The Sportsman Channel Showcase is an exclusive behind the scenes look for readers of AmmoLand Shooting Sports News where we get to know the personalities behind some of the most watched Sportsman Channel programming. This week we speak with Brian ‘Pig Man' Quaca…
By Ryan Nolan
New Berlin, Wis. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sportsman Channel, the leader in outdoor TV for the American Sportsman, is committed to bringing you the best in educational, how-to and where-to programming.
We also want to share with you an in-depth look at the personalities airing on Sportsman Channel. Each week, these exclusive showcases will give you a unique and intimate view of the people who make this great programming possible.
This week we talk to Brian Quaca, also known as “Pig Man”.
How did you get started in the hunting and the TV industry?
Worked as a riflesmith building guns for hunters. I always shared my stories of hunting pigs and they started wanting me to guide them on a few pig hunts. I took some hunters out, word got around, they labeled me the Pig Man and Tom Nelson showed up. We opened up an outfitting business, Wolf Creek offered me some contract work on their television shows, and that’s how I got my start in the industry. Had the pleasure of meeting and working with a lot of great folks along the way. It’s been about 10 years in the making, but I can honestly say I’m proud of what we’ve got going…it’s a winner all around.
What is the biggest mishap that has happened while filming an episode?
Dap rear-ended a car while we were filming on our way to the Los Cazadores Hog Dog Contest for episode 36 set to air this fall. People think I’m joking when I talk about him on TV…no really, it’s that scary. World’s worst drivers on TRU TV….he’ll be on there someday.
What were the worst conditions you ever hunted under? How did it affect the outcome of the trip?
I went out for a Utah Elk hunt with Rick Valdez last year. We had a snow storm blow in, the conditions were rough, and the Elk just weren’t moving. The unpredictability of the weather often makes for some of the most dire and desperate situations and unfortunately in that one, we came up empty handed. In this business, no kill often leads to no show and when you run a near-reality series like we do, it can be tough to make up ground in terms of getting shows submitted to the network in time. Fortunately for us though, the species I’m notorious for is never in short supply and just so happens to be available 24/7/365.
What is your most memorable hunt?
It’s easily the trip I just came back from in New Zealand. Last year, I missed out on an opportunity to harvest one of the largest wild bovines ever shot in New Zealand on camera with a bow. They’re like Cape buffalo and choose to face you head on, often leaving you without a shot. This year, I went back with one primary goal in mind – to shank a wild bull. After missing a bull at 40 yards courtesy of an unforeseen limb, I was presented another opportunity at 70 yards with a big, black bull staring me down. Matt, my field producer was just behind me and we had closed the distance from about 120 yards just to get to that point. Unfortunately, the guy with the gun stayed at 120 yards basically leaving us with a shot or be charged decision. So I took aim with the Quest right between his eyes and sank the arrow to the nock just to the right side of the bull’s face as he slightly turned his head in during arrow flight. He ran about 40 yards further, stopped, turned and looked at me with his neck appearing to be on fire from the glow of the red nock in his black hide. I released another arrow, missing and the bull came full charge at us. We pulled the pin and ran like Usain Bolt in the 100m dash. The bull took a .300 Win Mag during the charge, turned and went approximately 200 yards before cashing in his chips. By far, one of the craziest adrenaline rushes I’ve ever had….thought I was going to die man.
How do you like to spend your time when you are not hunting?
Spending time with my family. Anyone who works on the road knows how difficult it is to sacrifice time away from your family, so it’s important to make up quantity of time with quality of time. Case in point – next Sunday my son has a rodeo for which we’ll get back late Sunday night. I have a 3 hour drive in the AM for a Sportsman Channel photo shoot that will last from 9AM to 8PM. Then it’s a 3-hour drive back to Groesbeck and up bright and early the next morning to chaperone J.D.’s class trip to Reliant Stadium in Houston. Then back home for a couple days rest and off to the Cabela’s Grand Opening in Allen, TX….then NRA show in Pittsburgh….blah blah blah. The point is that family is important and when I’m not hunting or traveling to/from hunting – they get my full focus and attention.
What is something most people do not know about you? (Something people are surprised to find out about you.)
I hate snakes and smelly cab drivers, and I like a shot of espresso in my coffee. I like Johnny Cash and old time country music. If it ain’t cooked, I won’t eat it. I’m the Pig Man, not Bear Grylls.
What are you most proud of, or what is your biggest accomplishment?
2010 Sportsman Channel Host of the Year, ASL Cancer Research National Spokesperson from 2008-2011, appearing in USA Today and the Smithsonian….they’re all things that I never thought could happen or not at least this quickly, but they did. I still think my biggest accomplishments are yet to come, but I would say I’m most proud of taking something and building it from the ground up. I mean if there were ever an underdog for an outdoor television show theme, it would be pigs. Had a lot of people tell me that it wouldn’t work or that it couldn’t work, but I guess that’s just motivation for carving your own niche and daring people to doubt you. People seem to compliment me on how I’m the same person on screen that I am off, but I think a lot of that just comes natural and realizing that you don’t have to change who you are just to be good at what you do. This is me, this is Texas, and this is my life…its just how it is. Hopefully I’m able to set an example for people, especially young kids, to realize that its ok not to fall in line sometimes…take a risk and be a leader knowing that you have the confidence to be successful. If you get knocked down, get back up and work twice as hard to prove them wrong.
If you could hunt any place in the world and any species where and what would it be?
Giant Forest Hog in the Cameroon Jungle (headed there in 2012). Always dreamed of harvesting one of those dudes. I think a lot of it has to do with the level of difficulty for the hunt and then size of the animal. Then when you consider the terrain and surroundings, on top of the fact that there’s a heck of a lot more things in that jungle that can kill me than there is here in Texas – it should make for some great TV. I told Matt that if a Gaboon Viper bites me in the face, he’d better be rolling because there’s no helping me so we might as well go for an award. If he doesn’t film it, and I live and we could have won best clip at the Sportsman Channel, he’ll be fired.
What is something that viewers would be surprised to learn about filming an episode? Or what was surprising to you when you first started filming?
How much time it takes to put together a 30 minute show. When you run a storyline-formatted show, every minute that you film has to serve a purpose. We don’t hit record just to film without having a specific reason, but then again sometimes you don’t know what storylines are going to play out so you record a lot of additional footage. Seems like with my luck, we always play the “bases loaded, full count, 2 outs” approach and most generally we always walk away with a show. We don’t film very far in advance, so sometimes you almost have to will yourself to kill an animal, and it just happens.
What one tip can you give your fans to a successful hunt?
Know your equipment inside and out…practice, practice, practice. I never roll into the field without shooting my gun or my bow – especially when you factor in travel. If you think the airline luggage folks treat your bags with delicacy, I’ll ask you to reference episode 13 from season 1. Jacked up my bow all over the place and just about gave me a coronary in the coach class.
What is your favorite meal including wild game? Any good recipes?
Surprisingly, the Nilgai that I shot down in South Texas was some of the best table fair I’ve ever had. I’d always heard that it was really good, but never had an opportunity to try it. If you get an opportunity to try some, you won’t be disappointed, I can promise you that. For recipes – call Dap at the ranch. He’s the 5 Star Chef.
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- Pig Man: The Series airs every Sunday at 10 p.m. EST on the Sportsman Channel.