‘Rabbit Dynasty’ would rival reality TV series

Jan. 28, 2013 @ 07:56 PM

If all good stories have a beginning, then this great story really does not begin nor does it end.
With very careful scrutiny, the following television shows (excluding sports) are the only shows my two sons are allowed to watch: Shark Week (in the summer), The Andy Griffith Show, Heartland Bowhunter and Duck Dynasty.
Of these shows, Duck Dynasty is their favorite. This show is about a family run duck call business. There also is the business of chasing waterfowl, and along the way, some work gets accomplished and there are always country-boy and country-girl situations filled with humor, wit and laugh-along moments.
The show has a cult following, and if my son’s are going to be in a cult, then this is not all that bad.
I suppose the idea of filming a sitcom-outdoors show was far-fetched when the Duck Dynasty family entertained the idea of being on television. Yet recently, while standing among a dozen close and new friends, I could see the inaugural episode of Rabbit Dynasty being filmed.
Again, all great stories don’t really begin; they evolve and continue. This story began a few days earlier when I ignored common sense, the weather and responded to the “Do-it, do-it, do-it” chant of my sons.
There was mud. The truck was in four-wheel drive. There was progress, then none and before it was retrieved from the pond (yes, the pond), I sent a few pictures to friends who would be rabbit hunting with me very soon.
Upon arriving at the base of a hill days later, the reminders and suggestions that the make of truck that did not get stuck became how episode one would begin.
Our mission that day was not to make duck calls but to chase rabbits, and this involved much labor on the part of man and a six-pack of beagles. The briars were relentless. Grown men howled like, well, men that are not likely to be scarred for life by briars.
The dogs hunted. The men waited. The dogs chased. Grown men slipped in the mud and stepped into creeks that were too deep. Heard among the crowd of old and young hunters was the statement: “Dad, I have to go.”
That statement alone may well be an episode in creativity, challenge and human interpretation. It possibly could be either the next or the next to last episode.
Back to episode one. There really was a great hunt, and one rabbit became the key ingredient for a dish. By lunch, all of these men were hungry, so three grown men and three young hunters ventured to town.
Lunch would be courtesy of Short Sugars Pit Bar-B-Q in Reidsville, complete with the fine haze of hickory smoke that lingers with carved, chopped and minced pork. A few photos were captured and shared. Back at the field, a dozen hunters feasted on 20 sandwiches, three gallons of hushpuppies, two gallons of sweet tea and one-dozen fried apple pies.
Episode one had become a good story, and soon the hunting resumed. With bellies full, eyes heavy, the hills too long and the briars a fortress not for the weak of skin, men and hounds pressed onward.
The dogs were amazing. The shooting was not that good the first, second or third time. It wasn’t until a fourth shot that the second rabbit became the final ingredient needed.
For all televised purposes, the inaugural episode of Rabbit Dynasty had been filmed.
The characters were diverse and funny. There was back-and-forth chastising, half-truth and full-lie, humor and even the blessing of the meal — all things that make television shows good.
Then it happened. Good became great when there was a look of terror on the face of one vehicle owner, as he discovered that interior lights left to burn for several hours will drain a battery.
Had there been an actual camera, it would have panned to each person when the question was asked: “Do you have jumper cables?”
To be honest, it was the only thing this crowd did not bring. However, someone did locate a heavy gauge of insulated wire. These two amateurs looked like professionals. They looked even better when the dead battery was resuscitated, and one even smiled for the camera to recreate the moment.
Again, there was more jabbing about the make of a vehicle and challenges about crossing a muddy pass.
For this writer, I don’t know what goes into filming a good television show. However, I do know that a dozen hunters, six beagles, mud, hills, briars, the call of nature, excellent barbecue, two rabbits and bringing life back to a dead battery are not just good, they’re great.
Duck Dynasty has this crowd surpassed in number of episodes. Unlike once good batteries, our episode of Rabbit Dynasty keeps going and going and going.
Enjoy your time outdoors.

You may contact Jason Hawkins at hawkinsoutdoors@msn.com.