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American Idol for the outdoors

Belleville News-Democrat
BY ROD KLOECKNER
June 29, 2006 Neither one of our spouses hunt at all Reality television could turn two local teachers and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville graduates into mini-celebrities in the hunting world.

Kyle Lamore and J.J. Kolesar were chosen in the fall to appear on the reality-based hunting show 'Dream Season.' The show, which appears on The Outdoor Channel, premiered Tuesday. New episodes will air every Tuesday at 7 p.m. and conclude on Sept. 19, when the winning team is crowned.

Lamore, 29, teaches science at Gillespie Middle School. Kolesar, 28, teaches science and social studies at Staunton Junior High. They were chosen from hundreds of applicants to represent Team Illinois.

They are one of five teams competing for a chance to win over $50,000 in cash and prizes and the opportunity to become a pro-staff member of Drury Outdoors, which produces the show.

Lamore -- who attended a premier party with Kolesar and about 60 family members and friends at R.J.'s Restaurant in Staunton on Tuesday -- doesn't expect instant celebrity status.

'We're only going to be shown for about seven or eight minutes every week,' Lamore said. 'If we're walking down the street, 99 percent of America still doesn't know who you are because they don't know anything about this hunting stuff.

'In the big spectrum, we're just another Joe Schmo.'

That includes both of their households.

'Neither one of our spouses hunt at all,' Lamore said. 'They're not real interested in it. When we got selected, I was telling my wife and J.J. was telling his, and they're like 'You bunch of dorks.' They were happy for us, but honestly, they could care less.'

American Idol for the outdoors

The premise of the show has the five two-person teams competing against one another for the duration of the deer season, from the first hunt on Oct. 1 to the last on Jan. 30.

Drury Outdoors arranged three group deer hunts at outfitters in northern Missouri, Oklahoma and Mississippi. A group turkey hunt also was staged at the same outfitter in northern Missouri.

The rest of the footage is shot by the teams as they film themselves hunting on their home turf. For Lamore and Kolesar, that would be timber near Staunton and Litchfield in Macoupin County.

The number of deer killed is not a primary factor in determining the winner. Mark and Terry Drury, the show's producers, will select one of the amateur teams to join their pro-staff team, which means they would be featured in the company's hunting videos.

Viewer votes determine which team wins the grand prize package, which includes cash, hunting trips, hunting gear and other goodies.

'The audience is expected to vote on whatever merits they perceive as being important,' said Aaron Crozier, editor of the 'Dream Season.' 'When those four group hunts are going on, they're kind of living and interacting together. We have some individual competitions between the teams head-to-head, but primarily, they're filming their own deer season.

'The audience member at home watches and if they think a certain team doesn't know what they are doing in the woods, or they don't like such and such's personality ... we really have kind of left the criteria open-ended.'

Viewers are asked to vote online at www.druryoutdoors.com.

'A lot of times, viewer votes are more about their personality, how well they come across on camera,' Lamore said. 'It's kind of like an American Idol spin on an outdoors show.'

The other four teams are Team Kentucky, Team Minnesota, Team Pennsylvania and Team Texas. Crozier said a story arc will be the friction that developed between Team Illinois and Team Pennsylvania.

Representing the Land of Lincoln

This is the third edition of 'Dream Season' but the first time a team from Illinois was chosen.

'That's kind of what we were hoping for,' Lamore said. 'Illinois is known for its deer, and it kind of shocked me that no Illinois guys have been on there.'

Lamore met Kolesar five years ago through teaching circles, both are 1999 graduates of SIUE. Both shared the same passion for hunting and soon became partners.

They watched the first two 'Dream Seasons' and decided to apply, creating a 15-minute application DVD of their previous hunting seasons.

'We took our film, put it all on the computer and did all of the editing,' Lamore said. 'We've always watched the show, but never really thought we could do that. It worked out.'

Lamore thinks he and his partner have a good shot at winning the competition.

'I know we are definitely more than in the running,' Lamore said. 'I'm comfortable with where we are. We definitely have a very good chance, but we sure could use a little help, too.'

Contact reporter Rod Kloeckner at [email protected] or 239-2663.
 

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I saw it on tv at 6:30 this morning when the Drurys called
these people, OK call me jealous that you get to hunt that much and get some recognition. But Im not sure Im sold on the competition hunting thing. I have watched the show and
enjoyed the food plot portion of the show, I dont like the whole my buck is bigger than your buck . I guess I dont have to watch if I dont like the show but Im not sure Its
good for our sport . I am not a fan of big buck contests by the way. I food plot and hunt for many reasons but not because Im under the gun to beat somebody in a competition
. I'm sure there as many different opioions on this as alot of other topics just wanted to put my 2 cents in.
 

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Thanks, Crystal! It looks like it will be on again on Sat. at 12:30 pm



Drury Outdoors arranged three group deer hunts at outfitters in northern Missouri, Oklahoma and Mississippi. A group turkey hunt also was staged at the same outfitter in northern Missouri.



I wonder where they filmed in North Missouri?
 

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I have only seen a few of the shows, but the ones I saw were awesome!

... I have to be on vacation to see then though: I don't have the Outdoor Channel. :frown:
 

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ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
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The Dream Season shows, are in my book, one of the best realistic hunting shows out there. How many hunting shows do you see where they take a doe instead of a buck.

I watched one episode where they had a coyote come in on their stand. Needless to say there was one less coyote in the population.
 

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i may have watched that show three times.for some reason that show doesn't trip my trigger.they always seem to be advertising something even if it is not commercial time kind of like those fitzgerald people but not quite that bad.let me guess, scentlock is their sponsor again.
 

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I guess I'll be the first to say it, it just sounds dumb to me. Doesnt peak my interest in the least to watch guys who dont care about hunting compete for money and see how many deer they can kill. That isnt what it is all about for me. Quite frankly, I have lost most all of my interest in the hunting shows on the tube. Very few if any capture the real essence of hunting anymore and I dont have time to try and catch the few that do anymore.
 

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Personally, I enjoy watching the "newbies" become addicted to deer hunting... :D

I'm like Bowpredator too, though. There aren't many hunting shows that hold my interest anymore.

If I had to choose just one, it would be Primos' "Truth About Hunting" ~ "This ain't Hollywood..." :cheers:
 

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Lets go Southern Illinois! Can't wait to see 'em huntin' on the home turf. One thing I like to see on the OC is the midwestern hunts. Maybe they will drive up the value of my land a little more and I can retire.....oh wait, what will I do if I retire without hunting ground?
 

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While I know most of these hunting shows don't acurately reflect hunting for me, I appreciate them because they're promoting the sport. I suspect most people wouldn't be very interested in my hunts (except y'all, who're always looking for a good laugh). So it's probably just as well tat hey make it look easier than it really is. In any event, we need them. Young people aren't hunting like they used to, and the combination of a PETA sympathetic media and the mainstream suburban culture are a very serious threat to the future of hunting. I hope that when a kid is flipping channels on Saturday morning, he catches a glimpse of a show and finds it enticing. Or that a man who used to hunt when he was a boy sees a show and has some great memories flash back. We need those people on our side, and I think these TV shows can help. Those hunting shows are our front porch, and we need them to invite the rest of the world in to see why it's worthwhile. I watch the shows when I can and try to use the sponsors to show my appreciation.

Sorry that I can't seem to write a post without getting on a soapbox. I just see us as a team to a certain extent on hunting and gun rights, and I think we have to stick together to protect our rights, sports, and heritage.
 

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IMHO hunting and TV are not a good mix. And making a game out of it is a worse idea!
 

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Dream Season by the Drury's is certainly not just a game/competition where people who really could care less about hunting are competing becuase of money and prizes. I can understand how those who are not real familiar with it might mistake the above article discussing it, but please understand those people on the show are just as passionate about hunting as probably anyone here. They sacrafice a lot of time with the family each fall, money for camera equipment and time off work just for a chance to live out their dream of working in the hunting industry. Obviously only one team will win and the rest they get to go back home to their old day-day life. Speaking to past teams via the discussion boards and forums it's not all that uncommon for them to realize after being part of the show that hunting with a camera man or as a job is not near as fun as it is when you hunt with family and friends. The one team that wins does not instantly become famous or rich either, a person who contracts with a big name hunting show generally only gets about $3000+/- from the show for each hunt they capture on video that the show uses. That's really just peanuts given that the camera and equipment needed to film will run someone around $4,000 on low end beginners equip. and upwards of $10,000 on the high end. Couple that with the fact that there is no guarantee a team/show will use your footage and thats a pretty big gamble. Then on top of the camera costs, you have possible lease costs, travel expenses, and different sponsor committments to deal with and it seems like each show has different sponsors for bows, broadheads, etc. These subcontractors certainly don't hunt for the money, but obviously do it for because they love to hunt.

Sorry for stepping on the soapbox and giving a long speech, but this is certainly not a show filled with people just looking to make a buck.

George
 
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