Steve Rocco has watched a lot of the outdoor shows on television, and he’s got one problem with most of them.
Too often, said the Latrobe man, they’re “out of touch a little bit.”
What he means, he said, is that they focus on destinations and animals that are unattainable for the typical sportsman or woman. It’s not enough to shoot a deer, the shows suggest; its antlers have to measure a certain number of inches or it’s not a good enough trophy, Rocco said.
He and his older brother, Joe, are trying to change that.
The two men, with help from Steve’s wife Becca and a host of field staffers, are creators of a new Pennsylvania-based hunting show called “Keystone Wild Outdoors.” It’s a fair-chase show that will feature lots of local footage.
“We want to make it relatable to the guy who hunts after work or on weekends, often on public land,” said Steve. “We want to relate to the realistic hunter.”
The crew has been busy filming episodes. One will focus on nighttime bowfishing on Pittsburgh’s rivers. One focuses on Erie steelhead fishing. Another, to be shot next week, will be of a Pennsylvania elk hunt. Three are of hunts, done with Rut ‘N Buck Hunt Club, about getting children with special needs outdoors, while others focus on turkeys and small game.
There’s a lot of work involved. It takes six to eight hours of filming, plus 15 to 20 hours of editing, to produce a 30-minute episode, Rocco said.
All of that work is done here in western Pennsylvania.
“Everything is in-house, from the time we turn on the camera to shooting a deer to an episode airing,” he said.
It’s a labor of love, though, he added. He and Joe hunted and fished with their father growing up and were always outside. Those things remain their passions today.
“We’re doing this because we love to hunt and fish,” he said.
The show will debut at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 on The Hunt Channel.
“The Hunt Channel’s hunt blocks air on Dish Network Channel 266. That’s through the Angel Two Network. The Hunt Channel has also teamed up with video on-demand platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, ROKU, Chromecast and huntchannel.tv,” he said.
They’re contracted to do 13 episodes that will air through March; he expects to do 13 more, though.
You can learn more about the show here.