Today’s blog features Cody Kelley speaking about how HUNT presented Hard Core began, working with Michael Waddell and setting up an elk hunt for this week’s show. Be sure to watch HUNT presented Hard Core Sundays 6PM ET.
The New Mexico Elk show was the show that we cut our teeth with Hardcore. The best way to explain the overall trip is one word, rushed. On August 12th, 2015, myself, Kevin Meacham, Chris Ashley, and Keith Burgess made a life changing decision to depart from Primos Hunting and began our new adventure with Michael Waddell and Bone Collector Productions.
The years spent at Primos provided us with memories that will live with us forever, but the hunting industry is the same as all other jobs when it comes down to working hard to better yourself daily and making decisions that provide opportunity for you as an individual, as well as, your family. The new show HUNT Presented Hard Core did just this for us as a group of 4 guys. It provided us the opportunity to team up with Bone Collector and provide the viewers with a TV show format that they have been asking to see.
On August 12th, 2015 we departed from Primos and began immediately trying to fine tune the format and show ideas. We had no idea if this was going to work out or not, but we knew if we stuck together as a group that we could pull it off. In the back of our mind daily was the same thoughts as any elk hunter, and that was elk season is less than 2 weeks away. It was a mad scramble beginning to work with Michael Waddell and editor, Jason Heathcoe, to make sure we were establishing the format that viewers wanted, and also we had to put a hunt schedule together is less than two weeks that would provide enough footage for Season 1 of HUNT Presented Hard Core.
Our first call was to our long time friend and outfitter, Jim Thompson, at the OJO Feliz Ranch to see what kind of availability he had for elk hunts. Not only trying to establish an entire hunting schedule, time was not our friend in any way for elk plans.
As most people know, these elk hunts are booked a year in advance, but the Good Lord had his hand in this whole situation. Jim Thompson told us that he had some cancellations on the opening week of the season, September 1-7. The passion for elk hunting is something that we have all acquired, and we were by no means being picky about dates. Now we have an elk hunt booked and are ecstatic, but there is still one problem. Is it a go?
Now was the tough part, business. The impossible timing for a hunting schedule was now appearing to be possible. A bunch of rednecks are easy to be fired up when they get together to talk about hunting and where to go, but the big factor was to make sure we had everything in place on the business side of things for Hardcore Brands and Bone Collector. There were many more meetings and phone calls, but then we heard the words from Michael that we were looking for, “Boys its a go.”
Those words were like the whistle on a friday night for a high school football game. It is now 3 days before opening day, and we headed straight to the bow shop to get the Hoyts set up and pack for our first trip with Hardcore. It was a mad rush and a group effort, but the next morning we were loaded down and west bound for New Mexico.