Big-game hunting season may be over in most parts of Texas, but outdoor enthusiasts can still see hunting expeditions on one of TV’s newest shows, “Rugged Nation,” which is edited and produced in the Tomball area.
“This past year, we’ve hunted in everything from 20-below [zero] degree temperatures to 18 inches of snow to 100 degrees [Fahrenheit] in Florida,” Executive Producer Trevin Oberkrom said. “That’s kind of one of the reasons the name [‘Rugged Nation’] came about—it’s more our style.”
The show premiered Dec. 30 on The Sportsman Channel as part of the Big Game Wednesday programming block. The show is produced by Oberkrom’s company, Stone Fence Media, which he runs out of his home on the border of Cypress and Tomball.
After years of filming for various shows as an independent contractor, he began working toward creating his own program with longtime friend and host G.O. Heath.
“G.O. and I are both co-owners of the show,” Oberkrom said. “He hosted the entire thing, and I produced the project both in the field and at the studio. We kind of drove everything right down the middle, and it’s worked out really well .”
For the first season, Heath and Oberkrom filmed in several different states, including West and South Texas, hunting white-tail deer, alligators, mountain lions, elk and other big game. Months of planning are required for each episode, Oberkrom said, but they cannot predict the success of each hunt.
“Animals obviously don’t know how to read a script, so they kind of dictate a lot of how the hunt goes,” he said. “We can handle [preparation] but everything else is driven by the animal.”
Once filming is done, Oberkrom edits footage and completes post-production in his home studio, a process that can be difficult when dealing with several hours of film, he said.
“One of the things that I think a lot of people don’t understand is that I have to compile an entire trip into 22 minutes of footage,” he said. “I have to condense it down to tell the story.”
Tomball-area resident Trevin Oberkrom (left) traveled over 8,900 miles to 14 states to film the first season of “Rugged Nation,” which premiered Dec. 30.[/caption]
Oberkrom said he works to show the audience every aspect of each trip.
“We don’t like to [re-enact shots] or set up shooting to the point where it doesn’t look original or authentic,” Oberkrom said. “If there’s something bad that happens, we want everybody to know that because we want people to feel like they’re there with us.”
Oberkrom said production on season two will begin this spring and include new hunting spots and terrains while revisiting some favorite spots from season one.
“It’s been a wild first year, and season two is going to be crazy, too,” Oberkrom said. “One of the things that is so important is that we know we have people that support us, and we know we have people that believe in us.”
Season one of “Rugged Nation” airs on Wednesday nights at 6:30 p.m. on The Sportsman Channel.