said his show will air on the CW network, probably the first Wednesday in September. He said Marty Fischer, the CW’s program manager for the hunting block, told him his show would air during prime time.
The CW network is found on Dish and Direct TV’s channel 34 and channel 7 for Comcast customers.
Beasley prefers hunting to fishing, but said his show will include segments on both fresh- and salt-water fishing. He enjoyed talking about going fishing with his grandfather when he was boy.
“My grand-daddy used to go fishing every Friday when he got off work,” Beasley said. “When he retired, he went fishing every day. I’d go with him when he went fishing for redbreasts (sunfish) on Fort Stewart or down to Harris Neck (National Wildlife Refuge). I mostly went so see if I could spot any deer or hogs in the fields close to where he was fishing.”
With a hunter’s knack for telling stories, Beasley talked about a record 192-pound, 10-point buck he harvested with his bow at Harris Neck. He sighed with disappointment about the fact that he wouldn’t be allowed to film hunts on federal lands.
He said all shows will be filmed locally, although not on federal hunting lands like Harris Neck or Fort Stewart. Guests appearing in each show usually will be local residents. His first show features rising country-music star Luke Lander. Lander, a Rincon resident, is featured bow hunting for hogs and also in what Beasley called “the comedy segment.”
Each show includes footage of hunting or fishing in addition to tips on how to make hunting and fishing trips more successful. The program also includes a law-enforcement segment in which a Georgia conservation ranger responds to questions about hunting/fishing regulations.
Beasley said his shows will be about 22-1/2 minutes long, which allows the network 7-1/2 minutes of commercial time. The nine local businesses that sponsor his show will be featured during commercial breaks.
His first show begins with Beasley standing in front of his porch talking about the upcoming show.
“Three-and-a-half years ago, I couldn’t even email,” said Beasley, admitting he was slow to warm up to technology. “Now, I use four or five different cameras, computer programs and graphics software — all of it self-taught. These new trail cameras are probably one of the best tools they ever came up with for hunters.”
He doesn’t depend on a camera’s microphone to pick up his whispers from a tree stand and is careful to edit the footage so viewers don’t have to guess what they are seeing or hearing.
“I use wireless mics for myself and my guests,” Beasley said. “Believe it or not, it’s really 70 percent audio and 30 percent video. You’ve got to have professional audio and video to have a good show.”
Beasley said his 8-year-old daughter, Emma, is his executive assistant. She knows how to operate the cameras and even helps with editing. His wife said she supports her husband’s TV show, but doesn’t get involved in the production.
“I told him early on that I’m just an observer,” Rebecca Beasley said. “I’m here for emotional support.”
Beasley said he likes to put a little comedy in each show because he thinks laughter is an important part of outdoor sports. Little things like talking about the odor of his “hog brew” — a mixture of corn, yeast and sugar used to attract hogs — shows the lighter side of hunting and fishing, he said.
“I love nature because it helps me escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” Beasley said. “This show lets me share my love for the outdoors.”