The Washington Times - September 19, 2009, 06:44AM

For the past several months, I have studied — bleary-eyed in many instances — the various hunting and fishing shows offered by such stalwarts of cable and satellite TV as ESPN-2 and the Versus channel, to mention two.

Not one of the shows I’ve seen has kept me awake, sitting on the edge of my seat — which is what they should be doing, shouldn’t they? I am a hunter and sport fisherman, after all. I should get excited, shouldn’t I?


Without mentioning individual names, what is it about nearly every one of them that has the host talking almost non-stop, often blabbering total nonsense, or providing “facts” that even a 5-year-old would know?

For example, in the many deer hunting programs in which an often unsightly-bearded or unshaven “expert” tells you how effective a longbow (or Asiatic recurve, compound bow, blackpowder or modern rifle) can be when stalking or sitting in a blind, waiting for a white-tailed buck to come by, the talking never stops.

“You’ve gotta be quiet,” one of them might urge a fellow hunter, but the host’s blabbering never comes to a halt.

Just a few mornings ago I watched two brothers going after pronghorn antelopes in New Mexico. They had a ball, yakking and yakking, talking about long distance shooting, watching gorgeous pronghorn bucks cavorting about several hundred yards away. Eventually, they shot and scored. No question about their skills using a rifle.

Just, please, don’t mention how difficult they are to get near to. The first antelope I ever bagged (it was near Gillette, Wyoming) stood no more than 50 yards from me. Bang!

The second one couldn’t have been farther away than 80 yards. It wasn’t a great accomplishment to kill it. But all I heard about previously was the necessity of having to shoot accurately at 300-yard distances.

Then there are the fishing shows. Many are hosted by fellows with a deep Southern drawl, which might irritate a viewer in Ohio or Massachusetts. Try to speak clear English, fellows. This comes from a guy who’s married to a lady from a small town in Alabama — but  she doesn’t speak like she has rocks in her mouth. Besides, I really do like Southerners, but don’t smother me with non-stop fishing “wisdom” that usually is old hat anyway and don’t ell me that the 2-pound largemouth you just caught is a “good’un.”

Even if you sound like you’re on leave from the old Hee-Haw television program, keep the chatter to a minimum. Let us watch you cast lures and catch fish. All that yabba-dabba-doo doesn’t impress me unless you can show me a few new tricks on getting a fish to come to the hook.

Yes, silence is golden.

Now, I’ll shut up.