July 20, 2008

Nolan: Area Bowhunters Enjoy Dream Season

By John Nolan, The Wisconsin State Journal

Jul. 19--Joe Eugster and Eric Grover don't need to pinch themselves when they see their images on TV.

After all, the Madison-area deer-hunting duo has already been featured on DVDs produced by Drury Outdoors.

As pro staffers for the past five years, they have gotten opportunities to work in front of the camera.

Lately, they can be seen on "Dream Season 5: Land of the Giants," which airs Tuesday nights on The Outdoor Channel.

But far better than the screen time, the men agree, the past year they were blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the reality cable TV show's charitable arm -- and to see some smiling faces.

"That was probably our biggest accomplishment on the show," said Eugster, a 47-year-old Stoughton businessman who lives with his wife, Carol, and son Jacob, 11, and Katherine, 6.

The Catch-A-Dream Foundation was created in response to the Make-A-Wish Foundation's decision to drop hunting and fishing opportunities to children with life-threatening illness.

In conjunction with the show -- this fifth season pits pro staffers from five states against each other in a bowhunting competition -- the pair was tasked with raising about $20,000 at a deer hunters' banquet held at Eugster's Farm Market in Oregon.

Their busy filming of the past year included Dream Season hunts in Illinois and Mississippi as well as outings from August through December on their Dane County lands. They also filmed and took part in the state of Wisconsin's "Hunt of a Lifetime" -- also a hunting opportunity for children with life-threatening illness.

Additionally, they filmed a hunt with friend Dan Christensen of Stoughton, who once lost an arm in a bowhunting accident.

"It's pretty neat to try to open up the door to people who think they can't bowhunt any longer," Eugster said.

Grover agreed it's neat to see themselves on TV.

But ...

"At the same time, you don't know if you're going to look like a dork or act like a dork. You hope you act the right way," said Grover, a 47-year-old realtor with RE/MAX who lives with his wife, Martha, and sons Klint, 14, and Kyle, 18, in Oregon.

The most recent installment -- "Land of the Giants" -- of The Outdoor Channel's reality TV show began June 30 and runs through Sept. 23.

The show airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. with reruns Mondays at 5 a.m. and Tuesdays at 1 p.m.

Eugster and Grover follow in the footsteps of Deerfield's Rick and Vicki Sanger, who participated in last year's Dream Season: Couples.

Viewers vote online for their favorite teams -- as well as for prizes.

For more information, go to www.druryoutdoors.com.


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