posted on July 25, 2004 00:00
State team competes
in TV hunting series
Couple need public support to win top prize
By Jim Lee
For the Wausau Daily Herald
It's an election year, thus it's hardly a surprise that Craig Olson and his wife, Deb, are hunting for your vote.
They're not running for public office, however.
The Hayward duo hope to find themselves the top votegetters at the conclusion of a 13-week "Drury Outdoors" hunting series on the Outdoor Channel.
Borrowing on the popularity of network television's "American Idol" scenario, "Drury Outdoors" is allowing the public to decide which bow and gun hunting pair is worthy of the $25,000 top prize, said Mark Drury, co-producer of the show.
"I think Craig and Deb are awesome representatives for the state of Wisconsin," he said.
Craig, assistant principal at Hayward High School, and Deb, a legal assistant, will vie with five other teams for the title. Deb is the only female in the competition.
Drury Outdoors, a Missouri-based company headed by Mark and Terry Drury, produces hunting videos and equipment.
"I met the Drurys at an archery trade show about four years ago," Craig said. ''I guess they liked my camera presence. We became friends and they invited me to their filming school in 2000 to learn how they want things done."
Since that time, the Olsons have filmed videos of their hunts for use by Drury Outdoors in the company's regular television programs and videos.
The five other teams are comprised of men from Missouri, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. All are members of the Drury video staff.
"Three hunts were filmed last fall," Craig Olson said. "All the teams participated in a hunt in Missouri and another in Alabama. The third hunt was in the contestant's home state."
Various bow and rifle competitions were held at the Missouri and Alabama camps, with the outcome determining such things as hunting site selection.
"We really want to show America each team's personality," Mark Drury said. "We want people to vote for the team that represents themselves best. People can vote every week - as often as they like - up to once an hour."
The Olsons spent their time in Wisconsin bowhunting in Buffalo County and in the Hayward area. As the camera rolled, Deb killed a 10-point buck that scored 140 points on the Pope & Young scale. Craig did not fill his tag.
"I missed a buck in Alabama," Craig lamented. "It was easily in the 170-point range. It's the first buck I ever missed with a bow, and it was one of the largest bucks ever filmed on Mossy Oak Farms where we were hunting."
Deb, 30, a native of Menominee, Mich., has been bowhunting for only three years but in that time has tagged two bucks and a doe in Wisconsin.
Craig, 30, a Wausau native, said he has "been bowhunting since I was 12. I've killed four Pope & Young bucks. The biggest was a nontypical taken in Marathon County in 2000 that scored 189."
During filming for the contest, "Craig and Deb had the toughest luck of any team," Mark Drury said.
"But I think they will do well. They come across extremely well on video."
Drury said the first segment of the 13-week program aired June 29 but all segments will be repeated beginning Sept. 28, with voting allowed for the entire 26-week period.
If the idea of participating in an outdoor reality show inspires central Wisconsin hunters, they can apply "to participate in filming this year for the 'Dream Season' that will air in 2005," he said.