FULKS RUN — Whether it pertains to the money or the animal, Justin Morris and Dee Carr did not start On Track Pursuits for big bucks.
The Internet-based hunting show the men started in 2012 is designed to capture the all-around Virginia-area hunting experience, which you won’t find on national shows, said Morris, 29, a Fulks Run native.
“All the big shows you see on TV … it wasn’t what was going on in this area,” he said of hunters showing off their large deer and bear kills. “For this area, it didn’t compare.”
Enter On Track Pursuits, which features roughly 20-minute videos shot by six people — three two-man teams, Morris and Carr included — on high-definition cameras. The videos, mostly shot in George Washington National Forest, are meant to educate and entertain, showing the entire hunt, and not just the kill itself.
“You can watch on TV people go out and sit in a stand. They don’t see what happens before that and in between that,” Morris said.
The videos are geared toward the average hunter who puts food on the table, but they also seek to draw in kids, plugging the youth organization Hunters Helping Kids and filming hunters as young as 7.
On the show’s relaunched website, www.ontrackpursuits.net, its creators note that a “trophy animal is in the eye of the beholder.”
To them, “each animal is a trophy,” adding that the goal is to “prove to people that you do not have to pay big bucks to kill big bucks.”
If a nonhunter lends an eye to the show, even better, Morris said.
“They don’t understand, you get up at 4 a.m. and go hunting all day long,” he said. “It wears you out.”
But making it all worthwhile is the pleasure of hanging out in the woods with friends, which Morris first enjoyed at the age of 5, he said.
A Criders native, Carr, 37, began hunting as a child, too, and is passing the sport on to his 7-year-old son. The show is an extension of his lifelong activity.
“It’s just an enjoyment for me,” Carr said. “It’s entertainment for the average hunter to see hunting the way most people around this area hunt.”
Most of the network TV “reality” programs that follow hunters are “more for show,” Carr said.
“They’re only after the big buck most of the time,” he explained. “We’re more about going out, enjoying it and getting food for the family.”
The number of hunting, fishing and outdoor “survival” shows on network television has surged in recent years. They include everything from the History Channel’s “Chasing Tail,” a deer-hunting show based in Connecticut, to “Yukon Men,” a Discovery Channel show that documents life in a remote Alaska village where hunting and trapping are the primary occupations.
While the On Track Pursuits’ website hints at the notion of perhaps one day nabbing a “headlining show on national television,” Morris said that’s not their intent.
“Our goal [now] is to get on a local station,” he said. “Where it goes is where it goes.”
However, Carr adds, “We can dream, I guess.”
Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or firstname.lastname@example.org