EXCLUSIVE: Interview With Tom McMillan From Tom’s Wild Life
I was told to be prepared for all kinds of crazy in my phone interview with Tom McMillan this afternoon. The star of Tom’s Wild Life has no regrets for the funny things he says, but he’s also one of the nicest guys I’ve spoken to. Tom’s Wild Life’s second season debuts tomorrow night on GAC, a six pack of a season – only six episodes. We find out who will be joining Tom, what’s the stupidest thing Blake Shelton has ever said to him, if Miranda Lambert is a better hunter, and how old he was when he broke state law to first go hunting. Find out all that and more in our exclusive interview below.
Tom’s Wild Life follows the crazy life of Tom McMillan and his family as they hang out with some celebrity friends, not only hunting, but traveling around the United States as well. He’s an All-American guy who loves his guns, his hunting, and his country music – so get ready to know the man behind the laughs.
Watch the preview of the new season before you read our interview and tune in tomorrow night at 9:30 pm EST. Tomorrow’s episode features Easton Corbin, Kevin Canady and Chris Tate – who look to get even with Tom on the green after he makes things difficult for them.
First of all, whose idea was it to have a show?
Actually it was my own. I had some help from some people in country music that had been coming to my place for several years, just as a getaway friendship-type basis. I heard the idea of having a show from other people, telling me to look into this. I’ve done a lot of neat things and have met a lot of neat people. I guess if you hear that long enough from enough sources… I thought it over and thought well, maybe they’re right. Maybe I should look into this a little bit further and what it would take to have a show. I was sitting at home one evening and thought that I was going to try this, that I was going to follow this idea and see where it takes me.
Did you ever think you’d be on tv?
Not really when it came down to it, as far as my own show about my life and what we do here. I’ve been on tv briefly before with running my own hunting business here in Kansas. A lot of people on the Outdoor Channel, Versus, and the Hunting Network and stuff… they had come to me filming their own shows. I’ve been on television kind of in an indirect way as a guest on other people’s shows. I think you kinda know whether you can do it or you can’t; you know whether you can be on camera or you can’t. You get more comfortable with it the more you’re on it, but I never had a problem with it. I had a buddy that said “well, it must be hard to forget about the camera being there,” but it’s really not. You just go about your day and just do what you gotta do. Kinda just walk around the cameras and let them do their thing and hope it works out.
What was your favorite moment from the season?
From last season, the first seven that have already aired, or the next season that’s about to air?
I’m a gun nut, I believe in the American way and the right to bear arms and all that good redneck stuff. We got to go out to Las Vegas and do a shoot out there. One afternoon we went out to a gun range where they let you shoot machine guns and all kind of big stuff that you can’t do on a day-to-day basis. I got to shoot a machine gun and experience that for the first time. I met Colt Ford out there. He’s just a great guy like everybody that we’ve been able to have on the show. They’re all good country people. Once you kind of get into a situation with somebody you don’t know too well, or somebody that you’ve heard things about, you can tell right away if they’re a genuine country person or not. Everybody that we’ve had on we’ve been pretty lucky to have a lot in common with them right off the bat. No matter where the guest from our show is born and raised, or how they came to be, or where they’re at today.. it all comes back to being good country people and enjoying the same things. It makes it real easy for us to get along and everything that comes across on camera isn’t acting – they just turn the cameras on and let us go. Like it or not, that’s what you get! (laughs).
That’s another thing that I think is a favorite for me from season one and two. It’s just getting the chance to meet the guests that are on the show and hang out with them just because they’ve all been so great to deal with.
Now who will be joining you this season?
So far this season we’ve got Easton Corbin, Chuck Wicks, Colt Ford, Justin Moore, Brett Eldredge, Clay Walker, and I think we’ve got a couple little pieces in there with the duo Joey + Rory, who was on “Can You Duet?” on that other country television channel for a while (laughs). We’ve got some surprise guests, some sports figures, who honestly we didn’t have an idea they were going to be part of the show – we just kind of run into them. I’m gonna keep them a surprise. They surprised us so everybody’s just going to have to tune in and see!
Without getting you in trouble.
(laughs) Without getting me in trouble, alright. I know what they want to hear – they want to hear that Miranda is, but the truth is that it’s Blake. He loves to hunt, he’s a good hunter. Now that’s not taking anything away from Miranda; she’s great too and she loves it too, but Blake can tough out the cold a little longer and he has a little more patience so I’m going to have to go with Blake on that one.
So who got you on Twitter?
Actually, Blake did! He became an addict way before I did. I knew that it was going on, and I kind of heard talk about it here and there. He was always doing it and finally one day I said “I guess I’ll look into it, it’s something to do.” I tweeted just a few times and people started responding to it and it just took off from there. Sometimes I gotta make myself walk away from it and leave it alone for a while to regain some sanity. There’s also some other times when it’s therapeutic for you, for me anyway. It’s kind of a good idea to be able to voice your opinion about something, or talk to people you wouldn’t normally get to talk to about certain things. I guess the verdict’s still out on if it’s good or bad.
Have you been hunting up here in Canada lately? And for what?
I have not! Actually, I have never hunted in Canada. I would love to because I love all types of hunting. I’ve hunted in Alaska, which I know is different, but you can say I’ve flown over Canada to Alaska to hunt. That’s the closest I’ve been. But it’s definitely at the top of my list to get up there to Canada to go hunt.
What’s the stupidest thing Blake has ever said to you?
(laughs) Good Morning. Because if we’re together it’s usually not a good morning.
Do they have to separate you guys, put you in different corners?
(laughs) Sometimes, yeah! We’ve been prohibited to be in certain restaurants at the same time and certain types of public events. He’s so dang busy I haven’t seen the guy in forever! He started to be a big star a long time ago, but he’s really busy now. His career is cutting into our hang out time, it’s pretty hard.
What was your favorite moment that didn’t get to air?
Oh my gosh. There’s no way I can pin it on one. Let me say this, there is probably ten times more footage that we don’t get to show over what we do get to show. It’s such a crying shame because we have literally a room full of blooper reels and stuff that we can’t show. (laughs). It drives me nuts because some of it is the greatest stuff ever and we’re on a family network and I’m not always “family” worthy or whatever. I wish I could say that there was one thing but there’s literally so much stuff that I wish people could see. Maybe someday is all I can hope for, maybe someday we can release a bloopers reel or something. Not to make money off of it, just to have people see some of the greatest stuff ever.
Here’s a really random one. If you had a superpower what would it be?
X-ray vision. I think that would come in pretty handy. Who doesn’t like to see naked people?
Have you ever regretted something you’ve said on Twitter?
No. I’m a pretty straight forward person. If I say it, I mean it. Whether it’s on Twitter or in-person. Believe it or not, I know it doesn’t look this way, I usually try to think through what I say (laughs). I’m not a 100% on that because we all stick our foot in our mouth from time to time. I don’t want to be the type of person that maybe expresses an invitation to somebody then backs out of it. Usually when I say it, I mean it. So, no, I don’t take back anything that I’ve said on Twitter good or bad.
Has the popularity of your show surprised you at all?
Yes! It really has. Without knowing, or having any clue of what it could do, I didn’t have an idea in my mind that it would have this sort of following or this much or that much. But, it has surprised me to the point that it just shows me how many people out there are just like me, that like the same things I like and live the same way I live and believe in the same things I do. It just surprised me when that many people came out of the woodwork saying “you’re just like us,” or, “we feel like we’re family”. Really, more so than the people on Twitter, it’s the people who walk up to me in an airport or something that like that, that people that honestly I know probably aren’t even on Twitter or on social media.
Back in Las Vegas, there were three elderly women who came up to me and said something about loving the show, and I either reminded them of their grandson, or their son, or their neighbor boy or something, you know? Man, they can’t be on Twitter, they can’t be watching this stuff on social media, so they’ve gotta be watching the show. It just surprises me that maybe I’m not such a screwed up goofball because we all share the same ideals, wants and interests.
Now are there any plans to get the show on up here in Canada?
I thought they were already working on that, and I’m kind of surprised that it’s not up there. I remember talking with people on Twitter from Canada, actually I think it was you, during the first season. I brought it up to people at GAC that I’m in contact with at the network and they said they were working on that. Actually, I’m surprised to hear they haven’t gone that done yet. I’ve asked them and they said “we’re working on it, we’re working on it,” so now you’ve given me a little project to work on.
How old were you when you went out on your first hunt?
I’m probably going to incriminate myself with the state laws of Kansas, but way before I was legal. I have pictures and remember stories from the age of 4 of going with my Dad and shooting pheasants. If they want to give me a ticket for that then they’re going to have to get a lawyer ’cause I’m gonna fight it (laughs). But, yeah, that’s the truth, my Mom and Dad tell stories of me being at the age of 4, and the dang gun that I was using was bigger than I was. That actually goes back even further than I can remember. We have a lot of pheasants here in Kansas and I remember being infatuated with them, and actually all kinds of wildlife while I was growing up. It doesn’t matter what it was – if it was gonna fly from me or run from me I was going to hunt it down and shoot it. (laughs)
The pheasants are everywhere here, they’re right here at my house. These things think they’re chickens when I come down the driveway and they stick their nose at me. They know season’s over for the year so they know they’re safe for the next couple of months. They’re just making fun of me.
What’s one thing that ticks you off the most when you’re hunting?
(sighs) Daylight. See, this is what people wanna hear from me, they don’t want to hear the truth, they want some smart ass comments so I’m giving them one. (laughs)
Anything else you want your fans to know?
A big fat thank you to everybody, and keep tuning in. It starts tomorrow night!
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