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Reality Check: Even the voice of Metallica can't overshadow Buckey Winkley on 'The Hunt'

Emily Fehrenbacher

I was finally able to catch an episode of "The Hunt." It's a show about hunting on Kodiak Island, similar to the show "Kodiak," and follows guides and their clients as they seek to kill giant brown bears.

Before I get into the content of the show, shout-out to History, which makes its content available online for free. This is huge for people who don't have cable, forgot to set up their Tivos or just want to sit and home-stream "The Hunt" over and over. Classy move, History.

"The Hunt" does a decent job. I find it boring, but the production quality is surprisingly good, and it's well-edited. It's narrated by James Hetfield of Metallica. He does a fine job, but his famous voice is far overshadowed by the best part of the show: 72-year-old Buckey Winkley, a legendary hunting guide from Rainy Pass. He's great in the way Marty Raney and Super Sue Aikens are, in that he speaks in perfect sound bites.

For example: "I don't wear camouflage clothing. The thing I don't like about all hunters today wearing camouflage clothing is all hunters look the same. I'm not the same. I'm different. Let's go to Kodiak."

Winkley also pokes fun at his clients for being too out of shape and fat to truly hunt in the backcountry. Upon researching him, I found out that he has already been a part of another Alaska reality show called "R5 Sons Alaska." This was the moment Winkley became my new favorite person, because without him I would have never known that "R5 Sons Alaska" existed.

According to r5sons.com, the show follows the lives of the Perrins family at the Rainy Pass Lodge. From what I can tell, the family produced this show on their own, because they are looking for people to sponsor it. When you sponsor the show, you will be featured on a "special advertising billboard during the show," you'll get an official R5sons sponsor decal, R5sons T-shirt, R5Sons coffee mug, show bumper sticker and 15 percent off all future purchases in the R5 online store (as though your coffee mug, decal, T-shirt and sticker wouldn't be enough swag.) Packages start at $1,000, so start saving now if you want to be a part of this.

"R5 Sons Alaska" has been picked up by GCI and Alaska Airlines Digiplayers, so they must be doing something right. I need to do more research about the production company behind this show, because it seems like if you live in Alaska and are willing to be on television, then you can be on television, especially if you live in the middle of nowhere. I know a handful of people who have been approached by Discovery Channel and National Geographic numerous times over the years to be on TV. But this family has produced 26 episodes of this show and it's currently available on Hulu.com.

Now that I know anyone can make their own show, here are some ideas that have been thrown out to me recently. "The Real Petroleum Wives of Anchorage": a show about the ladies of the Hillside spending money. "Spenardia": a show about hipsters in Spenard, filmed like "The Hills," but instead of spoiled rich kids it would star young adults who would like to buy a house, but can't afford to due to our housing market and the cost of drinks at Tap Root. Finally, "Battle of the Alaska Reality TV All-Stars": Take all the greatest TV personalities and match them up against each other in silly contests of physical strength and smarts. If anyone has money, I'm ready to produce any of these shows.

• Emily Fehrenbacher lives in Anchorage, where she reviews Alaska reality TV.

 


Emily Fehrenbacher
Reality Check