Scott Linden, creator, producer and host of Wingshooting USA, a show focusing on bird hunting and hunting dog raising, was in southwest Kansas this week shooting what Linden hoped would be two full episodes of the show.
Linden filmed in Dodge City and Minneola.
One of the two episodes will start airing in August 2018 he said. The episodes filmed will be part of the program’s 10th season on the air.
In Dodge City, Linden met with the Dodge City High School Outdoors Club Thursday morning and did a short a brief shooting clinic with the trap team he said.
Linden said he has a longstanding relationship with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism which originated back many years ago when he and his team made a couple shows out in Topeka. That fostered to a sponsorship from the state for the show.
“We have just found there to be great hunting in western Kansas over the years,” Linden said. “So almost every year now, we’re somewhere in western Kansas.”
The Dodge City and Minneola areas are one the team has never seen before, Linden said, and the timing is good, in part because bird populations are up. So the crew started working with the Wild West Country tourism organization in Kansas, a coalition of various private businesses, nonprofits and government agencies which work to attract people to southwest Kansas.
The combination of bird populations and the Wild West organization’s goal to attract people were a good match, Linden said.
“They said ‘Come on out’ and we said ‘Sure!,” Linden said. “And so starting next summer the world’s gonna see what kind of great bird hunting there is out here in Wild West country.”
Linden said one of the benefits of his show is that it lets hunters know about some of the opportunities to hunt in places which they may not have known about, such as in southwestern Kansas.
“My viewers are constantly looking for somewhere new to go hunting,” Linden said. “And one of my jobs as a producer is to show them great places.”
When they find one, as they have out here, they’re going to show it, he said.
Southwest Kansas has more similarities to good locations the team has filmed at.
“There’s a bit of a hunting infrastructure if you will, including lots of walk-in hunting areas and publicly accessible land,” Linden said. “That is the No. 1 priority of bird hunters.”
Beyond those things, the communities generally are welcoming of hunting.
“There’s the culture which is supportive of hunting, and (Dodge City High School) is a perfect example of that,” Linden said. “They have a trap team, they have an outdoors club, you saw the pond, they understand that this is a lifelong sport and they can help the kids acquire the skills.”
Lastly, there’s the habitat.
“There’s lots of great publicly accessible land, it’s not just mowed-off hayfields and things like that,” Linden said. “There’s good cover, good food, very pheasant-friendly land. Bird numbers are up, and that’s what we look for as hunters. We’re gonna go where the birds are. Some years they’re here, some years they’re in North Dakota, some years they’re in South Dakota, but right now they’re here.”
The first episode of Wingshooting USA shot in the area is scheduled to air in August 2018, and will air every 10 weeks for 12 months.