SHOT Show: TV show host was Sooner born and Sooner bred
Wade Middleton hasn't lived in Oklahoma since 1986, but the Ardmore native who is the television host and producer of outdoor shows such as Americana Outdoors and Yamaha's Whitetail Diaries still bleeds crimson and cream.
"I still have deep ties there," Middleton said. "I love to fish Lake Murray and Lake Texoma and I am a diehard Sooner fan."
Middleton, 49, is in his 20th years of outdoor programming and this week is making his 20th appearance at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas, Nev.
He now lives in San Antonio, Texas, but grew up in Ardmore where his mom and dad still live in the same house that he did when he graduated high school in 1984. He was on the high school golf team in Ardmore but often skipped practice to go hunting and fishing.
"I remember writing a letter to Jimmy Houston years ago saying I want to be on your fishing show," Middleton said. "I can remember him sitting in a little two man boat and throwing a Roadrunner and the water blowing up all around him and I thought, man, I want to do that."
He attended Murray State College for two years where he studied wildlife conservation before joining the military. While in the military, he answered a classified ad for a part-time hunting and fishing guide at a San Antonio ranch.
The ranch started hosting numerous outdoor television shows to help grow the business and Middleton got his foot in the door.
"I made some great contacts," he said. "Through luck and hard work and plain stupidity of staying in the industry, I got to where I am at now."
Middleton said the SHOT Show has grown tremendously in his 20 years in the business. He thinks the interest in shooting has never been higher "whether it's a person that wants to go hunt or whether it's a person that wants to go target shoot."
Working in the oudoors television industry has allowed him to hunt and fish all over the world, but he still often films his hunting and fishing adventures in Oklahoma. In fact, he will be filming a striper fishing show at Lake Texoma next month.
"Skipping golf to go hunt and fish kind of worked out for me," he said.