The third season of "Craig Morgan: All Access Outdoors" promises to be the best yet. And that's no small statement, as the second season garnered two prestigious Golden Moose Awards in January.
But Morgan is confident the new 13-episode season, which premiered July 1, will be better than anything he's done before. Apparently, the Outdoor Channel feels the same way; the show has been moved to a coveted primetime Sunday slot.
Morgan, the country music star who never met a physical challenge he wouldn't accept, gets to do some surfing in Hawaii. But it wasn't the waves or the beaches that had him excited about the two shows taped there.
"The hunting is over the top," Morgan said. "I've been to Hawaii a dozen times, and I had no idea the hunting was that good until I went this year. Hawaii is probably one of the best-kept secrets in the hunting industry.
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"It absolutely blew my mind, the amount of game there."
Morgan bagged an axis deer on camera. These spotted deer are the most common species in the wooded regions of India, Bangladesh and Nepal, where they are also known as chital. The males have long antlers with three tines on each side. Axis deer were introduced to Hawaii in the 1860s and have thrived.
Hawaii's other big game species include black Hawaiian sheep, mouflon sheep, Polynesian boars and Hawaiian ibex goats. For the bird hunter, the island state has Rio Grande wild turkeys, three pheasant species, three quail species, plus doves and waterfowl. "All Access Outdoors" is certain to surprise many American hunters with the two shows from Hawaii.
And Morgan is always good for a surprise or two, no matter the location. At times, he has been surprised as well, when hunting on camera. About five years ago, Morgan was about to shoot a whitetail deer with a bow in Illinois when his cameraman told him to wait.
"I saw a 150-inch deer come out of the woods," Morgan said. "I only had about four days in camp, but he said, 'Wait, he's going to come closer.' It was about a 45- or 50-yard shot. I knew I could make it comfortably.
"We waited, the deer walked off and I didn't see him again. I was pretty upset about it.
"About 40 minutes later, this big deer came through the woods. My cameraman said, 'The deer is back.'
"About the time I realized he was coming, I realized it wasn't the same deer. I just about peed all over myself when I saw how big he was.
"I ended up shooting him at about 40 yards. He went off and expired about 30 yards from where I shot him."
Instead of the 150-inch antler rack that Morgan first sought to shoot, this one scored 208 inches.
Season Three of "All Access Outdoors" is certain to entertain and, as always, reveal some surprises.