How did you come up with the idea for ‘Hunting with Hank’?” has been
a question asked repeatedly of me over
the last several years. My answer has been simple, really: I got lucky.
is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” wrote Roman dramatist and
philosopher Seneca. Hank’s and my life together, in front of television
cameras, was certainly a great deal of preparation and opportunity—as well as
an enormous amount of luck. And this is what I’d like to share with you in the
wife, Karenanne Swift is a believer in fate. And perhaps it was fate
that brought Hank into my life and onto television screens across America.
childhood I was in love with the outdoors. As an adult, following a number of
career paths, I had never lost my enthusiasm for bird hunting and fly fishing,
even though my times afield were limited. My performing career and my
educational choices kept me in front of audiences (live and television) for
most of my adult life.
went through many career changes, on a path that didn’t seem connected—then: I
began as a singer in the folk music era, first with a trio and then on my own.
I sang in USO shows while spending time with Uncle Sam, and performed six
nights a week at a tourist spot in Colorado. I entered television in a small
market, also in Colorado, where I first learned about directing, editing and
being on camera. Later, I produced and hosted a five-day-a-week television
program while getting my college degree. I also started my own marketing
agency, developing a “presentation skills” program and teaching it to corporate
the time Hank arrived, I thought I’d put television behind me, to move into the
business world. I vowed never to return to television, unless I could do a show
the way I wanted to do it, not the way a network affiliate insisted it be done.
Then, as if to challenge me to “put up or shut up,” Hank showed up, and
suddenly, I came to the realization that my seemingly disjointed career had
been preparing me for the journey Hank and I were about to embark on.
aware that even though you are reading this book because you were probably a
fan of Hank’s, I’d also guess you probably don’t remember all 67 episodes of
his series. So, I’ve selected the following stories to share with you, from
each season and each show of the television series. The stories I’ve chosen are
from hundreds I could relate. I have many favorite stories of family and
friends joining Hank and me to chase birds across this great country, but to
make this book an easy read, I’ve chosen those most vivid in my mind’s eye.
our adventures, I hope you come away with a better understanding of how the
television series came to be, and how much fun Hank and I had during our six
seasons on The Outdoor Life Network.
Table of Contents
A Dog Changed My Life…
Our First Season of Shows:
Old Stories, New Beginnings
Float planes, Spruce Grouse &
“Never, ever spoil your bird dog”
Swimming With The Salmon,
Hunting With Two Giants
Dad, Mom And A Sporting Clays
Hank’s Portrait, A Western Stand-Off
Season Four: Roy Rogers & Gene
A Reunion & A Homecoming
The Diving Falcon, A Swimming
Pheasant & An Artist
Prairie Chickens, Roosters,
Quail & A Final Fade-out…
Guides & Lodges..