Everyone has that friend who can cast a jig into just the right spot in brushy cover from 25 yards out. Or has a buddy who seems to never miss a shot, no matter the conditions or the degree of difficulty. Or know the guy who always has the best route to take the ATV through every mud bog.
The goal of the Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge, which appears exclusively on Outdoor Channel this fall, is to find the guy – or gal – who can do it all.
The series’ ninth season opened Oct. 3 and will continue with episodes each Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. Eastern for a total of 13 half-hour episodes. Also, there will be repeat telecasts every Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7 a.m. ET for the duration of the season.
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Contenders in the series will compete through several rounds of head-to-head challenges to test their outdoor skills, including fly fishing, bass fishing, rifle, shotgun, endurance, archery, ATV handling and more – your basic reality show with an outdoorsman twist.
Four sets of qualifying rounds were held earlier this year at Bass Pro Shops in Springfield, Mo., Leeds, Ala., and Grapevine, Texas, as well as another at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville, Tenn. Fourteen finalists were chosen to appear on the show with a chance to compete for more than $50,000 worth of cash and prizes, including a Yamaha ATV and a Tracker bass boat.
Finalists include 2011 and 2009 Total Outdoorsman Challenge champion Tom Boatright of Perdido, Ala., three-time champion (2006-2008) Paul Thompson of Marion, N.C., and 2010 champion Chad Weatherford of Loris, S.C.
Also among the finalists are last year’s fourth-place finisher, Jeff Haney of Asheville, N.C., two former FLW Tour pro fishermen, Michael Hawkes of Sabinal, Texas, and John Sappington of Branson, Mo., and Chris Reed of Grenada, Miss., who won the second season of Top Shot on History Channel.
Other finalists are Cristy Crawford of Sumner, Texas; Luke Hitt of Rogers, Ark.; Kevin Krienke of Cedar Park, Texas; Peter Mosby of Aurora, Colo.; Greg Shelton; Ryan Straley of Olathe, Kan., and David Wiens of College Station, Texas
The show is hosted by country music star Craig Morgan and Field & Stream Editor-at-Large T. Edward Nickens. Commentators are Dr. Grant Woods, the creator and host of the video based website GrowingDeer.tv, and Allen Treadwell, a three-time national champion skeet shooter.