I recently had the opportunity to watch Ralph and Vickie Cianciarulo accept the 2011 Muzzy Tall Man award during the 2012 ATA Show. Each year Muzzy Products Corporation presents the Tall Man Award to someone who "stands tall" among his or her peers by going above and beyond to promote and protect the future of archery and bowhunting. This year, the award went to the Cianciarulo family. As you know, Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo are Realtree pro staffers, and they host the popular Archer's Choice and The Choice TV shows on The Outdoor Channel and WildTV.
During the ceremony, Michele Musacchia-Eichler, Muzzy CEO, said she was honored to recognize the Cianciarulo family with this reward because, "They represent the hunting industry with such class and dedication, always giving back and always with an eye on the future and protecting our hunting heritage." But it was what Ralph said that really caught my attention and prompted a few church service-like “amens” from the crowd.
After Ralph thanked Michele and Muzzy, he used the opportunity to call for hunters to stop fighting among themselves, saying, “We should stand together because we can make a difference. The size of the animal shouldn’t matter. Let’s keep it fun and exciting. The egotistical bull crap needs to stop.”
It wasn’t hard to discern that Ralph is a little disenchanted with some hunters’ attitudes and with some TV personalities’ egos. I wanted to hear more about what Ralph had to say, so I called him after the show and asked him to elaborate on his statements, which he was more than happy to do while acknowledging his comments may make some people mad.
“I’m sick and tired of the fighting among sportsmen and women over the types of equipment other hunters use to take their game,” Ralph said. “This all goes back to why we came out with The Choice. You shouldn’t tell someone that they shouldn’t use a specific tool for hunting if it’s legal. If it gets more people into the woods hunting, what’s wrong with it? The only way we will continue to grow in strength is by increasing our numbers and participation.”
I then asked him to elaborate on his comments concerning egos.
“There is validity in the statement that we need to put egos aside,” Ralph said. “We (hunting TV show hosts) are not rock stars, we’re hunters. It’s not about the autograph line we create at the shows; it’s about what we leave behind and how we make a difference with what we’ve been blessed with. We need to make time for the children and get them outdoors. That’s what matters.”
What are your thoughts on his comments? Does it matter to you if hunters use a bow, a gun, or a crossbow, so long as it’s legal? Do you think big egos are a problem among hunting celebrities?
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Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.