Usually at this time of year, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Gerald Swindle is deep in the Alabama woods. He's an avid bow hunter, and the call of the woods is strong for him.
"It's my getaway, it's how I recharge my batteries to get back on the tournament circuit. I've spent most of my winters in the woods with my bow in my hand," said Swindle, whose Warrior, Ala., home is close to some of the best deer and turkey hunting in the nation.
But this winter, a camera often follows his every move in the woods. He's working on a new TV show, The Hit List, slated to debut on the Outdoor Channel starting in July, Swindle said.
He described the show — a collaboration with fishing pros Andy Morgan and Chad Ritter — as "an in-your-face, down-to-earth show with a little bit of comedy and a lot of hunting."
One aim of the show is to portray hunting as it really is for most hunters, he said.
"We don't do those real fancy, high-priced hunts, but hunting like we do with our buddies, like we grew up doing," he said.
The show's production will have to go on without him for much of February. That's when his attention will turn to competing in the 41st Bassmaster Classic out of New Orleans. He'll be on the Louisiana Delta for official practice days, Feb. 11-13 and Feb. 16, and through competition days, Feb. 18-20.
Swindle's 10 Classic appearances include all three of the previous Classic competitions on the Delta. He finished 39th in 1999; fifth in 2001 and 11th in 2003.