Taxidermist turned TV host

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By The Staff

As hunting gains popularity nationwide, Kenny Parsons wants to make sure newcomers to the sport are well educated.

Parsons, owner of Hide ’N’ Hook on U.S. 42 West, just on this side of the Trimble border with Henry and Oldham counties, is putting his years of experience on film in the form of a new TV show, “Just Passin’ Thru.”

Think of him as the “Tim Taylor” for hunting enthusiasts – only far less accident-prone than the fictional “Home Improvement” cable TV host.

“Most hunting shows today don’t seem to focus on hunting and education as much anymore,” Parsons said.

His show stems from several how-to DVDs he has produced and sold in recent years, demonstrating everything from caring for a bow to cleaning an animal after harvest.

“I’m teaching people to be better hunters,” he said. “That’s what’s being lost – what to do after you shoot the animal.”

The first of the 13-episode season premiered March 29 on The Sportsman Channel, available nationwide on DirecTV (locally, channel 605), Dish Network (locally, channel 285) and most major cable TV outlets. The channel is included in certain premium packages, depending on which provider viewers have.

The first installment is, more or less, an introduction to Parsons and what future episodes will feature, he said. Subsequent episodes will feature footage of hunts he’s been involved with since he first picked up a video camera 15 years ago. Some of the hunts are local, while some take place in Arizona, Alaska and other locations.

Each episode will feature a “hunting tips” segment, as well as the “Viewer Video of the Week,” which can be about hunting or just footage of wildlife.

Matt Blouin, an account executive at The Sportsman Channel’s New Berlin, Wisc., headquarters, said he and his associates are very excited about Parson’s show.

“I kinda knew right away, he’d be a good fit,” said Blouin in a phone interview Tuesday. Blouin is helping Parsons produce the show.

Parsons has “been involved in the industry for years, with his taxidermy shop; he’s a true outdoorsman and is very ethical,” Blouin said. “He’s outgoing. We think he’s going to be very well-liked. He’s got everything it takes.”

Parsons also has a surprising knack for producing television.

“He understands the TV side of things and what it takes to put together a good TV show,” Blouin said, adding that most shows on the network involve third-party producers. “We’re very excited about [the project]. We hope to build a long-term relationship with [Parsons] and the show.”

Submitted pilot on a whim

Parsons, a 1989 graduate of Oldham County High School,  said he landed his TV gig on a fluke.

“Someone said I should send a pilot to The Sportsman Channel,” he recalled.

Then, when he got a call that the network had picked up his show, “I was, like, whoa. Now what do I do?”

He and friends got to work on the project in August and have episodes 1-3 “in the can,” with episodes 4-6 still in production. He’s also making the commercials to go with the show.

One of the side benefits is hawking some of his own products – an item he patented for bow hunting and a tool-box kit he put together that includes all the necessary tools a bow hunter needs to get started.

These items, and others, also are available on the show’s companion Web site, JustPassnThruTV.com.

Though he has sponsors for the show from all over the country, “I’m not getting paid to do this,” he said, adding that he hopes the show and his online store will complement each other and add to the income he earns from his taxidermy shop.

But the real thrill is that The Sportsman Channel is available to 25 million homes, nationwide.

Blouin said the expansion to satellite TV and the big cable companies is something that just happened within the past two years.

“I got in at a pretty good time,” Parsons said. “It’s a lot of work on my end, but I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t love it.”


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