Editor’s Note: Twenty-three year old, third-generation Mossy Oaker Neill Haas is a field producer and an editing assistant for the brand’s TV shows. “My dad, Toxey, and my granddad, Fox, have taught me everything I know about hunting and the Mossy Oak Company – from the basics of the business to why there is a Mossy Oak,” Neill Haas says.
Question: Neill, what’s been the biggest problem for you in becoming a field producer for Mossy Oak television?
Neill Haas: Organization. Dad not only passed on his love of Mossy Oak to me but also his disorganization skills. He has a tough time staying organized (you should see his hunting truck!) and I do too. I keep equipment scattered out everywhere when I’m going on a hunt. There’s a lot of equipment required to film TV shows, at least three times more gear than the hunter has who’s being filmed. I’ve had to learn to keep up with the equipment as well as ensuring all the equipment needed is in the tree stand or ground blind or attached to me during a climb. I also have to make sure I have back-up equipment if I lose or break anything on the hunt. I think being a field producer requires the most organizational skills of any job at Mossy Oak. I’ve learned the best way I can keep organized is to make a checklist. I check off every piece of equipment I will need, and then know I have it, either the night before the hunt or in the morning before we leave camp.
Question: What’s been your worst nightmare as a field producer, when you’ve gotten in a tree to film a hunt and found out you don’t have a piece of essential gear?
Neill Haas: I was in Iowa, and my hunter just had taken a really nice buck. When I got back to camp, I watched the tape, which was perfect, high-quality footage, except for the fact I had forgotten to turn on the microphones. It was the first morning of the hunt, I was running late getting up and didn’t have all my stuff together. We had rushed out to our stand site, and it wasn’t until we were there setting-up that I noticed I had picked up the wrong equipment bag, the one without headphones. Light was beginning to break. I knew that I couldn’t get down from the tree and go back for my microphones without spooking the deer. When I texted Rusty I had some good, soundless video of my hunter taking a nice buck, Rusty got on my case a little, but he also told me how to solve the problem. I learned a really good lesson from that experience but I’ll work hard so it will never happen again.