December 25, 2013 - A television camera captured footage of an Oxford politician ice fishing instead of working at his desk last week.
Jenny Olsen (right), co-host and producer of Michigan Out-of-Doors Television, spent a couple hours last week filming Oxford Township Supervisor Bill Dunn (left) as he did some ice fishing on a local lake. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio. (click for larger version)
But it wasn't a scandalous case of gotcha journalism; it was simply a segment for Michigan Out-of-Doors Television.
Oxford Township Supervisor Bill Dunn will get his 15 minutes of fame next month when he appears on the popular program.
Dunn was filmed and interviewed for the show by Co-Host/Producer Jenny Olsen while he ice-fished for bluegill on an undisclosed lake somewhere in the Oxford/Orion area.
"It's pretty exciting to be out here a week before Christmas and be able to catch fish," Olsen said. "This is the first time I've been out on the ice this year."
Dunn discussed his passion for ice fishing, making his own teardrop jigs and flies, and exercising proper etiquette while on the ice such as not crowding your fellow fishermen.
"It was a fun day," he said. "It was an honor for me to become part of a Michigan tradition that goes back to the early 1950s and I want to thank Jenny for having me on."
Michigan Out-of-Doors, originally titled Michigan Outdoors, has been on the air since 1951. It was founded by the late Mort Neff, who hosted the show until 1974.
In a lighthearted moment, Dunn confessed to the camera why he purchases so much nail polish at the Oxford Meijer – he uses it to paint his jigs.
Although Dunn said the "hot color" – i.e. the one fish are biting on – "varies from day-to-day," he's had a lot of success with black, green and pink.
Fishing in shanties alongside Dunn were his Orion friends Brian Duerden, John Haupt and Bill Boyd.
"This is fun," Olsen said. "You can tell these guys love ice fishing and have a lot of years of experience."
Olsen said the segment will air sometime in January. Michigan Out-of-Doors airs at 11 a.m. Saturdays and 1:30 a.m. Thursdays on Detroit Public TV, WTVS Channel 56.
Episodes can also be viewed at michiganoutofdoorstv.com
The television star and local politician met while golfing at a local charity outing. They immediately hit it off.
"While we were out there in the middle of summer golfing, we were talking about ice fishing," said Olsen, who lives in Goodrich and grew up in Ortonville."We both have a love for ice fishing."
That chat led to plans for last week's outing on a frozen lake.
"He said he comes out quite often all winter long and does pretty well," Olsen said.
Every week, Michigan Out-of-Doors TV features average anglers and hunters from around the state pursuing fish and game.
"It's still very popular (after 62 years) and I think a big part of that is because it is about the people of Michigan," Olsen said.
"Jimmy (Gretzinger) and I host the show together, but it's not about us. It's about going out with guys like Bill and his buddies, getting to know them, watching them catch fish and learning their different techniques."
Back in the days of Mort Neff, television shows about hunting and fishing were few and far between.
"Nowadays, there's literally 500 different outdoor shows you can watch at a national level," Olsen said.
But much of these shows' content was filmed at least a year ago in places that most viewers will probably never visit.
In contrast, Olsen said the segments featured on Michigan Out-of-Doors "happened just a week or two before" and they were filmed in places that viewers can easily access with rod or gun in hand.
"I think people like that part of it, too," Olsen said.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.