Two production companies that were seeking trappers for new reality TV programs earlier this year are no longer actively pursuing the projects.
Park Slope Productions, of New York, and 44 Blue Productions, of Studio City, Calif., explored the possibility of shows centered around trappers, but neither are actively planning the programs at this time.
Earlier this year, the National Trappers Association decided not to participate in 44 Blue Productions’ program, which turned out to be a deadly blow for the project, according to David Hale, vice president of programming for the company.
“While they did not forbid members from participating, the dominos fell that way, as most of the trappers we were speaking with were members, and went the way of the NTA,” Hale wrote.
Network concerns also played a part in the project being cancelled, according to Hale.
“We also had issues with potential buyer’s concerns on the humane issue,” he wrote. “Over the course of the project, we had become very versed on this topic from the trapper’s perspective, and fought the good fight. But, despite our best efforts, some buyers felt the practices of trapping didn’t provide the action/danger of other resource harvesting shows (Deadliest Catch, Swamp People), while others felt the furbearing animals themselves didn’t present the ‘perceived danger’ of target animals on other shows (like American Hoggers).
“44 Blue definitely invested a large amount of time, energy and money into the project, and we really did exhaust every effort. It just wasn’t in the stars.”
Shannon McMahon Lichte, a casting director for Park Slope Productions, said their show has simply never get off the ground.
“We never found the right combination of outdoorsmen to create a show around,” she wrote in an email earlier this week. “We find that the outdoorsmen must have high stakes in order for it to be compelling as a series, and so far, we haven’t found that, but we are always looking.”
At least three other production companies have also explored reality shows featuring trappers this year — Ping Pong Productions, The Movement Group and Renegade 83 Productions, all of Los Angeles. Recent efforts to reach representatives of those companies for comment have been unsuccessful. Trapper & Predator Caller will update this blog with news on those projects if any comes available.
The reality television shows Mountain Men, on the History Channel, and Yukon Men, on the Discovery Channel, both recently completed successful first seasons and featured trappers. Billy the Exterminator, which began its sixth season earlier this month on A&E, is about a pest control business and shows some trapping as well.