Fresh Tracks with Randy Newberg is a new idea for outdoor TV, taking the core principles of On Your Own Adventures; self-guided hunting on public lands, and telling a deeper story about hunting and conservation as it happens in America. In the new format, we travel to the same amazing public landscapes in the west, showing viewers the multitude of great hunts than can be had on these public lands, while showing what happens both in front of, and behind the camera.
So, what is in this new format and style? It tells the entire story of the season. Every hunt is just part of the bigger story of that season. Nothing is left out. If it happens, you get to see it, good or bad, kill or no kill, lots of animals or few at all. Fresh Tracks is an idea that is three years in the making. We cut nothing and show it all to you as part a hunter’s life for an entire hunting season, through the eyes of the host, Randy Newberg.
What is the same in the new show? Still the self-guided public/accessible land gig we brought with On Your Own Adventures. Still the same kind of western hunts you have grown accustomed to seeing. If you see it on our show, you can do it.
Sportsman Channel Airtimes:
|Tuesday||9:00 AM||7:00 AM|
|Thursday||8:00 PM||6:00 PM|
|11:00 PM||9:00 PM|
|Friday||6:00 AM||4:00 AM|
To see our page on the Sportsman Channel Website click here.
The season starts with a NV archery mule deer hunt where I have some major health issues that mess up the hunt. It happens to all of us, sooner or later. TV guys are no different, so why should we not show it when health issues compromise our hunts?
A glory moose hunt in Alaska where we have to go earlier than I would like, missing the rut, dealing with boat motor issues, then having a camera crap out on us. Anyone ever have their once in a lifetime hunt all planned out and things not go as planned? Never seems to happen on TV, until now.
We then go to Wyoming for antelope, only to have it interrupted by a blood clot in my heart (doctors call it a heart attack, but I am in denial). Then, like a lot of guys in their hunting season, just when you think it is all coming to an end, some good luck lands on your lap and you run into animals you don't deserve. We flat out got lucky and shot two whopper bucks under serious mobility restrictions.
Funny how TV guys never "luck out;" they always knew that was going to happen and the big one that landed in their lap is always skill. Well, I must be different, because this was flat out good luck. Hard work, but plenty of good luck.
Then off to NM where our guest hunter takes a great bull on the last day of season. His first elk and a good one. No one worked harder than he did. I was way more excited to see him take a bull than for me to take a bull. Now, we are rolling.
From NM, we went to Montana where my son and I got to hunt elk together again for the first time in five years, due to his college days being out of state. We shoot two great bulls, ten minutes and 100 yards apart, from a massive herd of about 400 elk. Donkey Kong!
Then it is off to Colorado, riding high on the good luck of our past three hunts. It is super warm. Hunting at 11,000' on an OTC tag. Usually I am covered up with elk, but not this trip. I have a deer tag and on the last evening, I shoot a buck out of a large group of rutting deer with four different bucks moving and chasing. I am sure it is the one with tall back ends I have been chasing all day. Bang-flop! Walk up to admire him. Nope. Embarrassed as hell to find out somehow I shot that really tall forkie, who when his head was down in the sage, looked in the late light to be the big boy. Good thing the light was getting darker or you would have seen my face beet red with embarrassment. Hopefully I am not the only guy to have ever shot the wrong buck when they started chasing and moving in their rutting frenzy.
I always wanted to hunt muleys in an extreme back country area of my home state of MT. Just never found the time. So this year, I made the time. Saw some smaller bucks, but was not there to shoot one of those. Day three brought a big one I was looking for, but he was too far away to get to him by dark. The next two days we fought 60+mph winds trying to find him, but it was nearly impossible to climb those steep rock faces in that wind. Came home empty, rather than shoot one of the smaller bucks. Not sure how that never happens on TV, other than with us. Bad hunters on our show.
Then, rifle elk in Arizona with a great guy, MNHunter, who was on his first elk hunt. Opening morning he shoots a great 320 bull. I pass a busted bull, given we already have enough to haul out of the canyon. Later, you see how filming really messes with hunting, as the camera is on a different bull than the really nice one I am about to shoot. In our chaos, the bulls escape. We chase them out of the canyon to a group of old timers waiting up above. They mow down two of the three. Sweating profusely from the scramble to catch the bulls leaving this big canyon, I congratulate these boys on their success of shooting their first bulls. Evidently I am the only TV guy with that kind of luck.
Then we luck out and get to film a fair-chase free-range bison hunt in MT. I drew one of the ten late season either-sex tags. I shoot a very nice bull and we tell an amazing story of bison. Tatonka!
In the final chapter of the season we return to Alaska for black bear the last week of May. We overcome many logistic obstacles and some major challenges of lost production gear to take our best black bear ever.
The season gets told in chronological order. If it happened, you get to see it. I suspect most of the screwed up things, the mistakes, the bad luck, and the occasional blind luck are things that happen to most hunters, just seldom happens to TV guys from what I see on the tube. Stuff that might be a candidate for tossing in the trash gets made into an episode, trying to reflect how hunting happens for the viewers. Not how it necessarily gets portrayed on most TV shows, but we are trying to be different than other shows.
We shot the entire season from scratch. No plan to follow, not knowing how it would come together, and trying to tell a story the audience can relate to. We headed to the field with general ideas, but no road map to follow from a production or storytelling standpoint. Almost like trying to build a house from an idea in your head, without the use of blueprints.
Now that we have a year under our belts, I am super excited for the upcoming season that will be Season Two. We know what works and what doesn't. We know the kind of hunts that tell a good story and which are logistically compromised by filming issues. We have some amazing tags that will make for super hunts. Like when we started On Your Own Adventures, I expect Fresh Tracks to get better every year, as we learn more of what works and get better at telling our story.
Is it a risk to take a popular brand and change it? Yup, but it was a huge risk to start this self-guided public land show when we came out with On Your Own Adventures. And, positive change seldom comes without taking risks.
We are not in this to do the same old thing that makes many shows look the same. I am in this to tell a story about hunting and hunters, sometimes with a kill, sometimes without. If we cannot tell a story about something more than inches and scores, then we need to find something else to do with our time.
Thanks again for all your support. I hope you enjoy this new story; a season-long story, of self-guided public land hunting. Hopefully when you see the season-long story, you will share my passion for telling a different type of hunting story.
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