Country Buck$ is a new reality show premiering on A&E on November 19. Rumors that the new series is a Duck Dynasty spinoff or rip-off are inaccurate. The Busbice brothers and their family are buddies (city people translation: buddies is slang for friends) with Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. Ryan and Matt Busbice are the founders of Wildgame Innovations.
Willie Robertson appears in the first episode of Country Buck$. Before watching the screener of the first episode, I read one review of the new series; it was more than a bit negative. Preferring to make up my own mind, I clicked on the screener link and sat back to analyze the show. I am not a reality show fan and therefore not the target audience of the new series, but had to admit just a few minutes in, I didn’t hate it like I feared I might and laughed out loud several times. The grinning at the antics of the Busbice brothers and their kin likely stemmed from feeling a sense of familiarity with the individuals on the screen. Living in the beautiful rural Appalachian hills of southern Ohio, I could relate quite easily to the lifestyle and demeanor of the Busbice clan.
Unlike the vast majority of folks in the country, I have never seen a single Duck Dynasty episode. Willie and his family seem like nice, hard-working, God-fearing country folks, I just did not think a reality show about duck hunting would be something that I would find enjoyable. I am not a fan of reality shows overall and I have “pet” ducks. Much to my husband’s displeasure, I named the ducks and they will never be making an appearance in a cookpot unless the end of the world as we know it happens. We will however be enjoying duck eggs for breakfast one day soon. Perhaps if I would have watched Duck Dynasty like millions of others, I would have learned that female ducks honk and not named my two egg-layers Merle and Daryl.
Duck Dynasty fanatics need not worry about Country Buck$ being merely an imitation of their beloved show. While Willie Robertson was in the premiere episode of the new A&E reality series, if the first episode is any indication, the show will stand on its own and soon develop a dedicated following as well. Matt and Ryan Busbice offer up some country boy eye candy for the viewing enjoyment of the ladies and hunters both male and female will likely learn a thing or two about deer hunting products and what not to do with a blow torch, from the other members of the Busbice family during the 8-episode first season.
Wildgame Innovations sells 2,400 products and 12 major outdoor brands.
“Wildgame Innovations is a family owned and run company that was officially founded in early 2002, but really started its grassroots back in the mid-90s when the quality deer management movement got going. Being avid deer and wild game hunters, we had begun managing our own 1,100 acre deer lease in Northern Louisiana. After field testing nearly every “nutritional supplement/attractant” available on the market at that time, we felt as if we were not having any luck at all. That’s when we decided that if you are going to do something right you have to do it yourself.”
Country Buck$ seems like it will focus on both the deer hunting business and interactions between family members – a similar dynamic as is shared via Duck Dynasty, as I was told by one of their biggest fans, my cousin Marcie. Although both shows feature Louisiana country boys who made good by turning a hobby they love into a business, any “copy cat” aspect appears to end there. All of Bravo’s Real Housewives shows share a similar initial concept but feature very different “characters.” Once again, so I am told. Enjoying the Willie Robertson segment on Country Buck$ might make me a new viewer of his show, but I don’t think anything could entice me to watch a series about materialist women flipping tables, buying over-priced shiny things, and behaving like middle school mean girls.
The 55,000-acre property where the Busbice clan live is described as a slice of “Redneck Heaven.” Willie Robertson said, “The only thing better than hunting here is watching Big Bill go berserk,” during the opening moments of Country Buck$. Big Bill is the patriarch of the Busbice family. He is none too pleased when Matt’s big idea to celebrate the success of their business by getting into the Guinness Book of World Records go hilariously awry.
The Busbice brothers, Big Bill, Uncle Hard Luck, and trusty ranch manager T-Carr spend a lot of time attempting to get rid of Matt’s largest deer lick in the entire world. I don’t know if a single buck got a chance to taste the enticing block before the bees moved in. By bees, I mean a massive horde of “leave my house alone” stinging insects. When and first you don’t succeed, try, try, again, appears to be the mantra of the Busbice clan. That, or being good country boys were raised to respect and fear their father, and Big Bill definitely was not happy about the hundreds of bees buzzing around in the back yard.
On about the third try to get rid of the massive deer lick, T-Carr said, “Do you know what a redneck’s last words are? Watch this…” My intelligent country boy husband said T-Carr had it almost right. “Hold my beer, and watch this,” are apparently the usual last words of rednecks, at least in Appalachia. Having opted to use dynamite inside a concrete truck that went into a ditch and died, to get the hardened concrete loose enough to pull out and tow the truck, when he owned a concrete truck business during his younger days, Bobby has some first-hand insight into the proper phrasing issue.
I will not ruin the first episode by detailing how the Busbice family got rid of the record-setting 3,000-pound deer lick, but a few “do not try this at home” warnings did flash onto the screen. “A little persistence and a lucky shot can make a plan work,” Matt Busbice proudly proclaimed when his plan succeeded.
Uncle Hard Luck is also featured prominently in the first Country Buck$ episode, “Sac-Attack.” Hard Luck appears to provide the comic relief in the Busbice family. Although not my favorite member of the cast, his warm deer urine invention may make him a million bucks (pun intended) and earn him the undying gratitude of millions of hunters. At least those hunters who can unsee him prancing around the living room in his tighty whities demonstrating how his potential new Wildgame Innovations product works. Uncle Hard Luck’s lovely wife Mona and their son Joe Buck, also help with possible hunting game changer invention.
Although I could have taken a pass on the “taint” humor which was inevitably going to accompany Hard Luck’s invention segment, Country Buck$ is most definitely a show you can watch with your entire family, something that is quite rare these days.
Big Bill and his wife Beth seem to have raised respectful, hard-working country boys. I did not want to watch a show and hear “ain’t” and “I seen” throughout the segment, and was thrilled to only hear “ain’t” once and not a single “I seen.” Kudos to Big Bill and Beth for raising what appear to be fine young men who paid attention in school.
I hope my daughter Brea enjoys the premiere episode, because I am positive my son-in-law James will be tuned in each week, especially since the Busbice brothers were shown wearing RealTree. Who knew there were so many different varieties of camo or that each style garnered legions of faithful buyers that consider wearing a different configuration of earth tones tantamount to rooting against their favorite team? Whether or not you are a Duck Dynasty fan, if shows about hunting and family life appeal to you, give Country Buck$ a try, I doubt you will be disappointed.
[Images via: A&E]