On one hand, this sounds like something I’d watch, ala “Only in America” with Larry the Cable Guy, which is quite good and garners more than double the viewers of CNN primetime. On the other hand, I kind of wish it were called “Sarah Palin’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Rodeo Across America” just to mess with people:
The former vice presidential candidate will host a new show on Sportsman Channel.
Titled Amazing America With Sarah Palin, the weekly series will premiere in April 2014. It’s described as an “anthology of stories that explore some of the most original, interesting – and sometimes inspiring – people, places and pastimes connected to America’s outdoors lifestyle.”
There are plenty of interesting stories in America’s beautiful outdoors to be had. This kind of thing counts on execution coupled with a game and charming host. “Dirty Jobs” wouldn’t last a second if Rowe weren’t jumping in septic tanks and rendering factories to get his hands dirty. And, even with a colorful host, “Only in America” wouldn’t work if they weren’t finding truly interesting stories and executing them in a fun way. Without them, you end up with something like public TV’s “California Gold,” with Huell Howser, God rest his very kind soul.
Presumably there will be hunting and fishing, etc., but there’s a real chance to illuminate the lives of Americans TV doesn’t usually care much about. And, when you do it well, people watch. Please see the aforementioned “Only in America,” “American Pickers,” or “Duck Dynasty.” All three engage in a little hokey fun, indulge a few stereotypes, and employ their share of reality-show formula, but it’s all affectionate and puts a spotlight on a side of American life Lena Dunham can never write.
Palin could join a group of young women hunters, for instance— a growing and badass demographic that gets criminally less favorable coverage than say, Moms Demand Action.
In recent years, American women are spending more time in tree stands and deer blinds—and putting fresh meat on the table. Although men still account for the majority of the 13.7 million U.S. hunters, the number of women actively hunting is on the rise.
The total number of women hunters surged by 25 percent between 2006 and 2011, after holding steady for a decade, according to Census Bureau statistics. At last count, 11 percent of all U.S. hunters were women, compared to 9 percent in 2006.
Many state departments of natural resources have begun hosting Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) workshops that offer instruction in skills such as archery, shotgun, and rifle shooting.
Heck, she could join Miss Kansas Teresa Vail, soldier and hunter extraordinaire. Enjoy your ratings:
The role of women in hunting got some high-profile publicity during the most recent Miss American competition when it was revealed that Miss Kansas, Theresa Vail, intended to demonstrate her archery skills in the talent portion of the event.
The Miss America organization refused to allow Vail to shoot, citing the default liability/legal risk/insurance reasons, but Vail’s skills as a hunter quickly made her a prominent topic of conversation.
The American public quickly learned that Vail, a blonde who certainly met the beauty criteria of the pageant, is a skilled shot with a rifle, an expert in the use of the bow and arrow, and an accomplished hunter. She is also a sergeant in the U.S. Army, an expert marksman with an M-16 at her shoulder, and she can skin a deer as well as any guy can.
Vail said recently that she wants to “promote the involvement of women in the great outdoor activities of hunting.” She has coordinated and conducted all-girls archery clinics. “I hope to empower and encourage women to join into these male dominated sports, encourage their independence from men while boosting their confidence and inner strength,” Vail said.
The National Geographic touches on a how women hunters and the local food movement may sit at a political and cultural crossroads of right and left, scrambling expectations with urban liberals in Portland who hunt rabbits for dinner and rural women in Nebraska who hunt deer and duck to feed their families. Women remain largely the food planners and gatherers for their families, and many of them want local produce and meat when possible. When it’s not for sale, what can they do?
Women are also leading a surge of support for sustainable food and agriculture initiatives like CSAs and farmers markets. One of the main ideas of such initiatives is eating locally, generally meaning foods produced within your state or about 100 miles of your home. This not only supports the local economy and environment, it also means the food often tastes better because it can be harvested and sold at its peak rather than spending days in transport.
But in many parts of the country, local meat can be difficult to find. Most of the available meat at U.S. grocery stores comes from one of the large-scale commercial farms, often called factory farms, concentrated in a few regions.
Hunting offers an alternative to the grocery store that lets women provide truly free-range and organic meat for their families while also helping create a more sustainable food system, says Lily Raff McCaulou, author of Call of the Mild: Learning to Hunt My Own Dinner.
When the vast, beautiful middle of our country gets some attention, the results can be stunning. The New York Times took a break from reporting on things that happened on “Say Yes to the Dress” three years ago to publish this beautiful photo essay and article on life in the actual, literal middle of our country. I want to go there. Sarah Palin can, with a documentary crew. Go forth, Sarah!
Click through and enjoy. Note Jordan Budd, a girl and her bow: