Editor’s Note: If there ever was a total outdoorsman, Mossy Oak Pro Hank Parker is one. A Bassmaster Classic champion twice, a master deer hunter who has taken 19 bucks that scored 170 or more, a race car driver and a TV host, Hank Parker has done it all. This week we’ll take a deeper look at the man who produces three TV shows, “Hank Parker 3D” and “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine” on the Pursuit Channel and “Hank Parker’s Flesh and Blood” on the Outdoor Channel. “I started wearing Mossy Oak as soon as it came to the market, and I’ve been wearing it for close to 30 years,” Parker explains. “For the last 6 years, I've adopted the Mossy Oak family as my family.” Hank is a staunch member of the Mossy Oak fraternity. We’ve watched as his life has changed courses throughout the years. Parker also is key to the success of C’Mere Deer (http://www.cmeredeer.com) and Swhacker Broadheads (http://www.hankparker.com/swhacker-products).
Mossy Oak: Hank, after your third year in television, you were making big bucks. You had one of the most-successful shows on TNN. Then you took another major career turn and started a hunting show. Why? As far as the general public, you had no reputation in hunting, and you had no sponsors in the hunting market.
Parker: I had four boys, and all four of my boys absolutely loved hunting. They liked fishing, but hunting was their passion. My sons, Billy and Hank Jr., and I were all three racing cars in NASCAR. Billy had a head injury in a wreck. Both boys wanted to be home more, because NASCAR drivers stay on the road more than tournament bass fishermen do. Both of them wanted to find a different career path. I wanted to develop a business so I could include my sons in it. So, I tried to get them involved in my fishing show, “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine,” but the fishing show just wasn’t their thing. They were hunters. They knew they were hunters, and all they really wanted to do was hunt. Of course, I had the same passion.
One day I decided. “We’ll just do a hunting show.” The boys loved that idea. We all decided to give a hunting show our best shot. Billy, Hank Jr. and I set out on the trail of producing a hunting show and started a show called “Hank Parker 3D.” While I was doing my show and hunting, I stumbled across a product called C’Mere Deer - an incredible product to lure deer. I bought into the company and decided I would promote, advertise and sell C’Mere Deer. About the same time, we met a fellow named Rick Forrest who had an awesome broadhead. We decided to take on this broadhead and renamed it Swhacker broadhead. So, we built a different business model than we had in my fishing career. We promoted and sold C’Mere Deer and Swhacker broadheads and let those two products pay the bills for this new hunting show we were developing.
Mossy Oak: Hank, let me make sure I understand this. Your path in the outdoors went from one of the world’s best fisherman and winner of two Bassmaster Classics to become a TV host and then entering the hunting market with three new products - Swhacker broadheads, C’Mere Deer products and a hunting TV show called “Hank Parker 3D.” So, what was the purpose of the show and buying into Swhacker and C’Mere deer?
Parker: Initially, I wanted “Hank Parker 3D” to be a vehicle to allow me to spend more time with my sons. We wanted to promote Swhacker and C’Mere Deer and use the profits from those two companies to help offset the expenses of the first year of “Hank Parker 3D” until we could build our name and reputation in the hunting industry. With any new products, I feel a company has to prove that that product effectively can help hunters and fishermen take more game, catch more fish and/or harvest trophy animals and fish. On our show, we demonstrated that putting out C’Mere Deer and using trail cameras helped our viewers see that C’Mere Deer was highly effective at luring in bucks. Then if we harvested one of the mature bucks that we had trail-camera pictures of with a Swhacker broadhead, the hunting public could see how efficient this broadhead was in taking big bucks.
At the first of bow season in Kentucky, my son, Billy, put out C’Mere Deer and a trail camera. We hadn’t been seeing very many deer. But then when we started looking at the trail-camera pictures, we spotted this big buck. The next day, I harvested that big buck. What television does for the manufacturers and the consumers is prove the value of the products that the manufacturer makes and demonstrates to the consumers how they can expect the same type result, if they use those products. Our show is unique in that we have three different personalities (hosts) on “Hank Parker 3D” – Hank Jr., Billy and me. The show is all about family and families hunting together. Billy has a different hunting philosophy than I do, and I have a different hunting philosophy than Hank Jr. The three of us interact, laugh and have a good time hunting together. With their show, Lee and Tiffany Lakosky really have showed the advantages of husband and wives hunting together. Our show differentiates itself, because on our show father and sons hunt together.
Go to http://www.hankparker.com/ to learn more about Hank Parker.