N.H. Fish & Game Back In Spotlight For 'North Woods Law' Season 2

Aug 31, 2017

A screen grab from the trailer for season 2 of "North Woods Law: New Hamshire."
Credit Animal Planet

North Woods Law: New Hampshire’ is back for another season.

The reality show follows a group of New Hampshire Fish & Game conservation officers in the line of duty; that includes everything from rescues in the White Mountains, to patrolling the seacoast.

The second season premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet.

Col. Kevin Jordan from N.H. Fish & Game joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about the show.

How did the idea for this show first come about?

It actually started – I believe it was the sixth or seventh season for Engel Entertainment – and they had done a number of other states, including Maine and Texas, and they approached us with the idea. It would have been two years ago now. I was pretty apprehensive at first.

What changed your mind?

Well, meeting with them. They gave us the opportunity – they being Engel Entertainment – gave us the opportunity to lay out our expectations, what we would like to achieve. And they were excited about those same goals. And so we decided to take the risk and move forward with it.

So how was that first season for you? How did it go?

It went very well. It was highly successful, in my opinion. We received nothing but positive feedback on the show. It was well received. I think it opened the eyes of some of our New Hampshire citizens, which was kind of cool to do. It showcased what the state of New Hampshire has to offer in terms of outdoor recreation and opportunities, as well as the benefits of the staff at New Hampshire Fish and Game, their hard work and how the state benefits from that.

Any apprehension from the standpoint of the officers as far as having a camera crew following them around as they're trying to do their job?

A little bit, yeah. I think in the beginning the unknown part of it was a bit of a concern. The main characters of it, those individuals have kind of come to accept it. This is a great crew camera crew. They're very fit. They go on hikes with us and they're very good about basically doing their job, but not getting in the way. And so I think everybody has adapted pretty well to it.

Have there been any instances where the officers said look, you guys need to step back, we’ve got a situation here?

Oh yes, many, especially in a search or a drowning mission where we've just put the brakes on and they've been incredible about that. They understand that, they're very sensitive about it, they being the camera crew. They will stop filming or step back. They offered us the editing rights for each show.

So you have final edit?

I do. That's the only way I would do it in the beginning, and that has worked out very well for us.

After having gone through the first season and now with the second season finished, what have you learned about what goes into making this kind of show?

I've learned a great deal, probably more than I ever wanted to know, about television, the different terminology. I had no idea how much work goes into a single episode. It is a good deal of work.

And it's a slow process.

It's a slow process and these are very talented people who do this all the time and they had to be very patient to bring us up to speed, you know, those of us that had no idea. And they put us in a very important role so we had to get up to that speed. So literally when these episodes come in, we have to drop whatever we're doing and take, you know, 15 minutes and review it. Any one episode we've seen, when I say we, the command staff, has seen probably four times because once the edits are made and we see it again I make sure all our concerns were addressed. And so it's a long process.

Does that take you away from other duties?

We fit it in. We end up taking it home. You know, we download it and take it home and view it; it's a quieter setting and it's easier to do it at home, so a lot of it is done on our time, which is good. So no, it hasn't interfered really. We've been able to manage it.

Can you give us some highlights of what's to come this season or are you sworn to secrecy?

I'm sworn to secrecy, but I’ve never been very good at that. I can tell you that you're going to see some great investigations made. You're going to see some search and rescue missions that are dangerous. You're going to see some of the challenges that they face above tree line in Washington. You're going to see some tragedy. I mean, you can't avoid that. It's something we deal with and that’s the real part of the job and you're going to see a little piece of that. You’re going to see a lot of interactions with some kids this year, which is very positive. I'm glad to see that. It's going to be exciting.