Hunter/TV Host Tom Miranda in Chattanooga Saturday

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Tom Miranda
From humble beginnings as a school boy trapper, Tom Miranda has taken his love of the outdoors and turned it into the career of a lifetime. (Photo: Contributed)

One of the most well-known hunters and TV hosts in the outdoor venue alive today will be in Chattanooga this weekend.

Ask any hunter over 40 to name the greatest bowhunter of all time and they would probably say “Fred Bear.” Ask anybody younger than 40 and there is a good chance they would say “Tom Miranda.”

Miranda, host of the “Territories Wild” TV show on the Outdoor Channel, will be the guest of honor at Saturday’s Safari Club International, Tennessee Valley Chapter Banquet at the Chattanooga Trade & Convention Center. While Miranda is a Life Member and a huge SCI supporter, you’ll rarely see him at a local chapter banquet.

“I visit one chapter event a year,” said Miranda. “I get asked to do a lot. But producing 18 original TV shows a year, I already spend more than 200 days a year traveling and hunting. Add in the national events I have to attend and I just don’t have the opportunity to get to many chapter events.”

Miranda’s TV shows have been on-air since 1990, most of those years on ESPN, moving recently to the Outdoor Channel. He’s produced nearly 1,000 individual TV episodes in his career and knows the in’s and out’s of the television market place. But he hasn’t forgotten his humble beginnings, and the work it took to “break in” to the business. He says that will be part of his message to sportsmen at Saturday’s banquet.

“I’m going to talk about not giving up,” said Miranda, whose outdoor career began as a trapper.

“Here was this trapper kid living in South Dakota. I was a one-man band who wrote my own scripts, hired a cameraman, and then did all my video editing in my house,” said Miranda.

He made his first TV appearance in 1990, then in 1992 ESPN called. He said it was just like a minor league baseball player getting called up to the big show. He hopes his story will help motivate other sportsmen, not to be on TV but to continue speaking up for the rights of hunters.

“Sometimes it’s hard for these folks to realize their voice is being heard and that they’re doing the right thing,” said Miranda.

There are plenty of voices who disagree about “the right thing.” Last month Baylor School pulled an African safari hunt from its fundraising auction after a Baylor graduate spearheaded an online petition that garnered more than 90,000 signatures. The Tennessee Valley Safari Club however, is offering several hunts on it’s online auction.

Miranda said he belongs to most conservation organizations but he said SCI stands out because it goes world-wide.

“I think they are first for hunters,” he said. “Hunting is the best form of conservation. Active hunters buying licenses and traveling to many of these places is the best form conservation. It gives value to wildlife that wouldn’t be there otherwise.”

The SCI banquet begins at 5 pm Saturday at the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center. However Miranda will conduct a seminar from 2 to 4 pm. The cost for the seminar and banquet is $125 ($75 for banquet only, $35 for 16 and under, $50 for seminar only). Learn more here.

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