Content for Carnivores

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The next time you eat a burger, think about
the cow.

That’s not exactly the premise behind the newest Sportsman
Channel series, but it comes close to capturing the
hunting ethos of the show’s host, author and outdoorsman
Steven Rinella.

In a first of sorts for the
channel, Sportsman plans
to launch a new original
cooking series on New
Year’s Day with Rinella
called MeatEater — but
it’s not of the “stand-andstir”
variety you’d encounter
on the Food Network or
the Cooking Channel.

The new Sportsman
Channel show begins
with the hunt for food.
The weekly half-hour
series, an original production
with Zero Point
Zero, will showcase Rinella
bowhunting for javelins (wild hogs) in West Texas,
hunting black bears and ducks in Alaska or tracking a
mountain lion in southern Arizona.

Each episode ends with Rinella preparing the day’s harvest for
a meal. When Rinella tracks Aoudad sheep in Texas, for example,
he cooks it in a clay pot. After shooting a Coues whitetail in
Arizona, he wraps the heart in caul fat — a sheet of lattice-like fat
that lines the stomach — and turns it on a spit over an open fire.

“One of the greatest pleasures of hunting is to harvest the
meat and, right there on the spot, cook it and eat it,” Rinella
said in an interview. “It’s one of the strongest and most profound
connections you can make to the ancestral huntergatherer.
It’s my way of saying to the land and animal, you
will be respected.”

“I don’t like to separate eating from hunting,” he said.
“Hunting is food acquisition. I want to do whatever I can to
tighten that connection.”

Rinella, author of
the books The Scavenger’s
Guide to
Haute Cuisine
American Buffalo: In
Search of a Lost Icon
said that connection
will, hopefully, make
hunting a more palatable
outdoor activity
among the
non-hunting crowd.

Many critics of
hunting have a
hard time resolving
the moral issue
of hunting for food
when eating a chicken sandwich or a juicy hamburger. Both
involve the harvest of an animal for human sustenance.

The show is one of 30 new series debuting in the first quarter for Sportsman, which
reaches 27 million homes and is making a push to build its subscriber base. Gavin
Harvey, CEO, said in a statement: Rinella “is extraordinarily
talented at conveying the emotional and spiritual aspects
of what it means to be a hunter, what really drives us to prey
on and consume wild game.”