Winchester Deadly Passion EpisodesEpisode 1: Tyrants of the Tundra
Join Melissa on a ten-day, tent-camp adventure to the Alaskan Peninsula; a harsh environment home to some of the world’s largest predators. Extended Information: Join Melissa on a ten-day, tent-camp adventure to the Alaskan Peninsula; a harsh environment home to some of the world’s largest predators. Melissa is hunting with Ryan McCue of Alaska Brown Bear Safari on the tundra in mid-October, where the elements can quickly become your worst nightmare. Camping in just a tent for 10-days straight with no amenities, Melissa must put aside all creature comforts and focus solely on staying fit and focused on the hunt. Hours of glassing, with two- to five-mile stalks through thick tundra are the norm, with just freeze-dried food and a tent for accommodations deep in the Alaskan wilderness. But Melissa would have it no other way, after all, hunting brown bear in Alaska has been a life-long dream. Armed with her .375 H&H rifle and a top-notch Alaskan guide, not even 70-mph gusts and bone-chilling rain will stop Melissa from realizing her dream of pursuing an Alaskan brown bear. Episode 2: Old School Western Elk
On this hunt Melissa and some close friends score some highly coveted bull elk tags and hit their territory at the peak of the rut. The bulls come trotting and screaming at almost every call, as the morning silence is pierced with the music of dynamite elk country. Melissa was invited on this trip of a lifetime by an old college buddy, Ryan McReath, who actually guided elk himself out west for several years after graduation. On this trip Melissa decided to film everyone’s hunt, and she ends up with some incredible footage of seven different bulls, truly one of the most remarkable hunts of her life. Securing a bull elk tag for this area is tough enough, but to then hit it at the peak of the rut is the true definition of a plan coming together in spades. Not only is the elk hunting over the top, but Melissa and Ryan enjoy an awesome opportunity to catch up on things while hunting together for the first time since they left their alma mater.Episode 3: Monarch of the Sandhills
Melissa gets a call from Scott Kuhn of Deer Meadow Outfitters and is invited on an opening day rifle hunt for trophy mule deer hunt in the Nebraska Sandhills. Scott runs an amazing operation that consistently takes big muley bucks year after year. Melissa heads into camp for opening day of the NE rifle season, and the very first morning two hunters from camp roll back in with two bucks measuring nearly 200 inches a piece! Melissa and Scott have a great hunt, seeing plenty of nice bucks and enjoying their time with some good-natured ribbing. They spot a grand old buck laid up on a hill several hundred yards away and the stalk is ON! Despite the second pair of eyes of a wary doe, they make the long stalk to within 150 yards, well within her range. Now all she needs to pull off is one well-placed shot. Take a nice breath and squeeze. Episode 4: Illinois Slug Fest
Melissa hits some familiar Illinois territory in hopes of taking a mature buck with her shotgun, but sometimes, when a hunt doesn’t quite go as planned, other opportunities crop up! Year after year, Illinois is the one state consistently produces big whitetails for Melissa, no doubt due to all the time she has put in there and the renowned genetics throughout the state. But, after putting in four solid days of hunting during the IL slug hunt, Melissa heads home empty handed. Luckily, she has a tag for the late IL muzzleloader season, so after switching locations and making new plans, Melissa gets one last chance at a “shooter” Illinois whitetail. On the last evening of her hunt, with opportunity fading, a darn good buck steps out of the standing corn and into the very same food plot where she had taken two massive bucks a few years before. Will history repeat itself? Episode 5: South African Dream Hunt
Nyala, waterbuck and oryx are just a few of the species on the menu as Melissa heads to South Africa for an incredible plains game hunt with Julious Heyneke at the Maroi Conservancy. Situated on the banks of the mighty Limpopo River in South Africa, The Maroi Conservancy encompasses 21,000 acres of pristine mopani and mixed Bushveld operating as one of the region’s largest fruit farms. In addition to melons and citrus, the Conservancy offers incredible hunting for many species of both plains game and dangerous game, including lion and cape buffalo. Melissa and Julious have a wonderful trip lined up, with plans to pursue a variety of plains game using Melissa’s .375 H&H. Surrounded by gemsbok, eland, waterbuck, wildebeest, oryx and more, they deploy a variety of methods, from ground blinds to spot and stalk and even some calling. The hunting traditions, camaraderie and cultural aspects of both the region and its indigenous people combine to make the whole experience almost surreal. Nights are spent taking in the stars by campfire, incredible food, outstanding accommodations and a plentiful supply of African game. Melissa is definitely not in Minnesota anymore. What else could diehard hunter wish for?Episode 6: South Dakota Showdown
With bow in hand, Melissa goes one on one with a monster, double-beamed whitetail that has eluded her several times. Hunting the east river of South Dakota, where non-residents are only allowed archery tags, Melissa meets up with Cody Warne of Warne Ranches. But she’s all alone on this self-guided hunt, and it will take every trick up her sleeve to close the deal. She’ll need to hang her own stands, build her own blinds and make all the necessary decisions a successful hunter needs to make. There is a big, double-beamed buck that is cruising the area and Melissa has had several close calls with him. She decides to deploy a decoy in hopes of attracting a bruiser looking for a fight. After ten days of hunting hard and decoying in over 35 bucks, she finally gets a good look at beautiful, mature whitetail. But, will all that patience and hard work pay off?