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Its not any grave secrete that hunting professionals and sports figures get paid to promote products in their sport. But what is a little known fact about the hunting industry specifically; is that more than any other sport its all about the money. See it is very difficult to make it in this field where in other sports the athletes get paid for there sport and endorsement money is just “gravy”, this is not the case with the hunting industry. The only form of payment we get is from our sponsors, so it becomes a “take what you can get” or you wont survive situation.
So how does that effect us as hunters and what we buy. Well when you have a bunch of “professional” hunters out there slinging their favorable opinions on products they may not even truly like using, you may be basing your future purchases on pure BS. I am not going to single anyone out but I personally know TV personalities that promote anything they get paid to promote. And I can understand why….like I said before in other articles it is one of the hardest industries to make a living in, but still where has the integrity gone? I don’t want to stand on my soap box because I am no saint, but one thing I did make a promise to myself when I got in this industry was That I wouldn’t push anything I wouldn’t use my self. Maybe that’s why I don’t have a vast pool of sponsors.
The Hunting Channel has been approached by many companies that have given us their products to try out and promote. As well as been invited by many outfitters to go hunt with them so they can join our preferred outfitters list. We accept all comers’ but we tell them up front we will give your product an honest review and will only promote it if we feel it is worthy of our endorsement. You can read about some of our product reviews and outfitter reviews here on this blog. Even personally in my own career I have first found the products I liked using in the field and then approached them about obtaining sponsorship. And between you and me its not the best way to make money, because in the product manufactures eyes you are already endorsing them why would they pay you for it. What they should recognize its that true honest endorsements carry far more weight than a snake oil salesmen. Needless to say, that’s just the way I prefer to do it.
For instance, I shot Swhacker broadheads for a full season and put it through the ringer on every type of hunt I could and with several different game species and different hunting tactics. And when I was sure I loved them I created a promo and sent it to them, they loved it and I became a Swhacker pro-staff. I think it should all be that way. Hell I had been shooting Mathews for many years before I became a national Pro-staff. I had been approached by 3 different companies to shoot their bows before hand, it probably was a stupid move financially but, I am a hunter first and TV guy second and I want to know that when I launch an arrow its gonna hit its mark. So if anyone asks me what do I shoot I tell “Mathews”, not because the pay me but because they deserve it. As a matter of fact everything I own from the soap I use in the shower, to vane on my arrows are all stuff I feel works the best for me, not because I got paid for it. The same goes for any product or outfitter advertised on THC We don’t care if you want to give us money to promote your business it has to pass out test before you get the thumbs up.
Time for me to stop beating my chest and get back to the point of this blog, the product manufactures who have the most money to spend in advertising are gonna get their products in the biggest names and bombard you with the most propaganda, don’t be so quick to buy, do some research… ask friends, family, check out the true gear reviews online, hell ask me! I will give you an honest opinion if I have used it before Info@Because lets be honest we in the industry are all professionals and we can make anything look good. So do your homework find the gear that works for you. This is not high school, the deer and elk don’t care what brand name your carbon – electric – silver – infused – super – suit is… they just know it works when the last thing they hear it TWACK!!!!
No company pays me enough to uses products that will leave me at a deficit in the field, there is a reason why I’ve been with the same companies for so long, I don’t just go where the money is.. so if I make a move its because its a better product….
I’m sure I have managed to alienate myself from potential sponsors and some of my peers, but I maintain my view and hold my ground…. If you want and honest review of your product and/or want someone who is passionate about the sport and what he uses, I am your man…If you want snake oil salesmen your looking in the wrong place…