By JUDY BERGERON | The Advocate
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — It's a north Louisiana-set reality show about a quirky family who works and plays together, and their last name isn't Robertson.
Meet the Busbices, stars of A&E's new series “Country Buck$.” As son Matt Busbice, 32, is quick to point out, this is no “Duck Dynasty.”
“We know there are going to be comparisons; we can't stop that,” Busbice said enroute from home in Baton Rouge to the family hunting ranch near Olla. “At the end of the day, we're a completely different business in a completely different family as far as we don't have beards, we have a lot of different hunting brands, they focus on ducks and duck calls, and we focus on all sorts of gadgets and widgets for the modern outdoorsman.”
Starting out as Wildgame Innovations, the family business is now a multi-million dollar wildlife sporting empire with 2,400 products _ among them trail cameras, electronic game calls and the well-known Plano tackle boxes _ and 12 major outdoor brands. With offices and factories in several parts of the country, the family gathering place is the 55,000-acre posh ranch where much of “Country Buck$” is shot.
The sprawling property is also a good place to try out new products.
“That's the proto testing ground, where we'll get a lot of great feedback testing products in a wild environment,” Busbice said. “R&D (research and development) and lab work and engineering takes place in all our offices and factories, but whenever we have a working prototype we like to get it straight to the ranch and see how it really does out in the wild outside of that lab.”
At the ranch, viewers were introduced in the Nov. 26 premiere to the rest of the family: Matt's brother, Ryan; father, Big Bill; mother, Beth; Uncle Hard Luck; Hard Luck's son, Joe Buck; Hard Luck's wife, Mona; and ranch manager Terry Carr (T-Carr).
Uncle Hard Luck is the show's comic center, as fun loving as he is wacky. “He's the living, walking person of the character Uncle Eddie in `Christmas Vacation,”' Busbice said.
In premiere, Hard Luck worked on an idea for using friction and his own body heat to warm deer urine to the best temperature for attracting prey.
“Hard Luck's ideas are not the most sane, rational ideas,” Busbice said. “Something that would sell and actually be a good product, I can promise you, he did not come up with it.”
The premiere also had a familiar, bearded guest-star, “Duck Dynasty's” Willie Robertson.
“Willie and I and the whole Robertson family, we go way back. We've been friends and business partners for years,” LSU alumnus Busbice said.
Another familiar reality TV face will pop up on the third episode.
“`Choot 'em' Troy Landry (History's `Swamp People') and the family are also old friends,” he said. “He's been helping test products for us. We have a brand-new trail camera for hunting that texts and emails you photos, that is going to pretty much change how alligator hunters and deer hunters are going to do it. We had to send my Uncle Hard Luck with Troy to help field test the new trail camera and it became an alpha-male kind of conflict.”
The Busbices aren't strangers to TV cameras.
“We do a hunting show ('Wildgame Nation') on the Outdoor Channel, but `Country Buck$' is really going to be a lot more entertaining, more about our family and business, and products that we make.
“I think the attraction to our show is going to be great, wholesome comedy with a flair of entrepreneurship and innovation that comes along with it.
“I think it will be inriguing to find out that anybody in this world that has a good product idea or vision to start a business, if they see our show, they can see that if we can do it, anybody can do it.”
Even with an uncle like Hard Luck around.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com