Chipper Jones: ‘In hunting, we all have the same goal’

Braves third baseman Chipper Jones’ love of the outdoors comes to a new cable TV show. “Major League Bowhunter” debuts this week on the Sportsman Channel (found in Atlanta on Comcast Xfinity channel 196).

My current TV series, “Buck Commander,” is five guys who enjoy hunting together and cutting up. “Major League Bowhunter” — MLB — is going to entertain you, but you’ll learn something as well. We’re going to give a lot more in-depth, fresh look at what goes on behind the stand.

People always told me that once you experience bowhunting, you’ll never go back. I consider myself good with a rifle, but you get to a point when you need a new challenge. Trust me, bowhunting is never stale.

You are up close and personal. You’ve got to have all the T’s crossed and I’s dotted. Anything goes wrong, the deer is so close, you’re busted. It’s a lot of discipline, a lot of patience.

A cameraman doubles the possibility of screwing things up. I had a booked [trophy] deer at 12 yards, and when the cameraman turned, a toboggan dropped from his pocket, and this unbelievable opportunity goes to the wayside.

I wouldn’t hunt without a camera, though. I would just die if I got the opportunity for a record buck and didn’t document whether it was a hit, a kill or a miss.

I hunt right-handed. The only thing I can do left-handed is switch hit, and only because I’ve done that since I was 7.

Every major league baseball team has guys who are passionate about hunting. Me and Adam LaRoche have had conversations about hunting when I’m on first and he’s playing first.

“Buck Commander” started through our friendship through baseball, with Ryan Langerhans. No doubt some players will appear on “Major League Bowhunter.”

Hunting season starts right after baseball is over, and we follow the peak of the rut starting in the Midwest. A network of buddies with properties allows us to hunt at the prime times. At my ranch in south Texas, the rut is the second week of December.

In hunting, we all have the same goal: doing whatever it takes to get in front of big deer. The only thing I can equate that to is a home run. The second the ball hits the bat, 50,000 people are on their feet. When you do get a kill shot, you imagine thousands of people watching on TV. It’s a delayed reaction.

“Major League Bowhunter” gives me a chance to branch out into one of my passions. I really want to expand upon that when I retire from baseball.

- Reported by Michelle Hiskey