Tred posted on Facebook awhile back: I’m sad to announce that after 9 years with OLN, Versus and NBC Sports that my TV show, "The Best and Worst of Tred Barta," has been officially canceled…”
Tred had given me a heads up. He and I talk once in a while to catch up on the hunting and outdoor TV world. But it was still a bummer to read that. Whether you loved Tred or not so much, you always knew where he stood. He was and still is a man and a hunter of personal values and morals. Tred's TV show was different, entertaining and always passionate; I liked it. There was never a dull moment doing it "the hard way, the Barta way.”
I remember meeting Tred the first time. We were up in the Adirondacks, shooting TV commercials. It wasn’t long after Tred had suffered a rare spinal stroke. It was tough for me to see the man like that, but he was upbeat and an inspiration. I recall him looking into the camera and saying with unbridled passion: “I’m not a cripple, but a paraplegic who never gives up... never give up on your dreams, if I can do it you can do it.” Tred has spent the last years inspiring people and hunters with disabilities and special needs.
At the end of the filming day, the director wanted to shoot footage of us shooting bows. I didn’t have my compound, so I grabbed one of Tred’s longbows. “You haven’t shot one of these in a while, you’d better take the little 45-pounder,” he said. Yes, still fiesty. I grew up shooting a recurve instinctively, but I hadn’t shot trad in years. My first arrow at 20 yards was back on the 3-D deer, but not bad. It felt good. Some things you never forget.
Tred’s wife, Anni, a woman whom he adores, had made a harness that keeps him tight in his chair when he looses an arrow. He can only draw and shoot in a small window to his left, but he can get the job done. It turned into a friendly competition. Tred is competitive, and so am I. We each fired 10 arrows--wooden shafts w/feathers that Tred had made. I missed the deer once, not shabby after 20 years away from it. Tred hit the vitals every time and edged me out.
We vowed to bow hunt together for a TV show. I said I had the place, and the trip to the Milk River with longbow hunter Luke Strommen was set for last October. When EHD killed all the deer on the Milk last summer, we had to cancel and it was devastating. The last time Tred and I talked, I promised to find us another place to bowhunt together. I am still looking and I will find that place.
Thanks, Tred, for 9 years of great TV...thanks for sticking to your guns, and for your inspiration to me and millions of TV viewers. Godspeed and good luck my friend.--Mike Hanback. comment