Frye: Locally produced outdoors show begins airing
By Bob Frye
Published: Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, 4:15 p.m.
A missed shot at an albino whitetail led Brian Pierog to this.
He wasn't the one who took the shot. The bow-toting TV host of an outdoors show who said he was hunting in Pennsylvania did.
No problem, he told his audience. He would get the 8-point the next day.
He missed then, too.
On the third day in his stand, this time using a rifle, and wearing no orange in what obviously was early fall, he finally shot the deer.
It turns out the buck was a captive one, inside a 30-yard-square pen, at a guaranteed-kill facility, Pierog said.
“I thought, that's not real hunting, not the kind that average guys like me ever do,” Pierog said. “That day I went out and bought a video camera and started filming our own hunts.”
Fifteen years later, he has his own national outdoors show.
Pierog, with partner and fellow New Castle resident Todd Abraham, will host “Callin' the Shots” on Dish Network's Hunt Channel. The show will air at 7:30 a.m. Sundays starting today. It will run for 26 weeks. Those who don't have Dish Network can see it at www.huntchannel.tv.
All of the featured hunts were filmed in either Western Pennsylvania or Eastern Ohio on public land or private land the hosts received permission to hunt.
“The hunts we'll be filming, the places we'll be filming, those opportunities are there for everyone,” Pierog said.
There will be hunts for waterfowl, spring gobblers, archery whitetails and black bears, along with some trapping. Throughout, kids will get a lot of attention.
Pierog said he and his other adult friends started taking children afield after realizing how few of them were being introduced to hunting. That's been rewarding, he said.
“Over the last couple of years, some of these kids are full-blown into it now,” he said. “You see that, and you think, ‘Wow, we turned them. We got them off the couch and away from the video games.' ”
“Callin' the Shots” remains a part-time venture. Pierog and those on camera or behind it work regular jobs. They create the show when hunting on weekends.
Whether it continues after its six-month run depends on advertising. But Pierog is hoping it will help regular hunters learn how and where to find game, how to get kids involved and how to have fun.
“It's been a long time coming. Now our chance is finally here,” he said.
Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.
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